The Human Venture Institute was established in 2013 to extend the work of Ken Low and Human Learning Ecology. The institute’s work includes human venture exploration, mapping, programming and resource development which support capacity development required by individuals, organizations and societies to meet the challenges and opportunities of our time.

Ken Low is the founder and president of the Action Studies Institute [est. 1983], dedicated to mapping out the dynamics of adaptive intelligence in human systems and pioneering the development of a new discipline – Human Learning Ecology.

The driving motivation behind this research is the need to understand the underlying causes of adaptive and maladaptive development and behavior in individuals, organizations, societies, and cultures. The research draws on successes and failures of human learning and activity across cultures, sectors, disciplines and periods of history. The patterns of emerging adaptive intelligence found in the human story provide a structure for the human venture, a disciplined framework for understanding human progress, folly and resistance, including the systemic adaptive challenges facing humanity at our time and place in history, and what it will take to meet them.

Ken’s work includes the Calgary Board of Education (1970-1983), Co-founder of the Calgary Council of Advanced Technology, Co-founder of the Calgary Crisis Centre & Vice-chairman of A.A.D.A.C, author of the national training manual on addictions prevention for Canadian Health & Welfare, Alberta Commission on Tolerance and Understanding and the Nunavik Education Task Force.

In 2015, the Human Venture Leadership organization was established by merging two existing human venture programs, Leadership Calgary and Leadership Edmonton. Human Venture Leadership is a charitable organization responsible for delivering human venture learning programs.

Elizabeth Dozois has facilitated Human Venture workshops and introductory programs for over ten years. She and Ken Low co-wrote “On the Frontier of Human and Social Development: A Guide for Pioneer Leaders”.

Elizabeth also been providing research, evaluation and strategic support to the non-profit and public sectors in Calgary and other regions for over 20 years, and has a particular interest in supporting adaptive learning in complex and emergent initiatives. 

The Human Venture community is comprised of caring individuals who are committed to ongoing research and learning by exploring Human Learning Ecology in their chosen fields of endeavour. Our 800+ alumni represent the non-profit, corporate, government, and academic sectors. Whether it’s agriculture, education, project management or technology, our combined efforts help to further our understanding of leading edge human and social development.

Board Members

Natalie
Muyres

HVI Director

Societal Change

Natalie works in organizational culture, change and project management. She is currently working with organizations on the prevention of human tracking and completing a masters in anthropology.

Chris
Hsiung

HVI & HVL Director

Human
Stories

Chris is a filmmaker and media producer focused on social issues. His work includes Elder in the Making and Fox Chaser. Chris also produces videos for museums, such as his Indigenous Stories at the Royal Alberta Museum.

Blythe
Butler

HVI Director

Capacity
Building

Blythe’s work focuses on change management, network analysis, strategy, evaluation and facilitation for organizations seeking adaptive responses to emergent social change challenges.

Jason
Low

HVI Director

Systems
Thinking

Jason has a wealth of experience working in information technology and technical systems. Jason works to engage people in understanding human learning and conduct dynamics as they interface with technology.

Mark
Hopkins

HVL Director

Frame
Breaking

Mark is Co-Artistic Director of Swallow a Cycle Theatre. Mark helps others to think beyond convention and explore radical ideas. Mark has facilitated Human Venture programs through the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women.

Lindsay
Mitchell

HVL Director

Learning and
Striving

Lindsay has a breadth of experience from civil engineer to community development to social social-cultural innovation. Lindsay has also been leading Human Venture Parenting discussion and learning circles.

Dana
Penrice

HVI & HVL Director

Ecological
Relationship

Dana is a farmer and works to guide fellow farmers transitioning to regenerative practices that improve the health of ecosystems and human communities. She also works with groups focused on food system change.

Laura
Kennett

HVL Director

Energy Adaptation

Laura works to build the capacity of individuals and companies in the energy sector to adapt to existing and emerging threats and opportunities in ways that fulfill our co-responsibilities to humanity and the planet.

Human Venture Associates

Associates support the growth and development of the Human Venture learning communities, extend the work and structure it so that it carries on beyond our lifetimes.

  • Barry Pauw – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Chris Hsiung – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Dana Penrice – Shoal Lake, Manitoba, Canada
  • Eyab Alaini – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Elizabeth, Dozois – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Harold Semenuk – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Ian Tomaszewski – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Jason Low – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Kim Rowe – Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
  • Lindsay Mitchell – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Laura Kennett – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Mark Hopkins – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Natalie Muyres – Calgary, Alberta, Canada