Faces Of Our Spring 2017 Laddership Circle!
--Audrey Lin
9 minute read
Apr 15, 2017

Next week, 31 of us from various corners of the globe -- from Dubai to London to Spain to US to India to Costa Rica -- are readying for our Spring 2017 Laddership Circle!

Two years since our pilot circle, many tech upgrades, thousands of reflection pages, and umpteen lines of code later, our latest iteration is scaling for depth as we pilot a new structure of four(!) concurrent small circles of 5-6 fellows. :)

Below are the faces from each circle. :)

One Circle's Fellows include...

Cleona Lira's personal mission, in her own words, "is to ensure that I bring heart, honesty and wholeheartedness into my work." A financial analyst by profession, she experiments with gift-economy workshops, is dreaming up a book on conscious relationships to money, and hosts circles on transforming money. Based in London, she is hosts nonviolent communication practice-groups, enjoys cooking for others, and is an avid meditator.

Immanuel Joseph dreams of a social system rooted in compassion, respect and equality. A former cancer scientist, certified life coach and published author, Immanual created the app-based Kulture of Kindness with a vision of creating a kinder, happier world, starting at school and work. Immanual lives in the Bay Area, California with his wife and children.

Maria Jain is an artist, writer, entreprenuer, and advocate. Based in Helsinki, Finland, she strives to keep her heart and mind open for stories and deeper connections, which has led her to discover a painter of the desert, or on bright Greyhound bus journeys, and heartwarming laundry shops. Her knack for nurturing unassuming gems to light brought her to an unlikely friendship that has transformed the lives of strangers across prison cells and continents, through art.

Micheline Green passionately pursues the question, “how do individuals and organizations create sustainable change?” A mother of 3, certified school counselor and coach, she founded Mothers Rising Together to effect change in the current paradigm of raising and teaching children. A weaver of parenting communities, she hosts, teaches and coaches online courses and events from around the world, and actively experiments with designing for deeper communities.

Trushna Mehta is a mother of two young boys, illuminating artist and longtime volunteer. Finding great joy in brightening the days of those around her, when she turned thirty, she exponentially rippled 30+ acts of kindness into the world. Her latest experiments include interviewing friends about their journeys, cultivating gratitude with her sons, and crafting and gifting forward art with heart into the world.

With volunteer duo...

Birju Pandya, longtime ServiceSpace volunteer, is passionate about transforming finance and business, and growing in his own personal practices and in acts of kindness -- like paying forward a surprise first class flight upgrade to a stranger or gifting lemonade in NYC's Central Park. :)    

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.  

Another Circle's Fellows include...

David Bullón Patton is passionate about fostering well-being in Costa Rica. As Director of Innovation in Costa Rica’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, his journey has spanned micro-entrepreneurs in India, Access Development Services in Peru, Innovations for Poverty Action with governments in South Sudan and Costa Rica, physics research at Harvard, and most recently, an open inquiry to inspire inner transformation in government.

Karen Feeley is a chiropractor passionate about nurturing health, wellness, spirituality, and helping others. While holding questions of balancing her business structure with gift economy experiments, she envisions building sustainable clinics around the world to provide health and wellness care to people who wouldn't normally come across it.

Komnieve Singh is a meditator and motivator based in Southern California. After co-founding and developing a telecommunications company (that was recently named one of the top places to work in Los Angeles), as well as a consultancy firm, he now finds himself deepening in stillness and contemplation (having just returned from 20 days of meditation!), and aligning his values as he tunes into his next venture.

Lawrence Joselowsky started a stone and tile business when he was 22 years old, which he's been running for 23 years. In the last decade, his journey has taken him to explore integrated body psychotherapy, meditation retreats, and most recently, a chaplaincy training with the Upaya Zen Center. Raised in South Africa, Lawrence lives in Southern California, and most recently is dreaming up a gift-economy tile wall as well as piloting a local pay-it-forward Karma Kitchen restaurant this Spring!

Martine Domond is a dynamic pre-medical student with sweeping visions to improve the quality of healthcare by bridging clinical practice and international policy while starting small and engaging in a pay-it-forward spirit. Based in Florida, she spends her free time learning to code, volunteering at Miami Veterans' Hospital, and dreaming up designs for an online health and research community.

With volunteer duo...

Pavi Mehta is walking grace. :) A soul-stirring poet, gifted artist, award-winning author and filmmaker of (literal and metaphorical) infinite vision, she's a longtime ServiceSpace volunteer who walks her talk with a poignant elegance that stills all who cross her path. Recently, when her husband was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, they reflected on the Privilege of Living Whatever Life Brings.

Ari Nessel is witness to remarkable moments of generosity. A path-maker in small-scale philanthropy, he nurtures journeys for social good through The Pollination Project. A practicing Buddhist, Ari seeks to imbue practices of nonviolence in his real estate business, as well as through a consistent practice of hatha yoga, meditation, and as a vegan. He lives in the Bay Area, California with his wife and two sons.

Our Third Circle's Fellows include...

David Leal Garcia is an educator, and founder and editor of the Spanish Adbusters magazine (dedicated to a balance of economics, people, and environment). Having taught teens in Brazil, India and Guatemala, He’s currently working on a PhD on technology and mass scale change, and received Masters degrees from University of Barcelona in Research in Sociology and Conflict Resolution.

