Jerry Nagel Receives PhD from Tilburg University in the Netherlands

Jerry Nagel, PhD, during his dissertation defence.

Jerry Nagel, PhD, during his dissertation defence.

Jerry Nagel received his PhD from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, on May 19, 2015, immediately following the defence of his dissertation. The focus of his dissertation was Worldview, the Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter and social constructionist theory.

He was articulate and thoughtful in his defence, bringing his hosting skills to such a degree that the committee members who questioned him felt he had hosted them. His advisor, John Rijsman, spoke eloquently about his experience of working with Jerry, Jerry’s dedication to completing his dissertation, the evolution of his thinking over the years of research and his contribution to academia through his research. All of the committee members complimented Jerry on the quality of his writing.


John Rijsman, Jerry’s advisor, speaking about Jerry’s accomplishments through this work.

The subject of Jerry’s dissertation has evolved into the Worldview Intelligence body of work that he and his partner, Kathy Jourdain, are co-developing with colleague Stephen Duns, both of whom were present for the defence and graduation. Worldview Intelligence is a practical application of the Apostel Framework that Jerry used in his dissertation to deconstruct worldview. It builds on the substantial body of research and knowledge on worldview, providing a rigour and structure for conversations on issues that matter in organizations, communities and socially.

You can download a copy of his dissertation from here.

Jerry's dissertationCurrently, Jerry is President of the Meadowlark Institute, a non-profit organization based in Minnesota that trains and supports leaders through customized leadership programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. This work is grounded in the patterns and practices of the Art of Participatory Leadership and the Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter, a self organized global network where he is internationally recognized as a meaningful contributor and steward. Meadowlark Institute also provides intergenerational and intercultural transformational leadership learning experiences focused on developing our collective capacities to work together.

Over his career, Jerry has served in leadership positions in several organizations, including the Association for Human Development, North Dakota Rural Development Corporation, Crookston Enterprise Development Center, Northwest Regional Development Commission, Red River Trade Council and Northern Great Plains Rural Development Commission. He also served as an economic development advisor to former North Dakota Governor Art Link.

Jerry received an MA in economics from the University of North Dakota in 1984. He has attended the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University as a Fannie Mae Foundation Fellow and he is also a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow.

Previously, he coauthored Talking Wires, a history of North Dakota’s rural telephone cooperatives and authored “Aid to the Poor: Am I My Brothers Keeper”, a humanities study guide. He is coauthor of several NGP publications including “The New Marketplace in European Agriculture: Environmental and Social Values within the Food Chain”, “Private Sector Protocols: Threats and Opportunities for American Farmers”, and Towards New Horizons: Trends in Transportation and Trade – Moving the Northern Great Plains Region to a Stronger Economic Future. He was an editor of Renewing the Countryside-North Dakota


Kathy Jourdain and Stephen Duns, on hand to celebrate Jerry’s achievement.

7 thoughts on “Jerry Nagel Receives PhD from Tilburg University in the Netherlands

  1. Congratulations Jerry! Your contributions to this field are great and this is another of the wonderful offerings you share. I hope we can read your work soon!


  2. Congratulations Jerry on your accomplishment and for all the great work you’re doing in the world. Worldview intelligence is so central to evolving ourselves and our systems. Cheers to you!


  3. Congratulations Jerry. This culmination of all your hard work and thoughtful persistence with this body of ideas is a wonderful achievement that will benefit us all. I look forward to reading more about Worldview Intelligence. Cheers!


  4. Fine work, Jerry, congratulations! I look forward to reading your dissertation and turning over new stones in this learning-addicted community of ours!


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