John Renesch

John Renesch is a futurist with a business background, social activist, speaker and author, having published numerous books, many of which are collections of original essays he compiled between 1990 and 1997.


Renesch is a fourth generation Californian and spent three decades as a business entrepreneur, serving as CEO for many of the businesses he founder or co-founded. In the mid-1970s he embarked upon a journey of self discovery which led him to his present work.

He started his first business when he was 18, the beginning of an entrepreneurial career that spanned over 30 years. As he learned more about human potential and organization behavior he became intrigued with why people weren't able to create more effective and vital organizations. While serving as Managing Director for his real estate partnership, he discovered systems thinking. He became a Founding Trustee of the World Business Academy in the late 1980s, and was awarded their first Willis Harman Award as a member in early 1990. He was subsequently asked to serve as its Managing Director, a position he held from mid-1990 to early 1992. From 1990 to 1997, he served as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of New Leaders Press, dedicated to publishing progressive business books and the bi-monthly periodical The New Leaders.

Renesch created twelve anthologies on the subject of business and transformation in addition to the books he's authored on his own. Contributing authors to these collections have included many of the luminaries of the progressive thinking movement in business including USC leadership scholar [Warren Bennis], Britain's management guru Charles Handy, Tom Peters, The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, Mikhail Gorbachev, Riane Eisler, Gary Zukav, Peter Senge, Stanford Business School Michael Ray, Meg Wheatley and many others. In all, 300 authors contributed essays to Renesch's collections which he edited.

Renesch is a member of the practitioner faculty for the Center for Leadership Studies which offers Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) degrees. He also lectures at universities and business schools around the world. He is a member of the Global Futures Forum, Shaping Tomorrow Forseight Network and a former member and advisor to the World Future Society.

In 2000, he co-founded The Presidio Dialogues and hosted their monthly public gatherings until he turned it over to the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center at the beginning of 2005. The Dialogues aim is to foster deeper conversations about basic human issues that are often avoided in the workplace.

Renesch has written articles for numerous publications including the World Future Society, Directors Monthly, and the International Society of Philosophers and The Club of Amsterdam, .

He has also been interviewed by organizations such as Forbes Magazine (Brazil), Nikkei Financial Times, Chief Executive magazine, Strategy + Business, Management Today (CNBC-TV), Women's Radio News and Business News Network

The Presidio Dialogues

The Presidio Dialgoues is a monthly series of evening gatherings in San Francisco which are focused on conscious business. Renesch hosted the meetings for four years before turning it over to the Saybrook Graduate School & Research Center at the beginning of 2005. Monthly programs open to the public feature multiple Dialogue Starters, usually prominent authors or business leaders with some expertise on the evening’s theme. Renesch is a member of the Leadership Council for the Dialogues.

International Spirit at Work Awards

The International Spirit at Work Awards honors exemplary organizations that are committed to nurturing the human spirit. Renesch helped launch the Awards in 2002 and served as co-host of the annual ceremony in 2002, 2006 and 2007. There is no single "winner" of this award. Honorees are selected from among nominated organizations and past honorees have numbered as low as five and as many as nine. Honorees from each year can be found at the website.

Articles & Publications


  • 2005 – Getting to the Better Future: A Matter of Conscious Choosing (2005 edition with Epilogue), San Francisco, New Business Press
  • 2002 – Leadership in a New Era: Visionary Approaches to the Biggest Crisis of Our Time, New York, Paraview Special Editions
  • 2000 – Getting to the Better Future: A Matter of Conscious Choosing, San Francisco, New Business Press
  • 1996 – The New Bottom Line: Bringing Heart & Soul to Business (with Bill DeFoore), San Francisco, New Leaders Press
  • 1996 - Rediscovering the Soul of Business: A Renaissance of Values (with Bill DeFoore), San Francisco, New Leaders Press
  • 1995 - Learning Organizations: Developing Cultures for Tomorrow’s Workplace (with Sarita Chawla), Portland, OR, Productivity Press
  • 1994 – The New Entrepreneurs: Business Visionaries for the 21st Century (with Michael Ray), San Francisco, New Leaders Press
  • 1994 – Leadership in a New Era: Visionary Approaches to the Biggest Crisis of Our Time, San Francisco, New Leaders Press
  • 1992 – New Traditions in Business: Spirit and Leadership in the 21st Century, San Francisco, Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 1983 – Setting Goals, San Francisco, Context Publications


External links

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