Crafting change

Collaborating in complexity

with Ian Prinsloo

Just as artists and woodcarvers can achieve an infinite variety of results by mastering a few simple tools and principles, so too change-makers can work together with confidence and flexibility once they have mastered the basics of their craft.

This stream will introduce key principles and tools that have been distilled by Reos Partners over 20 years of tackling complex, often intractable, challenges around the world. Reos projects bring together multiple partners that each hold a piece of the solution, though they may not have been collaborators or even allies in the past. Adam Kahane, co-founder of Reos, has documented some of the learning from this approach in three best-selling books: Solving Tough Problems, Power and Love, and Collaborating with the Enemy.

Ian Prinsloo brings his own lens to this work. As a former theatre director, he knows how to set the stage for dynamic, productive collaboration. He understands that co-creation needs the right balance of structure and freedom, serious commitment and playful engagement. He is able to equip new players with what they need to quickly begin acting and discovering their way forward.

This hands-on stream you will learn and apply some of the simple tools and principles that make up the craft of change-making in complex environments—

Designing action cycles

  • Relationships first

  • Create with those who wish to serve

  • Progress over perfection

  • Consistency and commitment


  • Start with a core group

  • Form an alliance that connects parts of the system to each other

Stretch collaboration

  • Embrace conflict and connection

  • Experiment a way forward

  • Step into the game

Ian Prinsloo

Ian Prinsloo is a senior consultant with Reos Partners. He has been on the faculty of Leadership Development at the Banff Centre in Canada since 2009, designing programs and facilitating custom work for a wide variety of clients.  The focus of this work was the capacity development of leaders to initiate collaborative processes that reframe change as an act of creation. During this time Ian also ran his own consultancy, working with a wide range of clients across the corporate and non-profit sector.  He has been a regular lecturer with the Kaospilots in Denmark since 2011 where he instructs in Creative Process and the Art and Craft of being a Kaospilot.

In his previous life Ian was an award-winning freelance theatre director in Canada, as well as being Artistic Director at Theatre Calgary for eight years. Ian is a published author on the development of the Ensemble Relationship, Metaphoric Thinking, and Creative Process within Social Change.  

Ian holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree (theatre studies) from the University of Calgary, is a past alumnae of Leadership Calgary and an accredited facilitator of the Immunity to Change process.  Helping people connect to their inherent ability to create as the leverage point for change is at the centre of all of Ian’s work.

Susan Szpakowski