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Published May 24th, 2023
Next Move program helps people reach their goals
Maura Wolf and Shari Simon Photo provided

Two Moraga women, a Saint Mary's College professor and a former high-tech executive, created the company Next Move in 2018 - an active social-impact company whose mission is to support people to reach their goals through social support and accountability. Week after week the two met up, checked in about life, and proceeded to map out ways they believed they could support people, especially young adults or folks with marginal identities, to move forward on their goals.
Maura Wolf and Shari Simon were both at a pivotal moment of their lives and were both seeking answers beyond pre-scripted scenarios. Simon had quit her executive position in marketing, sales and management at Oracle for family reasons but still wanted to impact society in a profound way; Wolf was teaching leadership at Saint Mary's College, had published several books including "What Matters Most: Everyday Leadership at Work, at Home, and in the World" and was also desiring to broaden her impact.
The academic process they use is called Action-Inquiry. Simon and Wolf tracked apps and tech-based solutions developing with similar goals. They dove into academic research that grounded their practice-based findings. They designed and ran pilots, each time gathering data from participants about how to improve the process. Simon adds that it is during this first phase that it became clear to them that doing this with a small group, or even just one other person, was essential to sustaining the process. She believes that connection and support built that way will always bear more fruit than what any app could do.
The Next Move process is designed to help people to tune in and really take note of what matters in their life, then move on to design small actions, or what Next Move refers to as micro-moves, in the direction of a goal.
This summer, Next Move and Saint Mary's College of California, are offering a new program, a certificate in Impactful Leadership. It is supported by a local donor who wants to keep it affordable for all. The program is designed for anyone looking to have more structure and support for a goal that matters to them. The goal may be career-oriented, like finding a new job, or wellness oriented, like bouncing back from COVID life to set in place new health routines. The program is individualized, as each person focuses on their own area of growth and development and moves through cycles of action and reflection, with small group support along the way.
Programs to date have been held at several colleges and the company has started training coaches and facilitators to bring the program to a variety of different settings and regional areas.
The summer program will be offered online from June 6 to July 11 on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with optional live gatherings at Saint Mary's College. For more details, visit www.nextmovenetwork.com/virtualevents

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