OUR STORY

In 2009...

Our Founder Susan Olesek cut her teeth learning how to teach the Enneagram in prison. Among her first incarcerated students were a serial bank robber, a man on the FBI’s “most dangerous” list, a gang leader of the norteños, and a Ph.D. student with a 16-year crystal meth addiction.

Susan saw an undeniable light about the people she met “inside.” These students of the Enneagram took up the work of self awareness with courage, despite the walls around them, despite the decades of time they’d served, and despite the appalling abuses they’d suffered when they were children. 

As they did their inner work, Susan’s first students helped her heal her own childhood traumas and begin to understand how to teach something she had yet to learn–self acceptance. Together, they used the Enneagram for it’s real purpose, to find freedom inside of themselves. Inspired and convicted, in 2012, Susan founded Enneagram Prison Project, a nonprofit with a vast vision to free people–all over the world– from the prisons of our own making. She immersed herself in carceral systems from Norway to San Quentin, and got to work.

While on a mission to grow Enneagram Prison Project, Susan was hired to share her compassionate approach to the Enneagram to a wildly diverse group of people–from founders, to lifers, high schoolers, CEOs, psychologists, parents, and correctional officers. She called herself a Human Potentilaist. Over the next decade she reazlied that people are people. No matter the language, race, religion, education, gender, or age–the Enneagram does not discriminate. 

As Susan’s determination to bring the work from the inside out, grew and grew, her husband quit his job to became the Executive Director of her precious nonprofit, and joined her on her mission, while raising their three boys together.  In 2021, with her heart a thousand feet deep in our prisons and jails, Susan founded The Human Potentialists, a benefit corporation democratizing the Enneagram for the greatest human good.

We are gentle disruptors.

The Human Potentialists are many things, but one thing first–we are fierce lovers of humanity. We know that everything is connected. We are a team of Enneagram practitioners determined to teach the curriculum in the same compassionate way we learned it "on the inside"—everywhere else.  The Human Potentialists are everywhere, working with c-suites, in corporate board rooms, in our school systems, and at nonprofits to change the way we see ourselves, and the way we see each other. We are removing barriers to learn the Enneagram, a profound psychological system which has always been meant for everyone.