Promise Leader Honoree Mike O’Bryan on Putting Humans at the Center of Work

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Worldmaker is proud to announce that Michael (Mike) O’Bryan is this year’s Promise Leader Award recipient, presented to an influencer under age 40 dedicated to creating solutions for today’s interconnected and dynamic world, contributing to a narrative of human thriving.

Among his many contributions, Mike is a distinguished Resident Fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, DEI practitioner, a lecturer in city planning at the University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design, a creative and the founder of humanature, an organizational design strategy firm. As a practitioner and researcher in the fields of community development, organizational culture and human well-being, all of Mike’s work comes back to a singular focus: creating human-centered systems to ensure individuals are “whole, well and thriving”.

Imagining a Society Organized Around Radical Belonging

When asked on an episode of Resiliency Matters TV what a human-centered society looks feels, and sounds like, Mike zeroed in on the feeling component. “The feeling is that I totally belong. That there is nothing that could or would happen that would see me excommunicated from the group, from humanity at large.” He encouraged viewers to imagine what’s possible, “What would it be like to organize a society around a feeling of radical belongingness? What would it mean to operationalize that at the earliest stages of life?” Additionally, Mike believes it’s necessary for everyone to, “widen their lens of human concern. To widen their lens of curiosity about the experiences of others.” Just as Worldmaker teaches in the THRIVE Resilience Model, human connection and relationships are the keys to thriving, always.

Putting Humans at the Center of Work

Mike contemplates big questions and artfully weaves together healing, Indigenous wisdom, human development, social and cognitive neuroscience, community-building, organizational behavior, art, trauma theory and history to develop and implement wise answers. Working with clients, such as UNCF, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, The United Negro College Fund and Strada Education Network, he takes into account the daily decisions that culminate to create organizational culture. Ultimately, he supports organizations to actively humanize (and not dehumanize) people and to keep people at the center of the work.

Leading with Promise - A Renewed Sense of Agency and Possibility

With compassion, persistence, brilliance and a deep love for humanity, Mike is leading transformative work. Tune into the Resiliency Matters TV episode with Mike for an infusion of hope, a renewed conviction to create a society in which everyone feels radical belonging, and a stronger sense of agency to contribute to this work in your unique way. This is the promise of a better day for our world.

Congratulations 2022 Promise Leader Mike O’Bryan, and thank you for your dedication to creating a world where all are supported to thrive!

Click here to learn about the other phenomenal 2022 Worldmaker Awardees. 

Resilience Summit

9th Annual Resilience Summit: Leading in a Post-Covid World


Honoring a decade of work with deep roots and strong wings.

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