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ejl 230309 1215.cr2

Cosmopolis-2045, CosmoTeenz Teen Fellows Project

Don Waisanen

After years of traveling and working in media, politics, and the performing arts, Don arrived at the conclusion that communication is at the center of every challenge human beings face. From the most minor interpersonal conflicts to major policy problems, it’s the types of stories that we tell, the quality of our conversations, and the features of the social worlds that we create together that push every relationship and issue either upward or downward.
 
With firm groundings in CMM’s histories and developments, and following the advances humanity has seen in areas from medicine to technology, Don has made it his life’s work to find and put in motion the forms of strategic, collaborative, and leadership communication that can help every person and community on this planet thrive. Toward this mission and in his role as a professor, he teaches courses that invite students to aim high in applying world-class communication insights and skills to their lives.
 
As a researcher seeking to understand how communication works to promote or hinder democracy, Don has written seven books and close to 50 scholarly publications on these topics, from strategies in public speaking to the ways that organizations and governments can better communicate with different stakeholders. Recent works include Leadership Standpoints (Cambridge University Press), States of Confusion (New York University Press), and Innovation Soup (Business Expert Press).
 
As a consultant and facilitator, he also helps individuals and organizations apply evidence-based practices to their work through workshops, retreats, and coaching focused on presentation skills, strategic storytelling, media training, teambuilding, managerial communication, adaptive leadership development, conflict resolution and negotiation, and more. For both emerging and seasoned leaders, he founded the CMM-inspired firm “Communication Upward” (www.commupward.com) to help professionals implement inclusive, engaging, and tested frameworks that drive measurable results in these areas.
 
All this work has been influenced by Don’s lifelong love of improv comedy and performance. Getting on a stage, welcoming the unpredictable, and building with others in a “yes, and…” spirit has made creating connections through play and laughter a core thread throughout his work. A complete guide to concepts and practices for teaching about or applying these themes to our futures can be found in Improv for Democracy: How to Develop the Communication and Leadership Skills Our World Needs (available from SUNY Press and other booksellers)–a project that was supported by the CMM Institute in its early phases!
ejl 230309 1215.cr2

Cosmopolis-2045, CosmoTeenz Teen Fellows Project

Don Waisanen

After years of traveling and working in media, politics, and the performing arts, Don arrived at the conclusion that communication is at the center of every challenge human beings face. From the most minor interpersonal conflicts to major policy problems, it’s the types of stories that we tell, the quality of our conversations, and the features of the social worlds that we create together that push every relationship and issue either upward or downward.
 
With firm groundings in CMM’s histories and developments, and following the advances humanity has seen in areas from medicine to technology, Don has made it his life’s work to find and put in motion the forms of strategic, collaborative, and leadership communication that can help every person and community on this planet thrive. Toward this mission and in his role as a professor, he teaches courses that invite students to aim high in applying world-class communication insights and skills to their lives.
 
As a researcher seeking to understand how communication works to promote or hinder democracy, Don has written seven books and close to 50 scholarly publications on these topics, from strategies in public speaking to the ways that organizations and governments can better communicate with different stakeholders. Recent works include Leadership Standpoints (Cambridge University Press), States of Confusion (New York University Press), and Innovation Soup (Business Expert Press).
 
As a consultant and facilitator, he also helps individuals and organizations apply evidence-based practices to their work through workshops, retreats, and coaching focused on presentation skills, strategic storytelling, media training, teambuilding, managerial communication, adaptive leadership development, conflict resolution and negotiation, and more. For both emerging and seasoned leaders, he founded the CMM-inspired firm “Communication Upward” (www.commupward.com) to help professionals implement inclusive, engaging, and tested frameworks that drive measurable results in these areas.
 
All this work has been influenced by Don’s lifelong love of improv comedy and performance. Getting on a stage, welcoming the unpredictable, and building with others in a “yes, and…” spirit has made creating connections through play and laughter a core thread throughout his work. A complete guide to concepts and practices for teaching about or applying these themes to our futures can be found in Improv for Democracy: How to Develop the Communication and Leadership Skills Our World Needs (available from SUNY Press and other booksellers)–a project that was supported by the CMM Institute in its early phases!