Cultivating Change in the Academy with

Quantum Leadership

Series Highlights

  • 7 live learning workshops

        5 two-hour online workshops every other Friday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

        Two in-person workshops in Albany (March 8 & April 5)

  • Travel is covered by SUNY SAIL! (Minor exceptions may apply, but hotel, rental car and food included)
  • Earn a SUNY SAIL digital badge
  • Video introductions to get to know your cohort colleagues
  • LinkedIn networking group
  • Pre- and post-program self-assessments to track goals and measure impact
  • Practice critical presentation skills and receive immediate feedback from a supportive cohort of colleagues
  • Showcase your work in the online SAIL Change Initiative Project Library
  • Join us for an information session on Nov. 29 at 10 a.m. to learn more! Register for the Zoom session (will be recorded)

Offered January 12 – April 5, 2024

How do we come to value any approach to change? What do we think “works”, and why?  What we value depends on what we believe, and what we believe is influenced by science.

Recognizing the collective impact and high stakes nature of the challenges higher education leaders face today, requires us to employ a radically new approach. Our current approach to change is constrained by a Newtonian-based mindset which limits our belief in human agency, our worldviews, what we value, and the paradigms that underly our methods and practices. This classical physics approach perpetuates and maintains a view of the world, and us, as separate discrete parts, which serves to dismantle the reality of our connectedness, and in effect the way we approach change. Incorporating a ‘quantum perspective’ fosters a shift in mindset away from the outmoded classical notion that we are separate toward the reality of our connectedness. This offers us a different way of relating to change, and to each other – shifting our assumptions about causality and the relationship between individual, collective, and systems change. This shift opens the possible, unleashing human potential to commit, care, and affect change for collective flourishing.

This series seeks to explore the scientific paradigms we take for granted as we strategize in different spaces to effect change in our shared social conditions. We will unpack multiple perspectives on how our present-day problem-solving strategies are constrained by Newtonian-thinking. Thinking outside the box, in this historical moment, requires thinking outside the confines of traditional dimensions. Perpetuating outdated approaches to understanding shared experiences keeps human beings in isolation, as separate discrete, independent entities. The quantum approach to problem solving fosters a shift in the way we see things, a shift away from fixed futures and fears.

Quantum Leadership workshop schedule


January 12, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This series kicks off with a two-hour synchronous Zoom session led by Carolyn Mattiske & Dr. Marcia Burrell


  • Series Overview
  • Travel Guidelines
  • Meet the Instructors
  • Participant Introductions
  • Change Initiative Project Expectations & Resources
  • Project Milestones
  • What’s Next?

January 26

Introduction to Quantum Leadership

This transformative workshop delves into the fascinating intersection of science and leadership through the lens of quantum physics. Through engaging lecture, dialogue, and reflective exercises, participants will explore the paradigm shift from traditional, linear Newtonian thinking to the multidimensional world of quantum thinking. By uncovering the principles of quantum leadership, participants will develop the skill to recognize their own quantum and Newtonian thought patterns, emphasizing the pivotal role of self-awareness in quantum leadership and change.

February 9

Mastering Quantum Mindsets

Our journey continues with a deep dive into the foundational quantum concepts of entanglement, nonlocality, and interconnectedness, illuminating their influence on our paradigms, beliefs, and values – our mindsets. We will delve into the ‘challenge’ of interconnectedness, the critical role of perceived agency in shaping change, and provide practical insights into how developing a quantum mindset can empower your change leadership. Participants will discover how these quantum principles can revolutionize their approach to change.

February 23

Unlocking Quantum Change

We continue our exploration of the quantum realm with the concepts of indeterminacy, potentiality, and emergence. Using a quantum lens, we will examine our relationship with uncertainty in a new way, explore the power of relationality and intra-actions, and gain insights into the powerful role we each play in shaping our shared reality and catalyzing change. Through experiential support tools and reflective activities, participants will expand their capacity to not only see change in a different way, but to embody this change.

ocean and chained fence

March 8 (in-person in Albany)

 Cultivating Change in the Academy through Kingian Nonviolence

Systems awareness directs our attention to the ways that oppression, trauma, and the pressures of the larger socio-economic environment can sabotage our institutional efforts. We will strategize ways to cultivate conditions for individual and group wellbeing, rights, and empowerment using a procedural justice lens. Workshop participants are challenged to assess their organization and team(s), continue to practice justice- based communication strategies, and develop actionable organizational change plans.


ocean and chained fence

March 22

The Jargon of Justice & the Language of Liberation

Language matters, so it is imperative for individuals, groups, and organizations to be conscious communicators. This powerful practice is for those who desire to strengthen their capabilities to listen, identify shared needs, validate differences, and heal disconnection. Through experiential learning and inquiry, participants will explore a justice-focused approach to communication. The workshop approaches listening, communication, and conflict transformation as central issues of power, hierarchy, and accountability.

Cultivating Change in the Academy through Kingian Nonviolence


woman presenting

 April 5 (in-person in Albany)

Capstone & Graduation

Participants will each have an opportunity to showcase their applied learning change initiative. Critical presentation skills will be practiced and feedback will be given by colleagues and instructors. Graduates will celebrate the conclusion of the series and be awarded a digital badge. Projects will live on in the SUNY SAIL online library. 


 Dr. Lisa Napora has devoted her life to the study and practice of the transformative dimensions of awareness in service to collective wellbeing.  Her work at the nexus of personal evolution and social transformation positions awareness as a fulcrum for inner and outer change.  With a doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy and more than 20 years in the business world, Lisa is a renowned mindfulness advocate known for her in-depth knowledge, inspiring vision, and her many achievements as the co-founder & Executive Director of The Mindfulness Alliance. Dr. Napora writes, speaks, leads workshops, and consults on a broad range of contemplative topics. She is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Buffalo, serves on the board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and teaches at SUNYs Leadership Institute. Lisa helps individuals, groups, and organizations deepen awareness, build capacities, and foster sustainable changes that support movement from a “me” to a “we” mindset.

Jose Pineda is SUNY’s Office of Higher Education In Prison Assistant Director and has supported nontraditional, adult learners for over a decade. He leads SUNY’s faculty development work, combining trauma-informed pedagogies with directly-impacted insight to navigate the nuances of academia inside a penitentiary. He is a graduate of the Rising Hope certificate program, Bard College where he earned an associate’s and bachelor degree. Jose has worked on various restorative justice and re-entry initiatives, which led him to create his own nonprofit restorative justice reentry organization, After Incarceration. Before coming to SUNY, Jose worked with the Bard Prison Initiative to support non-traditional students at the Bard Micro Colleges in New York City. He was a student recruitment specialist for three campuses, and Learning Commons Lead Tutor at the Micro College for Just Community Leadership in Harlem.

Program cost

$795/CPD member

$895 SUNY/non-CPD member

$995 Non-SUNY rate per person

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