The greatest story of the 21st century is not technology, but how technology will be used as a tool for deepening the levels of human potential. At Arena Labs, we leverage the most proven performers, time-honored principles and cutting-edge technology to develop unique performance solutions for a wide range of “arenas” – from medicine to agriculture.


The ultimate consultancy is the anti-consultancy. At Arena Labs, we forgo conventional approaches in favor of asymmetrical insights, status quo disruption and multidisciplinary practice.

We foster an environment of asymmetrical learning and sharing to bring fresh insights into bettering performance. For example, a chef who has mastered running a fast-paced kitchen has knowledge that could help hospital administrators managing burnout and high turnover among surgical staff.
Taking someone out of their own environment creates an opportunity to grow in new ways. Arena Labs exposes clients to unfamiliar experiences to encourage advancement. We call this process “disruptive evolution.”
Practices and lessons learned from high performance in other arenas can be applied to seemingly disparate fields facing similar obstacles. Arena Labs takes proven practices from a myriad of disciplines to create innovative programs tailored to our clients’ specific needs.


Arena 360 uses advanced technology and innovative practices to optimize professional performance through immersive video experiences and scenarios that focus on three key areas.

Stress Inoculation

In high-stakes jobs, fear and anxiety are unavoidable. A relationship with fear is necessary to be able to best handle it when it arises.

Spatial Awareness

The experiences we offer facilitate an immersive, 360-degree understanding – in real time and space – of what is involved in complex team dynamics.

Advanced Skill Repetition

Our technology allows for high-risk, high-cost training to be performed as a safe, economic solution. Exposure to these situations prepare you for the real-world situations that require these skills.

Arena Labs is collaborating with the Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute to create a specialized program for High-Performance Medicine. This program focuses on the unique challenges faced by surgical teams daily: decision making and performance under pressure. Part of our High-Performance Medicine curriculum is built on the “Surgical Performance Program,” that focuses on key elements of medical excellence.
  • Managing Fear & Anxiety in High Pressure Surgery
  • Applying Stress Inoculation Techniques in the Operating Room
  • Learning to Cultivate Trust for Critique and Improvement

Developing a new business line for a Fortune 500 company has never been easy. Today, moving from an agricultural focus to one that blends technology and global sustainability is exceptionally challenging. While optimizing team performance remains at the core of our work, this unique work has our team focusing on areas that are particularly unique to the global business environment:
  • Accelerating Technology: The role of smaller, faster and cheaper technology in changing agriculture
  • Disruptive Thinking: Building a team that is comfortable with and incentivized to constantly disrupt existing business models
  • Bridging Cultures: Combining 21st century technological thinking with 20th century agriculture practices.


The Collaborative is growing to become the world’s most unique network of high-performers. Here, industry leaders from a wide range of disciplines assemble to share what has made them successful. The men and women who comprise this community are pioneering the future of their field and making connections they otherwise would never make. Radical standards, humility and creative curiosity are the unifying threads that connect all Collaboration members.

Collaborative members constantly strive to better themselves. They hold themselves to standards that most would believe to be unattainable. These radical standards are how they prevail in their arenas.
Collaborative members have achieved extraordinary accomplishments, but know that there is always more to be learned, discovered and mastered. This humility is what keeps Collaborative members reaching for new heights.
Intellectual curiosity and creativity are the bedrock of mastery. Collaborative members crave opportunities to learn and explore in unique and unconventional ways.


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Arena Labs is built on the spirit of former US President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous 1910 speech, “Citizen in a Republic,” in which he emphasizes:

“There are many [men & women] who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt…. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Brian Ferguson
Arena Labs Founder
Brian has spent the past 15 years working in high-performance organizations, learning from leaders and decision makers in national security, the military and technology. He has used these experiences to build Arena Labs, a company focused on catalyzing human potential by leveraging the wisdom and experience of men and women who have achieved extraordinary success “in the arena.”

Before founding Arena Labs, Brian worked in a variety of positions in national security and defense. He worked in the office of the secretary of defense and served in the US Navy. Early in his career, Brian worked in the White House and founded The Global Trends Group, a political and economic risk analysis firm.

Brian received an MSc from The London School of Economics, and is a graduate of Singularity University in Silicon Valley and the Santa Fe Institute on Complexity. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as the Pacific Council on International Policy.


