News & Events
We are process designers, facilitators, trainers and coaches. We collaborate with a number of associates to best serve each particular client's and mandate's needs.
Catherine Widrig
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Senior Consultant
Catherine is passionate about collective learning. She enjoys creating safe spaces for meaningful conversations, inviting people to step out of their comfort zones, suspend their usual voices of judgement and to listen to the deep knowledge within.
Qualifications and language skills
- Holds a Master of Laws in International Law LL.M. (2002) from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and a Lic. Iur. Swiss Law Degree (2000) from the University of Berne in Switzerland
- Language Skills: Fluent in English and Swiss-German/German, very good understanding of French, Spanish, Dutch/Flemish, fair understanding of Italian and Portuguese
Background and experience
- Co-founder of IngeniousPeoplesKnowledge Consultants (IPK) as a South African Closed Corporation in 2009. Growth of the company into a well established and profitable business with a strong brand for specialised consulting services in the international consulting arena.
- Managing partner at IPK accountable for Marketing and Business Development.
- Senior systemic change process designer/facilitator/trainer/mentor in more than 75 consulting mandates ranging from short-term interventions to transformational projects.
- Worked in 20 countries in: Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire), Asia (Indonesia, Tadjikistan, China) and Europe (Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Germany).
- Client portfolio includes: UN/EU agencies (ILO, WHO, ITC-ILO, World Bank, EU-SPS, OECD), bilateral aid agencies (IDRC, SDC, GIZ, Pro Helvetia, Swisscontact), local & national ministries, departments & governments (City of Cape Town, South African Department of Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, Department of Public Monitoring & Evaluation in the South African Presidency, Transnet, Flemish Government, Namibian and Zambian Ministries of Finance, Swiss Ministry of Justice), international NGOs (APC, BioVision, HEKS), corporate sector (FNB Namibia).
- Employment positions previously held: Fundraising and Donor Relations Executive, Cape Town Opera, Cape Town, South Africa (2006-2007)
Interim Office Manager, Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council for Southern Africa, Cape Town, South Africa (2006)
Senior Incentive Consultant, Kobo Safaris, Cape Town, South Africa (2006)
Senior Tour Consultant, Abercrombie & Kent, Cape Town, South Africa (2004-2005)
Research Fellow & Project Manager, SDC “Good Governance and Conflict Resolution in Multicultural Societies” Mandate at the International Research and Consulting Centre of the Institute of Federalism, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (2002-2003)
Skills and expertise
Catherine holds senior expertise in the following areas:
- Designing, preparing and facilitating whole system change and knowledge management events, processes, leadership programs and trainings using innovative and highly participatory approaches.
- Training and mentoring of trainees in designing and facilitating transformation processes and growing their leadership skills.
- Process design and facilitation in complex adaptive systems using excellent analytical and sensing skills to develop tailor-made short and long term interventions based on cutting-edge understanding of human systems dynamics.
- Process design and facilitation relating to: strategic development, policy formulation, innovation, project/ programme management, monitoring and evaluation, leadership development, team and community building, communication and internal/ external stakeholder engagement.
- Cross-cultural group facilitation:
 design, organisation and facilitation of knowledge and change management interventions in Europe, Africa and Asia; regional and international events of all magnitudes with participants from different origins; events with big cultural diversity (e.g. social and formal hierarchy, literacy and educational levels, socio-economic and living conditions); working with high-ranking officials and across a wide range of stakeholders from diverse sectors.
- Training, mentoring, personal and leadership development: once off trainings and longer term programmes in facilitation methods and systemic change leadership, including mentoring of participants in the application of the acquired skills and tools in their own events or transfer projects.
- Participatory and experiential curriculum and toolbox development: development of facilitation toolkits, training manuals and methodological fact sheets; co-ordination of multi-disciplinary project teams consisting of content experts, experiential learning experts, language editors and graphic designers; training of trainer roll-out and accreditation processes.
- Application of rights-based programming approaches to development.
- Facilitation methods: Real Time Strategic Change, Open Space Technology, World Café, Fish Bowl, Speed Geeking, Round Robin, Appreciative Inquiry, Peer Assist, After Action Review, 6 Thinking Hats, Dynamic Facilitation, Collective Mind Maps and Timelines, Journaling, Model Building Studio, 4 Archetypes, Anecdote Circles, Ritual Dissent, Deep Democracy and many more.
- Change Process Design: Design Thinking, Prototyping, Biomimicry, Participatory Leadership, Theory U, Cognitive Edge, Community Building.
- Project Management: extensive experience with design, proposal writing, budget drafting and oversight, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, fundraising.
- Personal: down-to-earth and accessible; self-disciplined and conscientious; reliable and committed; agreeable and culturally sensitive; ability to empathise and sense needs and motivations of counterpart; eager to have clearly defined terms of collaboration; attention to detail; good communicator, organiser and networker; natural and charismatic appearance in public; equally comfortable in strategic/ analytic and personal growth/ emotional work spheres.

Projects Catherine Widrig has worked on