Fellows Network

Jerry Nagel

Meadowlark Institute, Co-Founder

Lake Park, Minnesota

Jerry believes strongly that participatory leadership and dialogue processes create communities and organizations where people are treated with respect and where there is an opportunity for all voices to be present and to be heard. These processes bring forth the knowledge, wisdom and leadership capacity that is within each of us, our organizations, and our communities.

Jerry received an MA in economics from the University of North Dakota in 1984. He received his PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Tilburg University, the Netherlands in May 2015, fulfilling a life-long dream. Jerry has attended the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University as a Fannie Mae Foundation Fellow.


Jerry is a co-founder and developer of the Worldview Intelligence program, a new approach to leadership development, conflict resolution and innovation. As a leadership practice, Worldview Intelligence offers individuals, organizations and communities the skills and ability to work with and hold differing and multiple worldviews simultaneously. Worldview Intelligence programs have been offered in large and small communities and organizations, professional associations, universities, health care organizations, and in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia.


Jerry also serves as the President of the Meadowlark Institute. The Meadowlark Institute trains and supports leaders in the Art of Participatory Leadership and the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations program and in customized leadership programs for individuals, businesses and organizations. The Institute also provides intergenerational and intercultural transformational leadership learning experiences focused on developing our collective capacities to work together. Institute staff and associates are experienced practitioners in community and organizational dialogues for team building, strategic and action planning, consensus building, and cross-institutional collaboration. Jerry is an experienced trainer in the Art of Participatory Leadership program. He regularly gives presentations and seminars on transformational and participatory leadership. He has also designed custom leadership programs for organizations.

He is deeply committed to hosting meaningful conversations around many of our most difficult issues, including race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and political and economic power. Jerry is a Steward in the Art of Hosting Community of Practice and a Flow Game practitioner. As a fourth generation North Dakotan, he has a deep respect for our connections to the land and places we each come from.

Jerry has been a change agent throughout his life beginning with his work in 1971 in the Volunteers for Reconciliation program, founding the first renewable energy organization in North Dakota in 1976, and working with migrant farmworkers in the late 1970s. He has worked in various initiatives to preserve rural landscapes, support thriving rural communities and develop renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and producer cooperatives.

Updated April 2018