WHO AM I ?

Isabel Rimanoczy, Ed.D.

I am an academic and I made it my purpose to promote Change Accelerators.          

We have collectively contributed to the complex challenges we are now facing on Planet Earth, and it is time to expand our consciousness and rapidly change course, because the more we wait, the worse it will get.

Who are Change Accelerators? I have defined these as those who influence, pioneer, champion, support, motivate, inspire and encourage others. They are those that indicate the path to possibilities, unearth courage and light fires of passion in others to give their best. Change Accelerators come in all shapes and forms: they are professionals, shamans, business leaders, philosophers, artists, community leaders… I have chosen to focus on educators, young people, and women.

To be able to scale impact through education, I researched what could be taught or developed in order to accelerate change, and found the answer in the elements of the Sustainability Mindset. After prototyping a course to develop it, I was amazed at the transformational power of this approach. They key: It’s personal. In other words, when we create a safe space where individuals can explore the deeper questions of Who am I? (what  are the anchors of  my identity?) and Why am I Here? (what is my purpose?), it rapidly leads to What can I do? which is what a Sustainability Mindset-in-action looks like!

In 2014, after several years of teaching the Sustainability Mindset courses to Graduates and Undergraduates alike, I decided to create a Community of Practice to share and exchange ways to develop this new Mindset. I called it LEAP! because it makes us leap forward, and Leverage resources, Expand awareness, Accelerate change and Partner. Today, LEAP! has become the Working Group of the Sustainability Mindset of the United Nations initiative on Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) with an ever-growing network of academic members from 137+ institutions in 49 countries. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to meet with so many colleagues around the world doing pioneering work, and listening to them gives me so much inspiration. When we are able to meet, we often reflect that we have been orbiting in parallel worlds and rejoice in the reunion.  Other times I see myself as a human bridge, making connections between people that should know each other, and enjoy when they connect and collaborate together! 

Developing change accelerators means awareness of what has to be reinvented, and inspiration that it is doable.I fell in love with the idea of AIM2Flourish since it was first conceived. Now I am an Ambassador, talking about it everywhere I can. Why? Because it’s the living proof that business can be an agent of world benefit.

I enjoy developing Faculty: Sharing my experiences with colleagues, facilitating the learning of more powerful ways to engage students, and more meaningful ways to accelerate their mindshift. I also cherish my experiences with students - at Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ, USA), Fordham (NY, USA), Nova Southeastern (FL, USA), Kingston (UK), Universidad de Navarra (Spain) and Al Akhawayn University (Morocco).

Many students take things very seriously, and they bring out my playfulness which gives them permission to express their full selves in the classroom, complete with their creativity and imagination of what is possible.

They inspire me with new ideas, new challenges, and new hope.

I like to write and it comes easily to me. I imagine the words and ideas reaching out to faraway people and places, and inviting reflection. I have authored eleven books to date - some academic, others playful or poetic. Many of the books were borne out of the feeling that “I have to do this.” For example, I made it a personal mission to conceptually structure the Swedish learning methodology Action Reflection Learning, so it could be more easily understood and used by others. This resulted in Action Reflection Learning: Solving Real Business Problems by Connecting Learning with Earning, co-authored with my life partner, Ernie Turner. Something similar happened with Stop Teaching: Principles and Practices for Responsible Management Education’,  a book written for educators so they could explore ways to transition from traditional teaching to becoming learning facilitators.

I am attracted to the  idea of principles.  They are valuable scaffolding structures that can guide our work.  The latest ones are the Sustainability Mindset Principles, which I developed as a guide for educators to shape a better world. (Routledge Taylor&Francis, UK).

In 2009 a friend and I founded MINERVAS, Women Changing the World, a nonprofit organization that supports women in developing their consciousness of the contributions they bring through their feminine energy.We created a process of Circles of Art and Dialogue, that can be , and has been, widely replicated. When I have an opportunity on my trips, I run such a session to plant seeds. And closer to home,  we have been meeting once a month for the past 10 years. There are Minervas in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Romania, Turkey, Singapore, India and USA.

Since 1.996 I have been a Senior Partner at Leadership in Motion LLC (LIM), a leadership development firm founded by a group of visionaries who brought Action Reflection Learning to the US and from there into the world.  For 20+ years I actively coached Leaders and Teams from multinational pharmaceutical, financial services and food production clients in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

I earned my doctorate at Columbia University, an MBA from Universidad de Palermo and my License in Psychology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. 

My story has meandered along many different paths: philosophy, clinical psychology, recruitment, coaching, adult learning, sustainability, and spirituality. For years I thought I would never find out who I was meant to be. Until one day I realized it was not one choice - I was the combination of all these parts of my journey. Accepting the pieces has brought me great peace.