Kristin Shannon, Chairman
An author, speaker, political and
strategic planning consultant, she is expert in collaborative intelligence,
cross-cultural communications and communications strategy.
Kristin Shannon chairs CIAO San Francisco, and
CIAO’s European subsidiary in Paris, PSI Communications.
CIAO, which means “Communications Inside and Out”, conducts research and
provides consulting and trainings on advanced communications techniques. We
work at the intersection of neuroscience and communications signals. What
happens inside your brain affects the messages you get, as well as the ones you
"The mind is what the brain does, so
why not become good friends with your brain? Neuroscience tells us that humor
is the best path!"
In this era of turbulent social and political change, consensus-building tools
are crucial: “We need to make friends not only with our own brains, and respect
that other brains work differently. The goal is to build bridges. We train
people to build those bridges quickly and effectively in our trademark 7-minute
With a background in economics and cognitive neuroscience, Kristin consults on
both policy content and communications strategies, and advises on political
campaigns, including the Obama campaign. She's engaged in a global research project
on how we make decisions.
Kristin directed two national research institutes (Washington D.C. &
Montreal, Canada) providing economic forecasting and policy options for NGOs,
foundations, banks, energy, media, telecommunications companies, and governments,
including the Canadian Prime Minister’s office and the White House.
In addition to consulting with the US Federal Reserve, Federal and Provincial
Ministers of Finance, Education, Health, The World Bank, etc., she has worked
extensively with the private sector. Corporate clients include Roche, Alcan,
AT&T, Bell Canada, Canyon Ranch, CBS, CBC, Public Broadcasting, Citicorp,
Shell, TransCanada Pipelines, Imperial Oil, Safeway, Sears, IBM, Weyerhaeuser,
General Foods, Royal Bank of Canada, SRI International, and Wellington
Management, where she modeled and coached their top-ranked investment analysts.
Foundation and NGO consultancies include the Open Society Institute, EFG, EATG
(HIV-AIDS), European Health Forum at Gastein, Ford, Rockefeller and Mott Foundations,
Oxfam, The Aspen Institute, and the Lilly Endowment. She raised funds for
social enterprise groups such as Delancy Street, and for wellness and
biofeedback research at Langley Porter. She co-founded and developed $20
million for Appropriate Technology International, an NGO dedicated to
technology transfer and sustainable growth. She co-chaired a multi-community
alliance to protect old growth forests and salmon spawning grounds.
Kristin grew up behind-the-scenes in film, with summers at Hollywood
Professional School. A UCLA and Berkeley Regents scholar in pre-med and
cognitive neuroscience, she also studied economics in Japan, in Japanese. She
returned to Berkeley to update in neuroanatomy, facial recognition of emotion
(Paul Ekman) and work with George Lakoff in psycholinguistics and metaphor.
A pioneer in profiling, she’s expert in segmenting populations and audiences to
identify their needs and goals. She did groundbreaking studies in constituency/
stakeholder analysis and helped originate psychographics -- value based
population segmentation studies.
In psychology, her background includes Jungian, Humanistic and Transpersonal,
hypnosis and physiological psychology. Kristin trained directly with Alexander
Lowen, Eric Berne, Stan Grof, Fritz Perls, and Moshe Feldenkrais. She also
worked with Virginia Satir, on community building urban charrettes. Later, when
NLP began to organize effective techniques from eclectic sources, she worked
with Leslie Cameron Bandler, David Gordon, Tom Condon, Carol Erickson, Steve
Gilligan, Time Line originator Tad James, Judith de Lozier, R. Bandler, Robert
Dilts, Steve and Connierae Andreas. Kristin is member of the American Society
of Training Directors (ASTD). Her focus is modeling and transferring
She co-authored the best-selling “Next Canadian Economy” and published in
academic journals such as Princeton's Wilson Quarterly and the Journal of
Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Her current book projects are “The
New Biology of Genius,” which includes research on accelerated learning, brain
plasticity and modeling, and EQ, Emotional Intelligence. A lifelong
meditator in several traditions, she is grateful to Green Gulch Zen Center and
The Tibetan Center for Compassion and Wisdom (TCCW) founded by her teacher
Arjia Rinpoche, former Abbot of Kumbum.
Other interests include improv comedy, art, aikido, memes, and dance. She
divides her time between the San Francisco seaside, and the Ile St. Louis, an
island in the heart of Paris.
Adrian Segar, Director of Conferences and Events
Adrian Segar, an expert in collaborative intelligence, designs and
facilitates events with complex agendas and a sense of urgency for practical
Adrian began as a bench scientist conducting physics experiments at CERN, then
turned to developing innovative events in 1992.
