Catalytic Thinking Survey Course (BETA)

Bringing Out the Best in People in Any Situation
Version 2.0 - BETA

Right now,
with our world experiencing so much
fear, suspicion, and scarcity thinking,

it is more important than ever
that we all know
what it takes
to bring out the best in our uniquely human nature.

 What is this new course?

This new class is a Survey Course, introducing you to the theory and practice of Catalytic Thinking - a framework for bringing out the best in you and those around you, in any situation.

At this particular moment in our world, we can think of no more important skill than being the very best we humans can be!


This class begins in early May 2018 and ends in mid-August, 2018.

May 1, 2018: Lesson #1 begins (self-paced)
Overview of the whole framework (video)

May 10, 2018: Lesson #2 begins
• Catalytic Listening content posted to Classroom (video, study guide, practice worksheets)
Live Interactive Discussion in mid-June (dates/times TBD)

June 10, 2018: Lesson #3 begins
• Catalytic Decision-making content posted to Classroom (video, study guide, practice worksheets)
Live Interactive Discussion in mid-July (dates/times TBD)

July 10, 2018: Lesson #4 begins
• Collective Enoughness content posted to Classroom (video, study guide, practice worksheets)
Live Interactive Discussion in mid-August (dates/times TBD)


Finding Creating the Future was a pivot point in my life…
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~ Susan Detwiler, President, The Detwiler Group

I find myself stretching for that higher potential and inviting others to do the same ...
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~ Marilyn Jenkins, Executive Director, Allegheny County Library Association

Creating the Future helps me see the world through a lens of possibility...
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~ Tom Dawkins, Founder,, Sydney Australia

 This Class Includes...

Each 30 day period in this 3-month class will cover one of the following practices:

• Catalytic Listening:
Listening that reaches for what is possible for you and those around you

• Catalytic Decision-making:
From individual decisions to long-term plans and strategies, aiming at what is possible and creating conditions for success

• Collective Enoughness:
Sharing resources to make things happen more sustainably and more joyfully


Each of the 3 topics includes a 2-hour interactive discussion session for a total of 6 hours of potential interaction with instructors. Instructors are all seasoned Catalytic Thinking practitioners, who have incorporated this practice into every aspect of their daily lives. (For a lesson-by-lesson description, see the right-hand column)

If your schedule precludes participating in any of the interactive sessions, the course provides a variety of ways to interact - from asking questions beforehand and after watching the recording, to participation in the online community. 

6 hours of recordings, from this class's live sessions with the instructors.

Recorded video lessons taught by Hildy Gottlieb, developer of the Catalytic Thinking framework. (For a lesson-by-lesson description, see the right-hand column)

Study Guides for each of the 3 core practices, presenting the art and science of Catalytic Thinking. Includes the theory / science behind each practice, plus dozens of pages of worksheets, to turn your learning and reflections into action right now.

Dozens of pages of thought-starters prompted by the lessons themselves, to help you apply Catalytic Thinking to your own efforts at work and in your life.

Both the lessons themselves and the live interactive portions of the class will include practical case studies and stories, so you can see the practices in action in a variety of business, community and personal settings.

The opportunity to learn and share questions with others who are experimenting with Catalytic Thinking in their own lives, as well as seasoned practitioners who can share their experience.

If you would like individual coaching on any aspect of the practice, that coaching is available separately.

While not part of the course, it is noted here to let you know that we have seasoned practitioners who love helping people explore this practice.

Overview / introduction to the theory and science behind the Catalytic Thinking framework, with practical examples of changes you can make right now in the systems you encounter every day.
50 minute recorded class.

Introduction to Catalytic Listening.
Recorded class with Study Guide and Worksheets, followed by 2 hour live (and recorded for later viewing) interaction between students and instructors.

Introduction to Catalytic Decision-making
Recorded class with Study Guide and Worksheets, followed by 2 hour live (and recorded for later viewing) interaction between students and instructors.

Introduction to Collective Enoughness
Recorded class with Study Guide and Worksheets, followed by 2 hour live (and recorded for later viewing) interaction between students and instructors.

If you don't find value in this class, we'll refund your registration. 

Once you register, classes are viewable at your own pace, whenever you choose to watch and as many times as you’d like. And you will have lifetime access to all aspects of the class. 

My focus is forever changed by these 8 words: "What does this make possible and for whom?..."
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~ Sidney Hargro, Executive Director, Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia

Tuition and Participation

There are two reasons we ask people to participate financially when we do an extensive BETA like this. 
In part it is to help us turn what we learn from this BETA into learnings that others can apply to their own teaching endeavors. As you share your reflections with us throughout this course, we are committed to sharing those learnings with the world. Because for our mission, documenting and sharing "what works best for learning new ways of being" is a result in and of itself. Your financial participation therefore helps us to offset the significant expense of not only producing these classes, but also documenting and sharing what we learn.
The second reason has to do with the simple fact that when a class is going to require commitment over several months, some degree of financial participation helps people stay with the program to the end. Not a large amount, but something.
Once the class is over, we will ask you to help us determine the real tuition for the actual class. That actual tuition will be based on a combination of the value of the course and what you believe people would pay. Another part of the BETA test!
As always, in the spirit of Collective Enoughness - that together, we have everything we need - if tuition for any of our classes provides a hardship for you, Creating the Future offers immensely flexible tuition assistance. Because we mean it when we say that we never want money to stand between you and learning. If you would like to be part of this BETA experience, but the tuition is a barrier, please send an email to and we will find a way to make it work to include you in the class, no questions asked.
BETA Tuition: $199

Got Questions?

