John O'Connell

John O'Connell+Image

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About me


John has forty years of experience and expertise in facilitation, organization development, training, teaching and coaching: 

  • Beginning in 1971 as a Consultant to the Federal Corrections Institution (Male 18-26yo,) Milan, MI and working as a Consultant and Senior Counselor in an innovative juvenile delinquent program for teenage girls in Ann Arbor, MI, while in the grad school program in “Planned Change” founded by Ron Lippit and James McConnell at the University of Michigan.
  • Co-Founder and Co-Director of the NEW GAMES FOUNDATION, AND Co-author of “The New Games Book,” “More New Games,” and Leadership Development Through Games,” w/Dr. Bill Michaelis, Ph.D.
  • Lead Designer, Head Trainer and Chief of Publicity for “The New Games Training Program” – approximately 75,000 persons trained, in the US and Internationally,) from education, recreation, business, youth development programs, 
  • Mediator and Director of Mediation Services for American Intermediation Services.
  • Founder, Principal and Managing Director for Interplay Network, IN) Organization Development and Training Services, working with managers and Executive Teams in companies from a 6 person start up to Fortune 10 companies.
  •  Served as Consultant to the Leadership and Management Teams and later Senior Vice-President at UCSF – Stanford Medical ($1.5B annual budget, 15,000 employees) where he introduced Whole-Scale Strategy Meetings to bring together Executives, Senior Managers and Frontline Managers to plan and coordinate the integration of four major hospital groups to become the premier medical centers in California.
  • Managing Director for Catalyst Consulting Team, Soquel, CA (along with MD for IN)
  • Founder and Executive Director of The World Peace Campaign and the 50-Year Time Out for Peace Plan, a 501c3, not for profit, public benefit corporation.

He is currently writing “The World Peace Campaign and the 50-Year Time Out for Peace Plan: Saving the World, Saving Our Children, Saving Ourselves!

John holds a Sandan Certificate in Aikido (3rd degree Blackbelt, 1986, Robert Nadeau Sensei, Aikido of San Francisco). He was introduced to Aikido by Nadeau Sensei in 1973 and began training regularly at Aikido of SF in 1978, after moving to SF.  He trained extensively with Frank Doran, Terry Dobson, Bruce Klickstein (he was Uchi Deshi to Bruce Klingstein Sensei) and Bill Witt Senseis, along with many other senior instructors from around the US and the world. He recieved his Shodan in 1980, his Nidan in 1982, and his Sandan in 1986.

1n 1986, John Co-Founded Aikido of Noe Valley (SF, CA) with fellow mediator Tony Piazza, acting as “Dojo Cho,” Senior Instructor until 1999, after which he turned over that roll to Stevan Gengo, Godan.

John currently trains at Aikido of Alamo, with his friend Scott Berg, Rokudan and is currently semi-retired from consulting and lives in Oakland, CA.




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