My Photo

with thanks

  • The Small Is Beautiful Manifesto

recent posts

Diversity and Inclusion

  • The Circle Project
    Innovative, experiential, challenging, and meaningful learning experiences around issues of diversity, inclusion, culture, status, and privilege.

My Other Sites

  • 37days
    My weekly newsletter on living intentionally.
  • 3x3x365
    3 friends, 3 states, a photo every day in 2011.
  • Haiku Book Review
    My summaries of books I've read recently, written in Haiku. Why not?
  • movable type
    My thoughts about diversity, stereotypes, prejudice, inclusion, culture....
  • The Circle Project
    Helping organizations explore diversity and inclusion issues through theatre and story. This is the work I have waited my whole life to do.


  • Email Address:
  • Website:

One-Line Bio

Whatever else I am or do, my most important job is being a mother to my two daughters.



I was born in a small Southern town in North Carolina in the late 50s, spent the 60s listening to Bobby Sherman, wearing Peter Max hot pants, and campaigning to be class president; the 70s reading "Tiger Beat" magazine, playing Pee Wee football, idolizing Johnny Unitas and living in Sri Lanka; the 80s at a Quaker college, living in Munich, and sailing around the world; the 90s filling up a passport, falling madly deeply in love with a man to leave your husband for, and having my first child; and the beginning of this decade writing my second book, having my second child, and finding my voice, my passion, and my Self, at long last.

I'm interested in how people interact with each other (or don't). I work with organizations and the people in them to help them work more effectively, particularly across (cultural) difference.

My agenda? I want to fully understand and help other people understand the individual, interpersonal, business, and societal costs of exclusion, prejudice, and discrimination. I work to help people be more culturally literate and build their cultural competence.

To do that, I spend my time in four major ways: first, as a mother, helping my children learn about those issues, and then as a writer, business consultant and trainer focused on diversity, inclusion, globalization and leadership issues. You can get more info on the work piece and my bio at - click on "who are we" or below...

Mostly, I like to engage around ideas, explore things, find strings of thought and pull them. I like surrounding myself with people who have a spark in their eyes, who find themselves talking faster and with more animation when they're excited about an idea, and who strive everyday to help someone. I like people who say "yes, and" rather than "yes, but."

I enjoy teaching, whether by example, by something I've written, or by standing in front of a class of people, helping them see things differently. I'm intrigued by a lot of disparate ideas - storytelling and organizational narrative, imaginative facilitation, art and intercultural discovery, the history of normalcy, the psychology of limits - it's a long list.

I love words and language and trying to put them together in a compelling way. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.


Patricia Digh’s first book, Global Literacies: Lessons on Business Leadership and National Cultures (Simon & Schuster 2000) was selected by Fortune magazine as a "Best Business Book" for 2000. Her second book, The Global Diversity Desk Reference, was published in 2003 by John Wiley.

Patti has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, education, diversity, and inclusion. She has developed diversity strategies and educational programming for major nonprofit and corporate organizations and has been a featured speaker at many national and international conferences.

A faculty member for the Intercultural Communications Institute and the University of North Carolina at Asheville, her comments have appeared on PBS, and in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and London Financial Times, among other publications. She has written over 75 published articles on business strategy, leadership, diversity and globalization issues and has lived, worked, and traveled in over 60 countries.

In her speaking and writing, Patti uses a unique style of storytelling and inspiration, gaining an international reputation for her innovative approach and ability to galvanize reflection, synthesis, and action in organizations. She recently keynoted the International Conference of the American Society for Training and Development, with over 12,000 participants.

Patti was formerly the Vice President of International and Diversity Programs for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), with over 195,000 members. She is also a co-founder of The Global Diversity Roundtable, a consortium of senior practitioners from multinational corporations that provides a confidential forum for the exchange of leading edge practices, strategies, and methodologies in global diversity.

Patti’s clients include Amdocs Israel, the U.S. Postal Service, Discovery Communications, Shell Oil, PBS, the Australian Human Resources Institute, the American Cancer Society, JP Morgan Chase, the American Red Cross, and the American Institute of Architects, among many others in the U.S. and abroad. She has served on diversity advisory councils for the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the National American Red Cross, the AARP, and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, among others.

Patti is also a co-founder of The Circle Project which uses art, story, and theatre to help individuals build more inclusive communities that connect, collaborate, and create.

Her hobbies include making photographic image transfers and writing “37days,” a weekly newsletter about living intentionally. She and her husband, John Ptak, live in a beautiful mountain town with their two daughters, Emma and Tess, a dog named Blue, three cats whose furniture scratching proclivities don’t merit their being mentioned by name, and until the recent Unfortunate Incident, a dwarf hamster named Maggie.


i write. i think about living so i can die without regrets.