Joanne Chu


Dr. Joanne Chu is the founder and principal of EcoEthos Solutions. Her work helps organizations and their leaders better operationalize their missions with more joy and purpose. She is a skilled practitioner, trainer and coach of collaborative leadership best practices. Her approaches have helped K-12, higher education institutions, and environmental non-profits, better achieve their organizational missions. She also works with leaders and leadership teams from a wide-range of industries to develop culture and collaborative approaches that support complex problem-solving.

Dr. Chu began her career in higher education as an assistant professor of Biology at Spelman College where she developed and taught courses in biology and neuroscience. Dr Chu was Scholar-in-Residence in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Agnes Scott College, where she facilitated college-wide conversations about sustainability and the curriculum, and co-directed its first education for sustainability faculty development program. Dr. Chu taught neuroscience and psychology at Georgia State University and has worked with several Atlanta area colleges to encourage sustainability literacy and collaboration. Dr. Chu was the first director of Sustainability at Georgia Perimeter College, the largest 2-year public institution in Georgia. While there she helped co-found the Southeastern Institute for Sustainability. She has been awarded grants through the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to support her research and teaching interests. She is a graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership. Dr. Chu earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester, received her PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Texas, and was a postdoctoral fellow in Zoology at Oregon State University.

Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan is a recognized expert in the field of group dynamics and communication. Drawing from 20+ years of experience in business, human services and academia, he works with leaders and organizations to implement cutting-edge strategies for maximizing system-wide performance and engagement. Michael is certified as a Master Trainer for the Collaborative Operating System (COS), a groundbreaking process that allows people to do their best work while powerfully aligning individual and organizational goals. Michael is also a certified professional coach, a graduate of the professional coaching program at New Ventures West and numerous other coaching programs.

Michael earned his Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he served as a faculty member and conducted original research on emotions and organizational behavior. He has trained and worked as a family therapist, court mediator and director of community mediation services, giving him a deep, real-world understanding of the factors that determine people’s ability to thrive in group settings and solve complex problems together.

Michael has worked with numerous companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, including Micron, Hewlett Packard, Albertsons, Federal Highway Administration, Veterans Administration and Healthwise.


“Joanne Chu is one of the most remarkable people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Besides being whip smart, Joanne is extraordinarily insightful about how to make students and groups more engaged and productive. And she has a clear and inspiring vision about what it will take to prepare our next generation of leaders to meet the challenges of the future. I can’t think of a smarter investment for any school or organization than to have her on your team.”

– Michael Ryan, Ryan & Associates