Our Founder

Anne Heberger Marino

Anne has been creating dynamic, memorable, curiosity-driven workshops for top-notch researchers since 2006.  Lean-to Collaborations combines her experience as a senior program director, research facilitator, evaluator, and team coach to create conditions for vividly interconnected research.  She calls it “beyond research as usual”.

"You're like a social worker for scientists!"

Hello, and welcome!

While working at the US  Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a committee member once exclaimed,  “You’re like a social worker for scientists!”  That’s a pretty accurate description of my not-so-easy-to-describe career.  They didn’t realize it, but I happen to have a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lean-to Collaborations builds on my 12-year career at the Academies as a senior program director and program officer for the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) – a $ 15-year, $40 million interdisciplinary team-based conference and grants program.   Though NAKFI came to its planned conclusion in 2019,  people in the team science and convergence research world know me for that work.  

(SIDEBAR: If you’re curious about all things NAKFI, the book Collaborations of Consequence is the official summary of NAKFI’s history, model, and results. There’s even a helpful “How to Think Like NAKFI” chapter to get you started in creating a NAKFI-style workshop of your own.)

Increased focus on convergence research, integrating more diverse ways of knowing into scientific teams,  and an expectation that researchers will be incorporating “team science” in grant proposals have made that experience more relevant than ever. 

 What I do.

I help researchers and research administrators use simple structures to launch and lead vividly connected, highly effective, always improving teams. We create workshops, we gather insights, and we work in ways that go beyond how “research as usual” is done. 

Most importantly, the highly trained, super-smart people I work with unravel how to create an effective team, practice new skills, and get back to work on solving societally relevant problems.

Why I do it.

Because we don’t have time for research teams and leaders to be stuck, confused, and overwhelmed when the world is falling apart.  

Backstory and Professional Memberships.

Evaluating, facilitating,  and convening interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and convergence research teams have been the focus of my work for 20 years- since I witnessed my first interdisciplinary “ah-ha!” moment working in a research position at Cornell University.

My training in program evaluation, facilitation, team coaching, and awareness-based systems change is inspired by the needs of researchers I have encountered during my career.  In addition to a deep knowledge of team science, I use techniques and tools from the Art of Hosting, Theory U, Appreciative Inquiry, The Work that Reconnects, and systemic team coaching in client engagements. 

I am a member of the International Network for the Science of Team Science, the International Association of Facilitators,  the National Organization of Research Development Professionals,  and a Lifetime Member of Girls Scouts of the USA. 

Purple International Association of Facilitators Logo
Presentation Guild Membership Logo

Client kudos

“Anne’s skillset, generosity, and competence have kept us moving forward. She is schooled in team dynamics and operational procedures. I have hired, fired, and contracted with hundreds of individuals and businesses. She’s been essential.”

“The workshop promoted conditions for researchers belonging to different fields & with different expertise to discuss at length about transformative, big picture concepts, methods, and ideas that could impact multiple fields of science”.

We've worked with

The Extended Team

Two adults and a child on top of a mountain

Lean-to Collaborations is a woman-owned, family business.  Here we are in 2020 (briefly unmasked) atop Maine’s highest peak, Mount Katahdin.  Yes, we stayed in a lean-to. 

Land Acknowledgement

Lean-to Collaborations is headquartered in Brunswick, Maine which was settled on the traditional territory of the Wabanaki Confederacy. We recognize and honor the current Tribes who comprise the Wabanaki Confederacy—the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, and Micmac peoples—who have stewarded this land throughout the generations.  We respect the traditional values of these Tribes and affirm their inherent sovereignty in this territory. We support their efforts for land and water protection and restoration, and for cultural healing and recovery.