In the coming months we will be organising events for individuals and organisations to share ways to engage in civil society.
Over the past six years we have held over 40 events reaching more than 400 participants to cover a wide variety of issues and potential solutions.
These include learning and strategic thinking workshops usually with expert speakers but highly participative. See bottom of the page for previous workshops.
We are also experimenting with different ways that people can work together to learn, clarify thinking on priorities, and move forward in taking action both individually and collaboratively.
All activities aim to model and experiment with ways to help evolve our ways of working and living to better serve the individual and collective interests and wellbeing. Click here for an outline of the intended characteristics of all activities. Conveners of all events and other activities are asked to commit to apply this to the focus, content, process and atmosphere of the activities.
More about the above activities can be found on the MUTUAL SUPPORT page
We look forward to meeting you. If you would like to be involved further or have suggestions of events or other ideas please do make contact. We are open to relevant suggestions and approaches as to future partnerships.
More on the programme will be posted shortly. Please do send us an email, if you would like to be kept informed of the upcoming
programme. click here to contact us.
Here is an overview of some of the previous Workshops:
Collaborative Cells: An experiment in embodying ‘Civil Society’ - Exploring practices that enable us to work together in more mutually fulfilling ways
Part of the Festival of Human Organising
This session will introduce an experiment to define and prototype practices that seek to enable us to collaborate in ways that are beneficial to everyone and to ‘organise’, design organisations and ultimately build a world where all can flourish.
This is an open experiment to test out a set of organising principles at a small scale; enabling small-scale collaborations between members/participants through what we are calling a Collaborative Cell. It aims to prototype an infrastructure that would enable this to be scaled up to generate more life-enhancing organisational forms.
It will seek to embody practices that embody wholeness at every level drawing from ideas about reinventing organisations and teal principles (as described in Frederic Laloux’s book ‘Reinventing Organizations’ ), Theory U, complexity theory, spiritual intelligence and ideas on what it is that enables people and other living systems to thrive.
Join us to hear about what we are doing and why, to see a real time cell review, to contribute ideas and, if you would like, to explore opportunities to join in.
This will be followed up by a skype to progress with people interested in joining in cells or forming new cells or possibly joining existing ones. This is a practical experiment in embodying ‘civil society’; ways of working together where all can flourish.
For details see: https://experimentinbeingcivilsociety.eventbrite.co.uk
How to create an Economy for the Common Good – Can caterpillar’s fly?
Evening of Monday 2nd November, London. In partnership with Initiatives of Change ‘Trust & Integrity in the Global Economy’ Programme
(www.uk.iofc.org/tige) and The Economy for the Common Good (www.ecogood.org/en) click here to find out more.
Life-enhancing leadership – how to inspire enthusiastic commitment and enable shared responsibility for making things happen in the places we live and work.
Led by Esther Ridsdale and Patrick Andrews.
This workshop looks at the conditions where people naturally connect with what’s important in business and in life. It explores how to create these conditions and to inspire personal resourcefulness, shared responsibility and co-creation in our workplaces and community organisations.
Tuesday 21st January, 6-9pm. London.
Monday 11th November, 9.30am-5.00pm. Southampton.
Tuesday 12th November, 6.30-9.30pm. London.
Tuesday 23rd July, London, 10am-5.30pm. London
Monday 8th July, Southampton, 9.30-5.00pm. Southampton
Click for details
Decision-making; Optimising Decision Outcomes.
6.00 for 6.30pm. Friends House, Euston, London
An evening introduction to the Quaker Business Method with an overview of other aspects of Balanced Decision Making presented by The Decisions Trust. Optimising Decision Outcomes is a multifaceted challenge that needs to be tackled in several ways as well as addressing personal conduct. In addition to increasing your awareness and knowledge of this subject, the evening will also be a useful, practical experience and an opportunity to network with other like-minded people. The Quaker Business Method is still in wide use after 350 years, take this opportunity to start to add this useful process to your skill set. The evening will be interactive and you will have the opportunity to see the techniques used in a live setting. Click for details
Negotiation skills training exploring the skills to achieve agreements that not only meet requirements and deliver maximum value to both parties but are also sensitive to other stakeholders’ requirement. This workshop will enable you to build your effectiveness in the whole range of negoatiating situations; whetherbuying, selling, discussing opportunities, managing or being managed. It will also help you in your role as a parent, partner and any form of deal.
