1424 Seventh Ave.
New Westminster, B.C., V3M 2K3
Aaron Johannes’ intention is to facilitate gatherings that include all. To this end he uses drawing, art-making, performance and dialogues, taking on different roles ranging from graphic recording (drawing the conversation as it takes place) to designing events that include creativity and dialogues to community based research that often includes various partners from marginalized groups, who take on active research roles. His field of study through his MA and PhD was people who had been labeled as having an intellectual disability and how leadership worked for them. In this he found evidence of several important differences between how we imagine leadership to work and how it manifested in their lives, groups and communities. Not least of these is that both narrative and relational leadership are vitally important (and fragile) concepts for leadership.
For thirty years Aaron has been a Director of Spectrum Society for Community Living in greater Vancouver, where his role has been research, training and team development. He is the former Director of Spectrum Consulting which was a social enterprise bringing together people with and without disabilities to do research and facilitation.
Over the last years Aaron has found a new avocation as an instructor at Douglas College in the Community and Disability Studies program, teaching about ten different courses to amazing students. Although always naturally optimistic, these students have given new wings to his vision of a better, more inclusive world.
Aaron’s early studies were in art, art history, literature, education theory and semiotics. He continues to try to bring all of these together in his work, often using art, both works from art history and those made by students, to reflect on things like developmental models and theories. He frequently speaks, writes and facilitates locally and around North America. As an academic he continues to work in partnership with anyone who has a shared passion for these things: story, reflection, dialogue, research, art, inclusion and leadership. Critical Disability Studies nicely combines these interests and is where he is most comfortable. His particular interest in social constructionism is in the concept of the person as the fluid focus of a network of interdependent others, and how this relates to everything else, as we expand our tribes.
Aaron and his partner live in New Westminster, British Columbia, were they have a family of adopted, nearly adopted and foster children (some of whom have decided to be adopted) and pets. When he is not working, camping, reading, kite-flying, gardening, travelling and making art are some of his favorite activities.