FEELREAL is a social platform and consultancy that serves for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, and community collectives that are committed to co-creating a just world. We hold space for meaningful experiences that deepen relationships by bringing people together in real-time using carefully curated technologies alongside training and resources for ongoing connection and accountability.
Shared stories heal
CONNECT WITH OTHER PEOPLE IN MEANINGFUL ONLINE GATHERINGS
Empowering radically inclusive and connective online dialogues is the heart of our mission at FeelReal. More than ever, meaningful connection with other people is an integral component of our collective mental and emotional health.
While social distancing is imperative for public health and safety right now, the implicit isolation will be dreadful for our well-being.
Our immediate priority is to come together to hold diverse and inclusive spaces for connection in the midst of necessary social distancing; at the same time, we know that the financial implications of this crisis are major concerns for most of us. Working toward generative economies will be an essential element of stabilizing our communities in the weeks and months ahead. As this collaborative mission unfolds, we will be actively building a cooperative marketplace integrating a pay-what-you-feel model.
We believe the seriousness of this pandemic is itself a wake up call to pause, breathe, and hold more intentional spaces to connect authentically as a human family. Together, we can build a hub of support as we learn more about ourselves, each other, and how we can work together toward a global culture that is sustainable, just, and resilient.
Our purpose is to co-create a just and sustainable world by holding space for the magic of human connection.
THEORY OF CHANGE
By holding brave spaces for facilitated, small group conversations that nurture real presence, people can connect at the human level to engage and collaborate towards individual, collective, and planetary flourishing.
THE PROBLEM OF THE STATUS QUO
For all the democratizing and collaborative potential that the internet offers, the reality is that the majority of our online interactions take place in environments tainted by anger, dehumanization, and confirmation bias. Instead of bringing us closer together, Twitter tantrums and Facebook feuds are driving us further apart. Most modern business practices aren’t any better as even well-meaning companies struggle to resist the worst impulses of capitalism.
Many of us care deeply about taking action to address the many issues facing our global ecosystem, yet doing so requires the space to connect meaningfully with others. In dialogue, we gain the abilities and insights required for the development of viable solutions. But without widespread opportunities for this kind of connection, we instead resign to scrolling through dumbed-down media feeds, amplifying an epidemic of isolation.
Current algorithms end up keeping us apart from those who don’t share the same perspective—meanwhile, we’re longing for authentic connection, even with those who think differently. Several recent studies point to alarming trends: roughly one-third of young adults report frequent loneliness, while aging populations continue to struggle with isolation. Even in an age of exponentially expanded digital networks, we must remember that it is the quality, not the quantity, of our relationships that matter.
While online groups and community management tools exist, they lack key elements of meaningful connection: the emotional integrity realized through real-time interactions and facilitation, and the collective empowerment achieved through mutual support and accountability.
SCALING INTIMACY AS A SOLUTION
FeelReal is a social platform and consultancy co-creating a just and sustainable world by holding space for the magic of human connection. Even when conversations get emotional and messy, facilitated spaces maintain the recognition of shared humanity, in turn creating a stable foundation for emergent solutions. By centering around authentic relationship and vulnerability, individuals and organizations alike can connect to their intrinsic motivations to make a positive impact, exponentially increasing the potential for transformation beyond data- or profit-driven strategies alone.
Meet the Team
ANDY SWINDLER | Founder & Chief Empathy Officer
Andy Swindler brings hearts together. He envisions a world that embraces healthy tensions to nurture dignity and agency for every person. Andy believes that everyone is capable of deep love and conscious connection, which he unlocks by guiding conscious leaders and organizations to purpose via higher guidance. His social entrepreneurial journey currently focuses on exploring the intersection of technology and conscious dialogue to unlock our collective wisdom so that we may all share a just world together. Andy founded the benefit corporation, FeelReal, to organize people in intimate virtual gatherings that shift the dominant narrative from fear to love.
RYAN BELL | Co-Founder & Chief Strategist
I hold a vision of radical transformation that is rooted in the reclamation of life’s sacredness. As we disrupt the false binaries of the dominant narrative, we will more clearly understand that true community and individual self-determination require one another. I am working to support marginalized communities by empowering reclamation of the shared humanity that systemic injustice has sought to deny. By sharing our stories, we can receive the healing medicine we need to undermine the colonial paradigm of top-down, extractive, and exploitative power structures. Global solidarity, mutual aid, and collective action are the foundation of a just and sustainable future, but they all begin with authentic relationships. As we dismantle walls, we will repurpose those bricks to build bridges.