Devendra Tayade asks questions like "how do you measure the spring in someone's steps?" A former dentist, he now manages employee engagement for the 1,500 staff of Madurai's branch of the visionary Aravind Eye Hospital in India, and is designing an online course for transformational leadership. He delights in finding opportunities to practice a small acts of kindness.

Kush Kanodia co-founded Choice International, which promotes disability equality and inclusion around the world. On top of passionately serving multiple disability rights organizations, he has extensive experience in investment banking and management consulting with groups like Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg, and the BBC. Kush was a Torch Bearer for the Paralympic games in London 2012, and is collaborating on a Hearts Map project to inspire unconditional giving.

Lara Galinsky is a mother, social entrepreneur, purpose coach, and friend. At a young age, she started "Do Something Awards", and spent the last dozen years as a senior leader with social impact nonprofit, Echoing Green, as well as co-authoring two books: Work on Purpose and Be Bold: Create a Career with Impact. Now experimenting in new horizons, she is keen to deepen in self-understanding, reflection, and circles of support.

Based in Washington DC, Monu Harnal has engaged extensively in international diplomacy, education and instructional design. During a searching phase, she studied yoga and Vedanta philosophy in India, and today explores how to integrate spirituality in corporate environments as well as experiments with pay-it-forward offerings. She is a passionate tango dancer as well as yoga practitioner who envisions teaching leadership courses to under-served communities.

Tehzeeb Ahmed is based in Dubai, and finds herself fueled by a joy of sharing positive stories and currently works on a number of projects that enable groups of women to bring about social change in their community. She seeks to embed giving into the fabric of her PR business, and most recently is scheming up workshops to engage children in random acts of kindness at a local primary school.

With volunteers...

Chandni Sawlani is fueled by a desire to contribute to the world from a space of interconnection. Three years ago, she and a friend started The Goodwill Tribe, an initiative that inspires kindness and human connection. Based in Dubai, she’s a nurturer of wholesome community events, and being of service in daily life.

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.

And Nipun Mehta, whose "life is an attempt to bring smiles in the world and silence in my heart. I want to live simply, love purely, and give fearlessly."

And our Fourth Circle Fellows are...

Angela Hoover is mother, teacher, wife, rescuer of animals, and equine healing practitioner. Moved by a love of horses, nature, and desire to more deeply serve the at-risk youth she taught, Angela poured her time, energy, and heart into 16 Hands of Love, a nonprofit (with 10 goats, 3 horses, and a barn cat :)) dedicated to holding spaces of healing for others through nature and animals. She's keenly experimenting in gift ecology designs and excited for all to unfold.

From London, Jane Murray is passionate about using technology for building a world that works for everyone. With a profound belief in the innate goodness of humanity and the potential for technology to remind us about our capacity for peace, with a labor-of-love team she is developing a Peacebeam app to inspire wholesome connections among strangers. Jane is a mother and lawyer, and specializing in private equity law for 20 years.

Mila Aliana is a business transformation consultant and coach with extensive experience in bringing values to management and organizational strategies. She volunteers with a social change group that inspires citizens to "do democracy differently" and seeks to deeply learn and experiment with bringing gift ecology experiences to a wider community and impact social transformation with love and kindness.

Sonia Parekh's conviction in humanity's inherent goodness inspired her to dreamed up The Goodwill Tribe with college friend, (and Laddership Circle volunteer!) Chandhi, as a platform to foster deep human connections through small acts of kindness. Inspired by the pay-it-forward spirit, she also founded Wasted, an initiative that upcycles discarded items into handmade pieces of art and gets offered as a gift. For her, radical generosity is when one fully "understands that we are all servants of our society and live in the wisdom of that knowledge."

From a young age, Sunita Lama has had a strong call to service. A mother and English teacher in Dubai, in her free time, she teaches English at a womens' labor camp, and has engaged efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Nepal, tsunami in the Philippines, and landslide in Darjeeling, India. In recent months, Sunita hosts local Awakin Circles, has volunteered with Karma Kitchen Dubai, and is dreaming up visions of a 'Happy Cafe'.

Valerie Janssens is driven by a passion for the human soul. A practicing psychotherapist for over 15 years, she is also a keen meditator, and has studied teachings of Theravada Buddhism and Yeshua. “Change starts within oneself," she believes, "by cultivating consciousness and awareness in one’s daily practice, whatever that practice may be.” Based in Belgium, Valerie holds a degree in Political Science and Masters from Solvay Business School in Brussels.   

With volunteers...

Melissa Stephens, who was a fellow in our 2015 Fall Laddership Circle. When she’s not creating a “Wheel of Kindness,” organizing a Be The Change Week, or running a Service Innovation class with her middle school students, you can find her spreading smiles with her family and pouring creativity into striking poetry, children’s books and a one-woman show

Audrey Lin is constantly amazed by the field of possibility that emerge from these spaces. She gets grounded by the power of kindness, and grateful for opportunities to cultivate compassion quotient.

Ultimately, we don't know what emergence holds in store -- but, with a shared intent to bring forth radical ideas and experiments that push the envelope of generosity within ourselves and the world around us, we are excited to hold space for all that's to come! :)       

Posted by Audrey Lin on Apr 15, 2017

4 Past Reflections