Thinking Ahead

Essential Elements for Great Workplace Cultures

The Retreat
Wisdom for Modern Workplaces©

Santa Fe, New Mexico. July 31-Aug 1, 2018.

Find Out More


Wisdom For Modern Workplaces© is sponsored by the Academy of Culture Ambassadors. Its web site give full details:

The Retreat

The retreat is for 75 of the wisest and brightest minds that are advancing the art and science of positive workplace cultures. The limited number of registrations is so everyone can get acquainted, share, and form friendships. Clearly the retreat is not for selling products and services or other money-making purposes.

We call it “retreat” to help differentiate it from hum drum conferences. This interactive event is not a series of bobbing heads with endless PowerPoint decks. Presenters are asked to have no more than 5 slides, if any. All keynote level speakers are with us both days as participants just like you.

The retreat is for you if you want to be a part of kindred spirits who want to push the boundaries of the modern workplace and face the challenges presented by environment, economy, and societal sustainability; if you believe that humanizing workplaces is the right thing to do, and that happy employees have a positive effect on business performance, their families, and their communities; and if you are committed to creating and cultivating joyful, supportive, fulfilling work environments.

We wanted a location without glitz, glass, marble, high prices, and traffic jams.  We wanted a place that exudes creativity and calmness.  So, we chose Santa Fe. Santa Fe is a city steeped in centuries of stories, philosophy, sustainability, and creativity.  It is a place that opens minds and invigorates imagination — a mindset that will guide the retreat and its innovative approach. Note the “extra-curricular” events in the following.

Family Friendly

We love for participants’ families to be with them in Santa Fe. Depending upon ages and numbers, examples of what can be arranged include hiking, rafting, historic tours, Canyon Road gallery walk, and cooking classes.

Distinguishing Features

There seems to be endless numbers of conferences, workshops and webinars that are related to culture and they have excellent speakers. But, we think the retreat is distinguished from them because of these reasons:

  • Intellectual level of participants.
  • Attendance limited to 75 persons including speakers.
  • Emphasis on forming friendships among participants.
  • Speakers are participants for both days.
  • Emphasis on participant sharing and interaction.
  • Diversity of topics and speakers.
  • Presentations are thought provoking blended with practicality.
  • A different kind of meeting process and format.
  • Emphasis on leaving the retreat with an action plan.
  • Pre-retreat educational opportunities.
  • The place and space supports creativity.


Finalizing details for WISDOM '18 agenda are well along.  When finalized they will be posted here.  You will love it and maybe even be surprised.  In a good way.


Alumni of the 2017 retreat will have first right of refusal to attend in 2018. Not all will return which leaves open seats. In future years the number of alumni registering may exceed the indicated limit, but we won’t ever refuse alumni. They are a part of our reputation as the “how to” group that knows how to create and maintain positive workplace cultures.

Hold A Seat with No Obligation

This is a first come first served event. You can hold a seat with zero obligation until February 1, 2018. You will not receive an invoice. On about February 1, 2018 you will be asked to register or give up your seat. Participants from WISDOM ’17 do have first right at available seats. If you missed WISDOM ’17 look at its agenda. Complete details for WISDOM ’18 will be posted by January 1, 2018.

Save Me A Seat

Video Clips from WISDOM ‘17

We will be adding short “words of wisdom” video clips from WISDOM ’17. These are priceless and you will love them. These will be added as they become available. Check back often.

Come One Day Earlier

Tour of Native American Pueblos

Native American Pueblos

Native American Pueblo.

Many of those attending the retreat will not have had the opportunity of visiting a Native American pueblo. This is a unique perhaps once in a lifetime learning experience.

American Indians inhabited New Mexico long before Spanish contact in the 1500s, and their timeless cultures, traditions, arts and beliefs continue to enrich the state today.

There are 19 pueblos located around the state, including the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos north of Santa Fe. At the time of registration, you will be asked about interest in a bus tour of selected pueblos.

Check here for more information about New Mexico pueblos.

Come Two or Three Days Earlier

Spanish Market Art that Traces Back 400 Years

Spanish Market

Spanish market in Santa Fe.

Arrive a couple of days earlier and experience land of enchantment artisans. Each July, as many as 70,000 people flock to Santa Fe to experience the Annual Spanish Colonial Arts market on the historic Santa Fe Plaza.

The Spanish Colonial Art market features authentic artistic traditions which can be traced directly back over 400 years. Skilled artists and craftspeople create these breathtaking expressions of a living tradition, and many of them have their art as their only source of income. Styles and quality are far more exacting in terms of traditional accuracy and finish than tourist pieces commonly sold elsewhere.

Hotels will be full at Spanish market time. If you want to be there, get a reservation early. This will not be a part of the conference hotel block of rooms.


Gerald R. Wagner, Ph.D.

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The Academy of Culture Ambassadors supports workplace cultures where there is a relentless passion for kindness, empathy, dignity, trust, transparency, sharing, happiness, compassion and love.

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