As a professional chef, sacred activist, and avid Deadhead, I look forward to the days when all people can gather round the fire to break bread, live free, and listen to the music play.
SUSAN LUCCI | Co-Founder & Circle Tender
Susan Lucci is a community activist, a dynamic facilitator of transformational conversations, mother of three college kids, a Life Design Catalyst Coach® and a Certified Purpose Guide™. Attuning to the ache of our shared longing to belong, Susan explored and designed various Circle technologies over a decade ago and practices this social art form regularly (600 Circles and counting!). In addition to teaching people to hold this brave, sacred space, she has evolved this ancient archetype in a variety of settings with diverse groups of people, deepening dialogue so that group wisdom, co-creativity, and empowered engagement emerge. She is currently researching a book with a working title of: Creating a Culture of Care: Highlighting the Newly-Emerging WE-Consciousness. Passionate about creating healthier conversations that lead to healthier communities, this former lawyer is now on fire to activate our individual and collective potentials to create a just and sustainable world where everyone thrives!
MONIKA STEIMLE | Investor & Advisor
Monika Steimle is a Purpose Pathfinder for leaders, teams, and organizations who want to lead and live from higher purpose. She is guiding them to find the unique transformational impact only they can have, then helping them to manifest this purpose. Her 25 years of experience as a people leader and HR executive in the corporate world taught her the power of leading from the inside out.
She is FeelReal's first Angel Investor.
“We live in exciting times where a lot of our old paradigms in and around work are shifting, where current systems are being questioned and new ways of working and being with each other and with our world are emerging. I am an optimist at heart and know that what’s to come will enable us to be more connected, bring more heart and soul into our world."
MARK HURWICH | Investor & Advisor
Mark is a transformational coach who engages people and organizations with play and whimsy to recover their path to purpose and desire; restore self-compassion, curiosity, and expression; and embrace the perfection of being good enough.
This shows up in his current work in coaching, pottery, photography, and writing. He's been active in organizations like Pachamama Alliance, The Institute of Noetic Sciences, The American Society of Dowsers, Victories, and a nascent group seeking means to empower movement around the “great turning."
He is a FeelReal Angel Investor.
Experience informing Mark's work includes a BS from MIT and MBA from Wharton, 30 years in marquee international strategy consulting firms, 10 years coaching, 1400+ hours of clinical training, and certifications in Internal Family Systems, NLP, Hypnosis, Akashic Records Consulting. He has also traveled to learn from indigenous peoples in Ecuador, Guatemala, and Colombia.
RACHEL ZARGO | Marketing Director
Rachel Zargo believes we are all born with innate wisdom and it's through life’s paths that we have the opportunity to tap into this wisdom or drift from it. It is through practice, community and ritual that we can get back into our bodies, into our hearts – to the seat of our consciousness, to the place we knew before. Rachel is passionate about creating space for spontaneous, as well as intentional innovation and creativity arising from this place – to create a flourishing humankind and to allow our planet to breathe again. Rachel is inspired by disruptive storytelling, the drive to social justice, and cross-pollination with team members to create the most impact.
Her experience is as a creative director and leader in conscious marketing. She led a team in growing the midwest's largest independent yoga and music festival, and yoga studios – bridging traditional marketing and community building. Rachel's spiritual training includes 200hr Yoga Certification and work within the Ayurvedic tradition. She was an editor of Purpose to the People: a Handbook for Radical Transformation. When she's not co-creating with the team, you can find her wearing a unicorn headband with her 5 year old daughter.
GABBY VALDES | Community Manager
Gabby Valdes is has a knack for building heart-centered communities. She rallies around people, ideas and meaningful conversations with the intention to co-create a just world. This alignment seamlessly led her to teaming up with FeelReal. As the FeelReal Community Manager, you’ll find her connecting with spaceholders, strategizing systems, creating communication plans and building processes to enhance the Spaceholder experience. She brings her experiences in Community Management, Project Management, Life Coaching, Communications and Behavioral Analysis (M.Ed) to the team.
Gabby is a former hopeless romantic turned love & dating coach. Gabby deeply empathizes with the pains, heartbreak and rejection that people encounter on the dating journey. She spends her days helping the disappointed dater attract (and maintain) healthy and fulfilling relationships. She’s a quintessential ENFP, California native, and proud calico cat mom. When she’s not coaching, you will find her cooking plant-based meals, watching improv, at an open mic cracking jokes or scaling a rock wall for the thrill of it.