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Bob Stilger

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I am an activist-scholar who explores social change, leadership and community building. I worked extensively with communities in Japan where people are creating a “new normal” after the devastating Triple Disasters – earthquake, tsunami and nuclear explosions – of March 11, 2011. I’ve carried this work into Northern California, after the fires as well as other places in North America.

We live in a time of collapse and regeneration. Our old normal is disappearing, the present is in chaos and the future is cocooned. We can thrive in these times by turning to one another and beginning to create the lives and communities we really want. We have the opportunity to create connected communities which are resilient, prepared and able to recover from whatever life sends our way. Together. we find the courage and clarity we need to stand up and step forward in these times. In my new book, AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin? (Originally published by Eiji Press in 2015 as Mirai ga mie naku natta toki, boku tachi wa nani o katare ba ii no darou 未来が見えなくなったとき、僕たちは何を語ればいいのだろう――震災後日本の「コミュニティ再生」への挑戦, I show how collapse can be a gateway to creativity. I illuminate the patterns, practices and actions that give birth to a life-affirming future.
I was the cofounder, and for 25 years the Executive Director of Northwest Regional Facilitators – an early community development corporation in Spokane, Washington. Leaving NRF in 2000, I partnered with Margaret Wheatley at The Berkana Institute following Meg as Co-President in 2004. Working with a network of community-based-innovators, Berkana looked at what leadership the world needs now. I have taught leadership at the graduate level at Gonzaga University, Whitworth University, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, St. Mary’s College of California and the Union Institute. I'm the Founder and President of NewStories, a US-based nonprofit which works globally with people who are intent on co-creating collective impacts that make our lives better.
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