Elements of Our Programs
We know that every group has its own version of “healthy;” however, we’ve found that there are some key supportive elements which create the conditions for a diversity of healthy cultures to grow. We engage these elements in everything we do.
Connection, Creativity, and play
We create opportunities for meaningful connection with place, land, spirit, and community. We support groups to reflect on the qualities of these inter-relationships and to draw from those qualities in support of their group activities. We believe that understanding and practicing connection brings us back into the foundational creative partnership we believe we are designed to have with the world around us, and nourishes the life-force and creative energies of our groups.
We explore the power of economics as a site for radical transformation at every level of our group systems. We use frameworks that integrate ecology, economics and wellbeing, we look at how our current economic story gets in the way of effective action, we examine the impacts of different money systems and ways to 'change the exchange,' and unpack the social and financial benefits of economic re-localisation. On a practical level, we support the groups we work with to map their resources in order to enhance their effectiveness, to (re)define their internal systems of exchange, and to cultivate synergistic partnerships with the communities, people, and places around them.
Governance and Decision-Making
Recent decades have seen a proliferation of methods by which to share decision-making and leadership in group cultures, and to empower groups to continuously evolve their sense of purpose and identity. We teach Sociocracy in combination with other collaborative methodologies such as The Way of Council and Acorn Leadership, to provide an effective and flexible framework in which groups can find their own “best fit” for shared, evolutionary, self-governance.
Body-Informed Leadership is a term coined by Madelanne Rust-D’Eye to describe the process of being attuned to, and in conscious, skilful relationship with, the body’s signals as a crucial – although often unconscious – domain of leadership in our group cultures. Body-Informed Leadership draws from the latest insights into Neuroscience and embodied psychology to open this leadership domain to greater awareness, and to convey the core skills required to navigate it successfully. In particular, BIL presents the body as the place where core cultural dynamics such as dominance and inequality are imprinted, and as a crucial site for change-making in the transition to a more just and life-sustaining society.
How can we not only navigate conflict, but proactively build cultures that generate peace? We support groups to explore different paradigms for conflict resilience, as well as the importance of creating systems of feedback, in order to re-characterise conflict as an opportunity for positive change, insight, and growth. We teach the practices and personal skills required to navigate conflict peacefully and courageously, in order to receive its (sometimes hidden) gifts.
Masculine and Feminine energies interact and express uniquely through every person, place, and project. Understanding the gifts – as well as the potential pitfalls and historical wounding – of these energies helps us to be the most creative and empowered version of ourselves, and to utilize the full range of leadership and connective tools at our disposal in our lives and group cultures.
Practice of Change
In our longer workshop series, we offer support and structure for groups' "Cycles of Learning": for a cyclical process of Visioning and Planning, Prototyping/Action, Observation (including assessment, measurement and evaluation), Reflection (including creative and non-linear processes), and back to Visioning/Planning again. This supports groups to share accountability, to regularly harvest - and direct - the tangible progress or "outcomes" of their efforts, and to ongoingly update their sense of purpose, vision, and shared action. We believe that effective methods of project management support the safety, trust and vulnerability required for deep creativity and flow, and that they ensure outcomes are aligned with a group's deepest visions.