Katy Mamen

Systems change, Culture change, Strategy
United States
Katy Mamen
Katy Mamen is a principal and founder of Water Bear Collaborative, a consultancy that supports leaders in the social sector to envision and implement system-informed strategies in service of social justice and ecological health. Her work with individuals, teams, and networks helps to foster collaborative leadership, find common ground in diverse views, and facilitate the emergence of structures and culture that support lasting change. Her clients have ranged from nonprofits such as the Sierra Club and the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, philanthropic institutions including the Water Foundation and the Energy Foundation, and networks such as Regenerate IL and the global Social Gastronomy Movement. Katy previously managed multi-stakeholder policy roundtables and led the California Food System Alliance Network as Director of Programs at Ag Innovations. Before turning squarely to process work, Katy studied emergence in complex systems and the importance of traditional knowledge in agriculture while pursuing a Masters in Holistic Science at Schumacher College in the UK. Her work with an international think tank researching the impacts of the international mining sector on indigenous communities laid the foundation for a deep interest in how different ways of knowing come together. Katy has supported traditional agrarian communities in Central and South America, Asia, Europe and North America, and currently lives in a rural, consensus-based intentional community in northern California, where she honed her group process skills and continues to live with her partner and daughter.

Geographic experience

North America, Continental Europe, South Asia, South-East Asia, LatAm



Experience as a coach (formal/informal)

Several years

Experience as a facilitator

15 years

UFacilitator stage

Independent Project Lead

Katy will be great at leading projects particularly at the intersection of ecology and social justice that navigate diverse perspectives. She brings content expertise in climate, food, and agriculture, and water, and especially enjoys projects with a strategic dimension.


Food and agriculture, water, international food systems, environmental sustainability, public health, natural resource management


  • Food and agriculture, water, international food systems, environmental sustainability, public health
  • Methodologies creatively used: Systems change, awareness-based systems change, systemic convening, network mapping, Theory U
  • Able to adapt to different situations as needed
  • Social change strategy
  • Expertise in working on complex, multi-stakeholder projects
  • Great at coaching people in the skill of facilitation, making the coachee feel comfortable

Areas of development and learning

  • Continuing to hone the practice

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