MAY 15-17



Virtual Junto

Cornelius McGrath


Cornelius McGrath


MAY 15-17

Dearest Junto Members, we are just days away from our inaugural virtual retreat. I couldn’t be more excited.

The last few months have been testing for everyone. Lives, jobs, and opportunities have been lost. But I’ve found myself harkening back to one message: the only thing you control in life is your response to it. 

And I firmly believe that the Junto can spark new lives, relationships, and opportunities for us all. This is a group made up of some of the most gregarious, smart, cunning, and talented folks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting across the globe. The creative fireworks are inevitable. 

If you’d like to learn more about what the Junto is and why I started it, read this first.


Throughout the weekend, you will have the opportunity to join 9 live conversations via Zoom. They will take place during these windows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday:


The Adaptation Advantage: Let Go, Learn Fast & Thrive in The Future
Speakers: Chris Shipley & Heather McGowan.
Time: 1:00 – 2:30PM (CT)


Eustress: The Art of Leaning Into Stress for Optimal Physical, Mental & Emotional Performance
Speaker: Shane Gore
Time: 9:00 – 10:30AM (CT)

The Crisis of Masculinity
Speaker: Cam Perna
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 PM (CT)

Burnout: Mimicry, Uncertainty & Envy
Speaker: Zander Nethercutt
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 PM (CT)

Reflecting On My 20s: Finding Creativity, Slowness & Value (Dinner)
Speaker: Jon Jackson
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM (CT)


The View on Higher Ed: From the Board Room to the Continent
Speaker: Uzoma Ayogu
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM (CT)

Being Your Own Best Shot: What It Really Means To Bet on Yourself
Speaker: Jared Mrozinske
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 PM (CT)

Overbooked and Undercooked: The Punishing Reality Of Becoming Unreliable
Josh Whelan
3:00 – 4:30 PM (CT)

The Crisis of Masculinity (Dinner)
Speakers: Cam Perna
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM (CT)


You can register for the Virtual Junto here. The fee is $100.

90 minutes is ‘scheduled’ for each talk. But not all talks will last 90 minutes. In fact, I fully expect some – especially the evening dinner sessions – to last several hours.

Talks will follow the School of Life’s conversation menu format – you can familiarize yourself with that style here.

All conversations are peer-to-peer driven; speakers are merely meant to provoke conversation. They do not have all the answers.

Come ready to inquire, debate, and have fun.

At the Junto, you get in what you put out. Come ready to inquire, debate, and go first. 


There are several hours between each talk. This is by design.

I’ve been to my fair share of conferences and have always wondered: whoever thought that having 16 talks back-to-back with no Q+A or break was valuable?

In Britain, we have a saying: what a load of bollocks! And no bollocks will be had at the Junto.

By all means use the breaks to recharge, live your lives, take your dogs for walks, or join that legendary quarantine Zoom call that’s the new highlight of your social life. 

My real hope, however, is that you’ll the time to talk to one of your fellow members via FaceTime, Zoom, or (dare I say it) Skype.

After all, this is the real value of the Junto: the community.

Breaks are a time to explore even deeper personal conversations in a more intimate space.

There’s a reason why I’ve pestered you to answer questions and submit pictures. The goal is that you can get a feel for your fellow members ahead of time via the I Am pages in the member’s area.

That way, you know where/who you want to invest your time over the course of the weekend.


Many of you have asked to bring guests along to the retreat. They can sign-up here and must indicate that they have been referred by you. The fee for guests is $100. 

If they enjoy the weekend – and are deemed great contributors by current members – they will receive a formal invitation to join the Junto.

I do not doubt our live conversations will be electric. But don’t sleep on the power of a random phone call or text to that one member you’d love to meet.

Curiosity begets curiosity. And oftentimes the magic comes through most in serendipity. Go first at the Junto.

I promise you won’t regret it. 

Cornelius McGrath