The Bateson Idea Group Board is:

Phillip Guddemi is a cultural anthropologist and cybernetic thinker, who studied with Bateson as an undergraduate at U.C. Santa Cruz in the 1970s. He is President of the Bateson Idea Group and one of the Directors of the International Bateson Institute.  He is also Managing Editor of the journal Cybernetics and Human Knowing.  He has published on topics including the problem of conscious purpose, the cybernetics of “what we mean when we talk about power,” how Gregory Bateson’s early anthropological study Naven prefigured second-order cybernetics, and the use in anthropology of Gregory Bateson's later and more systemic ideas.  His own fieldwork in anthropology has included studies of art, ritual, and subsistence in the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea (upriver from where Gregory Bateson worked in the 1930s). He has also worked on oral history and ethnicity in the Republic of Macedonia.

MARK ENGEL (1949-2017 Founding Treasurer)
Mark Engel first encountered Gregory Bateson at the University of Hawaii in 1968–69. In 1970–71 he worked with Bateson to select the essays to be included in Steps to an Ecology of Mind and was invited to write a brief “Preface,” which appeared in early editions.  He was an independent scholar and editor in Ben Lomond, California.

WENDEL RAY - Secretary
Wendel A. Ray, Ph.D., is a licensed social worker, licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist in Louisiana. Secretary of the Bateson Idea Group (BIG) since its formation, Wendel is a Senior Research Fellow and former Director of the Mental Research Institute (MRI), in Palo Alto, CA. In 1987 John Weakland encouraged Wendel to found the Don D. Jackson Archive. As the Hanna Spyker Endowed Chair and Professor of Family System Theory in the ULM Marriage and Family Therapy and Systemic Studies Program(s), Dr. Ray conducts training internationally and nationally on System Theory applied to understanding and therapy with a wide range of behavioral & emotional problems, as well as lecturing on the pioneering work of Don D. Jackson, MD, and Gregory Bateson’s Palo Alto Research Group, and contributions of Paul Watzlawick, PhD, John Weakland, ChE, and Richard Fisch, MD to Systemic Theory, Constructivism, and Brief Therapy. Author of more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and 9 books, many of which are available in multiple languages, Wendel may be contacted by email at or telephone/text at (318) 547-4539

Tim “TK” Keanini currently works at Cisco Systems in their Security Business Group where he and his team build products to combat the most advanced Internet threats. Born and raised in Hawaii, he got his GED at the age of 16 to pursue a career as a working musician. As a self-taught programmer, he transitioned to information technology in the 90s to work on video games at the award winning Broderbund Software. There, he learned of Cybernetics and the work of Gregory Bateson and strove to apply it to interactive design, game dynamics, and the integration of the Internet. For more than 20 years he has successfully applied Bateson’s principals to Cyber security. He has been awarded multiple patents, helped shape industry standards, and brought innovation to multiple successful security startups. TK currently lives in Austin TX.

Stephen Nachmanovitch performs and teaches internationally as an improvisational violinist, and at the intersections of music, dance, theater, and multimedia arts. He is the author of Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art. Born in 1950, he studied at Harvard and the University of California. He was a student and friend of Gregory Bateson, earning a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness with Bateson in 1975 for a study of William Blake. A musician, author, educator, and multimedia artist, Nachmanovitch continues to write and teach about Bateson and ways to extend Bateson’s ideas into the 21st century. He has taught and lectured widely in the United States and abroad on creativity and the spiritual underpinnings of art. He has presented master classes and workshops at many conservatories and universities, and has had numerous appearances on radio, television, and at music and theater festivals. He has worked in the intermedia world of visual music, and has developed programs melding art, music, literature, and computer technology. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Nora Bateson, is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute based in Sweden. Her work asks the question “How we can improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?”. An international lecturer, researcher and writer, Nora wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary, An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems.

Barry Schwartz is a photographer, writer, designer, and educator, who in his 20s was lucky enough to be a neighbor, and subsequently, friend of Gregory Bateson.  He would not be here without him.,