Chief Medical
Technology Officer

Dr. Kevin Campbell is an internationally-recognized Cardiologist and on-air television Medical, Health & Wellness expert. He appears regularly on Fox News, Fox Business, CBS and many other national media outlets. A pioneer of the use of social media and digital technologies in healthcare, Dr. Campbell is also an accomplished journalist, blogger and author of two books. Dr. Campbell attended medical school at Wake Forest University, completed his Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Virginia, Cardiovascular Fellowship training at Duke University and has been practicing medicine for more than 17 years. Kevin is committed to transforming healthcare through technology and is passionate about improving outcomes through enhancing physician performance.
VP, Operations & Outreach
Growing up in Europe during her primary school years, Hillaire has always had a curiosity and passion for other cultures and off-the-beaten-path experiences. A classically-trained violinist, she earned left college after two years to enlist in the US Army as an Intelligence Analyst for the “adventure” in it. Finding her calling, Hillaire has spent the past two decades working in communications, program management and analysis, primarily within DOD, the US Department of State, and supporting local and international grassroots initiatives. (Her husband is grateful she indulged in a quarter-life crisis and took 18 months off to attend culinary school at Johnson & Wales.) Prior to joining Arena Labs, Hillaire’s professional experiences have ranged from serving as a Public Diplomacy Officer with the US Department of State for 17 months in Maysan, Iraq to the Senior Anti-Terrorism Planner for Commander, Navy Installation Command’s (CNIC) Hawaii Region. Hillaire earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and received her M.Sc in International Management. When not working on high performance and human potential projects, Hillaire loves to travel, chase her 4-year old son, scuba dive with her husband, rock climb and expand her skills in flying trapeze any chance she gets.
Design, Research & Performance Integration
Laurel sets the bar high for designers. She doesn't just produce visuals...she produces the heart and soul of a brand. She thinks clearly through product and design, what the user needs, how to meet those needs by the shortest route possible, and how an interface must serve many goals. Laurel is the type of designer who helps you understand that design is only in part about the visuals and that careful consideration must also be paid to the myriad ways something will be used. She not only makes things beautiful; she makes things make sense.
High Performance Medicine
Jurgen Heitmann recently transitioned from a career in Naval Special Warfare as a Captain after 32 years of service. He has deep experience in leadership, planning, crisis and deliberate decision-making, team building and execution. With degrees in Industrial Management and Business, Jurgen bridges his unique experience of command leadership of high performing teams with the knowledge of developing and optimizing adaptable organizations in order to solve complex problem in very dynamic, politically sensitive environments. Jurgen finished his military career in strategic roles as Deputy Director for Military Affairs at the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center where he provided advice and assistance to the Director of the CIA and executive leadership. Previously, he served as the Director of Counterterrorism Policy for the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon, reflecting his ability to build relationships and trust as well as thrive in these dynamic environments. Jurgen operationally commanded at many levels within the Special Operations community and constantly drove organizational transformation including the Joint Interagency Task Force in the National Capital region, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the British Special Boat Service in England and SEAL Team TWO. When not hard at work, Jurgen is passionate about family time (including coaching a travel Lacrosse team) and is actively involved in several non-profits dedicated to helping rehabilitate wounded veterans through cycling and wilderness experiences, veteran transition programs as well as mentoring Gold Star family youth.
VP of Product Development & Innovation
Shanon has been defining experiences in digital and physical product design for more than 20 years. He creates groundbreaking experiences that synthesize digital products into the physical world. Shanon’s work – and founding the design firm, MU/DAI -- focuses on the application of emerging technology to improve human lives and experiences, accelerating innovation through practicality and design. Prior to MU/DAI, Shanon led experience and prototyping teams for global brands and leading management consultancies. Additionally, he holds patents for data-driven design tools and the application of additive manufacturing processes. His first company pioneered the use of 3D printing for watercraft in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lockheed Martin. Shanon is a pilot and can be found behind the controls of a Piper Cherokee when he isn’t working.
Advanced Performance
Harold O'Neal is a Tanzania born- American pianist, polymath, and speaker. He has worked with many of the music industry's finest artists (U2, Jay Z, Bob Geldof), and has had his voice reach across many platforms (TED, 92Y, KIN). Being raised in the inner city of Kansas City, Missouri, he has sought to share his story and experiences with the hope to influence and make change in people's lives. The last protégé of Andrew Hill, O'Neal began working with musical luminaries from a young age — touring the world with Bobby Watson when he was 19 after studying composition at the Berklee College of Music and leaving the Manhattan School of Music to replace pianist Jason Moran in the influential band, The Greg Osby 4 and recording for Blue Note Records. As a composer, Harold is known for blending the genres of 20th-century impressionist music with modern music. He has numerous film, television and recording credits over the past 15 years and has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, and PRI, with The New York Times comparing his musical works to those of Duke Ellington and Maurice Ravel. In addition to his musical achievements, Harold has years of training in American kickboxing, has received a black belt in Kenpo Karate, has over 10 years of training in shiatsu, and is a member of the legendary breakdance crew, The Dynamic Rockers. Harold's vision is to affect and change the lives of others through the resources he has acquired over the years of studying multiple disciplines. He believes we can create the world that we want to live in by changing the way we live in the world.
Design, Research & Performance Integration
With over 11 years of international practice in the creative and design fields as an architect, researcher and designer, Diba strikes a rare balance between practicality and vision towards approaching design problems. Her education (B.A. in Architecture and a Master’s in Design Strategy) and travels have sharpened Diba’s ability to connect with people intimately while inspiring innovation through a deep understanding of human behavior and design thinking. Direct and insightful, Diba focuses on evolving the human experience of brands, spaces and products, with deep expertise in financial services, healthcare, aerospace and construction. She is a seasoned practitioner able to simplify the complex into functional, and her commitment to excellence and attention to detail define her discipline and attitude. When not hard at work, Diba loves to play the piano, harp and (Persian) Dar.


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