Synergos, in partnership with the Fetzer Institute, will launch a four-part virtual learning series on Inner Work for Social Change, to spark a global conversation on the role of reflective practices in powering social impact leaders to make their work more effective. Throughout the series, we will share stories spanning diverse geographies and sectors to unearth how inner work has helped leaders to deepen their sense of purpose, build trusting collaborations, and amplify impact on a range of issues.

What is Inner Work for Social Change?

Kicking off our series on September 2nd, we hosted a fireside chat with Bob Boisture and Peggy Dulany, joined by Krista Tippett. In this session, we explored the connection between inner work and outer action.  Our discussion centered around questions such as: what is inner work for social change? And why does it matter for social change initiatives? You can view our full session below and are welcome to share it.

Our Speakers:

Bob Boisture, President & CEO

The Fetzer Institute

Peggy Dulany, Founder & Chair


What does it look like to practice Inner Work?

On September 16th, we learned from some of our project case writers from the project. We explored the inner work aspect of personal transformation with our case writers from the project and discussed in smaller community groups the power of Inner Work practices.

How does Inner Work improve us and our world?

On September 30th, we explored the role of Inner Work within Bridging Leadership to address intractable, systemic issues. We heard from some of our case study writers sharing cases from Brazil, Ethiopia, and the Philippines, and discussed in community via small breakout groups.

How to make the case for Inner Work in your organization?

Closing our series on Inner Work for Social Change, this final session will focus on steps you can take to bring inner work to your organization. We will share insights from our guide on making the case for inner work and dive into a panelist discussion with an enlightening group of leaders where they will share experiences within their own organizations.


  • Gretchen Ki Steidle, Founder and CEO of Global Grassroots
  • Dr. Martin Kalungu-Banda, Professor at the Presencing Institute
  • Bruno Vercken, Head of Human Resources at Danone
  • Henri van Eeghen, President and CEO of Synergos


About Inner Work for Social Change: Synergos and the Fetzer Institute began the Inner Work for Social Change project in 2018 with the goal of shedding light on the power of personal transformation in social impact. By highlighting stories of social change on a range of issues all over the world, the project strives to show how Inner work fosters bridging leadership to make social action more effective and sustainable.

The project will launch an interactive storytelling platform that explores how inner work and bridging leadership transformed collaborations and the people who led them in six countries. These stories - rooted in six in-depth case studies - follow partnerships that address a range of urgent, persistent social problems, including:

  • Child malnutrition in India
  • Infant and maternal mortality in Namibia and the Philippines
  • Dysfunctional schools in South Africa and Brazil
  • A fragmented agro-economy in Ethiopia.

This research reveals the connective tissue between inner and outer work - between reflective awareness and action, between individual and collective purpose - and show how each enriches the other. Some cases depict different forms of inner work; others illuminate the boosts and blockages to inner work in sustained social action. Together, the case studies show why the connections between inner work, bridging leadership, and collaboration are so crucial for effective social action towards a better world.