W4. Beyond Process and Technology – The Human Side of Collaboration

TUESDAY, APRIL 21 | 8:30 - 11:30 AM


New technologies and initiatives such as FAIR promise more effective collaboration. However, these approaches will fail to achieve their potential unless they address the greatest obstacle to collaboration: people.

Collaboration starts inside the individual; a mindset and attitude to achieve mutual gain. The emotional energy people bring determines the vitality and success of any project. No matter the technology, worthiness or funding, bad attitudes and poor relationships will undermine the results.

This workshop offers practical and immediately useful skills that incorporate the best of behavioral science, experiential adult learning, interpersonal neurobiology, positive psychology and our Radical Collaboration.

Participants will:

  • Gain insights into how mindset and attitude impact cooperation and sharing
  • Learn how to consciously create a positive environment that inspires trust and candor
  • Learn about real-life examples where collaboration has sparked innovation
  • Explore the interpersonal neurobiology of trust
  • Practice skills that invite openness and accountability from others
  • Identify the three key factors for creating conditions in which people genuinely feel valued, capable and respected


  • Creating a Green Zone
  • Four quadrants – focus on the inner side
  • Wicked problems
  • Mindset and attitude
  • Three behaviors that affect how we feel


All experience levels welcome; attendees should have a willingness to think about a different aspect of collaboration.


Blackman_CelesteCeleste Blackman, Co-Founder, Green Zone Culture Group

Celeste Blackman, co-founder of the Green Zone Culture Group and the Radical Collaboration for Women Program.

Celeste has over 20 years of experience building positive, high-trust work environments that energize and engage the human spirit. She helps leaders, managers and teams reduce their defensive behaviors so they can work better together! The results: greater levels of accountability, higher productivity, more enthusiastic engagement, deeper levels of trust and respect, and more creative and collaborative problem solving.

Celeste has worked with a wide range of clients including: NASA, the Natioanl Cancer Institute, Goodyear, Business Consultants of Japan, Siemens, The Department of Defense, and Vanderlande Industries.

Fore_IanIan Fore, PhD, Senior Biomedical Informatics Program Manager, Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Ian Fore is a Senior Biomedical Informatics Program Manager at the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology with a focus on data integration in both basic and clinical science. Current contributions are in managing NIH and NCI interests in data discovery and in establishing Commons for research data. Dr. Fore is an active participant in the Research Data Alliance and FORCE11. He previously led CBIIT’s programs in biorepository and pathology informatics. Previously Dr. Fore worked on drug discovery informatics at Wyeth Research in both the UK and USA, and at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D including developing global databases for research data. He was a product manager at Celera Genomics responsible for programmers interfaces. Prior to leaving the lab for an informatics career Ian gained his DPhil in Physiology at the University of Oxford and subsequently worked as a Research Pharmacologist.

Nisonger_MelMelissa Nisonger, Analyst, NetImpact Strategies, Inc.

Melissa Nisonger holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. She has been an Analyst with NetImpact Strategies for over two years. During this time, she has been working alongside Dr. Ian Fore at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop and execute a program for teaching and implementing collaboration skills at the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT). She has a passion for incorporating collaborative skills into all areas of science, and she recognizes the impact these skills have had on the organization as well as her own life as a wife and mother.

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