28 July 2021

Proud firsts!

Welcome to the first official Creative Crisis Leadership newsletter. Like much of what we’re doing right now, it is a “first article.” Please tell us what you think, and what you’d like to hear about in the future.

Being in a startup stage is very exciting. It means that we are blessed with many “firsts.” Here are a few of them.

— Susanne


What we’ve been doing

Some proud firsts


First research: Hearing from spontaneous leaders in COVID-19

Faced with a global crisis, we wanted to understand how we might expand our mission to support spontaneous leaders in actual crises. So we undertook an extended interview study of people who had stepped up to help communities respond to COVID-19.

We found that,

  • Even people who succeed in getting started can use our help.
  • Spontaneous leaders need help to stay motivated, understand what they’ve gotten themselves into, find resources, and avoid being blindsided by what they don’t know.
  • Finding and reaching spontaneous leaders in time poses a major challenge to the success of such a program.

Read this blog post for more on what we found, and this post about what we’re taking away. Or read the full report.

This project was only possible with the generous help of Amy Alberts and the UX Research team at Tableau Software, and volunteers from General Assembly.

Special thanks to Garett Dworman, for leading interviews, analysis and report-writing!


First virtual event: A “neighborhood” earthquake

Given pandemic lockdowns, we decided to experiment with delivering our training experiences virtually. Before getting too invested, we needed to understand the technical challenges involved, and get a feel for how virtual delivery would affect the sense of immersion. So, we adapted our in-person earthquake scenario, and ran a pilot event for three of our team members and their families.

We learned a lot! Read the blog post, and the full report.

Special thanks to Aaron Vanek of The Game Academy for game mastering another successful event!


First video: Ready, Set, Earthquake!

Our virtual event gave us the materials for our first promotional video!

Watch the video. Read the blog post.

The video was made possible by our partner, The Game Academy, the tenacity of grant writer Megan Hobza, and a small grant from International Paper.

Special thanks to the talented Peter Cromwell for great video editing!


Looking ahead

Wildfires and organizational growth


We are very proud of each of our firsts. We are also very aware that we are just getting started on delivering our mission.

Our next big project is to apply our growing expertise to creating a wildfire readiness learning experience. At this time, we are defining learning objectives, and seeking community and expert partners to ensure that our products will work for local communities. Please get in touch if you or your community would like to help.

The wildfire project is also our main driver of our organizational goals to

grow team

build product



Stay involved

Reaching for seconds!


We are proud of our firsts, but are even prouder of having your support. Knowing that you believe in us keeps us going.


We can always use financial support and volunteers. We are actively looking for someone to help us to develop and implement a fundraising strategy, and are on the lookout for business mentors and potential board members.

If you, or someone you know, can help, please get in touch.


Finally, something to think about


“Crisis is about learning.”

Thomas Lahnthaler, Founder & CEO of The Crisis Compass


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