Anthropologist and WolfTribe’s Philip Folsom

Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on Anthropologist and WolfTribe’s Philip Folsom

How many years in Venice?    I moved into Venice in 1992 so I guess that makes me old school. This was back when Oakwood was Ghost Town and all of us from that era have stories to tell.

How did you come up with the name of your business?  The formal name for my company is Philip Folsom Programs, however most folks call it WolfTribe because that is one of my signature programs. The WolfTribe workshop is where we dive into how we build healthy and high performing teams that happen to function almost exactly life a wolfpack and then I bring a pack of real wolves in to meet and greet and demonstrate collaborative behavior, healthy conflict and accountability.  View the WolfTribe video by clicking on the play button on the featured photo above.

Tell us about your company.  I upgrade the culture of organization so they are healthier and higher performing. I do this through a combination of engaging adventures like ropes courses and wolf programs coupled with facilitated trainings and curriculum.

How long in business, and how did you get started?  I’ve been immersed in human development for over 20 years and my own personal healing work was the door that got me into anthropology and mental health.

Photo by Lynn Millspaugh

What accomplishments are you most proud of?  All of my biggest accomplishments are internal;  I’m sober, I have a robust meditation practice and I’ve processed most of my big traumas so people generally say they find me both peaceful and powerful which is a nice place to be. Of course getting all our internal demons back in their cages gives us access to all sorts of external accomplishment such as business success and giving back to our community such as my free PTS and suicide prevention programs that I am also very proud of.

Past ventures:  I owned a very successful youth team building company for years and was a soldier in the United States Army.

Future projects/Direction:  I’m launching a consultation company later this year and also have a book in the works. Stand by for that!

What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?  Don’t worry too much about purpose if you don’t have it already.  That will come. DO follow your passions because they will not only lead you to your purpose as well as prepare you for them when they arrive.

Where do you find inspiration?  Mythology is one of my primary sources of inspiration. Mythology is the crystalized stories of all the heroes who came before us and can be thought of as data with a soul.

Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote:   If you want to go fast go alone.  If you want to go far go together” African Proverb “Answer the Call” “If you’re falling, dive” “the cave you fear to enter contains the treasure you seek” Joseph Campbell

Favorite book:  Grendel by John Gardner

What causes do you support?  I’m a big fan of wildlife conservation and I sit on the board of Over and Above Africa I also support many veteran organizations and sit on the boards of SPARTA, Raven Drum and Crusade 22

© Philip Folsom

What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place?   Individually we need to level ourselves up…we call it doing the bucket work.   Collectively we need to rebuild our tribes, which is the basic, fundamental human systems that make us healthy.

List 1-2 things on your bucket list, and 1-2 on your VENICE bucket list.  My bucket list includes finishing my book on building healthy and high performing organizations and getting back into Jiu Jitsu. I’m also a big fan of photography and want to have a show of my Venice photography sometime.

Philip Folsom with his daughter Kai


Describe Venice.  Venice is the center of the World.  There has always been a cultural center of the world…Rome, then London then NY and it is dictated by the city that leads and defines culture. The USA drives the culture of the world (for good of bad it is irrefutable) and California drives the culture of the US.  Los Angeles drives the culture of Cali and Venice drives the culture of LA.  We are the center of the world. Venice gave birth to skate culture, fitness culture and so much more.

Describe your perfect day in Venice:   Venice is all about bicycles and skateboards (my favorite is Venice-based Carver) and my family and I can spend a whole day out and about. Morning at the farmer’s market or Groundworks,then bike down to the beach, spend some time at the skatepark and maybe hit up Clutch for dinner. If I’m feeling naughty Salt and Straw ice cream is by far the best food I have ever stuffed in my face.

Philip, Tanya and Kai Folsom

Where would you take a client that you want to land a deal with?  I can’t tell you how often I take clients to Clutch.  Oscar always makes everyone feel special and at home and people want to FEEL GOOD. That’s what Venice is all about, the feeling of community.

What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?  I got to stand in line to vote and chat with with Dennis Hopper and that was really cool. And last week I worked out next to Arnold and Jean Claude Van Damme who were both working out together at Golds. Only in Venice…

Any shoutouts or thank you’s?  Long time Venice locals Greg Falk of Carver Skateboards is one of my main men, as is Oscar Hermosillo the owner of Clutch Roadhouse in Venice.

© Philip Folsom

Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?  I have lived here longer than I have lived anywhere in my life. This is now my home and it defines and contributes to me as much as I define and contribute to it.

Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?

  • Greg Falk of Carver Skateboards
  • Oscar Hermosillo,  owner of Clutch

For more of Philip Folsom’s inspirational messages, follow him on  instagram.com/philipfolsom.




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