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The Kumus

In Hawaiian, "kumu" means teacher, or source of wisdom. The people below are consultants we have personally worked with and can attest to the quality of their work—collectively we call them the Kumus. We highly recommend working with one of them if you're looking for expert advice in your next project. Reach out to us at kumus@kumu.io and we'll get you connected.


Rob Ricigliano Systems Thinking and Strategy
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Rob is the Systems and Complexity Coach for The Omidyar Group, supporting organizations in applying systems thinking to tackle some of the world's most intractable issues. He has worked with numerous government agencies (including USAID, the Department of Defense, and Deparment of State), NGOs and foundations, as well as officials and leaders of armed groups and political parties in conflict zones around the world.

Rob is the Co-Director of the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding degree program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and led the systems practice for Triad Consulting Group for almost two decades. Rob is also the author of Making Peace Last, a guide to using systemic approaches for sustainable peacebuilding.


Philippe Vandenbroeck Systems Thinking, Scenario Planning and Strategy
Leuven, Belgium

Philippe is co-founder and Partner at shiftN, a Belgium-based consultancy with a mission to create clarity in complexity in dealing with the wicked problems of our time. He has been working as a futures and systems thinker for over 20 years. He has led systems and issue mapping projects for clients such as the UK Government Office for Science, UK Serious Organized Crime Agency, the Belgian Government, the Nike Sustainable Business and Innovation Lab, the JPB Foundation and many others.

Philippe is also affiliated with the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity at Columbia University’s Earth Institute where he is a part of the core team involved in the Sustainable Peace Mapping Initiative.


Heather Macleod Grant Network Analysis, Leadership Development and Systems Thinking
Woodside, California

Heather is a consultant, advisor, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur with more than twenty years experience in the social sector. Her current work focuses on creating transformative leadership and social change networks (collaborative groups of funders or nonprofits). She has over two decades of experience in scaling social impact, social innovation and entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and organizational development. She is the co-author of Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, and numerous other articles.

Formerly she worked at McKinsey and Monitor Institute, and she holds an MBA from Stanford and an AB from Harvard.


Gene Bellinger Systems Thinking
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

If there was an award for the world's most prolific systems thinker, Gene would win it. He has been a passionate systems thinker for almost four decades. He is the author of several hundred articles, over 700 vidoes, and hosts the Systems Thinking World discussion group on LinkedIn, a group of ~20,000 members focused on developing a better understanding of, and employing systems thinking principles. He has been a major contributor to the development of Kumu and has helped hundreds of people build their expertise through the Systems Thinking World Kumu e-Learning Environemnt (STW KeLE).


Karen Grattan Systems Thinking and Organization Development
Washington D.C.

Karen is a senior consultant focused on applying system thinking and complexity science to designing effective strategies for making sustainable societal and organizational change. She especially enjoys working closely with teams as they seek to gain a more holistic and nuanced understanding of the relationships and dynamics present in the systems they hope to impact.

Karen has supported various non-governmental and US government clients in participatory approaches to strategy-making and mapping and spent 16 years designing, implementing and managing clinical and community-based research programs at Duke and Carolinas health care systems in North Carolina.


Christina Bowen Systems Thinking and Strategy
Hood River, Oregon

Christina works with innovative leaders in many fields to find, learn, and apply effective, out-of-the-box responses to today's challenges to profit, people, and place. Think of her as a knowledge ecologist, tracing the transformation of information to knowledge in human systems the way an ecologist might follow the transfer of sunlight to different forms of energy moving through a wetland. She is a collaborative researcher with abundant curiosity and uses her experience in ecology, land-use planning (human ecology) and research to illuminate the context - the knowledge ecosystem - of a given problem or endeavor. She works with the people of that ecosystem to translate big-picture systems thinking into the nuts and bolts of strategic actions using critical thinking, skillful dialog and functional design.

When she's not working in Kumu, you might find her practicing Aikido or taming a wild horse.


Drew Mackie Network Analysis and Community Development
Edinburgh, Scotland

In addition to being one of the earliest adopters of Kumu, Drew supports communities throughout the UK to take advantage of the assets they already hold using social network analysis. Trained as an architect and planner, he has spent much of his career exploring how physical and organizational networks can be applied to the structure of urban areas and the delivery of projects. He has taught, examined and practised UK-wide with spells as visiting professor at universities in Madrid, Santander, Lisbon, and Berkeley.

Drew is a leading developer of games for goverment, coporate and community clients to explore the likely impact of policies and projects and was previously Chairman of the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA).


Christine Capra Network Analysis and Leadership Development
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Christine's passion is supporting the development of social connective tissue in our society. She brings three decades of wide-ranging leadership experience and has spent the past 5 years working in and experimenting with leadership in self-organizing systems. She is the Chief Mapper & Mentor at "Greater than the Sum" - a network mapping service that supports the work of network weavers and social change agents.

Christine also serves on the leadership team of the Social Innovation Lab in Minnesota and has the claim to fame of being the only person on LinkedIn with the title "Chief Vulnerability Instigator".


Theo Gibbs Systems Thinking and Human-Centered Design
San Francisco, California

Theo is a System Design Strategist with Stanford ChangeLabs where she works at the intersection of system science and human-centered design. She leads Science Partnerships Enabling Response (SPERR), a project with the goal of designing a new system of rapid collaboration between academic and U.S. government scientists during large environmental disasters such as earthquakes and oil spills. She is also a project lead for the USAID-funded ResilientAfrica Network, a group of social enterprise labs that incubate locally-sourced solutions in the face of climate stress across the African continent.

In addition to her work at ChangeLabs, Theo is a lecturer in the Stanford Design School where she co-teaches a course on Designing Large-Scale System Transformations, and in the School of Earth Sciences, where she teaches a masters-level course on analyzing and designing urban agricultural systems in developing world cities.


Alex Vipond Network Analysis and Systems Thinking
Boston, Massachusetts

Alex is one of our leading creatives in imagining new ways to use Kumu, from building interactive Venn diagrams to mapping abstracts of scientific papers. He was a teaching assistant for the Social Impact Lab at Northeastern University where students use Kumu to analyze Boston's nonprofit networks and build system maps to explore how a $10,000 grant (which they award each spring) could benefit Boston's underserved populations.

He is passionate about music, composting, biking, and of course, systems thinking, and lives by the quote from Sal Khan of Khan Academy, "You can learn anything."


John Whitney Nixon Network Analysis and Project Management
New Haven, Connecticut

John is a freelance consultant providing research, planning and coordination in support of strategy projects and high-impact events. John previously worked for Blu Skye, a strategy consultancy focused on business and sustainability, with clients including Walmart, Dairy Management Inc., The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Purina and New Pig.

He currently leads a network mapping project for the Yale University Center for Business and Environment.


Aldo de Moor Network Analysis and Community Development
Tilburg, Netherlands

Aldo is a research consultant dedicated to bridging the gap between research and practice in the field of Community Informatics. After a long career in academia, he founded the CommunitySense research consultancy company in 2007.

Aldo is a collaboration systems architect and collaboration catalyst. He has worked with a wide range of clients from domains as diverse as education, research, government, public libraries, business, and social innovation. He believes in "the common good" and is passionate about making a difference through his projects in strengthening the commons. He sees great potential in Kumu as a tool for participatory community mapping and empowerment.

Thank you community members!

Whether you've helped us brainstorm new features, polish off rough edges, helped out fellow members in the forums, or simply raised great questions, Kumu would not be where it is today without you. Here's a list of everyone that has helped us along the way, as a small token of our thanks.