Our History

“ Jeff Klein, Michael Strong, John Mackey, Philomena Blees in 2009


Peace Through Commerce  and Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs were originally created as programs under Freedom Lights Our World (FLOW), Inc. in 2006, along with a third program called “Conscious Capitalism” (see www.consciouscapitalism.org).

FLOW was a nonprofit corporation that was Co-Founded in 2005 by John Mackey, CEO and Co-Founder of Whole Foods Market, and Michael Strong, visionary and educator to promote entrepreneurial solutions to world problems. Its founding executive team was Michael Strong as CEO and "Chief Visionary Officer," Philomena Blees as Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, and "Chief Problem Solver," and Jeff Klein as Executive Director and "Chief Activation Officer."

In 2010, the three programs under FLOW were reorganized into two nonprofits: one became Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and the other became Matrix of Peace Systems, Inc., taking with it the Peace Through Commerce and Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs programs. Matrix of Peace Systems, Inc., working at the whole-systems level, took responsibility for completing the FLOW two-movement model.

The original board of directors were Philomena Blees, the former Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Financial Officer of FLOW; Joyce Beck, psychotherapist and co-founder of a progressive healing center called The Crossings; Felora Derakhshani, engineer and founder of ACTwomen and ACTgirls; Nitsan Joy Gordon, co-founder of the Israeli women’s empowerment and healing organization Together Beyond Words; Barbara Jenkins, former chief legal assistant at FLOW and in the legal department of Whole Foods Market; and Teri Johnson-Sapp, entrepreneur and founder of RESAustin.

Left to right:

  • Barbara Jenkins
  • Teri Johnson-Sapp
  • Philomena Blees
  • Joyce Beck
  • Felora Derakhshani
  • Nitsan Gordon (not pictured)
  • Barbara Jenkins

To find out more about Matrix of Peace Systems' origin and history, click here.


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