When does the course start?
The first lesson in this class will be posted to the Classroom Page on May 1. From there, you will receive notices in mid-May, mid-June and Mid-July as each of the next lessons is posted in the Classroom.

Can I access the class on my phone?
• All video aspects of this class are accessible on mobile devices, laptop and desktop computers, and your smart TV via YouTube. Any of your devices that can stream videos on YouTube can be used for the video portions of this class.

• All documents are in PDF format. Any of your devices that can read a PDF will read the workbook and worksheets.
• The online community is located at Facebook.

• The live interactive portions of the class will happen via Zoom, an app that is available for all mobile devices, laptops and desktop computers.

I've never used Zoom. Will I have a problem accessing the interactive portions of the class?
Prior to the interactive sessions, you will receive guidance in plain English (not tech-speak) for accessing the session via Zoom. And we will have tech support on hand during those sessions, in the event you have any problems.

Will I need a webcam to participate in the interactive session?
If you simply want to watch the session and ask questions via text, you will not need a webcam. If you want to be on the screen with the instructors, joining in the conversation in real time "in the room" via video with them, you will need a webcam. Either way, you will receive assistance for accessing the sessions, with live humans on hand to guide you if you need it.

Will I be able to access the class information after this online workshop has ended?
Yes! All the video portions of this class will be viewable at your own pace, whenever you choose to watch and as many times as you’d like. And you will have lifetime access to all those aspects of the class.

This paradigm shift made a difference in every aspect of my life. People noticed...
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~ Tony Silbert, Consultant to the Community Benefit Sector

Changing the questions brings with it great energy, hope, joy, and…
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~ Donna Shines, Executive Director, The Mentoring Network, Nampa, Idaho

Your Instructors

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Ifeoma Aduba

Ifeoma Aduba has spent 2 decades leading social change efforts by activating the gifts of those around her. Most recently, she was the director of a domestic violence organization where she deeply engaged employees and the whole community to tackle this most serious issue. Ifeoma's latest contribution is working at the national headquarters of Harbor Compliance, to support their extensive offerings in the community benefit arena. Ify is a deep thinker, with great passion for our human potential for creating a better world.

Troy Alford

Troy Alford has spent almost 2 decades in executive, technology-related positions, in companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 giants. With a style and spirit that leads alongside his teams, Troy is a strategic thinker who understands that technology is about people, first and foremost –the people who will use that technology, and the people who will create it. Troy extends that spirit beyond his work life, creating community in his everyday life, in as many ways as he can imagine. He is also a fellow and faculty member at Creating the Future.
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Hildy Gottlieb

Hildy Gottlieb is a social scientist and asker of powerful questions. She is the co-founder of Creating the Future, the creator of the Catalytic Thinking framework, and a strong advocate for the power we have to create a future significantly different than our past.

Rebecca Hurd

Rebecca Hurd is a fellow, faculty member and co-director (along with Hildy Gottlieb) of all Creating the Future’s efforts. Noting that “Creating the Future’s mission is my mission,” Rebecca has been actively involved with all aspects of that mission since 2013, following decades of experience in both the business world (including global giant IBM) and community benefit organizations (including the Philadelphia Orchestra). Her primary focus is building community in her home state of Idaho and around the world, bringing people together to build relationships rooted in Collective Enoughness.

Nancy Iannone

Nancy Iannone is one of the most seasoned fellows at Creating the Future, having attended our very first immersion course in 2009. She has spent decades as a social worker specializing in aging and end-of-life issues, with experience in both hands-on clinical environments and leadership as an executive director. Nancy is an amazing listener, and an asker of powerful questions.

Christy McGill

Christy McGill directs the Office of Safe and Respectful Learning Environments for the Nevada Department of Education. Prior to that post, Christy spent 12 years building community systems rooted in people's strengths, as leader of the Healthy Communities Coalition in rural northern Nevada. A passionate and effective community-builder, and a fellow and faculty member at Creating the Future, Christy believes in extreme inclusion, because "everyone is needed if our communities are going to flourish."
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Dimitri Petropolis

Dimitri Petropolis has dedicated his life to making the world a better place. He has led change as a union organizer, facilitated economic development with Native American tribes, and spent decades helping community benefit organizations reach for their potential to create change. A co-founder at Creating the Future, Dimitri brings his passion for technology, his nurturing spirit, and his sense of whimsy to everything he does.
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Laura Steffen

Laura Steffen is a coach whose super-powers include deep listening, asking important questions with kindness and the ability to infuse entrepreneurs with confidence. A systems thinker with decades of experience in the realm of sustainable entrepreneurship, Laura is constantly learning, and constantly sharing what she learns in ways that make new wisdom accessible. A Creating the Future fellow, Laura often takes on the role of Learning Sherpa, creating the conditions for students to be at their best to learn.