Founder + CEO
Traci Fenton is the Founder and CEO of WorldBlu, whose mission is championing the growth of democratically-run companies worldwide. WorldBlu publishes the annual WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces™, a list of the most transparent, collaborative and decentralized companies in the world, ranging from small to FORTUNE 500-sized organizations. As a leading expert in organizational democracy, she is recognized as one of the business thought-leaders of her generation as well as of the next generation of business.
Traci frequently addresses audiences on organizational democracy and freedom-centered leadership and has shared her message with individuals from over 100 countries, in forums and for organizations such as TEDx, South by Southwest, Yahoo!, Fox Interactive Media, the CIA, and Harvard University.
Traci has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, US News and World Report, The New York Times, Fast Company, BusinessWeek, Forbes the BBC and dozens of other media around the globe.
Drawing from over a decade of original research and hundreds of conversations with business executives and leading practitioners about how freedom, rather than fear and control, can be practiced within a business environment, Traci is currently working on her first book highlighting innovative case studies in organizational democracy.
Prior to becoming Founder and CEO of WorldBlu, Inc., Traci founded the WorldBlu Foundation, a non-profit think-tank. Previously in her career she worked in public relations and advertising for a FORTUNE 500 company, was a social venture capitalist for the NASDAQ Stock Market’s multi-million dollar educational foundation, and was a social entrepreneurial consultant for a national non-profit organization.
Traci has traveled throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, North America, and Europe. She earned a BA in global studies and entrepreneurship from Principia College and a master's degree in international development from American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. In her free time Traci loves traveling, running, yoga, painting, spending time outdoors and writing poetry. She currently lives on an airplane, and when not on one can be found relaxing at the beach or enjoying time with her family in her home state of Iowa.
Global Director, Membership + Awards
Miranda Ash is the Global Director, Membership + Awards at WorldBlu. Having spent years working in undemocratic workplaces, it was inevitable that she would want to join and help grow the WorldBlu movement! With a strong background of experience in collaborating with major corporations, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), not for profits and community enterprises around the world in various marketing, human resources and fundraising roles, Miranda is well placed to respond to the needs of a wide variety of workplaces interested in becoming members of WorldBlu and building a more democratic workplace.
Miranda also speaks worldwide about how to build a democratic workplace in order to maximize human potential, build a thriving organization and change the world for the better.
Miranda graduated from Principia College with a BA in sociology and anthropology and has completed graduate studies in marketing through the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK as well as graduate studies in Creative Arts Therapies at Roehampton University in London.
In her free time, Miranda volunteers as an advisor for several local arts charities. Miranda and her husband Matt live just south of London, in Surrey, UK.
Global Director, BluSchools
Sam Chaltain is Global Director, BluSchools at WorldBlu. In this capacity, Sam works with private and public companies, as well as schools and school districts help them create healthy, high-functioning, democratically-designed learning environments.http://samchaltain.com/contact
Previously, Sam was the National Director of the Forum for Education & Democracy, an education advocacy organization, and the founding director of the Five Freedoms Project, a national program that helps K-12 educators create more democratic learning communities. Sam spent five years at the First Amendment Center as the co-director of the First Amendment Schools program. He came to the Center from the public and private school systems of New York City, where he taught high school English and History.
Sam’s first teaching experience was in Beijing, China, where he joined the faculty of the Foreign Languages department at Beijing Normal University as a visiting lecturer. He taught two American History and Literature courses to third-year undergraduates.
Sam’s writings about his work have appeared in both magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, Education Week and USA Today. A periodic contributor to CNN and MSNBC, Sam is also the author or co-author of four books: The First Amendment in Schools (ASCD, 2003), First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights (Oxford University Press, 2006), American Schools: The Art of Creating a Democratic Learning Community (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), and We Must Not Be Afraid to be Free: Stories Of Free Expression in America (Oxford, 2010). Sam also speaks worldwide about how to build a democratic workplaces or school.
Sam has a Master’s degree in American Studies from the College of William & Mary, and an M.B.A. from George Washington University, where he specialized in non-profit management and organizational theory. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he graduated with a double major in Afro-American Studies and History. Sam currently lives in Washington, DC with his wife and son.
Lisa Kensler, Ed.D
Lisa is a consultant with the BluSchools Team, working to inspire and cultivate democratically-designed schools worldwide. She is also an assistant professor in educational leadership at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama where she teaches graduate education courses related to organizational democracy and organizational theory, leadership theory, learning organizations, evaluation, and systems thinking.
Lisa’s cutting-edge dissertation research, completed at Lehigh University and entitled, The Ecology of Democratic Learning Communities, found that in more democratic middle schools, as measured with the WorldBlu School Survey instrument, teachers reported higher levels of continuous and team learning. The higher levels of teacher trust in their principal and their colleagues explained why teachers reported higher levels of their own and team learning in the more democratic schools. Her research on democratic school communities continues with findings of higher levels of student achievement in more democratic middle schools. Lisa frequently speaks on the relationship between democratic schools and trust for organizations worldwide.
Lisa holds a BA from George Mason University, and an MA from Old Dominion University, both in biology with a systems ecology focus as well as an Ed.D from Lehigh University. She frequently draws on all of her degrees as she explores the shift from organizations as mechanical systems to organic democratic learning systems.