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Marpa Center for Business and Economics

The Marpa Center for Business and Economics was established by Naropa in 2002 to integrate Naropa's unique experience of contemplative liberal arts education with the contemporary world of business, economics and work to nurture the growing convergence between for-profit and nonprofit realms, as businesses recognize the need to expand their missions to include social responsibility, and nonprofits recognize the benefits of using for-profit strategies to accomplish social missions. Currently, the Marpa Center offers certificate programs in professional development, an ongoing lecture series and conferences that showcase innovative ways in which for-profits and nonprofits can tackle challenging business, economic and social issues.

Purpose Statement
The Marpa Center's purpose is to cultivate ethical, inspired and capable leaders who will advance the development of an inclusive, just, sustainable and prosperous world.

Additional Information: http://www.naropa.edu/extend/marpa/index.cfm

Naropa University Extended Studies Marpa Center
Programs 2007 - 2008

11/13-16/07 Gearing Up for Business Sustainability: Strategy and Planning for Effective Action

1/28/08 - 5/7/08    Authentic Leadership Certificate Program
Online: Jan 14-May 7, Onsite 1/28-2/1 & 4/14-18, 2008 ..(Two onsite weeks, 5 months online)

4/1-4/08 Gearing Up for Business Sustainability: Foundations for Success

6/3-6/08 Gearing Up for Business Sustainability: Leadership and the Challenge of Change

11/2-3/08 Authentic Leadership Intensive

Authentic Leadership

MAR500e 15-week Certificate Program
Directed by Susan Skjei, with Mark Wilding, Micki McMillan, Julio Olalla, Mark Gerzon and Arawana Hayashi

Additional Information: http://www.naropa.edu/extend/marpa/leadership.cfm

Times of uncertainty and tumultuous change have stretched traditional leadership and managerial models beyond capacity. A new kind of leader is needed, one who can respond creatively and effectively in the midst of change and step beyond conventional approaches to planning and strategy. This leader is comfortable with complexity and looks for opportunities to partner with individuals and groups to address organizational and societal issues.

Spring 2008 Dates –
Boulder, CO at Naropa University

Online Program:
January 14–May 7, 2008
Residential Onsite Seminars:
January 28–February 1, 2008 and
April 14–18, 2008

This leader also fosters a learning environment in his or her organization and discovers unique and creative solutions to the following questions:

  • How can we achieve bottom–line results while fostering community, commitment and personal growth for ourselves and associates?
  • How can we create resilient organizations that continue to innovate and renew?
  • How can we nurture ourselves and our teams in the midst of turbulent change?

Whether you work in business, government or a nonprofit agency or NGO, the Authentic Leadership program will provoke a profound shift in your perception of the world and of your own capabilities as a leader. By cultivating awareness, insight and confidence and practicing powerful methods that foster engagement with others, you will expand your ability to act creatively and effectively with both skills and compassion.


  • Self-reflection and personal mastery
  • Skillful conversation and conflict resolution
  • Effective team action
  • Power, influence and empowerment
  • Leading organizational change


  • Increase effectiveness with organizational issues
  • Find well-being and meaning in your work
  • Gain skills and confidence in leading change
  • Energize and empower your organization
  • Balance work and life commitments
  • Participate in a vital learning community


Authentic Leadership is a fifteen–week leadership certificate program that integrates the best of Western management practices with the wisdom of Eastern contemplative traditions to provide a transformative learning experience. The format encourages deep, personal learning, fast assimilation of conceptual models and practical application in the workplace while enabling participation from anywhere in the world. It consists of:

  • Fifteen weeks of internet-based instruction
  • Two five-day on-site seminars
  • Online interaction with instructors and colleagues
  • Action-learning projects in the workplace
  • Individual coaching with experienced professionals

Money and Values Project

Offered by the Marpa Center for Business and Economics, the Money and Values program is designed to help people discern the role money plays in their lives. Many people come to our programs because they want to learn how to talk about money or to be better role models for the children in their lives. They may have worries about out of control spending, work that consumes them and leaves little time for family, guilt that drives them to do and give too much to their children, or a host of other things having to do with money.

The Money and Values Program at the Marpa Center supports mindful examination of the role of money in the world of business, economics and our daily lives. Through our education efforts, we encourage individuals to reconsider the meaning of money in American life as we attempt to discern ways our lives can contribute to a more caring society.

