April 18-22, 2022 - Minneapolis

Keynote Address: Jennifer Garvey-Berger

Presenting Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Garvey-Berger

The Seduction of Cynicism in a Complex World

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Nicollet Ballroom 8:00 AM

In a world like the one we live in now, in a field like the one this conference seeks to open up, the most natural response to the magnitude of the challenges that face us is the seduction of cynicism. This protective shield forgives us for not trying hard enough, forgives our mistakes even before we make them, and takes the comfortable stance on the high ground of judging the foibles and missteps of others. Using ideas from her experience as well as her forthcoming book: Unlocking Your Complexity Genius, Jennifer will offer ways to put down that shield and open ourselves up to the peril and profound utility of hope and idealism.

Jennifer has been researching, writing and working with leaders in complex settings for 20 years. Her first real job was as a middle school English teacher, but her core interest became supporting adults rather than adolescents, first at a university (as associate professor at George Mason University) and then as a consultant, researcher, and writer (like at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research). Starting with a doctorate in ways adults make sense of complexity (Harvard University, 2002) and building through three books (and soon a fourth), Jennifer has developed a series of tools and approaches that help leaders around the globe use complexity to their advantage. In her work as founder and CEO at Cultivating Leadership, Jennifer has coached high school leadership teams in Wellington New Zealand and senior leaders at large global organisations. The thing all these leaders have in common is their need to increase their ability to thrive under conditions of growing complexity, uncertainty, and change.  Jennifer now mostly works with executives and executive teams in private, non-profit, and government sectors around the world, like Google, Novartis, Wikipedia, and Oxfam International. Jennifer also speaks about leadership in complexity at conferences, guest lectures at universities around the world, and advises learning and development leaders about designing workplaces for complexityNow that her two fabulous children are grown, Jennifer has started a new chapter by buying an old estate in the French countryside with her husband and eight friends who live and work in community.