Marc Rettig

I help leaders and teams acquire the mindsets and methods necessary for a new relationship with change, shifting from a story of problem-solving to a story of long-term community co-creation. I design and host experiences through which teams become partners with emergence on the long road to a life-sustaining world.

I’m a corporate expat with a gift for seeing social complexity through a poetic lens. I believe people can deepen their work and its impact by reconnecting to a wilder, more soulful experience of participation in the weave of the world’s becoming. And I’m committed to helping leaders and teams learn these practices.

I am inspired by people whose leadership makes an invitation to our highest possibility. Some are poets. Some are academics, or activists, or clowns. They show us how to make long, difficult, even painful creative journeys with joy and love.

Ten years ago I became determined to find a way to make a living through purposeful work. I took the risk of leaving the familiar and lucrative world of corporate strategy and design. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been profound.

Over the last twenty years of my career I have guided teams through experiences that deepen the connection between themselves, the people they affect, and the future they bring into being. I’ve worked with big companies, neighborhoods, nonprofits and NGOs, startups and universities. I’ve seen them caught in old ways of doing things. Their belief that things can’t change keeps their creative force in a box. I’ve learned that the right experience can revive belief in their own possibilities, and they can make a beginning together. Then it’s time for the long work of living into possibility. Together they learn to host their own becoming.

Growing up on the Montana prairie gave me a sense of wide horizons and long cycles of life. Day after day on the tractor at four miles an hour showed me the impact of keeping it up even when progress is hard to see. Often we feel the field too wide and the plow too small. But I’ve learned to trust the long accumulation of days, and showing up again and again together with patient care.

I’ve combined teaching and practice for over thirty years. I’ve taught graduate design and social innovation since the ’90s. And I run a firm that works with everything from Nissan to neighborhoods, suburbs to science labs. This blend of practice and teaching at the edge of our field makes me ready to help leaders and teams connect their deep creativity to the world’s complexity.

Essays on design management

A series of essays published as a book chapter in Japan. Each is a response to questions from a Japanese design manager, on topics like understanding of human-centered design, design management and leadership, and design’s relationship to nature.

Hello Shino: Essays on design management (on