The Generative Council


A multigenerational leadership community of generous and wildly diverse women in nature

When was the last time you stopped and listened? Long enough for the busyness of your mind to fade. Long enough to hear the dance of the aspen leaves on the trees. Long enough to let your inner voice be heard?

When was the last time you let yourself sit with your thoughts? Completely disconnected from technology and completely connected to yourself and your surroundings?

The secret to creating inspired change in yourself and your communities isn’t to simply push yourself harder.

It's to stop and listen.

There’s a deep intelligence, purity, and wisdom in the space before thoughts. Where confidence is abundant, clarity emerges, and innovation and creativity occur effortlessly.

It goes beyond logical and strategic thought. It’s a place of empowerment, where you know what allows you to thrive and what should be left to others. When you dare to let your mind wander down new paths, amazing things begin to unfold.  

So how do you open the door to this (sometimes illusive) place of insight?  

You join together with others who care passionately about being on the same journey, and see it from different vantage points in places that inspire reflection, insight, and connection.

The Generative Council is a multigenerational leadership incubator of generous, wise, and wildly diverse women in nature.

With nature as our first and greatest mentor, and the latest professional development tools in-hand, we’ll explore new ways of being in relationship with ourselves, our work, each other and the land.  

Whether you’re starting your career, considering ways to give back, or somewhere in between, the Generative Council will provide you with vibrant, new approaches to problem-solving and a deep network of brilliant engaged women leaders.  

The result: You’ll show up as a heart-forward, generative leader to create inspired change in your life and the communities you work and live in.  

“The Council helps me bring deep commitment and passion to the world of work. It's helped me focus on doing work that matters, without fear. This has been hugely influential as I've transitioned to a new career.”

- Kathy Hipple

“The Generative Council creates this rich long pause. There is so much wisdom in the pause. Wisdom from the other women, from nature and from myself sitting in contemplation. Wisdom for what? To live more fully, more purposefully, and to be more present.” 

– Holly Meyer

“The Generative Council has expanded my sense of self as a woman leader and helped members communicate their mission and vision so they change themselves and their world.”  

- Denise Harrington

Forget what you know about leadership development

This isn’t your typical, one-time leadership retreat or program.  

It’s a living, breathing community of professional women who intuitively understand that leadership is not the act of leading others -- it’s the courage and humility to follow what is true.  

No boundaries. No judgment. No ego. Just a safe and wild space for reflection, exploration and discovery.  

The only prerequisite is your genuine willingness to give what you can and take what you need from this incredible, wise and diverse group of women leaders from across generations and professional settings.  

The Experience


Imagine going into 2018 knowing that you’re investing in yourself with five days of creative focus and blissful solitude every six months.

Can you really say “no” to that? at’s five days every six months!  


We’ll gather in three different venues of wild magnificence to expand your diverse, creative connections to Nature. 


Women (like you) who are inspired to make their lives, their work, and their communities better. We do our best to ensure diversity of age, professions, life experience, and cultural and ethnic background.


It's more than a network.

It's an ever-growing community of diverse, professional women who’ve shared the same nature-based experience and who know you well enough to serve as advisors whenever you’re in need. 

(You won't get that a conference or retreat.)


We’re not hiding the commitment in an obscure footnote. An intentional part of the design is to create a shared familiarity of growing accountability and kinship over the coming year. It’s the perfect length of time to witness growth in yourself, and your fellow Council members.

We’ll gather three times over the span of twelve months. To recap, that’s three, five-day gatherings over the course of a year. (Plus monthly check-ins to keep the energy and growth alive.)  

Current members include leaders from

and other forward-thinking businesses, solo-preneurs, and individual women who value investing in their leadership.

Developed by Beverly Winterscheid, Ph.D. and Darcy Winslow

I reached out to Darcy with a vision I had been holding after years as an MBA professor teaching leadership in stuffy classrooms. I envisioned a space where people could focus on the topics that were most important to them. 

A women-only professional network -- distinctively different -- by meeting in wild venues where people shed their roles, to-do items, and technology, free to focus on the topics most important in their lives...leadership development, change management, personal growth and life planning. 

She immediately "got it" and from there, we co-designed the Generative Council experience. 

Can you tell me more about who’s participated in the past?

From access to clean drinking water in India, to global reproductive health, food programs, public education, conservation, sustainable financing, and scholarships for adolescent girls in Africa, the women of the Generative Council are championing inspiring initiatives for businesses across the country. 