Trainer: Colin Grant. Click for details
‘Why bother about the European elections? – What can civil society and education do to help people know what the elections are about?
This Democracy Forum is being run by Democracy Matters in partnership with the European Parliament Information Office to discuss the issues and find out what resources are available for education about the EU. Click for details
An introduction to Dynamic Facilitation and Wisdom Councils: Co-creating our future through “We” solutions.
Facilitated by Andy Paice and Rosa Zubizarreta (one of world’s leading facilitators in the approach). Click for details. For one participant’s reflections about and triggerd by the workshop click for details
Improving Performance Through Teamwork and Cooperation – How to avoid becoming better at doing the wrong things.
Tuesday 9 July. 9.30am-5.00pm, London.
This course explores what current management practices reveal about our assumptions and provides a new way of thinking about and leading, teams and organisations; not as traditionally taught, as a collection of autonomous parts but as complex interdependent systems. Click for details
Negotiating to maximise all round gain.
Wednesday 26th June. 6 – 9pm, London.
Exploring the particular skills to achieve agreements that not only meet requirements and deliver maximum value to both parties but are also sensitive to other stakeholders’ requirements. Trainer: Colin Grant. Click for details
Maximising Wellbeing; A Co-creative Conversation Using Dynamic Facilitation; working on solutions to improve wellbeing of the community in Totnes
Friday 21st June. 2-5.30pm, Totnes.
In partnership with Satish Kumar’s Network of Wellbeing. Facilitated by Andy Paice and
Kirsti Norris. Click for details
Dynamic Facilitation and Wisdom Councils; How to harness Collective Intelligence and Update Democracy
Friday 21st June. 7.30-9.30pm, Totnes. With Andy Paice and Kirsti Norris. Click for details
Dialogue and the Positive Power of Purposeful Conversation: how we can use conversation to create transformative change
1.45-5.30pm Thursday 7th March, London
How can we shift our conversations to make a greater contribution to the pursuit of our personal, organisational and societal aims – to employ the power of conversation with responsibility? Conversations are a fundamental part of organisational life, yet for the most part people are unconscious of how they use conversations. We invite you to a workshop, in which, through practical exercises and sharing of experience, we aim to equip you with skills and knowledge to enable you more consciously to shape the conversations you engage in… to make a more powerful positive contribution to achieve individual, organisational or societal aims.
“Leading without leadership” exploring the science of creating environments that develop personal empowerment, shared responsibility and community
6-9pm Monday 25th February, London
This will provide practical ideas relevant to all organisations from corporates, to community groups, to your family. This workshop will look at the conditions where people naturally connect with what’s important. It will explore what we can do to create these conditions and to inspire personal resourcefulness, shared responsibility and co-creation drawing on ancient wisdom, principles from architecture and town planning and latest management science.
by Esther Ridsdale and Patrick Andrews.
Beyond denial – towards real economic and social transformation
1.45-5.30pm Thurs 7th February, Kingston University, London
Part 1 examines the underlying thinking process towards change; Facing up to the economic and financial challenges. Part 2 will explore the redesign of economic processes to mirror the way nature works, considering the Circular Economy and how this can be applied at an individual, local and collective level. Part 3 will facilitate discussion on how transformation can be applied at an individual, local and collective level including particular focus on application in the higher education. Dr Claudius Van Wyk: Drawing on an approach based on holistic science Claudius writes, consults, practices and lectures in integral approaches to personal and organizational transformation andcomplexity science. He is widely published including for publications associated with the Schumacher College where he will be facilitating a course on Holistic Leadership to transform organizational practice. Craig Johnson is co-author of ‘Sense and Sustainability-educating for a low carbon world’ and Programme Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Supporting the Deming Alliance on a conference titled “Sumantra Ghoshal Meets Dr Deming and Stafford Beer”, exploring the question ‘how does the syllabus of management education need to change to better meet the needs of the world?’
10am-4pm Monday 11th February, Coventry
click for details of this and other meetings
How can we increase our individual and collective impact and enhance our ways of working (organisational practice) to enable people to maximise their contribution?
