Nate Stephens

Systems change, Culture change, Teambuilding, Product or service design
United States
Nate Stephens
Nate Stephens is an organizational change facilitator and systems convener with a passion for challenging power dynamics and bringing diverse groups together. Nate has worked in diverse sectors and communities to develop participatory and iterative processes, with experience working with teams, offices, multinational organizations, and international networks. Nate currently manages the Anchor Collaborative Network at The Democracy Collaborative, consisting of more than 25 cities and communities convening spaces for local anchor institutions to contribute capital to equitable and inclusive economic development. These place-based collaboratives made up of communities, anchor institutions, governments, and backbone organizations are exploring diverse approaches to build community wealth and democratize their local economies. Prior to joining The Democracy Collaborative, Nate was a senior technical officer at Root Change, a DC-based NGO working to build systems change capacity and test community-led approaches in the international development sector. In managing programs with organizations and networks in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia, Nate designed and facilitated more than three dozen workshops and trainings in English, Spanish, and French. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, Nate co-founded a rural entrepreneurship training center and rabbit-raising cooperative with 150 members, more than 300 people trained in micro-enterprise development, and four satellite campuses. Nate has an MPA with a concentration in Power in Development Systems from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and a BA in Anthropology/Sociology with a concentration in Educational Studies from Carleton College in Minnesota. He grew up on a cattle ranch in the Black Hills of South Dakota where his passion for creative problem solving began.

Geographic experience

North America


English, French, Spanish

Experience as a coach (formal/informal)

7 years

Experience as a facilitator

10 years

UFacilitator stage


Nate would be great at leading projects around long-term systemic/organizational development projects that involve multiple countries and different stakeholders. Nate is less interested in short-term, one-off projects such as team building.


Community economic development, democracy and governance, child and youth development, agriculture, scientific work


  • Community economic development, democracy, and governance (accountability), child and youth development, agriculture, scientific work
  • Methodologies creatively used: Human-Centred Design and design thinking, Liberating Structures, Organizational Development, Change management, Lean experimentation, Social Network Analysis, Appreciative Inquiry, Systems thinking, Theory U
  • Global projects with international organizations, great at such complex, long-term projects
  • Great at managing anxiety and adapting in the face of ambiguity
  • Great at facilitation process design and group organizing
  • Great at coaching people in the skill of facilitation

Areas of development and learning

  • Keen to push his capability as a coach and as a leader

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