Meet Stephen Yogi Rueff, CoCo’s first “Instigator in Residence”

Meet Stephen Yogi Rueff, CoCo’s first “Instigator in Residence”

I guess if something’s worth doing it’s worth taking several months to do it.

If you recall, we announced way back when that we were looking for an “Instigator in Residence.” The goal?

“To introduce “outside elements” – catalysts, flies in the ointments, irritants in the oyster, or to use one of my favorite words, instigators. The goal is to make sure that we are actively introducing new strains of thought that keep us all aware of new and different ways of looking at things.”

After that post, we began to hear from some of the most interesting people you could ever hope to meet. Artists, videographers, strategists, entrepreneurs – you name it.

But the first Instigator is pretty important, we figured. It’s an auspicious appointment that says something about what we’re trying to accomplish in cultivating the culture at CoCo. So, for at least two months we waffled on making a decision. Until we met Stephen Yogi Rueff.

Stephen caught our attention by proposing something we hadn’t considered: interviewing as many members as possible with the goal of creating a “baseline” inventory of our culture (known in some circles as an Asset Map). This inventory will help us understand the CoCo community’s resources — individual capacities and abilities, as well as organizational resources – with the potential for promoting personal and community development. With that knowledge, we can be smart about what we do going forward, including what people, organizations or ideas we need to bring to the party .

We will let Stephen introduce himself below.

He’ll begin working with us in stealth mode in December, to help us better define goals and outcomes for the Instigator program. Then in January he’ll begin his own instigation in earnest. He will spend Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at CoCo, dividing his weeks between St. Paul and Minneapolis locations.

A note from Stephen Yogi Rueff, CoCo’s first Instigator in Residence:

Dear CoCo Community,

I am thrilled with this appointment as your first  “Instigator in Residence” at CoCo and look forward to meeting you, learning about your work, your passions and what leads you toward happiness.

Our work together will be influenced by my varied and rich life and career. I am a fourth generation Minneapolis native and resident, who has lived in New York City and traveled to over 30 countries on four continents.

I am a business coach, change agent, educator, initiator, connector, fire starter and rainmaker. I listen to stories, feed the fire and fan the flames that drive people’s passion to create meaningful impact in the world. The power of business can be leveraged to foster change and I believe that the 21st century business model has sustainability attributes at its core.

For the first 10 years of my professional career, I was a performing artists (in theatre, film and dance) and worked at First Avenue in the heady days of the 1980s. The next 10 years I lived and worked in NYC, as a performing arts production guru, touring through Europe and Asia with artists as varied as Blue Man Group and MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant recipient Meredith Monk.

After moving back to Minneapolis in 1994, I spent years working in live event production and producing with Walker Art Center, Ordway Center and innumerable visual and performing artists. From 2004 to 2008 I worked with Fortune 500 companies in corporate communications, managing brands and messaging. I produced video, online content, acted as an Executive Producer and Account Manager leading teams for events held throughout the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.

Throughout my career I have helped individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses refine their purpose, define their potential, assess their progress and connect with partners.

My MBA in Sustainability and Entrepreneurship from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute allows me to feed my passion to guide others in crystallizing their dreams and setting them on a path to realize their potential while shaping a profitable business model. I hope we can find opportunities to explore together.


  • Change Agent, Educator, Initiator, Connector, Fire Starter and Rainmaker.
  • Business and Entrepreneurship Assessment, Strategy and Planning
  • Sustainability Business Projects, Programs and Messaging
  • International Business Relations
  • Leadership Coach
  • …and now Instigator.