About Simon Goland

While the more traditional explanation of alchemy is related to the transmutation of any metal into silver or gold, there is also a metaphorical meaning of the concept. On a human level, alchemy is about a deep, spiritual transformation of self. This is my vocation, passion, and commitment – facilitating transformational awakening journeys with individuals, groups, teams, and organizations.

My own journey spanned industries, cultures, learning environments, organizations, and other areas of interest; all weave themselves into the work I do. This experience includes over ten years as a corporate and business consultant in the IT industry, as well as over 25 years of personal and organizational development, training, and education. My work has covered a broad range of applications: the Enneagram, personal and professional development, collaborative learning, interpersonal communication, team and project leadership, somatic and presence-based wisdom, coaching and mentoring, and deliberately developmental organizations in a variety of environments. Merging the ancient principles of Eastern philosophies with the modern research into adult and social learning theories, neurophysiology, organizational performance, creativity and innovation, performing arts, and coaching modalities, I incorporate a holistic perspective into both my life and my unique, integrated services work. The Enneagram found its core place in my own journey and in my work, and is being integrated into everything I do now. I am an Educator, a Facilitator of Awakening Experiences, an Executive Coach, and a retreat leader – all rolled into one. Whatever the forum, I facilitate the process of awakening – as a way of being, as a continuing journey of integrated and applied exploration and practice.

On July 1, 2021, Chela Davison and I had a rich, emergent, juicy, and heart-filled conversation on her “What is Leadership?” podcast, covering a wide territory – from Right Livelihood to presence to leadership to the Enneagram to the importance of deep inner work.

Academically speaking, I hold the following:
  • B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Sciences from Ben-Gurion University in Israel.
  • M.A. in Leadership and Adult Learning from Royal Roads University in Victoria.
  • Certificate in Sustainable Business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Seattle.
  • Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Seattle.
  • Bar-On EQi Certification in Emotional Intelligence.
  • Ph.D. in Applied Eco-Psychology with Akamai University, Hawaii.
  • Certified Professional Enneagram Teacher.
  • Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy Certificate.

Some of my core strengths, experiences, and competencies are:

  • Rich, diverse, and multi-cultural background, as a result of having lived, worked, and travelled in Russia, Middle East, Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America.
  • A charismatic leader who is passionate, experienced, and natural in building relationships of trust, creativity, and collaboration in diverse organizational settings and with multiple stakeholders.
  • A confident, engaging, and creative educator and facilitator, able to establish rapport and connection with different audiences and convey information with clarity and enthusiasm.
  • A creative visionary and strategist, who loves to dare the status-quo, explore and implement non-traditional approaches and solutions to challenging situations.
  • Over two decades of experience in design and delivery of program development and training services to diverse individuals, groups, and organizations.
  • Over two decades of integrating individual coaching and mentoring modalities with lifelong learning programs, workshops, and seminars.
  • In-depth knowledge and practice with adult learning, transformational, and experiential learning theories.
  • Over a decade of active participation with the Mankind Project, supporting men on their journeys towards a life of integrity, auuthenticity, and vulnerability.
  • Experienced and comfortable with investigating, customizing, and applying technological solutions to augment and enhance teaching and training experiences, both face-to-face and online.

On a more personal note (though my life is not compartmentalized):

Originally, amateur (from the Latin verb amare, “to love”) referred to a person who loved what he was doing. Similarly, a dilettante (from the Latin delectare, “to find delight in”) was someone who enjoyed a given activity. The earlier meanings of these words drew attention to experiences rather that accomplishments. They described the process and the fact that enjoying something is important and has its rewards.

I am very much both, and there are aspects of my life that fit into these descriptions. Blended with a lot of passion.

I love cycling, with a strong preference of exploring my immediate and far world on a bike. From day trips to multi-day cycling adventures, this activity blends fitness, adventure, and mindful presence for me. Some of the highlights include a 9 weeks adventure of cycling and backpacking through Chile and Argentina, and cycling the El Camino in Spain.

Mankind Project. This is an incredible organization that focuses on deep, meaningful, and transformative work for men. I have been a member for over a decade now, and am eternally grateful to be associated with men who are deeply committed to doing this important work, of focusing on what I call a “correct masculine” energy and presence. My time with them continues to transform my life. I share some of these moments here and here.

Performing Arts has been a passion for years. I started with my own one-man story-telling performance, which led me to Playback Theatre, where I have been a member of the Vancouver Playback Theatre group, as well as the Applied Improv Network, for about 7 years.

Martial Arts, yoga, and meditation have all been important and impactful companions for many years, with a variety of schools, styles, teachers, and countries. As of 2022, I have also started studying and practicing White Tiger Qigong.

Dogs. Loyal, loving, playful, constant companions. I was blessed to have had Tobi in my life. He was a precious gift, a playmate, a trickster, a therapy dog, and an incredibly patient teacher by my side for what feels like a lifetime. Now, I am blessed to have Luna as my sweet and innocent companion.