Conflict Transformation,
The Power of The Story!

Co-sponsored with the University of San Francisco, School of Management

Conference Location
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
Fromm Hall


MARCH 19 & 20, 2016 - 8:00AM-6:30PM

Keynote Speaker

Beata C. Lewis

Changing Our Minds About Conflict: The Power of Story to Empower Transformation

What is the purpose – the real point – of our efforts to work more masterfully with conflict? If transformation is the point, then what will be different? What will be your part in that?

Something is moving our “story” of who we are and what we do with conflict in new directions. Why would we change our minds about conflict? Conflict “transformation” was hardly thinkable in the 1990s when ADR was first being promoted in the U.S. as a socially and economically viable alternative to litigation. The language and practices of “win-win” negotiation and mediation wove into our legal, business and political cultures…our culture at large. Parties to all kinds of disputes continue to gear up for “war” but also can legitimately opt for co-creating a mutually live-able future. An essential shift was in the locus of decision-making control and enforcement. People could create solutions to meet actual needs, not just accept given legal remedies. What more do we need? What is happening now in our “conflict culture” that demands another shift?

The very word “conflict” automatically conjures feelings and images of fear and loss for most people. What does transformation have to do with the creative side of conflict, with growth and what
we embody?

We use story – our internal and external conversations – to name and interpret reality, express our thoughts and feelings, cultivate relationships and architect our future. Science is revealing new dimensions to the power of story: with story we literally change each others' minds. There’s a pattern interrupt creating new, emotionally compelling connections. Where it matters, we’ll shift from “what’s in it for ME” to “what’s in it for WE.” What is your story about distinctions between conflict resolution and conflict transformation and why it matters?

Leveraging diverse perspectives and wisdom in the room, we’ll consider the “hero’s journey” and what’s at the heart of your quest for transformation. What is becoming possible for you that might be more satisfying, more sustainable, more enlivening, more…somehow better?

Beata has partnered for nearly 20 years with leaders, knowledge professionals and business owners to cultivate trust-centered leadership,  more sustainable and enlivening growth in business and intentional transformation. A Master Somatic Coach with experience as an attorney, mediator, and professor, Beata counsels clients to integrate intellectual acumen with greater emotional and body-centered intelligence.


Plenary Speakers

Richard Owen Geer

Plenary & World Café
Story Bridge Process Facilitator

People Magazine says "Director Richard Geer heals troubled communities with the magic of theater--and the gift of new hope." Geer's Story Bridge Method empowers communities, generations, and races, to play and plan together. Author Studs Terkel called Geer’s: "The most important work being done in theater..." "Luminous. Pungent. Wildly original," said Jean Houston, author of Jump Time.

In addition to leading Community Performance, International, Geer teaches at Saint Mary's College of California, is a board member of Intergenerational Schools International, artistic director of The Intergenerativity Project, artistic director at pARTicipate, which utilizes Story Bridge methods in its program in the Peoples Republic of China, and a member of The Society, an organization for innovative leadership in positive aging. Geer is co-author of Story Bridge: From Alienation to Community Action. In addition Geer works with several Appalachian communities.

Shakti Butler

Plenary & Endnote Facilitator

Dr. Shakti Butler is a multiracial African-American woman (African, Arawak Indian, and Russian-Jewish) whose work as a creative and visionary bridge builder has challenged and inspired learning for over
two decades. She is frequently hired by organizations seeking a catalyst for change.

Butler is the producer and director of groundbreaking documentaries including, The Way Home, Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible, and her film in production Cracking the Codes of Racial Inequity. This latest film uses story, theater and music to illuminate the larger frame of structural/systemic racial inequity. Click here to view her work:

Dr. Butler shares her holistic framework for conveying the interconnection between internal/personal and external/structural components of racial inequity, and revealing how self-perpetuating systems reinforce disparities in institutions. This framing, along with the use of Butler’s films, set the context for constructive conversation. Her work invites her audience to grapple with both the intellectual and emotional complexities of the issue. Butler inspires a collective will and develops deeper, cohesive understanding that can be directly applied to analysis and action.

Butler is an inspirational facilitator, trainer and lecturer. Her work emerges from years of self-exploration and her commitment to social justice. Dr. Butler’s services are sought after by schools, universities, public and private organizations, and faith-based institutions.

A warm and compassionate person, Butler uses her ability to listen deeply while asking critical questions that support self-directed learning in others. Her speaking and teaching styles enrich people’s abilities to expand their capacities for building community, an important first step in effecting change. Group dialogue, self-inquiry, reflection and whole body learning by participants are some of the strategies she employs.

Dr. Butler is executive director of World Trust Educational Services. She received her doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies in the School of Transformative Learning and Change. She holds an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Bank Street College of New York and graduated magna cum laude from City College of New York.


Volunteer opportunities are available. Must commit to 8 hours total; students only. Send statement of interest from campus email account to Evelyn Andrews:  Include in the subject line:  ADRNC Conference – Volunteer Inquiry.

Limited scholarships for hardship are available. Inquiries may be sent to Evelyn Andrews: by March 4, 2016.  Include in the subject line:  ADRNC Conference – Scholarship.

On-site registration begins at 7:30 am on both days at the main entrance to the Fromm Complex.
Registration includes continental breakfast, boxed lunch, and reception.  Upon registration, registrants may indicate meal preferences (e.g. vegetarian or gluten-free). ADRNC Members $200 (two days) / $170 (one day). Non-Members $300 (two days) / $270 (one day). Students $75. We strongly recommend online registration for planning and savings value!

Refund policy:
50% Refund by March 11, 2016. No Refund on or after March 12, 2016. Registration is not transferable to other individuals.   Please send an email to Evelyn Andrews: to request a refund. Include in the subject line:  ADRNC Conference – Refund.  

Location: University of San Francisco - Fromm Hall


Saturday, March 19, 2016:  Parking is free in the Koret Lot off of Parker Avenue.  Look for conference parking signage.

Sunday, March 20, 2016:  Parking is free in all lots.

Hotels near University of San Francisco


1625 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
415-922-3200 PH
800-533-4567    Reservations


335 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-397-7000 PH
888-627-8546 Reservations


2775 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94109
415-928-5000 PH


1500 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94109
415-441-4000 PH
855-743-7676 Reservations

For questions, concerns, or general information about the conference, please contact