While the reach of some members extends across the globe, others are making their impact closer to home, embracing new roles as caregivers, or exploring solo-preneurial opportunities on the side.

After five years, one thing is clear. The formula of the Generative Council works. Members of the first two cohorts are still showing up at the annual reunion gatherings. On the phone each month and in person. Eagerly awaiting the opportunity to connect with each other and the land.

A true testament to the power of bringing together inspired women leaders in nature!

I would love to speak with people who have already participated. Can I do that?

Absolutely. There are plenty of Council members who will gladly chat with you, give you a sense of how they were feeling before they signed up and be present to address any questions, concerns, doubts or hesitations you may have. Just shoot us a note at and we’ll be happy to connect you.  

What if I’m in transition and trying to figure out my next move?

Then honestly, this is the place for you. Sometimes when we're trying reenvision ourselves our day-to-day networks just don't cut it. Instead of only seeing you for who you are now, the Council sees you for who you want to become. And supports you as you move towards your new vision.

I’m a baby boomer and am winding up my career. Is there a place for me?

This is the beauty of the Generative Council! You’re in the midst of new career and life transitions that everyone benefits from. You can now take the time to mentor others, consider encore careers, reflect on other aspects of your life that deserve attention, or other contributions to your community that you might like to make. Most of these experiences will be new and different, and you’ll have the space and insight from others to map your next steps. 

Where will the gatherings be held?

We’re always exploring new venues, but past participants have found incredible power, peace and inspiration from our unique gathering spots including: Teton Science School (Wyoming), Ghost Ranch (New Mexico), Crestone (Colorado) and Tailwinds Jungle Lodge (Mexico). 

I'm ready, when does it start?

The next cohort of the Generative Council launches in May 2018!  

We've selected three very different ecosystems chosen to evoke the best of your intellect and creativity, ranging from the mountains to tropical beaches.

May 2018: Murie Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY

September 2018: Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM

April 2019: Tailwind Jungle Lodge, Puerto Vallarta, MX  

Who are the guides?

We have two primary guides for all three sessions.

Beverly Winterscheid, Ph.D.

I'm a ‎mentor and motivator for change agents, social entrepreneurs and leaders wanting to make their organizations and the world a better place.

As the Founding Partner of the Center for Nature and Leadership and former Leadership Professor in the Bard and Marlboro Colleges' Sustainability MBA programs, I've dedicated my career to coaching people to recognize and use their best talents in service to something greater than themselves.  

Since Nature is my greatest teacher, you'll often find me "working at my offices" sailing in the Bahamas or hiking the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  

Jennifer Simpson, Ph.D.

Both my professional training and 20+ years of experience working in complex organizations around the globe has confirmed my belief that humans operate from similar needs wherever they are. 

And, that when people feel held in community and see the valuable difference they can make, extraordinary things become possible.

I've dedicated my life (and career) to creating more healthy, rewarding and effective communities and organizations. After 20 years in the outdoor mecca of Boulder, Colorado, I know firsthand the restorative power of time in Nature.

How much does it cost?

Program tuition is $6,000 and includes:  

- Guiding fees and materials for each gathering 

- Leadership competency self-assessment that can include feedback from others, and interpretation/discussion with the program guides  

- Two hours of one-on-one coaching with the program guides 

- Monthly peer coaching to deepen into community 

- Monthly virtual councils to keep the energy and growth alive  

Room, board and travel costs are not included.  

If you’re an emerging leader who wants to invest in yourself, but simply can’t swing the entire bill right now, we totally understand. You’re the reason we developed a generative scholarship fund. We know once you’re in the position to pay it forward, you will. Until then, you can use this form to let us know your current situation.

If you happen to already be in a position to pay it forward, consider supporting an emerging woman through our scholarship fund.

Can you help me convince my boss to sponsor me?

Of course! Several of our past members had forward thinking companies who paid for their tuition, travel expenses, and room and board.

We've put together a few documents to help you convince your boss.

Take This To Your Boss or HR Department

Top 6 Arguments to Join the Generative Council 

I still have more questions. Can I talk to you? 

Without hesitation! Just reach out to us at and we’ll find a time to connect.

If you're craving a deeper, more meaningful and intimate women's leadership experience that get's you out of town every six months, THIS IS IT. 

So what are you waiting for? Let us know you're interested! 

© 2017 | Center for Nature and Leadership