People Matter

People matter.

In our increasingly divided country, good leadership requires us to build authentic relationships with those who are both like us and who differ from us in fundamental ways. Our capacity to skillfully navigate difference while celebrating our common humanity is what is needed in order to create the world we’re all working toward.

Stories are what make us human – they contain our histories, our current realities and our dreams of what will come. Central Washington is home to people native to the land and to people who have come from near and far over the course of time. Come prepared to listen to the stories of your colleagues and partners and to tell a bit of your own. Let us create a narrative and a vibrant picture of the future and take strong next steps in making that a reality.


Akay Windwood
Akaya Windwood, Windbridge

AKAYA WINDWOOD is internationally recognized for elevating the effectiveness of leadership and collaboration in the nonprofit and social benefit sectors. She is a Partner at WiseBridge, a global transformative advising, training, and consultation group. She is formerly the President of Rockwood Leadership Institute, and is a partner in the Opportunity Collaboration, which convenes an international conference that brings together leaders working to end poverty. She is on faculty for the RSF Social Finance Integrated Capital Fellowship and directs the Mycelium Fund, which makes small grants to non-profit organizations based on generosity and interconnectedness. She is one of Conscious Company’s 30 World Changing Women of 2018, and has been a featured speaker at the Stanford Social Innovation Institute, the Aspen Institute, and the New Zealand Philanthropy Summit conferences. She received an Ella Award from the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and is deeply committed to working for a fair and equitable global society while infusing a sense of purpose, delight and wonder into everything we do. Akaya lives in Oakland, CA where she reads science fiction and relishes growing enormous squash in her garden.


Lunch Interlude

Thinking Like a Community

Initiative for Rural Innovation and Services  (IRIS) gathers community success stories to enhance a sense of belonging, inspire action, and build community. Why is important to gather the stories of a place? What has this communities learned about how stories connect us as a community and position us for more success? How can we accomplish more together?


Nancy Warner, IRIS

NANCY WARNER is the Executive Coordinator for the Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship, an organization that fosters sustainable rural communities in North Central Washington by gathering and sharing success stories that enhance a sense of belonging, inspire action, and build community She completed a BA in Biology at the University of Colorado in 1979 before attending graduate school at Utah State University where she earned a MS in restoration ecology and a MS in American Studies with an emphasis on environmental history. She served as a program manager for The Nature Conservancy for 18 years, working extensively with local communities in California, Colorado and North Central Washington to balance conservation with resource use and the maintenance of strong, rural communities.