Our Philosophy


It is absolutely possible to create a democracy designed to work for all. 


We are enthusiastic about the innovations being created within the field of democracy and the results they are producing. Our role is to showcase these experiments and inspire you to take action.  As more of us cultivate our capacity for collaboration, we move toward creating a democracy with shared power, real participation, and wise solutions.


*Success is defined by fulfilling work, joy and the presence of robust, inclusive communities.


*Power is shared and diversity is seen as beneficial and enlightening.


*Together we look forward to the emergent wisdom which appears as we work collaboratively and cooperatively together.

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A Compelling Vision


*Our systems are self-evolving and continually learning how to be in alignment with our shared definition of success.


*People participate fully in prioritizing the challenges that, when solved, will move us toward this vision.


*We have organized ourselves so that solutions create long-lasting, broad benefit for the good of all and, if we come up short, we change them.


*People respect each other and nature.


What We Do


We contribute knowledge and inspiration, support and partnership, ideas and actions which unleash creativity and wisdom.


We showcase innovations and experiments in wise democracy.



Our services support our collective ability to generate a good quality of life for all, to respect future generations and nature as we learn together and adapt to change.


Who We Work With

We work with organizations, cities, and community groups that are changing the way we govern ourselves.


How We Do It

We offer keynote speaking, half-day and multiple-day events, thinking partnerships and consulting.



Speaking Topics



Wise Democracy: Birthing a New Era

Is everything getting worse and worse all the time? Or better and better? Are there exemplars we can use to guide and encourage us? What are the best strategies for maximizing a positive trajectory toward wise democracy?

In this interactive speech we answer the above questions, inspire the audience with examples, examine strategies for a new and wiser democracy. We share good news about innovations that are solving problems and advancing democracy for the regions using them.

Key Outcomes

  • Understand the human journey toward wise democracy - past, present & future.

  • Be inspired by those leading the way.

  • Discover how you can make your initiatives & actions wiser.

  • Acknowledge the power of collaborative networks.



The Power of Your Mission in Action

How do you build an organization that gives life to your vision and mission, now and in the future?  Attracts the right people, more and more of them?  Is a reflection of wise democracy? Honors humans, life in all forms, and long-lasting beneficial results for everyone.

In this interactive keynote speech we answer the above questions and inspire the audience to build an organization that uses the capacity for collective wisdom to honor humans and life in all forms. We review best practices, stories and insights from a philosophical and a practical perspective, and identify the next best steps toward creating what you want.

Key Outcomes

  • Recognize the changes needed to create new systems for the 21st century

  • Understand what makes a democracy wise.

  • Familiarize yourself with the best ideas and tools available.

  • Feel inspired and discover how to maintain your resilience.



What YOU Can Do To Make A Difference


Are you overwhelmed with the state of democracy right now? Where are you putting your attention? What actions can make the biggest difference in your daily life and in the field of democracy? How can you add activism to your many responsibilities without causing more stress?

In this interactive keynote speech we answer the above questions and inspire the audience by asking what kind of world they want to live in. And then highlighting examples that are moving us toward that world. We give the audience an opportunity to focus on what they love to do and connect natural talents and interests to the map of what is needed to create a democracy that is wise.

Key Outcomes

  • Understand what's on the map of democracy activism.

  • Recognize your natural passions and optimism.

  • Learn how to access the power of the mind and beyond.

  • Identify the key leverage points in the current environment.

  • Discover your personal place on the map..or identify the next step on your path.


Half-Day & Multiple-Day Events



These events are customized, often following an interactive speech that your group, leadership team, or community has participated in.  The design links theory and practice. We work closely with a small, diverse & representative team to identify key leverage points for your organization, city, project or network.  Key action opportunities can be identified through questionnaires, online and one-on-one interviews, group discussions and online engagements.

The longer events specially designed questions are crafted to produce an environment that supports group inspiration, creativity and emergent wisdom. Actions to be taken after the event emerge from interactions during the event.


Thinking Partnerships



For those organizations or ventures that want additional guidance in creating a system that is values-based, humanistically-oriented and moves our culture toward a Wise Democracy, we offer Thinking Partnership sessions for brainstorming, coaching and process design.





We also offer comprehensive consulting for those ready to explore innovations in systems design that move them into the field of Wise Democracy and contribute to our evolution toward a culture of collaboration, emergent wisdom, shared power, inclusion, win-win outcomes, and partnering with nature.

If you see your organization as a potential changemaker undaunted by the complex challenges of our times, and big picture visioning, please talk to us about our whole-system consulting services.

We support you in networking with others when it moves your vision forward more effectively, designing for self-evolving human systems in partnership with our earth, and creating a world that works for all.


