Two Laddership Circles This Month!

Posted by Audrey Lin on Feb 9, 2016
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As we cross one year of Laddership Circles, it's been inspiring to witness a spectrum of project initiators around the globe collectively engage in the nuances of leading with inner transformation, dive deeper into gift ecology, and simply hold space for new designs to come to light.

The excitement is brewing as we head into our fifth and sixth circles at the end of this month! Like last summer, an overwhelming number of applicants, and crew of enthused volunteers leave us launching 2 concurrent circles amongst a couple dozen of us.

Here's a snapshot of the our Feb/Mar 2016 Fellows. First, our Friday circle includes:

Liam Chai carries a depth of presence that transcends his 22 years. Designing his own university education, he read 200+ non-fiction books, built a tiny house, learned a language in 3 months, meditated 100 hours in 10 days, grew salad on rooftops in the heart of London, and spent a summer talking to strangers in public. With the courage of a sincere heart, his latest experiments amplify the human spirit across England. Some questions he's holding: Do we lose the sacred when we measure? What is true security and how can we cultivate that? What role does money play in a life of service? 

After working as a Silicon Valley web engineer, Lynn Lawrence started an organic cattle ranch with her husband in Idaho, where they raised and homeschooled their two sons, now 18 and 21. With the nest emptying, she's rebooting in the startup world, delving into gift economies, and making art out of life in yoga, poetry, weaving, and basketry. She traces her perspective of collective consciousness back to being an identical twin, noting, "I was a 'we' long before I was a 'me'."

Parag Shah gets lit up by infusing the spirit of giftivism in all elements of his life-- whether in launching a Wisdom Book Store, galvanizing his IB school to pilot Karma Kitchen, bringing a Gandhian ethos into his diamond business, and holding space that ignites powerful ripples in his community. He's also an avid reader of Krishnamurti and lives in Surat, India with his wife and sons.

Ming Niku is a avid practitioner of holistic health, trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga, craniosacral therapy, and Zhineng Qigong Science. Born and raised in China, she's now a longtime resident of Stockholm, where she's rolling up her sleeves to pilot a Karma Klinic within her evolving mind and body center. She's also a mathematician, with degrees in math, economics, and international business.

Since the age of 20, Shamash Alidina has been a magnet to wisdom teachings. During his decade as a physics teacher, he found himself also teaching kids Eastern philosophy. In 2010, he published Mindfulness For Dummies. Since then, he's been around the globe, conducting retreats, trainings, and courses on mindfulness and wellbeing. His latest labor-of-love is a Museum of Happiness in London.

Harpal Dhatt glows at work. A business psychologist with a keen interest in authentic leadership, she's always looking for ways to infuse work with mindfulness and compassion. Based in London, no matter where in the world she lands, she's constantly disarmed by unexpected acts of generosity -- like 3 strangers in Greece who offered her food, shelter, and care when she fell sick. She's currently rolling up her sleeves creating a Little Book of Wisdom.

Alfred Tolle observed, "I need to shift from 'Don't do evil' to 'Do good'." But how, exactly? Last Fall, he launched a conference in Stockholm to dive deeper into the answer. Having worked in international media, digital strategies, and as "Google's Compassion Guy," he's now based in Germany, innovating wellbeing initiatives and igniting technology's potential for transformation around the globe.

In a typical week, Wendy Loven could be cultivating various community gardens, teaching yoga and cooking, holding space for meditation, and asking herself how she can be of better service to others. A one-woman resident support team for a series of housing units in Dallas, Texas, she's continually exploring with how to act with selfless generosity in every opportunity.

The faces of our Sunday Fellows are...

For 20+ years, Lydia Watts has worked with survivors of domestic and sexual violence. As a lawyer and new mom, she's naturally inclined to support the lives of all around her-- whether in policy, advocacy, or her own home near Washington DC. One of her most radical acts of generosity is to open her home to 3 young men of color when they were homeless, noting, "It was incredibly rewarding, challenging and inspiring to build a community of atypical friends and "family" to create a truly supportive structure of mutual support and generosity."

Mihir Kaji, whose steadfast sincerity has been known to shift the tone of an entire train compartment. :) He recently galvanized his entire community in a 21-day Kindness Challenge, during which he spontaneously gifted the shoes off his feet to a homeless person, reflecting, "in that split-second moment, I saw the situation without any duality-- and the act was a by-product of that." Mihir lives in Surat, India with his wife, and works in financial advising and IT.

