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Who We Are


Nicolson Group

For over thirty years, Mark Nicolson has consulted with individuals and their organizations around the world, supporting the reimagination of leadership. This is a leadership based in self-awareness, transformation and learning.

Nicolson Group offers coaching and facilitation for leaders, top teams and organizations who are committed to responding to life's challenges with truth, beauty and justice.

Mark Nicolson


Mark Nicolson has been consulting and teaching for the last three decades on transformative leadership in organizations and individuals. His clients include cultural leaders, partnerships, VCs, and social change visionaries. He was a founder the With/In Collaborative, and he has worked with IDEO, HopeLab, Esalen, the Gates Foundation, and the Ella Baker Center, as well as with Desmond Tutu and his family foundation.

Early in his career, he worked in investment banking in the UK and Hong Kong before becoming a partner in Alexander, the UK pioneer in executive coaching. He took a two year sabbatical in the late 90s to manage the garden at Esalen Institute and this inspired his life and work philosophy. He has a Doctorate in Psychology from Meridian University, an MBA from Stanford, and MA in Classical Literature from Oxford.

About Mark

Born in England, for the first 30 years of my life I was shaped by, and embedded in, the dominant culture of western Europe – both its colonialism and its liberalism. I studied classics (ancient Latin and Greek) at Oxford, went into investment banking, and did an MBA at Stanford.

Then, about 30 years ago, I had a spiritual awakening where I understood my true nature, and saw how profoundly I had taken on the values of individualism so that I could be successful within that culture.

Since that time, I have continued to wake up to the ways in which I can help myself and others become free to live lives of purpose, connection, and joy, as well as support social and environmental justice.

I moved to the US to live and study at Esalen Institute for two years where I managed the garden. Since then, I have supported cultural leaders to find the inner and outer resources to create the world they want to live in. I have worked as a coach to individuals, organizational leaders and their teams, as well as to large systems and social movements. Cultural leaders find imaginative ways to break the rules of our culture and expand our notions of what culture can be.

In recent years, I have included the preparation for, and integration of, plant medicine journeys in my work and now recognize that they are one of the most powerful forces for personal and social transformation. I believe that the practice of plant medicines will become widespread and usher in a vast change in our culture over the next ten years and beyond. 

I have trained in two traditions for working with the preparation for and integration of plant medicine journeys (one shamanic and one mainstream Western medical) and have completed my Doctorate in Psychology with a focus on integrating experiences of MDMA.

I love to challenge people to transform – with love and respect. I have a gift for seeing where people get in their own way, where they do not see their own brilliance and beauty, and how to find their inner compass. I help people find their full power and genius so that they can manifest possibilities for the evolution of humanity.

Organizations I've Worked With

I have worked with thousands of leaders over the years.


Some examples include: Desmond Tutu and his family, the leadership team at IDEO, the founder and Board of Esalen Institute, the founders of many social justice organizations, several leaders in the social finance movement, the founders of multiple Silicon Valley start-ups and venture capital companies, and best-selling authors.


I have taught regularly at Esalen Institute, the Executive Education program at the Kennedy School at Harvard, and in many Stanford classes. My TEDx talk explored how to transform intense emotion into leadership genius.


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