Presence Required

Presence Required


100% Experiential


Presence Required is a professional development cooperative, working together to deliver curated sets of transformational learning events that equip people with the tools to thrive in the future of work.  

We are all about meaningful work.

The business environment continues to grow more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, creating existential pressures upon employers and employees alike. At Presence Required, we believe the antidote for employers is to create conditions to foster a culture of meaningful work, empowering employees to be effective and engage deeply as their whole selves.

There are no bystanders.

Our hands-on, immersive experiences convey new skills and provide strategies promoting their continued use.

We cooperate and share.

Presence Required’s unique cooperative model emulates the collaborative frameworks that will be the norm for the workers of tomorrow. Members of our cooperative include pioneering, high-impact subject matter experts offering skills training and development and forward-looking organizations that recognize the benefits of future-proofing education for their workforces. As a cooperative, our members can co-develop, iterate and gain expanded access to cutting-edge offerings as co-producers of events. Through Presence Required, all members work together as a community to create more meaningful and effective workplaces and share the benefits of their efforts.


Presence Required offers tailored experiences: curated, interrelated sets of unique and compelling workshops each offered by a different facilitator. Our workshops are each designed to shift instincts, transform mindsets and reframe thinking.

Most importantly, we are committed that experiences will be only fully experiential, immersive and participatory.

Each workshop imparts skills and understanding of important emergent areas of growth and development:

  • applied empathy

  • design innovation

  • managerial coaching

  • organizational change

  • social impact

  • purpose

  • cross-cultural and inclusive collaboration


Our members are global professionals specializing in applied empathy, design innovation, entrepreneurship, organizational change, social impact, cross-cultural collaboration, purpose and more.

We work together as a team to change mindsets, reprogram instincts, and fundamentally reframe how we think and approach challenges.

Co-Founders and Steering Committee


Sophie Wade is author of Executive MBA textbook Embracing Progress: Next Steps for the Future of Work. After senior strategy and finance roles, she is now a Workforce Innovation Specialist and Founder of Flexcel Network, a Future-of-Work consultancy. Sophie’s executive advisory work and transformative workshops help companies future-proof their work environments and attract, engage, and retain their multigenerational and distributed talent. Sophie studied at Oxford University (BA) and INSEAD (MBA).


Jeff Hittner is co-founder of Project X, dedicated to helping 1 million people build purposeful careers and lives. He runs programs and international experiences that get people out of their comfort zones and experimenting in new career directions. He has more than 18 years experience as an entrepreneur, consultant and changemaker. He is the founder of five social ventures, including IBM’s Corporate Social Responsibility consulting practice globally. In 2011, he developed the curriculum for one of the first MBA’s in Sustainability in the US, at Bard College, where he was the Leadership professor. Jeff is also a partner to global organizations focused on entrepreneurship and youth development. He has built career discovery, leadership and startup programs around the globe. Jeff received his Masters in Cultures and Development Studies from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from The College of William and Mary in Virginia where he was an elite gymnast.  Jeff lives in NYC with his wife and young son.


Lee-Sean Huang is the cofounder and creative director of Foossa, a consultancy that helps organizations tell stories, design services, and build community for a more inclusive and resilient future. His expertise is on the intersection between design and democracy. He is interested in the role of participation and play in the future of education, work, health, and civic engagement. He has taught design thinking, service design, and social innovation at top universities and design schools including New York University, the Parsons School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, the Cooper Union, Cornell University, and the City University of New York (CUNY). Lee-Sean earned a bachelors from government from Harvard and a masters in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU.

Matt Headshot.jpg

Matt McFarlane is a co-founder of GROUT – a mission-driven organization that helps leaders generate and communicate new ideas, identify socially-relevant value, and promote durable prosocial action. In his work as a social entrepreneur, attorney and scientist, Matt has been inspired to harness the transformative power of cooperation and collaboration to create positive change. Matt earned his law degree from Fordham Law School, a PhD in Molecular & Cellular Physiology from Stanford University School of Medicine and a ScB in Biochemistry from Brown University. He has served as a Trustee and Director of several non-profit organizations and is an Advisor to the Cavendish Impact Foundation.


Development Partners



Our founding members have worked organizations across sectors to build capacity in communication, collaboration, and creativity.