Who We Are

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Manju Lyn Bazzell

Manju is co-founder, keynote speaker and process designer for Now We're Talking. Her worldview and vision of what is possible are inspirational. Manju has spent decades working with organizations committed to creating vibrant, intelligent, adaptable cultures.  In 2006, she threw herself wholeheartedly into the field of governance, specifically democracy.  She has worked closely with The Co-Intelligence Institute, Healthy Democracy and Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, as well as dozens of for-profit companies dedicated to creating healthy organizations. 

Past experience includes: Executive Director of a 501(c)(3) educational organization, the Gangaji Foundation; founder & principal of the San Francisco Bay Area consulting firm, Pfaelzer Communications; award-winning high school teacher in Dallas, Texas.  Manju lives, plays and volunteers in Ashland, Oregon, U.S.A.


Erin Robbins

Erin serves on the board of directors of Now We’re Talking.  Her work in the field of creative breakthrough and expression spans over thirty years. She has inspired thousands of students throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and India.  Her paintings have received awards in numerous national juried shows and publications.

Past experience includes talents both in the business world and design. She was founding Executive Director of Satsang Foundation & Press; founder of a successful furniture design company in 1991. Prior to that she spent fifteen years teaching and leading workshops in meditation and creativity around the world.  In 1991 Erin returned to painting once again as a full-time profession.  You can view her collection at erinrobbinsstudio.com.

Erin graduated with honors from University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in Arts, Crafts, and their History and received a master's degree in Expressive Arts Therapies from Lesley College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Barbara Shepard

Barbara Shepard, Secretary of NWT, runs a K-12 school in Dunsmuir, CA.  The style of teaching and values she demonstrates through her work with young people in northern California are in perfect accord with the vision of NWT. Barbara's passion for bringing the message and practice of true democratic communication to the younger generations, our future, makes her a valuable asset to our team.  She applies her knowledge and experience in the nuts and bolts of maintaining accurate records and reports required by law to keep our organization running smoothly.  When approached to join the board of NWT Barbara responded with enthusiasm.


Ellen Tussman

As Now We’re Talking’s board treasurer, Ellen has over 40 years of experience as a business and property owner in the San Francisco/Berkeley bay area. She is a co-founder of Now We’re Talking and has supported its mission of creating a link between wise democracy and creating a world that works for all since its beginning as a San Francisco radio show in 2007.

Past experience includes owner and operator of Savoy Catering Company, President and CEO of Dakota Grill, Inc., food editor for the Berkeley Monthly, President and CEO of Groaning Board Cooking Club, creator and operator of 10,000-member mail-order cooking club.

Ms. Tussman was co-chair of the Alameda County Meals on Wheels Five Start Night for 25 years, event coordinator for the George Mark Children’s House, a hospice house for children and their families, and has served on nonprofit boards.

Graduated with honors from U.C. Berkeley; loves the arts, her friends, and food!


Albie Weiss

Art Educator, Free Lance Artist, Webmaster, Former Director of Technology for 3 Ohio School Districts, Convention Speaker for Arts and Technology, Ohio Emmy Award Winner for Animation.

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Tom Atlee

Tom Atlee is founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute, author of three books on wise participatory democracy, and creator of the wise democracy pattern language.  A prolific writer for his blog and numerous alternative journals, he also offers occasional speeches and workshops.  Networking extensively, he is always involved as a thinking partner with efforts to catalyze a wisely regenerative culture.  He played major roles in creating the Core Principles for Public Engagement (for Obama in 2009), creating the GroupWorks pattern language for group process, and inspiring Oregon’s Citizen Initiative Review, among many other initiatives.  His close attention to all possibilities from the most promising to the most dire inform his life’s work, which has evolved over seven decades from peace activism to catalyst for conscious collective evolution.  For the last 18 years his life has centered in a co-op house in Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.


Rosa Zubizarreta

Rosa Zubizarreta, founder of DiaPraxis, enjoys helping people work productively with conflicting perspectives. She especially enjoys helping others learn this work, and her mission is to help develop organizational, community, and societal capacity in this area.

With a background in Organization Development, Rosa has experience with traditional approaches such as Action Research as well as dialogical approaches including Future Search, Open Space, and World Café. Her book From Conflict to Creative Collaboration is based on her deep content expertise in Dynamic Facilitation, which she began studying and practicing in 2000.

In addition to working with business, community, and non-profit organizations, Rosa's background includes clinical social work and education reform. In the personal development realm, she is a certified Focusing professional, an experienced Heart IQ coach, and has trained in Internal Family Systems therapy. She is presently back in school, earning a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems at Fielding Graduate University.