“How we choose to spend our most precious asset, our time, is crucial; not just
for ourselves, but for our culture. When I became frustrated with the
conventional formats that hamper genuine dialogue, I began to design events that
would lead to deeper connections, innovations, and pragmatic results.”
His book Conferences That Work: Creating
Events That People Love has been described as “THE how-to manual” to create
events that truly engage and capitalize on the collective wisdom and experience
BizBash Magazine named Adrian as one of “The 68 Most Innovative Event
Professionals”. His new book “The Power
of Participation” focuses on
In addition to working with NGOs, corporations, and associations, Adrian
frequently runs opening and closing plenaries and workshops for professional
conference design forums. (For example: he presents at Meeting Professionals
International’s World Education Congress, EIBTM (Exhibition for the Incentive Business
Travel and Meetings), MPI (Meeting Planners International ) meetings, the MPI
Chapter Business Summit, GMIC (Green Meeting Industry Council) and is returning
from Copenhagen’s FRESH international conference on innovative design.)
Born in the U.K. and after his MA at Oxford, Adrian was awarded a Ph.D. in
elementary particle physics from University College, London, at the age of 25.
The CERN (Centre European Research Nuclear) neutrino experiment he worked on in
Switzerland was awarded the 2009 European Physics Prize. In the early 80’s
Adrian owned and managed Solar Alternative, a solar energy manufacturing
company. During that time he organized some of the earliest alternative energy
conferences including the first international conference on residential and
small commercial air-to-air heat exchangers. Adrian lives with his family in Vermont in a solar home he
designed and built 30 years ago. He loves to sing, dance, and bring people
Adrian and Kristin met and began working together at a global conference on
applying improv comedy to corporate and NGO innovation strategies. “The future
solutions for our most serious public problems is linked to our ability to
harness collaborative intelligence; and that includes a sense of humor.”
Nina Wasilewska Bichot, Associate
Nina is a skilled facilitator, trainer
and organizational development consultant working with multicultural teams in
both the private sector and with NGOs. Her focus is on collaborative
intelligence -- how to lead teams beyond cooperation, to innovation and shared
leadership. "Leadership in a dynamic
economy takes many forms -- we need to have flexible skills."
"What I love about modeling how
people's FILTERS on reality differ, is how quickly they can be more effective
for themselves, and with their colleagues. Using the PSI FILTERS system, we
bypass the surface cultural differences and go straight to the heart of
authentic connection. That’s when true collaboration takes off!"
A graduate of Yale Management School, with a Masters in Public and Private
Management, she has consulted for global enterprises such as Kraft,
Sanofi-Aventis, International Flavors & Fragrances, AXA, and for
foundations including the Ford Foundation, and the Guggenheim Museum. She has
lived in France since 2001, working on projects in Europe, the US and Asia.
Nina is a business consultant and trainer with PSI, and co-leads our Stage
Flight classes on presentation skills, improvisation, creativity and humor.
Trained in theater and dance, her background includes art, art history and
"Whether its personal development or organizational or political change,
we need to learn to tell one another NEW stories, not simply repeat yesterday's
Balancing strong professional management skills with sensitivity to multicultural
distinctions, Nina has a unique way of engaging people to widen and change
their point of view, with the use of humor and story. Her clients say this:
"Our team was stuck -- we'd hit the
wall. Nina came in with her special blend of professional standards and gentle
humor -- and got us moving."
In her consulting and coaching work, Nina particularly enjoys accompanying her
clients as they navigate through their organizations – simultaneously achieving
both personal and professional goals.
Born in the United States, Nina lived and worked in Poland (1991-95) helping to
develop the nascent non-profit sector. Well traveled, she is fluent in English,
French and Polish. She lives in Paris with her family and children, Julia and James.
Steve James is an Associate with PSI
Communications. He co-trains our Paris Summer Institute NLP practitioner
certification and co-delivers workshops and consults on projects. He is also
working with Kristin Shannon on the development of new products and training
tools for PSI.
Bilingual, Steve consults and conducts training in both English and French.
Particular areas of interest include facilitating cross-cultural and virtual
teams, motivational interventions and interpersonal communication.
With a unique background comprising communications, training, client management
and a Masters in Work Psychology, Steve is able to blend rapid comprehension of
issues, the rigor of scientific research and use of effective training
techniques to meet client needs.
Prior to joining PSI, Steve worked in consulting, training & development.
While a Senior Account Manager at one of the world’s leading communication
consultancies he worked with a spectrum of Fortune 100 clients including IBM,
Kraft, Motorola and with charities and NGOs such as WWF. He has also developed
and delivered tailored professional training programs for senior executives at
Société Générale, AGF, Natixis, SCOR and Chanel. As a coach he helped a
bestselling French author to identify core objectives, action plans and future
British by nationality, Steve has lived and worked in Paris since 2001.
