Cedar graphic
Website graphic

Hollyhock Presenters

Website graphic

Our presenters are curated for their quality, depth, integrity, and alignment with our educational purpose. Since 1982, a distinguished faculty of authors, educators, activists, artists, performers, and practitioners have shared their work at our Cortes Island campus and in Vancouver.

People smiling at Activate 2023 Hollyhock Leadership Institute

Gayle Karen Young Whyte

Gayle Karen Young Whyte believes the world needs more leaders who are “able for” what lies ahead, who have developed the capacity to meet the complexity of global challenges. Working in the field of leadership for the past two decades, it has become abundantly clear to her that there are the visible, tangible, practical, and pragmatic aspects of leadership that need to be executed on a day-by-day basis, and then there is the work of caring for the spaces between people, of seeing complexity and interdependencies, of understanding relationships and power and all the ephemeral things that still excise tremendous influence on the day-to-day behavior of people. Thus it is the invisible work of leadership, the work of showing up, setting culture, and creating spaces for others to thrive that is the focus of her work. She believes in meeting people and systems wherever they are, and then developing people to work with the full range of who they are to meet the full complexity of the organizational system and operating ecosystem, working with the intangible but critically necessary human substructures to move a strategy forward.

Gayle is a cultural architect and a catalyst for human and organizational development. She comes from a rich organizational consulting background with both corporate and nonprofit clients. She was in the process of becoming a Zen monk when she became an executive instead, taking on the role of Chief Culture and Talent Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation (CHRO for Wikipedia and its sister free-knowledge projects) until early 2015 when she joined Cultivating Leadership. From high-level strategic thinking to practical implementation, her skills include leadership development, change management, facilitation, training, strategic communications, speaking, team building, and personal and organizational transformation.

Gayle holds a Masters degree in Organizational Psychology. Gayle is passionate about global women’s issues and supporting women in leadership. She is also very much a geek that loves attending Comic-Con and reading science fiction, which inspires a passion for technology and its leverage for societal change. She is keenly interested in the intersection of technology and human rights and supports futurist humanitarian causes. She lives in both San Francisco, California, and Whidbey Island, Washington.


Attribution: Myleen Hollero / Wikimedia Foundation / Cc-by-sa-3.0