The mission behind

1. Empower employees to show up fully

Employee disengagement is prevalent and costly, both in terms of unfulfilled human potential and impact to the bottom line in lost productivity. We move the needle on key engagement drivers to get employees back online.

2. Create belonging at work

We know more than ever that we are in all of this together, yet we are working remotely and struggling with inclusivity. AwakeTeams brings teams together and creates the conditions for authentic connection and productive collaboration.

3. Shift Organizational Culture

AwakeTeams creates a ripple effect as more and more teams complete the curriculum, speak the new language, and practice the new behaviors. The alumni create an ongoing wave effect in the organization.

Our Story

AwakeTeams trains teams together to create a new culture of practices that increase engagement over time.

Through a team learning model and curriculum, trust-building, effective communication, and productive collaboration skills are developed and measurably improved over time.

The team approach increases program engagement, allows for peer learning, and reveals blind spots through anonymous peer assessment. Each teammate is accountable for their own and the team's performance, so the team is encouraged to model and teach strong points and learn from others on weak points.

Come and Visit Us

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Academy San Francisco

216 Eddy St, San Francisco, California (CA), 94102
(415) 655-9116

Academy New York

643 Mundy St Watertown, New York (NY), 13601
(304) 722-3754

Our Team

Leadership development, data science, psychology, software engineering, AI, and startup experts

Laura C. Wells, MBA

Founder & CEO

Laura has trained leaders in emotional intelligence at organizations including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Kaiser Permanente. She also led Marketing at the nonprofit Brain & Behavior Research Foundation where she learned about neuroplasticity and human potential for behavior change. Prior to that she worked internationally in Fortune 100 CPG companies as a brand manager.

Paul van der Laken, PhD


Paul’s PhD is in People Analytics, with a focus on the application, usage and deployment of statistical and algorithmic techniques in the HR domain. He has been leading and managing innovation and data analytics teams at multinational companies, including Mars and Royal Dutch Shell. Paul also teaches professionals in effective data science deployment.

Laura Isela Hazlett, PhD


Laura has a PhD in Social Psychology from the Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab at UCLA. Her expertise is in understanding how positive social emotions, such as gratitude and social warmth, affect our brains and bodies. She is passionate about using data-driven insights to build tools that help us be happier and more productive through positive behavioral and organizational change.

Beste Ozer Tezcan, MA

Learning Experience

Beste’s expertise is in talent development at global organizations, including HR at Google. She is passionate about cultivating people’s potential and supporting their journey to become highly aware, emotionally intelligent, and socially conscious leaders who promote cultures of continuous development in their lives, organizations and society. Beste has a MA in Organizational Learning and Leadership.

Kristen M Lee, PhD


Kristen is a behavioral research scientist and helps ensure the AwakeTeams curriculum is science- and evidence-based. She believes in contextualizing individual behavior and leveraging social environments to promote lasting behavior change. Her research expertise includes health behavior change, habit formation, psychophysiological stress, and social wellbeing.

Luigi Maria Fierro, MBA


Luigi, Head of People & Culture at Clarity AI and former Head of of HR Strategy and People Analytics at ING, leads the HR strategic agenda globally with focus on developing people as well as advanced analytics solutions. Previously he worked with McKinsey & Co. for 10 years, where, among many other things, he contributed to the development of the Organizational Health Index.

Rahul Goel, MS


Rahul is a tech lead manager at Google Bard where he is leading modeling efforts at Bard Extensions. Prior to that Rahul was a modeling Lead at Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Rahul is one of the leading voices in the field of LLMs with expertise in Generative AI and Dialogue systems.

Mads Lillelund, MBA


Mads has 20+ years of C-suite experience in high-tech markets. He has led companies through massive product transformations with a focus on disaggregated, virtualized, and cloud native software solutions and has built high performance teams and led the exits for several firms.