Our Team


Authentic World is a team of trainers, facilitators, and coaches committed to fostering authentic, rewarding relationships in the world, in service of a more sustainable, healthier planet.


Decker Cunov

Vision Holder & Grounding Rod

Decker Cunov, the Executive Director & Founder of AuthenticWorld, is committed to inspiring people towards more fulfilling relationships. His unique approach to transformation is identical to the way he has created profound intimacy in his own life and in his own communities. If you’re new to Decker’s work, rest assured he’s spent the last decade working successfully with everyone from soldiers to teenagers, from the clinically dysfunctional to doctors & lawyers, from a mechanic in Wisconsin to top level executives across the country, helping them reach unprecedented levels of success in an organic and profound way.

His role in AMP and AuthenticWorld is tending to the community (including the Boulder Integral Center in Colorado and the downtown community center in San Francisco), holding the vision, and overseeing the delivery of all coursework.

My brother recently pointed out, laughingly, that I’ve been fostering this unique form of community long before any fancy satori’s or ‘non-dual awakenings’…as army brats we grew up moving every year or so, yet within weeks in our new neighborhood our carport invariably became the haven for kids in the housing area. We weren’t insisting on playing any particular game, and we certainly didn’t have any especially alluring toys or snacks as bait, yet it was invariably packed with most kids in the neighborhood. Mainly for my own sanity and sense of safety, I intuitively encouraged a culture in which every kid had a voice, everyone was encouraged to bring their unique contribution and was recognized for bringing it, and various forms of ‘assholishness’ simply didn’t seem to arise there or was noticed and confronted when it did. So years later I’ve improved the rules here and there, but basically you’re just visiting the most recent version of My Carport.


The richness here is a tapestry woven by countless loving and brilliant people I’ve been blessed to know over the years, and I hope that will end up including you.


Bryan Bayer


Intense, dynamic & curious, Bryan’s role in AMP and AuthenticWorld™ is one of a Connector — networking and scouting new allies, collaborators and partnerships, and oversees the marketing, media & communications division of AuthenticWorld™.   He’s also the “firestarter” behind the new ideas and initiatives in the company.

A coach, international speaker and facilitator for the past 8 years, Bryan draws from an extensive study of integral theory, developmental psychology, man/woman dynamics, and NLP.  From seeding & leading mens’ circles locally and internationally, to training teams of real estate agents on how to be more connected to their clients, Bryan has coached hundreds of people to success in the areas of communications, business and relationship, and co-leads the Authentic Man Program™ weekend intensives and other AMP coursework.

From Decker:  When I first started creating with Bryan, I learned that stuff happened when he was around. Even though he didn’t demand or expect any credit for this, it was pretty clear that when he wasn’t around, less cool stuff happened. It was a couple of years in before I “got” him. In the middle of a dust storm on the playa at Burning Man, he only half-jokingly demanded, shouting to whoever may answer: “Take me to your leader — What the hell is this existence, really?” Maybe someone will answer. It never occurred to me to just yell and ask, like anyone can just ask at any point, but no one got around to it. Bryan is the one who actually gets around to doing that very thing. It’s his desire and creativity that moves most of what I do and what everyone creating with us do. His appetite guided us to San Francisco; that same appetite led us to the crest of this wave of human consciousness. And Bryan isn’t even satisfied riding there. He floats past the rest into the frothy flecks where chaos prevails and the most novelty arises.


Kendra Cunov

Moral Compass

Kendra Cunov has been facilitating group work in the Bay Area for the past five years. She brings a genuine care for people, as well as an extraordinary depth of insight, in service of people living truly fulfilling lives. Kendra’s training in coaching and group change work creates a dynamic and engaging style of leadership, blending uniquely with her years of practice (and upbringing) in a Buddhist monastery to inspire a profoundly clear and open approach to working with her clients.

