Professor Brandt Stickley’s keynote “Emotion is a Direction” from 2018

Professor Brandt Stickley’s keynote “Emotion is a Direction” from 2018

It's the 21st century and we're still coming to terms with the primary organizing force of living systems - emotion.

At the crossroads of the Constructal Law (discovered by Adrian Bejan), Immediate Moment Theory (developed by Kevin Behan), Human Systems Dynamics (developed by Glenda Eoyang), and Concentric Ring Theory (from the lineage of animal trackers Tom Brown, Jr. and Jon Young), you'll find the Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium.

We are a small, intimate conference, limited to 30 attendees, so please register early to reserve your spot.

  • Learn the physics of all life.

  • See and understand the patterns of emotions as real physical forces that shape our daily lives.

  • Influence how these patterns drive and structure our relationships and organizations.

Where this conversation takes us is wide-ranging - from medicine to technology, from the corporate world to the wildest natural ecosystems, from old-time traditional wisdom to bleeding-edge science.

last year’s SPEAKERS (2019)

kevin behan, guest speaker


Author of Your Dog is Your Mirror, Natural Dog Training, developer of the Immediate Moment Theory of human/animal emotion, and one of the nation’s foremost experts in the rehabilitation of aggressive and problem dogs.

Jenya Chernoff

Jenya chernoff, guest speaker

workshop: the thermodynamics of canines

An artist and photographer from Oakland, CA, Jenya Chernoff began studying Natural Dog Training in 2009 while rehabilitating an aggressive Doberman Pinscher. She approaches immediate moment theory from the perspective of dog training and animal consciousness.


Brandt Stickley, Guest Speaker

Keynote: “I think I feel”

Brandt Stickley is an Assistant Professor in the College of Classical Chinese Medicine, National University of Natural Medicine. He has become an integral member of the event due to his insights on the mutually supportive connection between Classical Chinese Medicine and Immediate Moment Theory.


willem larsen, host

keynote: “tracking on the living earth”

Author of the Language Hunter's Kit, co-author of 5 Rules For Accelerated Learning, founder of Language Hunters (a non-profit organization dedicated to a renaissance in how communities of practice learn together in technology, language, science, and music), and both a wildlife tracker and Search and Rescue tracker.

The "Boiler Room" bar at the Kennedy School Hotel

The "Boiler Room" bar at the Kennedy School Hotel

come join us at the historic kennedy school hotel in portland, or

A Portland landmark, the Kennedy School is a former elementary school refurbished into a hotel packed with nooks and crannies and plentiful bars and meeting spaces, in a beautiful residential neighborhood in northeast Portland. A perfect location for our small conference. Hotel stay is not included in conference fee.




Daily breakfasts and lunch provided.

October 2nd, Friday, Day 1

8am - 5pm



October 3rd, Saturday, Day 2


8am - 5pm


7pm - 9pm

October 4th, Sunday, Day 3

8am - 2pm

Childcare program for parents

During the symposium, we offer childcare for children ages 5-12. Ask us for more info.



Join our online discussion group.

constructal law

Willem Larsen’s 2019 keynote, “Tracking on the Living Earth.”

A short video introduction to Adrian Bejan and Constructal Law.

Adrian Bejan's keynote at the 2017 symposium.

The official definition of Constructal Law.

A community hub for Constructal Law.

Willem Larsen interviews Adrian Bejan, Art of Tracking Radio

immediate moment theory

Kevin Behan’s keynote, “the Intelligence of the Heart”, at the 2018 symposium.

Brand’t Stickley’s keynote, “Emotion is a Direction”, at the 2018 symposium.

Kevin Behan's keynote at the 2017 symposium.

Willem Larsen's keynote at the 2017 symposium.

The Natural Dog Training online study group.

Kevin Behan’s online animated presentations at

Kevin Behan’s in-progress book available for preview on the Body Language of Dogs.

Willem Larsen blogs here and here on the thermodynamics of emotion.

Willem Larsen interviews Kevin Behan Pt. 1, Art of Tracking Radio

Willem Larsen interviews Kevin Behan Pt. 2, Art of Tracking Radio

Willem Larsen interviews Kevin Behan Pt. 3, Art of Tracking Radio

concentric ring theory and tracking

A wildlife-based introduction can be found at Bird

Willem Larsen's video series on Forensic Tracking and Flow System Analysis.

human systems dynamics

Visit the Human Systems Dynamics wiki.

community voices

Tom Perry’s series on software/organizational agility:
Agile Tools: The Thermodynamics of Emotion
Agile Tools: Organizational Batteries
Agile Tools: The Preyful Manager
Agile Tools: Thermodynamics and Organizational Assessment
Agile Tools: Further Ideas on the Thermodynamics of Emotion

And Tom’s slides from his presentation on “Business Thermodynamics” at Agile 2019

Sang Koh’s blog
Honor the Dog


The Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

This code of conduct applies to all Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium spaces, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of our staff and host.

Some Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.