Wed 5th December 1.30-5pm
This session will focus on:
RSA Living Systems Group meeting
Thurs 22nd November 4-6.30pm
Christ Church Southwark, 27 Blackfriars Rd, SE1 8NY 6.30 – 8.30pm Informal networking session in The Blackfriar pub, 174 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4EG.
Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly, Director of the Complexity Research Group at LSE will present some of the work of the LSE Complexity Group, discuss some complexity principles and outline a method of addressing apparently intractable problems. She will discuss the complex nature of Living Systems and their characteristics within a social ecosystem, illustrating her talk with practical examples from 17 years of work with organisations in both the private and public sector; whole governments and states. Eve is a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems.
Holistic Science, Resilience & the Economic Commons
Tuesday 6th November, Totnes, Devon. in partnership with Totnes Transition Town.
This built on the Quilligan series workshop on the 25th October exploring the theme ‘Accountability: Why we have lost it and how we can recover it’. 50 people attended the event which inspired lively and, at times, moving discussion.
Accountability: Why We Have Lost It and How We Can Recover It
Thursday 25th October
International economist and Chair of the Global Commons Trust, James Quilligan and Forum convenor Dr Claudius Van Wyk led us on an examination of how we can address our deepening inability to protect and promote our common interests, resources and well-being; civil society and the commons. This was a highly interactive workshop exploring how to rebuild accountability making a difference in our own organisations, communities and personal lives. The event was one in a week of events on how we can protect The Commons; that is those things needed for the wellbeing of all starting and finishing with events in the House of Commons. For info on the series and emerging developments
see updates on the School of Commoning website
Stimulating transformation through collaborative networks
Tuesday 5th July
This workshop explored effective ways of working with dispersed groups of people / communities of interest to stimulate & support change. The focus was on how to use collaborative networks and support groups to stimulate and support genuine transformation of organisations and services. The event was a practical action-learning workshop. To ground the exploration it addressed Suffolk County Council’s conundrum of how form a network to support people across the locality in addressing the challenge of sustaining and reforming services in the face of cuts and reform. The event led was by Esther Ridsdale click here for more
Organisational Practice and the Commons
Thursday 12th July: Open event
This participative workshop explored the question ‘How can we adjust our organisational practice to increase collective impact and serve the common interests, wealth and well-being?
Programme Part 1: Lessons for us all from the banking crisis:
Dr Claudius Van Wyk will examine the need to understand and transform the mindsets and unarticulated models that underpin undesirable behavior in organisations. He will lift the lid on ways to alter the structures, systems and ways of working needed to manifest the change in behaviour and results needed for the collective good and thereby contribute to the sort of world we would like our children and grandchildren to inherit. Drawing on an approach based on holistic science Claudius writes, consults, practices & lectures in integral approaches to personal and organizational transformation and complexity science. He is widely published including for publications associated with the Schumacher College where he recently co-hosted a course on ‘Building an eco-literate world view’.
Part 2: A set of short presentations addressing the question above including:
What needs to be done to adjust our organisational practice to increase collective impact & serve the common interests, wealth & well-being?
Tuesday 15th May
We were honoured to host one of the Quilligan Series of events exploring how we can protect “the commons”; that is the common wealth; needed for the well-being of all now and future generations. Working in partnership with the School of Commoning, the Gaia Network and Working in Trust our session will start on the wider theme above but focus down on the above question. James Quilligan, policy advisor to governments around the world will open the session addressing how to protect the commons. Part 2 will present of a range of different insights into useful approaches to address the question. Part 3 will be open dialogue between participants joining with others in small groups to explore facets of the challenge of common interest. For more information on the event, articles, etc click here
'How to enable effective collaboration both within and between organisations'
Thursday 19th April
Core Event - Professor John Carlisle and James Miller, Chair of Abermed shared insight on the topic.
The event also looked at structural approaches to enable increased social impact. This included an optional work stream bringing together people interested in making this work and in working together to enable investment in and development of more employee-owned organisations.
After the riots: from blame to positive action
Tuesday 1st February
All day workshop involving over 100 people exploring ‘what can be done to address the underlying causes of the riots?’.
In partnership with Initiatives of Change, the Cordoba Foundation & Burning2Learn. Click here for report from the day