From Decker:  Kendra’s role as teacher and founder of this company is almost paradoxical in that she is the moral compass that has always kept us true to our most core commitment. Fiercely defending our core vision, she is also simultaneously acknowledging our dark side, willing to vulnerably own not only the loving, connected places, but also standing for connection being absolutely possible in the face of conflict and upset. She ensures that the parts we tend to avoid are also honored and included in the unfolding.


Shelly Birger Phillips

Course Leader

Shelly Birger Phillips M.A. is passionate about being the best human being she can be and supporting others to do the same. When she’s not studying psychology and child-development, she can often be found reading books on personal growth and conscious parenting and then taking action on the strategies within. Shelly works with clients all over the world to support them in having the lives and relationships they’ve been dreaming of. She even found her own husband through a vision writing exercise! Skype video coaching is her absolute favorite way to connect with her clients, and she has been heard saying things like, “This is so cool! I feel like I’m in Star Trek!” yeah, that’s right, she also loves Sci Fi. You can learn more about Shelly’s passion for conscious parenting here, connect with her on facebook here, and tweet with her here. Or you can just use old fashioned email and find her at shelly (at) awakeparent.com.

From Decker:  Shelly is our teacher and coach, and heads up the parenting wing of our work. A decade ago when we were young, single, adventuring, seeking our fortune as fledgling coaches, she was (and still is) about family, community, depth, and inclusion. When Kendra and I were looking at our will and considering who we want to raise our son, there was little hesitation that Shelly is the person we trust the most on the planet. She loves and honors children, and fosters their own authentic expression and path in this world completely independent of any agenda or assumption she would hold for anyone. Kahil Gibran’s “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth,” — that the best we can do is aim well and lovingly release — this speaks beautifully of Shelly’s commitment to this world.


Alexis Shepperd

Course Leader

Alexis Shepperd, Ph.D., a life coach and founding member of AuthenticSF™, has been facilitating transformation for individuals, couples and groups for over a decade. She has had extensive training in the art of relationship, including the intricacies of masculine and feminine dynamics, which she blends with a diverse background in integral psychology, leadership, yoga, and meditation. Alexis is exceptionally gifted at seeing the patterns that hold people back from having what they want and creating the lives of their dreams. She is particularly inspired by helping people create profoundly passionate, loving, and authentic relationships that serve as vehicles for personal transformation. In addition to her life coaching practice, she is the co-creator of the Authentic Woman Experience (AWE), a facilitator for the Authentic Man Program and the Transformational Coaching and Leadership Training (TCLT), and has a doctorate in clinical transpersonal psychology.


Shana James

Course Leader

Shana James brings women and men together to experience and explore intimate and authentic relationships. Her coaching and group work illuminate individuals’ innate wisdom, revealing the power we have to create full and passionate lives. She works with the intensity of relationships to evoke healing and connection.
Shana has a Masters degree in Integral Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. She is a founding member of AuthenticSF, a course leader for The Authentic Woman Experience™ and a facilitator for The Authentic Man Program™. Shana is also a a personal coach and a course leader for the Arête Center for Excellence. She draws from a diverse background of personal study, including yoga, Diamond Heart Practice, somatic inquiry and meditation.


Michael Porcelli

Course Leader

Michael Porcelli is a life coach committed to helping people create more success and fulfilment through living from their Authentic Selves. Through learning from his own transition from a career as a software developer with a BS in Computer Science to becoming a coach, speaker, and facilitator with a MA in Spiritual Psychology he specializes in helping clients who are ready to make a change to living their lives in alignment with their deeper purpose.

Essential to that mission has been communicating with heartfelt honesty and supporting others in doing the same. His work with Authentic World has helped him, and those he has worked with—from engineers and entrepreneurs, to a musician and a single mom—experience breakthroughs in truth-telling that have brought them powerful new experiences of authenticity and intimacy in all areas of relationship.


