Real People Tell Their Stories:

The difference Catalytic Thinking is making in the lives of Real People around the world…

Creating the Future has helped me see the world through a lens of possibility, knowing that we have enough and are enough to create the future we need. This has helped our work at StartSomeGood, orienting social change projects towards stories of possibility and hope.
     ~ Tom Dawkins, Founder,, Sydney Australia

I have loved every minute of being part of this community – the connections facilitated, the subtle yet monumental lessons shared, the moments of realness offered, the opportunities for constant learning and practice. The way I approach my work (paid and volunteer), my decisions, my conversations, my relationships have all fundamentally shifted. Creating the Future has made so much possible. For whom? An entire group of people who have had the privilege of learning with you, and also a whole lot of people who have never even heard of you, because of the magnitude of the ripples you’ve started.
     ~ Christina Spadaro, Director of Learning and Education, Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO)

My focus at every meeting both personal and professional is forever changed by these eight words – What does this make possible and for whom?
     ~ Sidney Hargro, Executive Director, Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia

The research, testing, practicing and sharing that ripples from Creating the Future allows us all to be a part of creating a more humane world. This daily practice of changing the questions, changing the world never gets old and it can be experienced/practiced by anyone, bringing with it great energy, hope, joy, and trusting relationships. It helps me each day to ask Catalytic Thinking questions: What does it take to be at my best? How can I create the space for others to be at their best? What has been the best part of your day? What if your assumption isn’t true, and what would that make possible?

Catalytic Thinking practices have helped me hear people and their stories rather than making assumptions without the facts. Because of Catalytic Thinking I am learning ways to eliminate emotion in my decision making, to pick and choose what I fill my life with by asking, “What will this make possible? And, “For whom?” (This one includes me!) I have learned to look at other things before money and to see our communities as places filled with abundant resources. Each of these questions creates balance to my life. They allow me to see the BIG picture and look for the things most people agree on. They have allowed me to hear at a deeper level, helping me to identify people’s strengths, values and outcomes. I now look at ‘community’ first and can see that my little passion piece is a valuable part, but just a part of a much greater interconnectedness that can truly change this world for all.
     ~ Donna Shines, Executive Director, The Mentoring Network, Nampa, Idaho

Catalytic Thinking practices push me to listen more; to start by seeking points of convergence instead of discord. Every single day – EVERY SINGLE DAY – I find myself using Catalytic Thinking in my work, with my friends and family, in my personal life. Finding and absorbing this philosophy was a pivot point in my life.
     ~ Susan Detwiler, President, The Detwiler Group

Truly, the biggest impact Catalytic Thinking has had on me is in my personal relationships – how I relate to my kids, my wife, my colleagues and friends. The idea of bringing out the best in every situation through questions is very powerful, and it was a paradigm shift that made a major difference in every aspect of my life. People noticed.
     ~ Tony Silbert, Consultant to the Community Benefit Sector

Not a week goes by that I don’t consider what something makes possible – and for whom. My colleagues know what to expect when they come to me with an idea, a decision, a debate. They’ll likely receive some follow-up suggested reading from Creating the Future’s blog.
     ~ Maria Turnbull, Associate Executive Director, Vantage Point, Vancouver, British Columbia

Now, in my work, in my relationships, and in my day-to-day existence, I look for possibilities behind the roadblocks that seem to be so much of the focus of our lives. I find myself stretching for that higher potential and inviting others to do the same. Just this morning I was working with a group wrestling with limitations. When they stepped out of their “reality” and began to imagine a wholly different vision for their organization, you could feel the frisson of energy sparking from one to another. At such moments, I thank Creating the Future for the same spark they lit in me – and in so many others – that realization of the world’s abundance and the endless possibilities that lie within our grasp.
     ~ Marilyn Jenkins, Executive Director, Allegheny County Library Association

As one of the fortunates to participate in the Catalytic Thinking online immersion BETA class, I have embedded practices that live on through my both work and play. Some of my favorite Catalytic Thinking phrases/concepts/questions are:
– When we focus on the good, we bring out the best.
– Undivided attention can be the best gift we can give someone.
– Sometimes the most painful things are those that take us to a place of gratitude.
– People don’t argue about the “why”, they argue about the “how.”
– Create space for people to dream, rather than complain.
– See the abundance, rather than the scarcity.
– What would good look like?
– What if that weren’t true, what would be possible?
– Any conversation left to its own devices will narrow into action, rather than allow for context and possibilities.
– What does it take for us to be our best together?
     ~ Debra Jacobs, President / CEO, The Patterson Foundation, Sarasota Florida

At Creating the Future, I learned a new way of thinking, how to ask questions, how to truly listen, and how to be courageous in the midst of not knowing. I learned about my own values and how to put them into action. I learned that my work was less about solving problems, and more about calling forth wisdom and leadership. I will be practicing the insights I’ve gained for the rest of my life.
     ~ Andrea John-Smith, Scout Finch Consulting