Tanya Cruz Teller

Strengths-Based Transformation Catalyst

Company: Spaciousness Works
Role: Moderator  /  Session Presenter

A strengths-based transformation catalyst at Spaciousness Works, Tanya Cruz Teller is a passionate, creative leader of systemic change processes founded on principles of personal transformation, collaborative partnerships, and appreciative inquiry. Her work as an organization development (OD) practitioner is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive world through building great organizations.

Tanya has 20-plus years of experience in international, organizational, and community development. She champions strengths-based design in strategic planning, leadership development, and stakeholder engagement. Her learning mindset and proven skill set centers local knowledge, maximizing impact and inclusion across diverse and often divergent stakeholders.

Her career in the international OD and diversity arena includes her role as an expert panelist of the Global Diversity Equity & Inclusion Benchmarks, published every four to six years since 2006.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, Tanya has harnessed her many years of combining participatory convening, coaching, and culture work with technology to engage and build inclusive processes for clients and stakeholders online. Moving in-person conferences, workshops, and programs to virtual platforms has proven her innovation skills invaluable and cost effective.

Equally sought after are Tanya’s speaking skills: in 2019 she co-keynoted at the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in France on the theme of Thriving Women, Thriving World and presented at The Forum on Workplace Inclusion. In 2021 she moderated the general session entitled “Equitable Development and Advancement of People” at The Forum on Workplace Inclusion’s annual global conference and is scheduled to speak at the Association of Talent Development conference in the USA. Tanya also enjoys designing, facilitating, and moderating conferences such as the 2019 Voices of Change Millennial Panel in Johannesburg, the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Futures Project conference in 2018 as MC and lead co-designer in Princeton, and the 2017 International OD Association opening plenary interactive visioning session in Cape Town.

Tanya is familiar with leading organizations from within as well as operating in multiple sectors. In her previous role as SA Country Director for the Synergos Institute, her mandate was to bring together government, business, and civil society in partnerships that create a more equitable society in SA and the region. This work included convening the cross-sectoral Leadership and Innovation Network in the Children’s Sector. She was also formerly with the SA government, directing a leading-edge center of excellence in youth development practice for adults and policy makers to create an enabling environment and realize the youth dividend in the country and continent. Her mandate included steering the annual Entrepreneurship Development Conference in partnership with provincial governments’ economic development offices.

Tanya has a Master of Intercultural and International Management and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology.

Publications include:
• D. Whitney, J. Cocciolone, C. A. Miller, H. Moon, K. Britton, A. Leon De La Barra, A. Koh, T. Cruz Teller, M. Ogawa (2019). “Thriving Women Thriving World: An Invitation to Dialogue, Healing, and Inspired Actions.” Ohio: Taos Institute Publications.
• Cruz Teller, T. (2020). “Inspiring Inclusion Using the Appreciative Leadership Lotus Model.” In B. M. Ferdman, J. Prime, R. Riggio (Eds.), “Inclusive Leadership: Transforming Diverse Lives, Organizations, and Societies.” New York: Routledge.

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