Merle Lefkoff

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Merle Lefkoff "is a social change entrepreneur whose practice is devoted to the application of nonlinear complex systems thinking to whole system change. Merle holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. and has been a mediator, facilitator, and leadership trainer in conflict zones around the world. Merle received a research appointment as Guest Scientist and Affiliate of the Center for Non-Linear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she worked with computer scientists, physicists and mathematicians exploring in computer simulations how groups form collective identity. She is Principal in Lefkoff & Associates, a global consultancy in leadership development. Taking her research forward through her NGO, Ars Publica, she and her colleagues train women leaders and grassroots activists to use complexity thinking to allow a sacred space for non-violence, compassion, justice and equity to emerge.

"Merle's recent work includes acting as co-convener and facilitator in Santa Fe for a series of three "back-channel" nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation dialogues, involving international delegates from extremely diverse multi-disciplinary backgrounds in academia, policy-making, government, and civil society. She recently led an international team in Bethlehem to plan the "I Have a Story!" project with Palestinian and Israeli youth. She was one of 100 women leaders invited in 2011 by the women Nobel Peace Prize winners to a conference on ending sexual violence against women in war. She is a board director of the Upaya Zen Center, an advisory board member of the Wild River Review, Secretary of the Rio Puerco Alliance, and a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network begun at Columbia University in New York. She advises the Canadian Armed Forces on the Whole of Government approach, and she is a member of the Spirituality, Emergent Creativity, and Reconciliation group at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. Two years ago Merle was elected a Lindesfarne Fellow." [1]

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  1. Upaya Zen Center Merle Lefkoff, organizational web page, accessed May 1, 2012.