Additional Information: http://www.naropa.edu/extend/marpa/moneyvalues.cfm

Marpa Center for Business and Economics
Authentic Leadership

  Authentic Leadership: Susan Skjei & Mark Wilding
  Business & Economics:  Mark Wilding
  Integrating Money & Ethics :  Bob Kenny

413_ Solutions to Complexity and Changes in the Work Environment
Mark Wilding and Susan Skjei, Marpa Center for Business & Economics
Today's leaders are facing issues and challenges they’ve never faced before -- including rapid changes in technology, laws, and ways of working. This is how the discussion began between Mark Wilding, director of Naropa's Marpa Center for Business and Economics and Susan Skjei. Susan is the director and founder of the Authentic Leadership Certificate Program at the Marpa Center, and is president of SANE Systems, her own consulting firm. Formerly she was the chief learning officer at StorageTek. They explained, "The complexity of our environment is much greater than it was before. Even if you have a local business, you’re competing on a global level. Even if your workforce is global, you’re faced with challenges of how to work with diversity, how to work with different education levels, different language levels and cultural issues. Some people are working on site, some from home and some are working from India... So how do you as a leader create an environment where all of those people feel they are part of the team? And the generational issues are coming on very strongly, as well as the talk about the brain drain coming on with the retirement of the baby boomers." Susan and Mark suggest that the answer can be found in Authentic Leadership. It’s really a concept and a process whose time has come. Authentic Leadership can be found in the leader who is in touch with his or her authenticity, who comes from that place in addressing ethical issues and problems in defining their purpose, and also when engaging other people and implementing change in an effective manner. There's more, listen now.

Related Links:  Marpa Center || Authentic Leadership || Money and Values Project || PodCast Directory || Keywords: Susan Skjei, Mark Wilding, Marpa Center, Business and Economics, Naropa University, Human Dimension, Authentic Leadership 11/26/07 Bytes: 28438259 LISTEN

Mark Wilding, Director, Marpa Center for Business and Economics, Naropa Universityenclosure-voice382_ Business and Economics: Integrating the Human Dimension
Mark Wilding is the Director at the Marpa Center for Business and Economics at Naropa University.  The Marpa Center was founded about 6 years ago at Naropa. Mark believes what is valuable and important in business is how our behavior in society impacts the community around us – things like ethics. Larry asked Mark if he had an example of a sustainable company that walks its talk. One of Mark’s favorites is White Wave and Steve Demos. One of the things Steve talks about is that they had a “founding purpose” when they started the company. Their founding purpose was to create food that was sustainable for the planet. That’s how they got into Tofu. They worked for many years as a very small company in Boulder – and then along came this notion of Silk, this incredible product that really launched their company into the stratosphere. But even after that they didn’t change their principles. They kept the basic foundations and purpose of creating a food that’s very sustainable for the planet. Mark offers some great advice. LISTEN
Related Links:  Marpa Center || Authentic Leadership || Money and Values Project || Find It || Keywords: Mark Wilding, Marpa Center, Business and Economics, Naropa University, Human Dimension Channel: In the News > Bytes: 13284313 > 9/24/07 LISTEN

Robt. Kenny, Visiting Professor, Boston College  Integrating
Money with
Ethics, Values and Morals

389_When we start talking about money, quite often our value structure, our ethical structure, our moral structure gets somewhat separated and somehow put on hold. It's time that ethics, morals and values are integrated into our business and personal decision making. Bob Kenney, Boston College, Associate Director, Center on Wealth and Philanthropy and Visiting Professor, Marpa Center for Business and Economics, Naropa University is helping people look at the impact that money is having on their life and the various places money impacts – How they make sense of money – how they think about money, and then think about what’s really important to them. Larry asked," Are you taking the position that money is evil?" Bob replied, "No not at all, money is actually very neutral. It’s how we make sense of money and where we put money in our own value structure that starts to make a really big difference. Try to stay really clear about what you think money is for and simultaneously what you think is really important. Keep checking, is your money helping you get what you really want or is your money getting in the way of what you want? Other people are asking these questions, find someone to talk to – we need to be a community with similar values and goals. Stay conscious of your values."  LISTEN

Related Links:  Marpa Center || Authentic Leadership || Money and Values Project || Authentic Leadership Channel ||
Keywords: Bob Kenney, Marpa Center, Business and Economics, Naropa University, Money, Ethics, Values, Morals > Bytes: 13873217> 10/8/07 LISTEN

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