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 1994. Michelleâ€™s passion is infusing creativity and imagination into current knowledge and information systems for individual, organizational and social transformation. Her commitment is to "mainstream" creativity and meaning in the workplace as part of the emerging new work paradigm - one where creativity, service, purpose and commerce are inextricably linked.
Michelle has consulted on, designed and delivered creativity and innovation initiatives and programs for organizations of all sizes. She 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, responsive and innovative in rapidly changing times and environments.
Believing that people will expand their capacities to engage their environment, Michelle expands the "playing field" by integrating multiple dimensions of creative experience into all of her work. 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 both presents at learning and creativity events internationally, and creates such events in the Washington, DC area. Her original programs and techniques have been featured in newspapers, audios, 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 and years of work with various facets of creative process and complex systems. For Michelle, the work of the Center is a calling many years in the making. 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 systems thinking, complexity sciences 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 several years spear-heading innovative projects while working in communications, sales, marketing, and the media, including co-establishing a newspaper. In these worlds, she learned first-hand how creative environments function and thrive. Also informing Michelleâ€™s work is her experience and education in creative processes and techniques, brain research, organizational change, group dynamics, depth psychology, integral theory, accelerated learning, the arts, movement, bodywork, mythology, improv theater, systems thinking, consciousness studies, storytelling and the complexity sciences...and first hand transformational experiences from her own multi-faceted life journey. Her degrees are in English Literature and Communications Studies with years of diverse post graduate study.
Michelle performs full-length improvised plays with Precipice Improv, is an abstract painting artist and is a CoreSomatics Movement and Bodywork Master Practitioner. CS is an psycho-physical creative healing modality. She also founded and runs the Capitol Creativity Network. In 2008, Michelle was recognized for Visionary Leadership in Fast Company's blog, Leading Change. She recently created and produced the Creativity in Business Conferece in Washington, DC.