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 Take the first step to better smarts and memorable experiences


Every great journey starts with a simple step

Fast Track Yourself into Grey Swan Guild ... 

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Welcome. You found us, and we are grateful for your curiosity, energy and pursuit to know more.

The Grey Swan Guild is like nothing else in the world... we are proud of our distinctiveness and unique ways of operation and high ambition, but that means you have questions.

We want your first experiences to be amazing. We're dedicating resources, forums and answers here to get you more aware, fluent and catalyzed to action by what we do and why we do it.

We've covering off ten key introductory member pieces here. Based on our experience, these are the top needs of any person that comes in first contact with our Guild.


The Core Need to Know Essentials:

  • #1 Purpose - Why Do We Exist? 

  • #2 Components  -What Do We Actually Do?

  • #3 Values & Rituals - How Do We Do It?

  • #4 Membership - Who Joins Our Guild?

The One Step Furthers...

  • #5 Member Motivation - Why Do Other People Join?

  • #6 Novel Setup - Why a Guild (vs. an INC. or NGO)?

  • #7 Outcomes - What Value Do You Produce?

  • #8 Key Drivers - Who's Behind This Effort?

  • #9 Building Blocks - How Do You Organize Yourselves?

  • #10 The Mission  - What's driving your Guild's Future?


The Actions:

  • #11 The Guild Stairway -What are The Steps to Learn More and Get More Involved?

  • #12 The Leaps of Guild Faith - I'm convinced, Where & How Do I Declare My Interest

  • #13 Key FaQs - Just one more thing - the Top 10 Questions

I. Purpose - why do we exist?:

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The mission: We make better sense of the world. 

The world is noisy. The world is complex. The world is sped up. The world is biased. The world is exponential. The world is disruptive. The world is erratic. The world is stressed. The world is polarized. We attract talent that embraces all the nuance and uncertainty, to provide clarity and solutions. Whereas TED spreads ideas that matter, WEF attempts to improve the state of the world and XPRIZE inspires and empowers humanity (three organizations we get compared to), we do our own thing and make better sense of our past events, present conditions and future challenges.

The members: The fifth place.

Beyond the domains of your personal life, your company, your community and your industry, we operate as a "fifth place", providing a new-to-the-world global, multi-disciplinary group of thinkers and doers who operate as a beacon of energy and intelligence in an ocean of status quo and superficial.

The meaning:  Societal, guild and member distinctive value. 

We go beyond selfish individualism to interpret the past brighter, sensemake the current world better and light up pathways to the future bolder, so we can all share in the rewards.

To go deeper, read our perspective on the need for the Post-Modern Guild.

II. Components - what do we actually do?:

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We strive do be a compass and magnet for greatness across a range of six activities. 

Our Guild activities derive from our Guild's purpose, year-by-year evolution and member desire. To live up to our member aspirations, we create forums for six types or core activities:

  • Content & Publications - from books to reports to podcasts to platforms to newsletters to visuals to digital magazines, a 2024 look 

  • Events & Experiences - we host 12 energizing event types and 80+ experiences annually,  a 2024 look

  • Intelligence & Research - we have three core types of intelligence that shed light on our world, a 2024 look

  • Experiments & Ventures - as a Cygnus Ventures extension to the Guild, we incubate 13 ventures, a 2024 look

  • Global Community & Network - we have 4 levels of community with 26 distinct motivations for community participation, a 2024 look

  • Learning & Craft-Building - we have 3 core free and paid formats for education, a 2024 look

III. Values and Rituals - how do we do things?:

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Our guild has evolved over time, what hasn't changed is our values. 

From the very start we wanted to create something that had some magic and specialiness in how we did things:


  • Aspiration- we aim high, nothing is impossible even when things are unimaginable, we attract and grow an imaginative, non-ordinary, can-do spirit

  • Collaboration - we practice servant leadership, we achieve great things together, we are committed to the collective good

  • Curiosity - we are critical-thinking, rationally-based, pragmatically optimistic, and world- & self-aware

  • Purpose - we are evidence-based, embracing uncertainty and operate with policies that serve humanity not dogma or any one philosophical or political belief


  • The Great, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Tapestry - when we analyze subject matter, we take a balanced view across extremes

  • One Sentence, One Word. One Tool Synthesis - we enjoy quick composite thoughts and analogies to open and close out events

  • Good News - a majority of our events start with profiling good news, it's just what we do

  • Lexicon - our dictionary continues to expand with terms like wedges, regattas, sprintiness, wraps, salons, weathervanes, silver, gold and platinum swans, newly entering our orbit 

  • Weird Stuff - we wear hats, give Spock salutes and embrace the habits of Swanhood - sure its a bit out there and eclectic, but play is not a luxury to learning, it's a necessity

IV. Membership - who joins our Guild?:

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Our Guild is comprised of 50 shades of Grey Swan thinkers, builders, leaders, experts, makers  and doers (pun fully intended). 


The brilliant and distinctive thing about our Guild is that we see enormous value in improving skill ranges, colliding ideas, fusing perspectives, bridging knowledge and configuring models. For a Grey Swan-ish, uncertain world, it's essential we have professionals that can dance across disciplines.

The 50 Shades of Members (in alphabetical order):

  • Academics, Anthropologists,  Architects, Artists, Catalysts, Change Agents, Collaborators, Consultants, Creators, Critical Thinkers, Culture Shapers, Curators, CxOs, Data Scientists, Designers, Do-ers, Economists, Editors, Digital Nerds, Entrepreneurs, Event Producers, Experts, Experience Developers, Futurists, Growth Hackers, Historians, Humanists, Innovators, Journalists, Leaders, Marketers, Movement Builders, Podcasters, Policy Makers, Polymaths, Psychologists, Rainmakers, Researchers, Scientists, Sensemakers, Sociologists, Strategists, Storytellers, Tech Geeks, Thoughtleaders, Trendoids, Urbanists, Venturists, Visionaries, Visualizers, curious others.

To see profiles of our 50 Shades of Grey Swan Members, click here.

Get Started:

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