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Radical Transformational Leadership Through the Arts 

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Workshop Application

“It is time for a global movement where artists everywhere pledge to make a difference to the planet. When we speak together for a better world, we can turn the darkness into light."

-Gulan Kripalani

Arts and Social Change Workshop

Arts and Social Change is a learning-in-action workshop for artists, organized by RTLArts and led by Dr. Monica Sharma based on her work Radical Transformational Leadership (RTL). Through the workshop, artists source their inner potential and see themselves as changemakers to address what is not working in families, communities, nations, and the planet. The goal of the workshop is to harness the power of the arts to influence culture for the greater good, using Radical Transformational Leadership (RTL). Everyone can step into courage to create change. Drawing on more than 30 years of work at the United Nations and elsewhere, Dr. Monica Sharma presents a radical new approach to transformational leadership, using the Conscious Full Spectrum Response one that creates systems of change where everyone can engage. The workshop covers tools and templates for artists to step into leadership to inspire people to care for the wellbeing of all. The arts can be a powerful tool to stop "othering", stereotyping, and stigmatizing people based on race, class, gender, caste,tribe, nationality, and religion and start portraying individuals as who they really are--unique and worthy beyond privilege, bias, and prejudice. And see themselves as changemakers to address what is not working in families, communities, nations,and the planet. 

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"The arts have the potential to create breakthrough moments of  insights into the invisible systems we have built and create spaces of alternate ways of being. We can recognize our oneness."

                                                                                                                                             -Gulan Kripalani

Vision and Mission

Vision: The arts  influence culture for the greater good and are integrated into everyday life. Artists manifest universal values along with their gifts and talents to create art based in equity, dignity and compassion that inspires action towards universal equity and well being for humanity and a thriving planet. 


Artists inspire courage in audiences who are invited to tap into their values, change cultural norms and unworkable systems leading to universal equity and well being for humanity and the thriving planet.


Mission: The arts will influence culture for the greater good, to change social norms based in dignity, equity, and compassion.  New narratives and stories can be created using RTL in dance, theatre, film, fine arts, music, comics, and literature to inspire people to care for the wellbeing of all beyond privilege, bias, and prejudice and address the systems and norms that are not working. Use the power of art to portray individuals as who they really are--unique and worthy to create wellbeing for all and to stop "othering", stereotyping, and stigmatizing people based on race, class, gender, caste, tribe, nationality, and religion

Two intensive 3-day workshops accompanied by group calls between sessions.

 Attendance at both sessions is required.

Workshop Application

Session 1 :  Being and Designing Change


December 11-13, 2021


Santa Cruz County, California

Who are we as leaders as artists, and how can we create change through our work? What are our shared values? What is it that inspires us and keeps us committed to our work in the face of setbacks and negative news? Who do we need to be to create the change we want to see? How do we listen deeply for shared values and opportunities to leverage change? How do we become systems leaders empowered with the tools and templates we need to create change? How do we begin to look at our work through the three components of sustainable change (solving problems, shifting systems, and activating potential)? What type of feelings and emotional responses do we evoke from our audiences? How do we distinguish between pleasure and happiness? How do we distinguish what an emotional response to art does and doesn't do? How do we explicitly manifest values or systems and cultural norms shift in our work? How do we distinguish opinions agree/disagree from multiple perspectives based on values? How do we move from symbols that are just the gimmick of the month/day to symbols that are CFSR and are enduring? How do we, as artists, make sure that we are not off (distant) the world, but you are in (part of) the world?

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Session 2 : Leading Change

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April 30 - May 2, 2021


Santa Cruz County, California

How do we, as artists, use the dynamic power of the arts to move people from apathy to action to create equity, compassion, and dignity and show invisible unworkable systems that stop people from thriving? How do we build upon our new learning and practice? How will we re-design our projects to align and be attuned to what we deeply care about for people and the planet? To simultaneously solve problems, shift systems, and activate our own and our community's potential for change? How do we see and address the larger systems inherent in the problems we are trying to solve? How do we plan differently to create the impact we want to see? What are the different stages of leadership development, and how do they inform our collaborative efforts? How do we talk about the change we want to create and enroll others in creating this change? How do we connect events, programs, and other activities to measurable outcomes and impact? How do we empower others to lead the change they wish to see? How do we hold multiple perspectives and transcend divisiveness while adhering to universal values?

Monica Sharma © 2020
About the Presenters
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Dr. Monica Sharma 

Dr. Monica Sharma, trained as a physician and epidemiologist, worked for the United Nations for more than 30 Years. Currently, she engages worldwide as an international expert and practitioner on leadership development for sustainable and equitable change. She is the author of the book Radical Transformational Leadership which one won the Nautilus Gold Book Award 2017 for Business & Leadership. She works with the United Nations, universities, management institutions, governments, businesses, media, and civil society organizations. She was the former Director of Leadership and Capacity Development at the United Nations and directed global programs related to the Sustainable Development Goals. She has published and presented over 250 articles in journals and international forums. Monica Sharma created and uses a unique response model based on extensive application—a conscious full-spectrum model—which is for simultaneously solving problems, shifting systems, and creating new patterns sourced from individual inner capacity and transformational leadership. This model has generated sustainable results worldwide. Her book Radical 

Monica Sharma draws on more than thirty years of working for the United Nations and beyond to present a radical new approach to transformational leadership, one that creates systems of change where everyone can engage–not just analysts, policy makers, educators, and business leaders. Demonstrating that we all can be architects of a new humanity, Monica Sharma demystifies policy-making, planning, and implementation so that everyone can play an informed and strategic part in eradicating the world's most intractable problems. Using real-life examples from around the world, she shows how our innate human attributes of universal compassion, our equity impulse, and human capability can create new patterns that: first, effectively address major challenges such as gross inequality, unbridled hate, conflicts based on social identity, and the 'never-enough mindset '; and second, realize our full potential to manifest universal prosperity. Written in a straight-forward, accessible style, this book outlines a path-breaking paradigm shift that is already generating equitable and sustainable results across the globe. 

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Therese Adams

Since 2014, Therese Adams is a pioneer and a unifying architect. She practices and applies the tools and templates of Radical Transformational Leadership. In the Leadership  for Community Transformation program, with Dr. Monica Sharma. Therese has supported the training of hundreds of leaders in Northern California as a practitioner coach. With Dr. Monica Sharma, she developed the RTL Arts initiative to transform the arts using the Radical Transformational Leadership frameworks and methodology. She works as a theatre director, choreographer, and arts educator. Directing and producing many of the plays of Samuel Beckett, she organized a week-long festival of his work at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She directed Beckett's PLAY at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For over 25 years, she has been the Director of Moving and Storage Performance Company performing in New York, California, and Japan. 

Living in Japan for five years exploring Japanese theatre and dance, she presented dance theatre productions with Moving and Storage and directed stage plays, including Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in English and Japanese.  She is presently combining RTL with the power of dance and theatre to inspire equity, dignity, and compassion and to shift the 'us versus them' narrative, so both performer and audience step into action to change unfair systems.  Since 2012 she has used RTL on the issues of homelessness and mental illness. She was a Community Organizer with the United Way, advocating for sustainable system shifting solutions based on fairness. She was also the Development Director at PajaroValley Shelter Services, promoting equity and generosity to transform the current nonprofit fund development and philanthropy practices. Currently, she works to end stigma as the Executive Director of Santa Cruz Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

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