Cindy Dinh

Course Leader

Cindy Headshot

Cindy Dinh is a relational facilitator, a speaker, a poet. Devoted to art and truth, she has intensively studied and continues to be a student of the process of intersubjective meditation, the Meisner technique, developmental and somatic psychology, integral theory and practice, and other expressive-healing and transformational modalities. She creates a nurturing and intimate relationship in her work as a teacher, workshop facilitator, and her practice with personal and organizational clients, in which all participants receive exquisitely raw attention. Walking the path of what is sometimes called The Second Body, she cultivates a practice of relationship to herself, shadow, others, and various dynamics as a wisdom. She’s a community builder and facilitator in collaboration with Authentic World – Integral Center, currently living in San Francisco, holding the ever growing and evolving Authentic World manifestation.


Marcia Baczynski


Marcia Baczynski is a consultant, educator, and coach who is passionate about providing the world with better tools for relationships and sexuality, and empowering people to use them. An expert in gender dynamics, sexuality and interpersonal communication, she is the co-creator of the global phenomenon called Cuddle Party and has worked with thousands of people, teaching them about boundary-setting, non-sexual intimacy, and effective interpersonal communication. In addition to facilitating coursework at Authentic World, Marcia is a regular teacher at the Center for Sex and Culture and and a presenter at numerous conferences, events and colleges around the country.

When she’s not scheming ways to make the world a better place through improving intimate relationships, Marcia enjoys finding creative ways to use her frequent-flier miles, lurking in museums of all kinds, dressing up, searching for the best ice cream on both coasts, planning adventures for her and her sweetie, hanging out at the beach, and being the best aunt she can be to her niece and two nephews. She also likes socks and dinosaurs.


Jim Benson


Jim Benson is a relationship and intimacy coach and men’s group leader. Jim has been coaching individuals and couples since 1998, and has over 1500 hours of coaching experience. He received his training as a professional coach from the Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, CA, and holds the PCC (Professional Certified Coach) credential from the International Coach Federation.

Jim has led workshops in communication, relationship, sexuality and intimacy in the US and abroad, both on his own and with Margot Anand (author of The Art of Sexual Ecstasy). Jim’s Awakened Masculine men’s groups, started in 2003, have helped hundreds of men make positive, lasting changes in their lives.

Together with his wife Jessica, Jim facilitates “Shadow Weddings.” A Shadow Wedding is an intimate ritual held before a regular “light” wedding in which all manner of difficult material between the engaged couple is welcomed. It provides a consecrated place for partners to give voice to their darker sides, along with any doubts and fears about committing to lifelong partnership.

In his previous incarnations, Jim has co-authored two books on art and graphic design and is a former world champion professional athlete (frisbee freestyle).


Malika Rani Freedman

Course Leader

Malika Rani Freedman is passionate about the ongoing cultivation of deeper connections with innate wisdom and abundant wellbeing, For 10 years, Malika has supported men and women to access deeper levels of freedom and expression in alignment with their core values and desires – both individually and in relationships – through programs associated with Authentic World. Malika’s work as a private life coach and course facilitator is specifically dedicated to supporting growth, awareness and wellbeing with parents, couples, and children. Malika’s services are inspired by extensive training and experience as a somatically oriented counselor, parenting educator, prenatal and perinatal doula, meditation and yoga instructor, massage therapist, and student of the yogic sciences and indigenous traditions of healing.


Robbie Carlton

Curriculum Director

From Decker:  I knew I was going to create with Robbie when I could feel him being more moved by what this whole organization is about than I was. It’s funny, when I think about him, I see him a few years ago with a nagging sense telling him that a whole other level of depth is possible. He surfed around and found obscure recordings of us circling people on a radio show that we did. And those recordings lead him to come owrk with us in SF. He continuously brings us back to beginner’s mind, helping us forget all of the trappings and formalities that just invariably creep in the longer we do this work – “shed those layers, shed those layers” – and we get back to what this is about and what impacted him most in the first place — that this work makes a real difference in people’s lives.


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