Ashley Cooper

Guided by her insatiable curiosity and a deep reverence for life, Ashley creates experiences where learning ignites and meaningful action takes root. She has a gift for facilitating groups and cultivating environments where people feel inspired to be genuine and actively participate. In communities and organizations, Ashley builds bridges and connects ideas, resources and people. Over the last 14 years, she has worked in a variety of settings from organizational strategy with foundations and non-profits to curriculum development and programmatic implementation in schools.

Ashley’s core approach is to focus attention on areas with the greatest potential for positive impact. For instance in her 5 years as a school counselor at the Evergreen School in Seattle, WA, she shifted her one-on-one work with students towards a systemic approach that engaged parents, teachers and administration. Pivoting her focus, she developed curriculum and facilitated adult programs, faculty trainings, and community events that allowed parents, teachers and students to connect and communicate. As a bridge-builder, she also translated Organizational Development tools into a curriculum for 6-9 year olds, integrating group facilitation skills and leadership practices into her social and emotional development classes.

Ashley has produced and facilitated intimate community events and collaborated on large initiatives like Seeds of Compassion, a five-day event with the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and other leading scientists. Her experience has demonstrated that meaningful change comes from diverse groups collaborating for a shared purpose.

Ashley holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology, a Masters of Education in Counseling and has extensive training in facilitation skills, expressive arts therapy and social and emotional learning. She has worked as an educator, school counselor, coach, consultant and facilitator.

Recent clients have included Whole Systems Associates, The Bush Foundation, Asheville-Buncombe Sustainable Communities Initiative, Heart of the Healer Foundation, LEAF in Schools & Streets, Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition, Odyssey Learning Community and Rainbow Mountain Children’s School. In 2010, she served as the Executive Director of TEDxNextGenerationAsheville.