Passionate about cross-cultural relations and communication, he has also lived
and worked in Australia and traveled extensively in South East Asia, Europe and
Other interests include shiatsu massage, improvisational theatre and personal
Tamsin Rose, Associate in Brussels
Tamsin Rose is a skilled facilitator
of change, helping individuals and organizations to achieve their goals. She
studied international relations, and has worked in Brussels, Paris and Moscow.
Her experience includes communications policy, local government and civil
society development. Tamsin specializes in public health, combining strategy
and policy analysis with coaching and personal development skills.
Tamsin is also the founder and director of Tamarack; a provider of
high-quality, professional consulting services for a wide range of
non-governmental, philanthropic and institutional organizations.
Penny Perry, Associate in London
Penny Perry is a skilled and
compassionate coach who enables people to identify and strengthen their best
abilities. With a background in both the arts and technical systems, Penny
appreciates and works closely with people who have diverse personal and
professional backgrounds. She lives in the UK with her husband and three
children. Those who have worked with her say:
"Penny is excellent at removing
blocks, and she really got me un-stuck-- and moving forward with new confidence"
"She is gifted -- she not only heard
what I said, but she understood what I meant! My relationships have changed
dramatically after working with her" (Accountant and working mother)
"I hesitated at first to discuss my
personal issues with someone. I'd never tried coaching before. But Penny's
amazing blend of compassion and practical tools got me moving again. I found a
new job and purpose." (business career transition)
Penny Perry is certified as a modeler by PSI Communications, Paris. She has
trained with Kristin Shannon and Art Giser.
"What I most value about learning to model how people perceive, is how
quickly and easily they can change. Research shows that 70% of our issues come
from the way we view the world - - if we change what we can see, we change our
options immediately. Suddenly we have better choices and the path opens up in
front of us. Science shows that changing a viewpoint or attitude generates
physical changes in the body -- you LITERALLY can appreciate more options. And
take more useful steps.
Penny knows how to invite you to OPEN up your frame of reference, look at the
bigger picture, and then take practical steps. And she uses gentle humor to
help you do this.
"It's a collaboration built on trust, and solid practical progress. When
you call me, be sure to bring your sense of humor. I know that your issues are
serious, but being TOO serious can block your access to solutions. Humour and
confidence go hand and hand."
Martine Safars, Associate
Martine Safars is an Associate with
PSI Communications. She is a professional and personal coach for individual and
corporate clients. She coaches in French, English and Spanish.
After obtaining her degree as an engineer in Biology at the Conservatoire
National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris, she conducted numerous research
projects into the Biology of Aging. She worked at the Pasteur Institute, the
French research centers CNRS and INSERM, and at the Weizmann Institute in
Israel. She was then recruited by an international pharmaceutical company to
manage their packaging computer design department. She was also responsible for
the development and maintenance of relationships with the pharmaceutical
authorities of a number of key countries.
Martine has always been passionately curious about psychology and insight into
human functioning. She explored her "Freudian side" and decided to
change career for coaching. She studied coaching at one of the leading coaching
schools in Paris; International Mozaik, and psychology at the CNAM - the
“grande école” she has always been faithful to. She graduated in NLP at PSI
Paris Summer Institute, and is now a certified NLP Master Practitioner with a
specialization in Modeling human behavior.
Martine is an example of the French melting pot: Half Argentinean, half
Belgian, she lived in the States when she was a child, and was raised in an
international scientific environment. She loves social science, ping-pong,
playing the guitar and singing American folksongs.
Matilda co-hosts our Stage Flight and
Transition Tools programs.
Matilda loves connecting people with their full warm potential as a coach,
community leader, and job placement specialist. She can identify and encourage
talents. Passionately curious about psychology, she is always seeking new
insights into the ways people grow and connect. She studied communication and
management at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris.
Her focus is on giving people practical skills for linking with one another in
a warm, authentic and effective way. She is skilled in creating an environment
where you can discover your next step forward. She particularly enjoys the
challenge of helping people who are in transition.
She is a veteran go-between and community developer, working to create better
community understandings. She and her family created a community-based
association for promoting sustainable development in the environment. She has a
special love of working with young children.
Part of our French cultural meld, Matilda was born in Serbia and moved at an
early age to France for her education. She graduated with a degree in
Arts, majoring in English. She then worked for Disney as a supervisor in
building their theme park for 6 years. When that part of the theme project was
completed, she helped shape the outplacement program, enabling 900 people in
transition to find new work. She enjoys counseling and encouraging people to
have more satisfying their lives.
She loves laughing, spontaneous jokes, gardening and cooking. She makes the
best apricot jam in all of Paris. She dances, works with children, and is an
inventive and inspiring improv acting partner in Stage Flight, where she keeps
us all laughing over her open eyed innocent play.