About the Founders

Our Story

The story of our work begins in 1996....

We began our career paths committed to becoming professional artists. Jeff a painter and sculptor, and Louisa a violinist and singer. We have multiple degrees and experience performing and making art from those early days.

While working and studying in Europe, we worked together at Castle Borl,Β  Slovenia, where tens of thousands of people came together between 1995 and 2006 to imagine humanity's future. There, we saw the power and potential of art to create platforms for healing and transformation. That experience changed our lives.

We lost faith in a conventional career paths and forged our own. We spent a year studying consciousness and phenomenology, with Dennis Klocek, who remains one of our chief mentors today. We started a family, careers, and began formulating a "school for the social future" called "Institute [X]."

Between 2006 and 2014, Louisa served leaders and entrepreneurs as a life and executive coach, while Jeff co-founded Reos Partners, a global consultancy helping leaders address humanity's toughest challenges.

In 2014, we shifted gears and co-founded Magenta Studios with the intention to realize the School. Between 2014 and 2018, we continued to support visionary leaders as a coach and consultant, field-testing our ideas about "social sculpture," the society we all create together β€” if we understand how to create and co-create social health.

Step by step, our consulting practice became a training ground. We learned firsthand that most change efforts simply fail unless their leaders do some sort of inner work.

Human beings are, after all, both physical and inner beings. We saw the chaos and disruption caused by ignoring the inner aspects of reality.

Fortunately, we also saw also how sufficient attention to the "collective interior" could drive real and powerful change across institutions and whole societies.

And so, the School of the Social Future was born: an integrated approach to creating and co-creating the world being born that integrates inner, personal, creative, strategic, teamwork, institutional, and systemic or social scales of healing and regeneration.

And we're still married, making art, and raising (nearly grown now) kids.

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Still here? How about some fun facts about us!


Louisa's childhood nickname was Lulu. She didn't know what her real name was until she was 8 years old β€” maybe even older. Jeff wishes his parents had named him "Jupiter."

We are drowning in Jeff's gorgeous paintings. They are stacked against the walls throughout our house; we've filled all available wall space.

Jeff loves snowboarding, but finds surfing too cold, especially at beaches close to us. He's considering skateboarding again, but falls are harder now than they were at 19... πŸ™‚

We depend on our daily cups of tea, and go through roughly three gallons of raw milk every week from our own cows.

We have 2.5 cats, a dog, a horse, chickens, and ducks. The third cat is technically ours but he prefers life at the neighbors.

New Zealand was a really great place to grow up. If you're thinking you should visit, you're right!

The hot tub is a very productive meeting space! πŸ™‚

Nice things people say about us

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"I can't say enough about much Magenta helped my company bring our vision to life. With their help we built the company culture that we've always dreamed of. Their approach is a perfect balance of conceptual understanding of humans and teams coupled with practical tools, systems, and resources. They've helped me grow as a leader by leaps and bounds and I feel more confident and at ease in my role of CEO because of them. I highly recommend leveraging their wealth of knowledge to grow your self or your team in ways that you probably don't even know are possible."

β€” Rachel Hazlett, CEO of Lucky420s, Entrepreneur

"ORAP had the privilege of working with Magenta Studios in our work as part of exploring peace-building in Zimbabwe. The Magenta Studios team very deftly ushered our organisation into grasping new ways of thinking about exploring how to solve complex problems. They supported the team as a whole, and specifically took the time to understand the individuals and guide them appropriately. We look forward to diving deeper into creative approaches with Magenta."

β€” Mvuselelo Huni, CEO, Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP), Zimbabwe

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"Magenta is a trusted partner. They are helping us learn how to identify the visible and invisible causes, sources, and structures of violent conflicts, and how to confront and transform ideologies, traumas, and legacies of colonialism and racism that propagate and sustain intractable conflicts. We look forward to working more with Magenta to support peacebuilding around the world."

β€” Bryan Sims, Investment Manager, Humanity United

"I have known Jeff and Louisa for more than twenty years. Β They are next generation luminaries who carry forward everything I have spent my life advancing: practical and spiritual insights into the nature of being human that provide meaningful ways forward on the most pressing and challenging issues of our times β€” paths that nourish the best in humanity across all boundaries, political, cultural and otherwise."

β€” Miha Pogacnik, Cultural Ambassador of Slovenia


Check Out Jeff's Art

Art is a big part of our life. When we're not at our desks, in the garden, or at the beach, you can find us in our studios. You can see some of our visual art at jeffbarnum.com β€” and as soon as we have some music to check out, we'll let you know!