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About Jon

listen please for clues
that we share
ever-present longing for wholeness
and an end to suffering

— from Songs of Uprising

 

My Resume would say . . .

I earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College in London, but it took just 9 short months in a job for me to discover I wasn’t an engineer. Employed by a multi-national I was able to transfer into a variety of commercial roles and gained a fabulous grounding in the world of large organizations.

After 10 years my entrepreneurial aspirations could no longer be denied. and my passion for training, an activity that can change perceptions and behaviors, was the perfect vehicle. Within a few years I had a consultancy serving some of Europe’s largest corporations with innovative approaches to coaching, training, team building and culture change. My first book, Realigning for Change, was published.

Ultimately I found myself promoting the efficiency of the corporate world without access to the conversation about its direction and wider impact. This frustration led me out of that business, into a sabbatical and the questions of how to make a contribution that served life more directly.

My own awakening gave rise to a second book, Your Planet Needs You - a handbook for creating the world that we want. In unexpected ways the book led me to the Pachamama Alliance in San Francisco, whose work had the same thrust of awakening ordinary folk to the challenges and opportunities of this time.  Eight fulfilling years were spent promoting that message. And then fate intervened once more, and my wife and I moved to Ecuador. 

We spent an eventful year visiting mountains and jungles, supporting rural and indigenous peoples access international markets with local goods and produce. Their independence would help them protect their land from extractive industries. The idea was well-founded, the vision inspiring, but the venture didn’t succeed, undone as promised funding fell through. We retreated, chastened and wiser, to California.

In this most recent chapter, as a thought leader and speaker, I am contributing to the conversation about the just and sustainable world that we want. And I continue to hold space for transformation, in coaching and workshops, focussing on men who wish to also be part of the unravelling of the patriarchy. Behind the scenes I am blessed to support the women’s empowerment work that my wife, Sand Symes, brings into the world. I am inspired daily by the courage and stories of women who are reclaiming their voice and their power. They will be vessels for a much-needed resurgence in feminine wisdom.

 

If you really knew me . . .

I was born to 2 school teachers and encouraged to be curious. Despite having to jostle for attention with 4 siblings and being repeatedly told to put a sock in it by my Grandma, I did well at school and got a degree at the Imperial College in London and joined Imperial Chemical Industries, all very orthodox and very British.

It took a while for a deeper programming to kick in, until the questions about meaningful contribution to the world could no longer be denied. I began to see what some have called the great work of our time, moving humanity from being a disrupting force on this earth to a benign presence. And in the great symmetry of life I discovered that the skills I’ve been blessed with can be put to use in this endeavour. So I bade farewell to orthodoxy and conformity and, as if in a screen play, moved to California.

I remember hearing about the sweet spot, where our passions and our skills combine, and then line up with what the world needs. Somehow, both consciously and not, I am being drawn ever closer to the center of that sweet spot. I’m seeing not only how my skills can serve others, but the very real struggles that life has provided for me are surely my own personal version of  wider struggles in the world. How to break free from the grip of the dominant culture, how men can escape the tyranny of patriarchy, how we can break our addiction to consumption? I’m both searching for answers and sharing what I learn along the way.

I continue to live an examined life. I can’t not.

 

What People Have Said

“What a champion, ambassador and pioneer you are, generating around you champions, ambassadors and pioneers of the New Dream.”

“So I really wanted to thank you once again dearest Jon, for being You! For showing up, as you did, for caring, for so gracefully facilitating our group & for ALL that you offer this precious planet!!! The world is indeed a more beautiful place with you in it!”

“You radiate love, wisdom, compassion and creativity.”

“If the definition of mastery is not to create many students, but to create many masters, I'd say you were in mastery: people left affirmed, inspired, empowered, ready to move into action, clear about what was theirs to do.”