After years with tech startups in Britain, Matt Perry set an intention to deepen in his service journey, and moved to Peru last November to do just that. While there, he's been holding circles of sharing with the local community, engaging with a school for street children, and dreaming up a Karma Kitchen experiment at a restaurant-- all amid planning his wedding, this month!

Based between Kentucky and California, Nikita Krivoshey is an artist and seeker exploring how to ignite communities in compassion and contemplation. After receiving a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, he spent a year as a monk in Burma, and now organizes 24-hour contemplative circles, dreaming up community retreat centers, and encouraging transparency in business.

Aabha Gupta is a nutritionist, health coach, and seeker with a heart of gold based in Pune, India. Always brewing up deliciously nutritious concoctions for all to enjoy, in recent years, she's been exploring how "Being the change, changes the being".

For 15 years, Spike Morelli has worn various hats in the tech world. From working with Google to serving as a TA for Stanford's Technology Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy University, he devotes his time mentoring hundreds young entrepreneurs around the globe. Most recently, he's exploring how to ignite seeds of transformation in social entrepreneurship. Propelled by the question, "Where does a lack of freedom really come from?" he once spent 4 years living out of a backpack across 15 countries. He currently lives with his wife in a small community in northern California, cultivating on the inner-net and internet.

Based in Singapore, Varinder Gill is experimenting with ways to encourage intuitive living and individual authenticity. A design thinker in the world of finance, she's been re-framing the value of money and experimenting with offline circles and online platforms to seed a community inspired by our interconnections.

And, last but not least, our dedicated volunteer team...

Natasha Rockstrom is no stranger to small acts of great love .Whether at a retail forum or launching Karma Kitchen, she'll find a way to spread smiles. Her startup, InJoy Giving, began as a social experiment on the streets of Stockholm, gifting bananas for hugs to showcase to her MBA class that the 'business' of love is powerful and universal. She learned generosity from her grandmother, and is inspired daily by her toddler.

Pranidhi Varshney is a devoted practitioner and instructor of Ashtanga yoga, who's been redefining the business of teaching yoga. Based out of Los Angeles, CA, she pours her heart into her recently-launched yoga studio to share an authentic practice with people from all walks of life. And her soulful tunes elevate all who listen.  

Yaniv Cohen is an eternal pilgrim of life. An early on “rebel who found a cause,” he’s traveled across the US, Israel, and India to explore and serve from his roots, and found a profound sense of interconnectedness around every corner. He lives in the Bay Area, CA with his wife Sara, and is strengthening his mind, body, and heart for the next adventure.

Melissa Stephens is a spirited teacher in Northern California who comes alive in engaging youth in kindness. When she’s not creating a Wheel of Kindness, designing a 7th grade Laddership Class, or running a Random Acts of Kindness Club with her middle school students, you can find her spreading smiles with her family and pouring creativity into children’s books and a one-woman show. :)

Prasad Kaipa is on a journey from smart to wise. Moving from the center to the edges, he enjoys exploring and reinterpreting ancient wisdom and its application in developing highly effective and authentic leaders. Based in the Bay Area, California, he works with companies and senior executives in the areas of innovation, leadership development, and coaching.

A good day for Nicole Huguenin is when "I get to see someone realize one of their dreams." An educator for half a decade, she found herself called to walk, and has since sparked Wild Dream Walks, a space to walk and hold circle with others around each other's wildest dreams.


Birju Pandya comes from the world of finance and investment, and over the last decade, has been drawing out the possibilities of new kinds of capital. He once swapped his first class flight upgrade to a woman in economy, finds great joy serving in the “mailroom”, and is a visionary behind KindSpring’s 21-day challenge portal and Work+Transformation.  


To add to mix, we have bunch of seasoned advisors, like Preeta, Somik, Pavi, and Nipun, who are laddering us on everything from curriculum to tech support to video call structures and beyond!

Looking forward to what emergence holds in store in these coming 6 weeks! :)      

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Comments (2)

  • Nipun Mehta wrote ...

    Wow, what a great crew -- and so much potential for wholesome ripples to flow out into the world! Looking forward to the emergence.

  • Alfred wrote ...

    I am exited and grateful to be part of this amazing team and look very much forward to an inspiring journey learning and sharing about gift ecology, compassion and wisdom. Let's create ripples for change supporting love and peace in the world and beyond.