Facilitator Profile

Facilitators are members of the Pachamama Alliance community who step into leadership by hosting Symposiums and spreading the message of Up to Us.

Doug May

Doug May
  • Location: Occidental, California, United States
  • Primary Language: English
  • Facilitator Since: 2015

I was recruited as a game changer for Pachamama at the age of 2, and went through 5 years of dream training, at which point I committed myself to transforming the human/earth relationship, and achieving a sustainable human presence here.

I did my best to study ecology (and other highly connected systems) in school + college, and to find relevant work, but both proved elusive. For the first 40 years after I "enlisted," the closest I came was joining The Hunger Project, and serving 8.5 years on staff.

My education and career led me into technology, despite the fact that I resisted it heavily. At The Hunger Project I helped design and build systems to record, acknowledge, and reinforce the individual acts of commitment of millions of participants, and helped to train staff and volunteers on four continents. 

Every time I tried to steer my career back toward ecology and sustainability, I found myself redirected back into tech. In 2005 I had a revelation -- I have been working in communications technology and computer systems all this time so that I can help people all over the world to come together (in this 11th hour, unfortunately) and reset our collective direction toward a sustainable human presence and a positive human/earth partnership.

Since then, much of my work has been focused on removing the barriers that technology erects between people (us) and each other and our intentions, and to reshape it into a tool that will enable us to work together, as individuals, on a massive scale. My term for the missing ingredient is Collaboration Architecture (an approach that both recognizes our profound connectedness, and respects our uniqueness).

In the last decade(+), I have been designing software tools to implement these principles, using an approach I call Applied Mindfulness. This has inspired a book series (currently in draft) called The Mindful User. 

Having spent my entire life on a path of personal transformation, and being massively challenged by my own mission, I have designed a suite of apps to facilitate people in their personal productivity, focus, balance, and ongoing transformation, and in achieving their goals, including being readily coached. 

Late in 2013, I became acutely aware of a groundswell of emerging grass-roots world-changers (mostly women), who were not only expanding their own consciousness, but working to make their unique understanding of both the problems before us, and the available solutions, as contagious as possible.

At the same time, social media (facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc.) started to establish itself as a primary tool for marketing in general, but more importantly, as a vehicle for people with a unique perspective and vision to find, connect with, and empower their personal "tribe" of like-minded individuals (and hopefully fund their mission-work in the process).

Connecting the dots, I finally realized I had heard my calling (I had been looking for where to report for duty, for over 40 years). At The Hunger Project, I had already learned that whenever you try to substantially alter the status quo, the status quo fights back, so as to stay the same. One arena where this often manifests is around technology -- technology problems are usually exacerbated whenever the goal is to generate transformation. The larger the potential change, the greater the odds that some aspect of the technology will fail.

Human transformation can primarily be characterized as a change in viewpoint, world view, and consciousness. Along with the cognitive shifts, behaviors (must naturally) change. I realized two things -- 1) that people need support to change both their thinking and their habits, and 2) that most social media marketing systems and trainings are built to reinforce the status quo, rather than to transform it in the desired direction.

After nearly 50 years of wondering just how I might accomplish the big mission, and looking for where and how to "report for duty," I clearly saw my next steps. Thousands of these emerging world-changers were going to be drawn toward social media marketing -- to find and connect with their tribe, to deliver the transformation that is uniquely theirs to give, and to fund their work.

However, despite being more tech-friendly and tech-savvy than 90% of the world, I found the learning curve and the technology barriers around social media marketing to be nearly overwhelming. Noting that most of my beloved "world-changing woo-woo wild women" were primed to fail in at least their first attempts to harness the technology for their mission, and that most of their technology providers were ignorant of the transformation process, and of the special demands it puts on technology infrastructure, I suddenly had nightmare visions of most of these potential world-changers getting stopped in their tracks, or failing to unleash their tribe, because the world-changers don't understand the technology, nor how to recognize and ask for what they need (in a way that they actually end up getting it), and their technology providers don't understand how to design and build systems that meet their needs (e.g., tracking and supporting individuals through a process of profound change, where they are not the same person at the beginning, middle, and end of the process, and the process is likely to be ongoing, indefinitely -- this requires systems that are prepared to keep up with us as we discover our unlimitedness, while not demanding our unlimitedness just to get started in the game).

My focus is now on bridging technology and transformation. I am helping (typically non-tech-friendly) world-changers to understand (and appreciate) what they need from their technology systems, and how to ask for it. I am also helping their technology providers better under their needs, and how those needs are perhaps profoundly different from what technology has traditionally addressed. The simplest example is the user persona -- most systems are targeted at a particular kind of user, with a particular view of the world. What we need are systems that understand that our user is changing, and therefor their world is changing, and the way they see it is changing, and the way they need to interact with it and manage it is changing.

I have made ongoing personal transformation a habit, a lifestyle choice. That's what most of these emerging world-changers have done, or will do along the way. I'm designing and prototyping the apps I wish I had, that help me more clearly see where I'm at, and how I'm doing, on the inside, and tie and correlate that to all my work on the outside, where they give me just as much useful insight and support for what are my goals, and what are my plans to achieve them.

Since there isn't a framework out there already for how to not only connect with your tribe, and engage with them about your message, and somehow generate the needed revenue as a byproduct of that process, but most importantly to lead them through a journey where they are not the same as when they began, I'm now working to get one built, and built in a way that is open and inclusive so that we can use it to save ourselves from ourselves.

I was inspired by someone on one of those transformational webinar calls, who had taken on touching and empowering 10,000 others through their work. The light went on -- my world-changers need a system to help them transform 10,000 lives and unleash their tribe, and it has be both universal and completely unique, and since many of those tribes will overlap, it has to embody Collaboration Architecture, so that each individual is whole, and empowered, across their many tribal affiliations and work, and their personal mission, and their personal transformation journey.

I'm just formulating a project I'm calling 10Kby10K, calling together my own tribe of 10,000 world-changers, who each want to touch 10,000 others, in their unique way, while they are personally unfolding. I'm building the system for them, and for those they will touch. I could never justify the app I wish I had, just for me, but from the moment I realized that I needed to make it so it worked for everyone, everywhere, no matter how much they do or don't use it, because that is exactly what my world-changers need for themselves, and for their tribe, I have found myself to be unstoppably focused on getting this built and into people's hands, and to getting people who can share this vision onto my team to discover just what it needs to be to enable thousands to work together, and millions to be uniquely individual.

I am currently rewriting my book series with all of this in mind. I was blown away by my small group in the Pachamama Alliance's recent Game Changer Intensive program. We are still in monthly contact, and they inspire me beyond words with every call. In many ways, I'm rewriting the books, and designing the apps, for them, and all the other Pachamama game changers, because having you and them succeed in connecting with your tribe(s), and doing your work, and becoming who you need to be to fulfill your own vision for yourself, your tribe, and your world, is the most important thing I could possibly think of doing with my life.

I have been waiting for you a long time -- at least it seems that way from here, inside my life -- and I am so thrilled to have found you, and I so want to empower you to succeed. If you find yourself drawn to any of this, please reach out in any way that works for you. I would be honored to serve (with) you.

I've been a Facilitator since 2015.

If I could change the world

I would put women in charge, across the board, as much as possible. We have gone so far out of balance toward the masculine, for so many centuries, that only a radical rebalancing can possibly get us toward sustainability fast enough to save ourselves from ourselves.

This is who inspires me

Mother Nature herself inspires me the most. She proctored my earliest training, and I committed myself to achieving a sustainable human/earth relationship to her, and for her.