Wisdom at Work

Joel & Michelle Levey

Leveys at Meaning Conference, Brighton UK
Leveys at Meaning Conference, Brighton UK

Dr. Joel & Michelle Levey are founders of Wisdom at Work and The International Center for Corporate Culture and Organizational Health at InnerWork Technologies, Inc., a Seattle-based firm dedicated to developing and renewing organizational cultures and communities in which extra-ordinary levels of inspired leadership, cooperation, synergy, collective intelligence, and change resilience can thrive. The Leveys work with organizations and communities around the globe to inspire people to deepen the wisdom, wonder, compassion, resilience, and creativity they bring to life, work, and relationships amidst the myriad changes, challenges, and opportunities of these turbulent and rapidly shifting times.

The Leveys’ pioneering work spans many disciplines and decades.  They are respected for being among the very first professionals to introduce the principles and practices of mindfulness and mind-fitness training, interpersonal neurobiology, collective wisdom, deep systems thinking, inner-development-goals, and contemplative science into mainstream business, medicine, higher-education, sports, and government arenas – having begun this work in the 70s.  The following notes offer “a glimpse” of the many dimensions and expressions of their wisdom at work:

• As advisors to business leaders and teams in over 200 leading organizations around the globe, their clients include: NASA, World Bank, Google, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Intuit, Miraval, NOAA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army Special Forces, West Point Military Academy, Stanford Research Institute International, The Clinton Global Initiative, U.S. Surgeon Generals Office, U.S. Federal Court, and MIT. The Leveys also served as Chairpersons for the Center for Corporate Culture & Organizational Health at the Institute for Health & Productivity Management. They have served on the Board of Advisors for the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities, Compassion Games International, Curriculum for Life, The Art Monastery Project, The International Working Group on Compassionate Organizations, and Resilient People and Climate Change ~ an international think tank and NGO with the mission to address the psychological and social impacts of climate change for organizations and communities around the globe.  They have also offered insight and inspiration to the All Parliamentary Roundtable on Mindfulness and the Mindful Nation Report for British Parliament. Chris Ruane, MP at parliament praised our work saying, “You have been so inspirational in the field of mindfulness teaching over so many decades.”

• The Leveys have also served as clinical faculty of the University of Minnesota Medical School at the Center for Spirituality and Healing and are adjunct faculty for the Institute for Spirituality and Health at University of Texas Medical Center. They have worked with leaders and staff from hundreds of medical centers and organizations including: U.S. Surgeon General’s Office, M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Providence Health System, Providence Saint Peter’s Hospital, Children’s Orthopedic Hospital, Virginia Mason Medical Center, University of Washington School of Psychosocial Nursing, Saint Alphonsus Medical Center, Saint Joseph Medical Centers, Swedish Medical Center, University of Alberta Hospitals, International Medical Program, Menninger Foundation, The Health Care Forum, Planned Parenthood, Ballard Medical Center, Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia, Life Sciences Institute, Northwest Primary Care Association, Penn. Society for Behavioral Medicine & Biofeedback, Pennsylvania Technology Council, Texas State Biofeedback Society, Washington State Dental Association, Washington State Nurses Association, Washington State Pharmaceutical Association, and Saint Francis Hospice of Honolulu. They also serve as Co-Chairs for the West Hawaii Workplace Wellness Task Force, NPAC, Nutrition & Physical Activity Coalition of Hawaii County, a project of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Office of Public Health Studies, John A. Burns School of Medicine. Joel and Michelle have served as facilitators for the Compassionate Action Network International.

• Michelle & Joel Levey designed and directed advanced biocybernautic training for the U.S. Army Special Forces’ acclaimed “Ultimate Warrior Training Program, aka “Jedi Warrior.” This six-month full-time training program was described by West Point leaders as, “The most exquisite orchestration of human technology that we have ever seen.” Michael Murphy & George Leonard, founders of the Esalen Institute, praised this work, saying, “Jedi Warrior was the most extensive and advanced leadership development program to be offered in modern times.” At the end of this program one of their teams was selected as the most outstanding team in the NATO games.  They are currently working on new book telling this inspiring story.

• Nobel Laureate the Dalai Lama, an advisor and supporter on a number of the Leveys’ projects, encouraged them in their work saying in a letter to them: “You are presently engaged in work that has great prospects for bringing the inner sciences and technologies of human development and transformation to a very wide section of people who may not under ordinary circumstances come into contact with these teachings.” Their work has also been praised by: Margaret Wheatley; Andrew Weil, M.D.; Jon Kabat-Zinn; Daniel Goleman; Larry Dossey,M.D., Joan Borysenko; Willis Harman; Gladys Taylor McGarey, M.D.; Meg Jordon, Kent Peterson,M.D.; Michael Ray; and Charles Terry.

