Kelly Bannister
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Kelly Bannister

Zen Leadership Instructor and FEBI Certified Coach

Kelly Bannister is a fun-loving spirit who is enjoying being tamed, trained, unmade and remade through aikido and zen practice. She is a busy working professional and a volunteer dedicated to good causes who is working on being not too busy. She is also mom of 2 teens and wife of over 30 years, a daughter-in-learning and care-giver of parents in their golden years, a respecter of the natural world, an amateur gardener and photographer and a committed aikido and zen student and practitioner affiliated with Chosei Zen and the Institute for Zen Leadership.

She holds undergraduate and masters degrees in biochemistry and microbiology, a doctorate in botany (ethnobiology and phytochemistry) and a postdoc in applied ethics. For over two decades, she has been devoted to understanding how we can work well across different worldviews and knowledge systems, and draw upon Nature-informed wisdom traditions (including Zen) to address pressing social and ecological issues and inequities of our time. She works as an independent consultant, facilitating collaboration across Western scientific and Indigenous knowledge systems, and evolving policy and practice related to biocultural diversity research and education. She also holds a part time position as Co-Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance in the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria (B.C., Canada). She completed the Zen Leader Instructor and FEBI certification programs with IZL in 2021, which infuse every aspect of her personal and professional life.

Kelly was part of the IZL Steering Committee and led the design of the One Earth One Health One With online global summit in April 2023. She is co-organizer and co-host with Ginny Whitelaw Roshi of the Living and Leading with Deep Resilience summit in May 2024. Kelly is part of the IZL core strategic and operational team, supporting ongoing IZL programs and organizational development.