Rebecca Petzel is a network consultant bringing both passion and experience around unlocking the collaborative potential within social and environmental change communities. She's been called a facilitator, a design-thinker, an organizational development consultant, a strategist, an organizer, a collaboration ninja, and a web geek amongst other things.
How'd she get into this work?
In 2009 Rebecca completed a thesis on the potential of collaborative innovation networks in the age of Wikipedia to help unlock collective intelligence and fuel social and environmental progress. Her thesis marked the completion of a unique Swedish masters program teaching leadership through complexity alongside the scientific underpinnings of environmental and social sustainability. She was driven to academia by the challenges she encountered working on place-based, environmental initiatives, specifically the ineffectiveness of our group process skills up against the ever growing complexity of the problems at hand.
Since this academic crash-course into the theory and practice of collaboration, she's worked with inspiring organizations and networks across the globe putting this research into action. Past clients include UCSF & the Health eHeart Alliance, Forward Together, the Funder's Committee for Civic Participation, Code for America, the Impact Hub global network of entrepreneurs, New Media Ventures, Levi Strauss & Co., amongst others.
Through all this work she focuses on the critical importance of equity and communities designing solutions to their own challenges. She draws on theories from both technologists studying collective-intelligence, organizational development gurus studying the future of work, and social justice activists driving critical community-based organizing to help design participatory processes that are democratic in spirit, agile in practice, locally contextualized, and that work.
She has an M.Sc. from Blekinge Techniska Hogskola, a leading sustainability engineering program in Sweden, a BA in economics and environmental studies from the great University of Wisconsin - Madison. After wide travels that took her from San Francisco to Montana to Australia and beyond, she has settled for the time being in Chicago.
Brooking Gatewood is a network consultant and collaborative leadership coach. She brings a diverse toolkit to support growing leaders, organizations and networks to weave lofty social missions with grounded and collaborative approaches to implementation. She’s been accused of being both passionate and practical, and a valued thought partner, coach, and change catalyst.
How'd she get into this work?
Early in her career, Brooking worked in the environmental sustainability movement, with the Natural Capital Institute’s Wiser Earth project and as a communications and partnership manager with Global Footprint Network. These jobs exposed her to networks of hundreds of different organizations trying to have a positive impact in the world, and she got hooked on the puzzle of leadership for organizational, network, and movement effectiveness. After an academic research pause to study these subjects more deeply, Brooking has loved coming back to her passion for theory-in-action as a practitioner. She’s worked independently and in consulting networks, and has been fortunate to learn from some brilliant senior facilitators, coaches, and process designers at Adaptive Edge, Groupaya, Ag Innovations, and beyond.
She has designed and facilitated countless group meetings and workshops, strategy, culture, and systems change processes, and the co-creation of collaborative products (reports, campaigns, etc). She's helped grow and strengthen networks and has coached leadership teams through tough communication and culture challenges. Topics have included patient-powered healthcare, biotech R&D, California water governance, science-policy interaction and communications, animal agriculture reform, plastic pollution reduction, habitat conservation, and corporate social responsibility, among others. Client-partners have included UCSF & the Health eHeart Alliance, John Hopkins University, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, the California Department of Water Resources, many state conservation and fish/wildlife departments, the Santa Barbara Foundation, UPSTREAM Policy, SweetRush, Inc., and others.
Brooking holds a MA in organizations and management theory from UC Irvine, and a BA in environmental studies from Dartmouth. She completed a two-year somatic and developmental counseling program, is a certified Circling practitioner, and has additional training in systems theory, ecology, writing and editing, group facilitation, coaching, conflict resolution and mindfulness. She lives in Los Angeles, and in her spare time, enjoys poetry, ambling walks, and conversational geekery.