About Kavana

I feel blessed with a calling in Frederick Buechner’s sense: “Where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” I take pride in being an eclectic and adaptive practitioner, tuning into the group and balancing structure with flexibility. I’m a pragmatic idealist who believes in the power of high-quality conversation to generate collective action for change; i* find following a group’s energy to see where it leads an endless source of inspiration. Fundamentally, my work is guided by the values of love, service, integrity, and curiosity. I see the process of facilitation as a spiritual teacher (perhaps second in stature only to the cat?), and i’m always trying to grow.

While i am not bound to any one established facilitation methodology, i have happily studied and been influenced by many. I try to draw on each as appropriate, and creatively blending them is part of the joy of my work. That toolbox currently includes: Appreciative Inquiry, Art of Hosting, Co-Counseling, Dynamic Facilitation, Non-Violent Communication, Open Space, Playback Theatre, Process Work, Work that Reconnects, World Café and more. I have been further influenced over many years by workshops on themes currently referred to as anti-racism or JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) by trainers including David Campt, Lee Mun Wah, and others less well-known—this is naturally a topic on which there is always more to learn.

Although i have lived in Chanchifin, Oregon since before the turn of the millennium, i grew up in New Jersey and have the pace of speech to prove it. (Chanchifin is the Kalapuya place name for the location many today call Eugene.)  My skill base in group dynamics comes from extended enrollment in the “graduate school of communal living”—i lived in intentional communities in Virginia (Acorn, 1994-1999) and Oregon (co-founder at Walnut St. Co-op, 2000-2007), until discovering to my surprise in 2011 that living alone suited me better than expected. Community living was a fascinating crucible in which to develop, gifting me with practice that has turned out to be incredibly useful across a wide range of settings.

In 2008 i founded the Group Pattern Language Project, and stewarded the creation of the Group Works deck over several years among a team of colleagues. In addition to Group Works, my writing has been published in The Change Handbook (Berrett-Koehler, 2007), Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy (American Bar Association Press, 2012), the Communities Directory (Fellowship for Intentional Community, 2000), and many articles in Communities magazine.  For more than a decade, my consultancy was conducted on a “joyful value exchange” (gift economy) basis.

My passion for groups is balanced by the desire to sit quietly with a utopian novel while sipping a cup of steaming chai tea. For grounding and rejuvenation, i turn to nature, the garden, bicycling, singing, and dance.

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