Dara Barlin


  • Coach
  • Consultant
  • Speaker
  • Workshop Facilitator

Dara Barlin is a best-selling author and shameless instigator of positive change. With 20+ years experience facilitating trust-building conversations, transforming policy and leading grassroots campaigns, she is the author of A New Kind of Power: Using Human-Centered Leadership to Drive Innovation, Equity and Belonging in Government Institutions.


Culture eats strategy for breakfast. So let's make culture work!

Belonging in Business Business Leadership Collaboration and Team Trust Conscious Leadership Cultural Equity Cultural Transformation Diversity and Inclusion Speakers Diversity and Inclusion Workshops Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Emotional Intelligence Emotional Intelligence and Empathy Emotional Intelligence Speakers Equity Speakers Human Potential Innovation and Teamwork Innovation Speakers LGBTQIA+ Speakers Mental Health in Business Mindset Neuroscience and Business Organizational Development Organizational Psychology Psychology of Happiness Self-Care for Leaders Social Impact Women in Diversity

Popular Talks

Creating an Excellent Employee Experience

This presentation focuses helping leaders see the blinds spots as to why employee experiences are often so difficult and how it is leading to high rates of apathy and attrition. Additionally, it offers a bold new way of thinking about leadership that enables all employees to feel cherished and motivated to take their work to the next level.

Creating Unity in Our Divided World

Our country has reached painful new levels of polarization. The Right only listens to the Right. The Left only listens to the Left. In our workplaces and in our families, this is leading to a number of negative effects including lead to conflict, gossip, apathy, and people just giving up on each other. There is actually a solution to this issue which can heal the painful divides, and help people hear each other better so that new innovative solutions can emerge. This session will teach how to put this solution to work in your organization or at home.

Workshops, Coaching, & Consulting


Advocating for Positive Change Navigating large bureaucratic institutions to get buy-in for ideas, even great ones, can be challenging. If you don’t know the right people or have the right pitch, your powerful idea that could make schools a lot better may go unrealized. Participants in this course learn methods for getting their ideas noticed. They engage in hands-on, inquiry-based learning to understand how to convince decision-makers to buy into their ideas for improvement in an age of competing priorities. Participants will learn and practice: effective communication skills, collecting meaningful data, the art of storytelling, building influential partnerships and more.

Bridge-Builder’s Workshop: Using 360 Empathy to Support Equity, Fairness and Community Healing Many efforts to talk about equity and inclusion can create rifts in the community that can distract from the work of supporting school success. CTC has designed a four step system to support conversations about racial justice and anti-bias initiatives in ways that foster deep listening, reflection and genuine shifts in thinking, without surfacing feelings of defensiveness or conflict.

Change Made Easy with the Kaleidoscope Method Let’s face it, change is hard! There are so many moving parts, so little capacity to support all of the pieces, and usually not enough buy-in to sustain the momentum to see the changes through. On the other hand, change with the Kaleidoscope Method is easy! Participants attending this session learn a simple step-by-step protocol to create positive change with full-ownership of staff, capacity to implement changes, easy coordination. Plus, participants learn how to create a strategic plan in two hours or less! This method has been touted as a model strategy for creating positive change by former advisors to President Barack Obama and the United Nations. Additional benefits of this method include: improved trust, collaboration, employee engagement, and innovation.


My group, the Center for Transforming Culture (CTC) provides executive coaching support to help leaders reduce conflict and create the conditions for high-performing teams.


CTC works with organizations to identify their workplace culture strengths and challenges. Then, we help leaders craft and implement strategic plans that support improvement so that collaboration, innovation and productivity thrive.

“Dara Barlin (and her group) provided thoughtful, engaging, interactive facilitation of our discussions about tough policy issues. The best facilitation I’ve ever seen, actually.”
– Senator Barbara Bollier, State of Kansas

“Their techniques are superlative. They listen to the people they work with and never fail to find a creative and interesting way to help us accomplish our desired goals. Their positive outlook and collaborative perspectives make them one of my favorite groups to work with.”
– Judi Fenton, Office of Leadership at NYC Department of Education

"The best organizing campaign around a single focal point for change I’ve ever seen."

Dara Barlin has over two decades of experience facilitating trust-building conversations, conducting research to inform policy, and leading grassroots campaigns for positive change.

Dara’s research has been featured in the United Nations, U.S. Congress, Institute for Public Policy Research, and Harvard Education Spotlight Series. Her organizing campaigns for policy change have been touted as outstanding models by Human Rights, White House and State Department leaders.

In 2012, she led a global campaign that helped to build trust and develop a common blueprint for positive change across 97 countries. More recently, in response to the mental health crisis spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dara initiated a campaign to bring more effective communication skills to households around the world through gamification.

Dara has a Masters with honors in Public Policy from the London School of Economics, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Barnard College.

Let’s collaborate to ensure a transformative experience.