Michelle James is a pioneering
creativity catalyst who has been using universal creative principles and the process of emergence as the basis for her work
with thousands of people - individuals, corporations and communities - since starting her first business in the mid-nineties.
Michelle’s passion is infusing creativity and imagination into current knowledge and information systems for individual,
organizational and social transformation. Her commitment is to cultivate and focus creativity, aliveness and meaning
in the workplace as part of the emerging, holistic new work paradigm - one where creativity, service, purpose and commerce
Michelle provides generative
processes, a grounded framework, whole-brain integrated learnings, and novel experiences to allow organizations to naturally
co-create what is essential for them to remain consistently vital, resilient, and innovative in rapidly changing times and
environments. She developed
the Creative Emergence Process, Principles and Practices - which is both a framework and integrative approach for creatively
unfolding what's next within an individual or system. Known for her original and richly textured dynamic learning
environments, Michelle presents at learning and creativity events internationally. Her original programs and techniques have
been featured in telesummits, podcasts, newspapers, books, and on television. She is one of the pioneers in the fields of
Applied Creativity, Applied Improvisation and Somatic (body-centered) Creativity.
Michelle founded The Center for Creative Emergence based on her experiences with the natural creative
emergence process that unfolded over time in her personal journey, as well as and years of work with and study of various
facets of creative process. The Creative Emergence Process, Principles and Practices are based on years of work with clients
in which certain themes, patterns and self-organizing principles showed up in every emergent creative process. She later discovered
a coherent fit with this process and what she learned studying process work, depth psychology, systems thinking, complexity
sciences, organizational development, and improv theory.
Before founding the Center, Michelle owned and operated a creative services/marketing firm followed by
an organizational development and training company. Prior to that, she spent a few years spear-heading innovative projects
while working in communications, sales, marketing, and the media, including co-establishing a newspaper (where she got her
taste of entrepreneurship and never went back). In these worlds, she learned first-hand how creative environments function
and thrive. Also informing Michelle’s work is her experience and education in creative processes and techniques, brain
research, organizational change, group process work, depth psychology, integral theory, emerging group/system dynamics approaches
(such as holacracy, appreciative inquiry, world cafe, open space, futuresearch, polarities, psychodrama, dialogue, participative
design), accelerated learning, the arts, movement, bodywork, mythology, improv theater, systems thinking, consciousness studies,
storytelling and the complexity sciences...and
transformational experiences in her life.
Her degrees are in English Literature and Communications Studies with years of diverse post graduate study.
Michelle performed full-length improvised plays with Precipice
Improv for 10 years through 2010, and currently performs Playback theater with Virginia Playback Theatre. She is an abstract
painting artist, and is a CoreSomatics Movement and Bodywork Master Practitioner. CS is an psycho-physical creative healing
modality. She founded and ran the Capitol Creativity Network in DC since 2003, and in 2014, started
the Cville Creativity Network in Charlottesville, VA. In
2008, Michelle was recognized for Visionary Leadership in Fast Company's blog, Leading Change. She produced and curated two Creativity in Business Conferences in Washington,
DC. She developed and hosted the first online Creativity in Business
Telesummit with creativity thought leader-practitioners from all
over the world, and curated an accompanying ebook, Navigating the new Work Paradigm. Michelle is currently writing
a book on creativity facilitation called Pattern Breaks: A Facilitator's Guide for Cultivating Creativity, and
developing a Whole-Brain Creative Facilitation Certification Program.
Creative Associates: Cocreators and Collaborators
The Creative Associates have expertise
and years of experience in a variety of disciplines including applied creativity, innovation, organizational development,
organizational change, management consulting, leadership development, expressive arts, visual communications, and neuroplasticity
among others. All are are well established, seasoned professionals. The group consists of entrepreneurs, consultants, leaders,
visionaries, change makers, and educators who own and operate successful businesses in their fields. Based on the scope and
needs of your project, we assemble the team who can best serve you.