“The Studio is the antidote to business as usual.”
Our vision for The Studio is a world where artistry is valued and reclaimed as an inheritance of being human and a place where the creative self is elevated at work and beyond. The circular act of artistry—intention, creation, refinement, offering and receiving—is akin to both the artist and the leader. The Studio is a place of practice where leaders can experiment with and deepen their own unique version of leadership through artistry.
All of our gatherings are designed to create space for the mysterious to unfold and reveal deeper, more provocative truths about our place in the world, be it at work or in our personal lives.
The Studio exists to invite, inspire and guide people to move into their own form of lived artistry, so that people rediscover their primordial foundation as creators, connectors, and communicators.
The Studio bios
Libby Wagner is a poet, teacher, writer and speaker who works with organizations large and small, and leaders across the globe, to create the kind of lasting and powerful impact they desire, whether it’s through their unique approach to work, the language they use to influence and create, or the relationships they build. She is one of the only poets working in organizations where she inspires others to access and express their artistry, even when they might not normally describe themselves as creative or innovative. Libby is a trusted advisor for presidents, CEOs and executive directors, and her work has shaped the cultures of numerous Fortune 500 clients, including The Boeing Company, Nike, Philips, SAP, Diageo and Costco. Libby is a founding faculty member of the Institute of Conversational Leadership and Invitas with poet David Whyte, and she was honored as a Nellie Cashman Woman Business Owner of the Year in 2014. She has been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review.
Libby is the author of Amazon Best-Seller, The Influencing Option: The Art of Building a Profit Culture in Business (2010), What Will You Do With Your 90,000 Hours? The Boardroom Poet’s Thoughts on Work (2016) and three collections of poems, including Like This, Like That (2002), Somehow (2012) and Dancing on the Summer Lawn (NP). She collaborates with Irish musician and composer Owen Ó Súilleabháin in live performance and audio recordings. Together they’ve created Harvest (2015), an audio collection of poems and original music, and the genre-breaking Now This (2017), an embodied experience of spoken word poetry. Libby has a Masters of Fine Arts in Poetry.
Libby has worked with hundreds of individuals to inspire and teach them to locate and express their voices in their writing, work, and creative lives.
Owen Ó Súilleabháin is a singer and composer from Ireland, who draws on his background in philosophy, Greek and Roman civilizations, and peace studies to inspire creativity in individuals and organizations. Owen works with leaders to unlock the sensibilities of listening into areas where it’s most in need. He introduces creative and dynamic methods of listening, to enable more powerful communication and enliven transformation. Owen’s approach to leadership has emerged from his dedicated apprenticeships with the poet David Whyte.
As an artist, Owen has performed in more than a dozen countries and collaborated with Riverdance composer Bill Whelan, violinist Nigel Kennedy, actor Russell Crowe, director Steven Spielberg, and Irish traditional music legends The Chieftains. His mother Noírín Ni Riain is a leading sacred singer and theologian, and his father Mícheál is a pioneering national composer and founder of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Drawing from this musical inheritance, Owen has released eight albums of both ancient and contemporary song.
Now based in the United States, Owen works with clients in some of today’s most challenging industries, from education to healthcare to the corporate world. He has composed songs for both The Teaching Channel—dedicated to more effective teaching in America’s schools—and the Storytelling Project at Stanford University. He has worked on the role of listening in healing and transformation for a California public hospital affected by gang violence. He has performed for industry leaders at the Center for Professional Excellence at the University of Texas San Antonio and at JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Studios in Hollywood. Each summer, Owen curates and leads journeys of art and spirit in the Golden Vale region of Ireland.
To live and work wholeheartedly, with meaning and purpose, business leaders must know what they stand for and how to instill their beliefs in action. Steve is on a mission to help organizations and their leaders rise to their potential and make a positive impact on the world of their customers.
Over the past 25 years, he has worked as a leader and innovator on brand strategy, organizational life, humanized marketing and wholehearted leadership with artistry. He’s been honored to work with more than 250 global, national and regional companies and 3,000 business leaders ranging from brands in consumer products, consumer electronics, education, government, non-profit, sports, and entertainment.
Steve is a frequent speaker at events locally and nationally, including Creative Mornings, CES, HOW Conference, Social Venture Network, American Marketing Association, and AIGA conferences. His TEDx talk is entitled The Beautiful Business. He is regularly hired for in-house corporate keynotes, retreats, and workshops for organizations that include Samsung, LG, Academy for Professional Excellence, and the Port of San Diego. He’s a frequent guest on podcasts and radio shows across the US and Europe and is a celebrity guest host on BISTalk Radio (on the ESPN broadcast network).
Steve has written and published two books, including The Evolved Brand and his new book The Beautiful Business: An Actionable Manifesto to Create an Unignorable Business with Love at the Core (published in the fall of 2021), based on his TEDx talk of the same name.
Also, his creative and thought leadership has been included in Business Week, Brand Week, Wisdom Well, Retail Observer, Conscious Company Magazine, MarketingProfs, and HOW Magazines, among others.
Part of Steve’s work includes leading his brand and culture evolution consultancy Matter Consluting. His clients include global organizations such as Samsung, Sony, International Trademark Association, Habitat for Humanity, NFL and MLB, Northwestern University, and regional organizations such as Academy for Professional Excellence, Port of San Diego, Fleet Science Center, and SDSU.
He has taught at Salisbury State University, Temple University, Tyler School of Art, San Diego State University and San Diego City College. He has an MFA from Temple University, Tyler School of Art.