• Joel & Michelle have also serves on the faculty at Bastyr University’s Center for Spirituality, Science, and Medicine where they direct a special program devoted to the study of Meditation & Medicine: Exploring the Vital Role of Contemplative Disciplines in Mind-Body Medicine and the Healing Arts and as graduate faculty of Mahidol University (Thailand) in the Contemplative Studies and Transformational Learning program and have served as faculty for the International Center for Organization Design, The World Business Academy, The Seattle Center Leadership Institute, Leadership Institute of Seattle, Vipassana Hawaii, and the Institute for Noetic Science. As guest faculty at the Indian Institute of Management (Asia’s top business school) in Ahmedabad, India, they offered a special course for Indian and European business leaders on High Performance Leadership & Resilience. Joel also served as graduate faculty at Antioch University where he designed and taught two graduate programs related to wholistic health and integrative medicine.

• Joel & Michelle Levey have worked with diverse teams from around the world helping to bridge differences and build alignment around shared values and objectives. Joel & Michelle served as primary facilitators for: World Bank’s Work-Life Balance Task Force, Hewlett Packard’s World Wide Education Leadership Team, HP’s People of Color Network, HP’s Americas Infrastructure Redesign Team, and Phillips’ Advanced Technologies World Wide Marketing Team. They were honored to serve at the Clinton Global Initiative as facilitators of dialogue among world leaders seeking to find solutions to the greatest challenges of our times.

• Joel Levey, Ph.D., directed clinical programs in Biofeedback, Stress Management, Pain Management, Psychophysiological Therapy,and Hospice Training for Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. Michelle Levey, M.A., directed similar programs at Children’s Medical Center in Seattle. Their pioneering work in Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM), Integral Medicine, Mind-Science & Medicine, and “Ethics, Psychophysiology, and The Sacred,” has inspired faculty and students at dozens of medical and nursing schools including: Menninger Foundation, University of Washington School of Medicine and School of Nursing, Bastyr University, Antioch University, Washburn University, University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality & Healing, Brown University, UCLA, Albert Einstein University, and the American Medical Student Association. They served on the core design team for North Hawaii Community Hospital’s pioneering “Live Well” program which was an intensive cross-cultural program blending traditional Hawaiian values with the best of medical and biobehavioral science. The outstanding clinical outcomes for the “Live Well” participants demonstrated the efficacy of this integrative, multicultural approach to promoting wellness. Michelle and Joel Levey also served as co-chairpersons for the Menninger Foundation’s Council Grove Conference. Joel and Michelle served as organizers, participants, and directors of research for the first Shamatha Project retreat – a historic, year long, silent contemplative retreat sponsored in part by the Dalai Lama and dedicated to exploring the depths of human consciousness and potential.  This, and subsequent iterations of the Shamatha Project, have contributed greatly to the emerging research in the contemplative sciences.

• Joel and Michelle Levey were honored by the Institute of Noetic Sciences–for whom they have participated in numerous research colloquiums–as leading contemporary “teachers of transformation.” Their pioneering work in the emerging field of Collective Wisdom and Intelligence began in the ‘70s and they have designed and facilitated extensive successful programs on collective and intuitive intelligence for leading businesses and the military. They have also served as personal advisors for many senior business leaders, coaches for Olympic Gold Medallist and record holding World-Class Athletes, and are cofounders of SportsMind, Inc. which was one of the world’s most respected global training and consulting firms during the 80’s. They have worked closely with senior leaders, staff, and members of the Washington Athletic Club, one of the premier city clubs in the world, to develop a culture based on mind-fitness, extraordinary health and performance.

• The Leveys’ published works have been translated into 13 languages and include: Living in Balance: A Mindful Guide for Thriving in a Complex World (Winner of the Nautilus Book Award); Mindfulness, Meditation, and Mind Fitness; Wisdom at Work: A Treasury of Tools for Cultivating Clarity, Kindness, & Resilience; Corporate Culture & Organizational Health: A Critical Analysis of How Workplace Culture Influences Business Success; The VUCA Savvy Leader: Developing Personal and Organizational Capacity to Thrive in Complex Times; Luminous Mind: Meditation and Mind Fitness; A Moment to Relax; The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds; and Simple Meditation & Relaxation. They have contributed chapters or interviews to many anthologies including: Be the Change; Voices on the Threshold of Tomorrow; Learning Organizations; Intuition at Work; Community Building in Business; Rediscovering the Soul in Business; and The New Bottom Line.

• The Leveys have a base in Seattle as well as Hawaii where they steward the beautiful Kohala Sanctuary, a permaculture style organic farm and gathering place in Hawi, North Kohala on the northern tip of the Island of Hawaii ~ the “Healing Island”. ( Click for a Virtual Tour )