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Courageous Innovation

Master the emotions of change

Solve complex problems with playful solutions

Take courageous leaps forward

Dr. Mary Poffenroth
Biopsychologist, Fear/Innovation Expert, Faculty @ San Jose State University

 Move Ideas Into Action    
Get unstuck. Drive new results.
Innovation Workshops | Keynotes | Immersive Events 
Hi, I'm Mary and I help people take courageous leaps forward to solve complex problems, faster!

I work with motivated professionals and forward thinking organizations to navigate the challenges, opportunities, and crucial choices that can mean the difference between tragedy and triumph, using science and the power of play. 


We’re a great fit if the following is true: 

  • You're a high achiever, but feel like you've hit a wall or roadblock in the project and are unsure how to proceed.

  • You need to create solutions to complex! 

  • You have talented teams made up of diverse people who need to bond authentically and collaborate effectively.   

  • You feel the gap between where you are and where you want to be growing wider each day, but feel powerless to stop it. 

  • You want to achieve more tomorrow than you did yesterday.

  • You're ready to actively design your future.

Here’s where the struggle comes in:

Brilliant thinkers and go getters fail to transform ideas into solutions because they lack the skills to effectively communicate, collaborate, and connect.


It’s been over 20 years since I first began my science career at NASA, spending the last fourteen as STEM faculty for San Jose State University. As a lecturing scientist with specializations in communication, biology, & psychology, I’ve personally helped over 20,000 people translate their brilliance into actionable ideas and courageous solutions.


The breakthroughs happen by mixing strategic play and brain hacks so solutions can be found faster and communicated more effectively.

1. Learn


Upskill using the latest from neuroscience & psychology to problem-solve & communicate more effectively while better navigating the emotions of change.

2. Apply


Next, these new skills will be locked in through hyper-relevant application to the exact challenges being faced in playful and immersive ways.

3. solve

Finally, we will create fresh solutions to those previously  impossible challenges with the new skills and perspectives achieved during our time together.

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"With Mary's expertise and guidance, our executive team was able to discover deeper insights & experience value packed breakthroughs during our off-site using her methods."

Craig Allen

Chief Creative Officer


Fast Company's Most Innovative 2021

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“Mary got us unstuck and quickly moving through the frustrating barriers that kept us going in never-ending circles. We began to talk to one another instead of just talking over each other."

Ryan Bond

Director of Digital


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“Mary gave me the courage & tools to break through the noise to make big, positive changes, in both my personal and professional life.”

Carolyn Thielman

Executive Director, Global Finance & Strategy

Estée Lauder Companies

Immersive Event
  • Connect, communicate, and bond in a fun but authentic way.

  • Breakthrough your toughest professional roadblocks

  • Accelerate effective communication and collaboration

  • Build a shared commitment to goals and visions

  • Upskill the most in-demand soft skills: communication, creativity, adaptability, and collaboration

  • Transform challenges into actionable solutions

  • Transform attendees relationship with everyday fears

  • Learn how to tap you're your own hidden knowledge.


  • Develop fresh insights into tough issues.

Increased Courage &


Supercharged communication and collaboration

Better solutions to complex problems 

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“life changing revelations”


– TIME Magazine

Science to Get Hooked On

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