Leading with Joy: Practices for Uncertain Times

October 10, 2023  |  12:30 - 2:00 PM EST

We have invited Akaya & Vini for an informal interview about their book, Leading with Joy: Practices for Uncertain Times.

Stay until the end to ask questions and be entered into a raffle to win one of five copies! 🎉

Book Description:

Leadership that connects people and centers compassion and trust instead of competition and disconnection is needed more than ever before. There are plenty of manuals that show people how to manage organizations, but what is really needed in this moment is a book that shows us how to include kindness and inspiration within leadership. Leading with Joy promotes a courageous and compassionate approach to leadership that can sustain purposeful action and social change.
This book takes the form of a series of vignettes about the authors’ insights and stories, with reflection questions at the end of each one. Through these stories—which address topics such as workplace triumphs and lessons, family relationships, and even near-death experiences— Akaya Windwood and Rajasvini Bhansali illuminate different aspects of leadership, such as humility, forgiveness, and kindness, and invite leaders to respond to the current moment.
The book draws on the authors’ lived experiences as leaders, including their encounters with oppression, and their wisdom in principled leadership. They demonstrate how leaders can create conditions of abundance and well-being, which are necessary for long-term social transformation.

This learning lab has passed.


Akaya Windwood facilitates transformation. She advises, trains, and consults on how change happens individually, organizationally, and societally. She is on faculty of the Just Economy Institute, is Lead Advisor at Third Act, and is founder of the New Universal Wisdom and Leadership Institute, which centers human wisdom in the wisdom of brown womxn. She was President of Rockwood Leadership Institute for ten years, and directs the Thriving Roots Fund, which supports young womxn’s finance and philanthropic learning and leadership based in generosity and interconnectedness.
Akaya received the 2020 Vision Award from Middlebury College, was one of Conscious Company’s 30 World Changing Women of 2018, and has been a featured speaker at the Stanford Social Innovation Institute, the Aspen Institute, and the New Zealand Philanthropy Summit conferences. She is an Ella Award recipient from the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and served on the Alameda County Human Rights Commission. Akaya is deeply committed to working for a fair and equitable global society while infusing a sense of purpose, delight, and wonder into everything we do. She lives in Northern California where she reads science fiction, makes sauerkraut, and relishes growing enormous squashes in her garden.
Rajasvini Bhansali is the Executive Director of Solidaire Network and Solidaire Action, a community of donor organizers mobilizing critical resources to the frontlines of social justice.  She is a passionate advocate for participatory grassroots-led power building and a lifelong student of social movements. In a wide-ranging career devoted to racial, economic and climate justice, she has previously led an international public foundation that funds grassroots organizing in Asia, Africa and Latin America; grown a national youth development social enterprise; managed a public telecommunications infrastructure fund addressing the digital divide in the Southern United States; and worked as a community organizer, researcher, planner, policy analyst and strategy consultant. 
Born and raised in India, Rajasvini earned a Master’s in Public Affairs with a focus on addressing the Rural Digital Divide from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor′s in both Astrophysics and Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities & Social Sciences from UC Berkeley. Vini also spent several years working in rural Kenya with community leaders, an experience she credits as having inspired her to work to transform philanthropy and international development. 
She is also a published poet, essayist, popular educator, yoga instructor and leadership coach. When not engaged with community organizations, Rajasvini can be found nesting with her family, taking long naps in the garden or plotting the next dance party with friends.