Plexus Institute’s CHANGE 2012 conference

Recently, I attended Plexus CHANGE 2012, a 3 day conference in Silver Spring, MD in fabulous space (Silver Spring Regional Services Center) where people from all over the globe convened to listen, talk, and ask questions together. The experience was phenomenal. I met so many people, learned about new projects, and ideas beyond the edge of today that I’m excited to share them with you.  I have done my best to include bits about my experience both visually and in a wordy way! Links to people, organizations & ideas too! (This is a mighty chunky post – in terms of content! Beware.)


There are many pages of notes! My marker was doing its best to keep up! Folks at CHANGE 2012 were definitely movers and shakers! (Is that saying old? Eh… so be it.) Click on first thumbnail to enlarge and page through the following pages. In the Gallery, you can tell where you are by the umbers in the bottom right: day in the conference and the page number is the circled number. (No day #’s for Day 1.) Enjoy!

DAY 1 (click on thumbnail images for full visuals)

It’s about catalysts of change, sharing & interacting. Highlights of day 1 = 1) There’s a power to circles! 2) How do we use the metaphor of both a spider and a starfish as an organizational model? 3) What image do you ‘see’ as a metaphor for your organization? Images are powerful & complex! 4) Coordination in a complex system blows my mind… meta vs multi? Ultimately is it about patterns in nature and beyond? Co-existing. Whoa! 5) “The only way to change the world is to change who you are.”

DAY 2 (click on thumbnail images for full visuals)

Day 2 highlights = 1) Networks are strong! See your organizational future in your people. 2) Women are strong. Women are AMAZING collaborators. They will move mountains and redefine change and growth. 3) There’s AMAZING design happening in the world – i.e. thinking and creating in order to solve the world’s problems. Design rocks! (QUOTE: “Designers make it visible so you can’t ignore it.” – Deb Johnson 4) Stories are part of who we are and there is brain chemistry and bodily physiology supporting the importance of stories in our lives and in the history of our peoples. 5) Open Space is really cool!

DAY 3 (click on thumbnail images for full visuals)

Highlights from Day 3 = 1) Understanding complexity (or beginning to understand) can happen through movement. 2) Fun –> Enjoyment –> Participation –> Focus –> Attention –> Awareness –> Insight–> Knowledge –> Action –> Results (so, yes fun = results!) 3) Small collaborations from 3 days can make hugs strides… amazing faces video captured the community smiling at all different times and our community weave was awesome!


As I reflect upon my Change 2012 experience, I’m struck by the fact that I’m struggling for words. After creating so many image/word compilations from tidbits of shared knowledge and collaboration at the conference, I realized that the biggest thing I took away from the conference was an incredible feeling that the world is changing, that people are able to change, that I can change – and create change (hopefully of the needed and positive variety). A few bells may go off in your mind to the likes of ‘cliché’ and ‘heard that before’, but what if we ignore the words for a moment and focus on the feeling.

Change can be described as many things – it is a disruption, a transformation, something new. (Wait, how did I get into defining ‘change’? Am I nuts?) One thing we do know is that change is complex. It comes in many colors and shapes,  many actions and conversations, and always with many CONTEXTS and PERSPECTIVES. When we talk about change in our organizations sometimes we forget about each of the lives that a particular change will effect and how each person will have a perspective – even those watching from afar. Most of those perspectives come from somewhere beyond the surface level of ‘what one sees’ and are actually formulated on a much deeper level of ‘what one feels’. It’s amazing what our bodies know.

We are such complex beings. That being said, each of us KNOWS sooooo much. I highly appreciated Plexus Change 2012 for highlighting the power, knowledge, education and experiences in all of us. Interactions were truly inspirational. Instead of experts, gurus and teachers we had catalysts of change as speakers and facilitators who walked us through (literally, there was LOTS of great movement – which is so important for our bodies AND our minds) experiences within small and big conversations.

I connected with AMAZING people doing AMAZING things. I can’t wait to reconnect!


I want to give big shout outs to EVERYONE at Plexus Change 2012. I truly had a blast! Thanks for sharing your stories and listening to mine!! Amazing innovators, networkers & change catalysts:

Lisa Kimball (@lisakimball), you rock!! Your open facilitation style creates amazing connections, ideas and beyond!

Kevin Buck was my neighbor and is largely responsible for helping me spell catalyst names correctly, thanks Kevin!

Alissa Schwartz, thanks for facilitating understanding through movement!

Tom Sparough (, amazing parallels between space painting (aka juggling) and people in organizations! Thanks!

I could go on and on and on and on! Thanks to all  the amazing connections! Let’s keep talking!

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  • April 18, 2012 - 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Wow! what a treat to relive Plexus 2012 through your visuals! Thanks so much for giving us a chance to recall it this way. * lisa

  • amanda
    April 18, 2012 - 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Lisa! I had such a blast. It was an amazing group of people! Thanks for curating such brilliance!

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