Collective leadership and flattened hierarchy →

This is a great listen: Samantha Slade on The Zoë Routh Leadership Podcast. It was recorded during Sam’s recent visit to Australia.

It’s bittersweet listening for me. I held a strong intention for some time to bring Sam and her work to Australia. And then, just before she arrived, I retreated into what she refers to in this podcast as “a real place of visceral safety” around money and took on a new contract.

It made me reflect on the last three years I spent experiencing this new way of co-creating and experimenting with a more conscious, collective way of being and working. I learned so much, yet clearly still have much more to learn.

I’m still strongly called to this work. But for now, I’m letting what came before compost, and listen patiently for the emergence of something new.

Vive la révolution!


Do Facilitated Workshops Bring About the Opposite of What They Intend? →

Chris Mowles, on Medium:

My own experience of a number of facilitated workshops has made me question whether they really are such positive and productive events, and whether they tend rather to suppress opportunities for learning rather than encourage them, the very opposite of what they intend.

This piece deserves some careful reading and reflection.


Stories All The Way Down →

I’ve been listening Tyson Yunkaporta’s The Other Others podcast quite a bit lately.

In his words, it’s where he has “… unlikely, borderline seditious and kind of inappropriate yarns with surprising people about how an Indigenous complexity science lens can be applied to solving the world’s most wicked problems.”

I particularly enjoyed this episode (linked). There’s so much in this, I don’t know where to start. Well worth a listen.


Finnegas →

Paul Kingsnorth, writing for Emergence Magazine:

Now I will say what I believe: that this civilization will not learn anything from this virus. All this civilization wants to do is to get back to normal. Normal is cheap flights and cheap lattes, normal is Chinese girls sewing our T-shirts under armed guard, normal is biblical bushfires and barrels of oil, normal is city breaks and international conferences and African children poisoning their bodies sorting the plastic we have dumped on their coastlines, normal is nitrite pollution and burning stumps and the death of the seas.

We made this normal, and we do not know how to unmake it, or—whisper it—we do not want to.

But Earth does, and it will.

It turns out that we were never in control at all.

How little we truly know.


Website Update and Some News

It’s been a while in the making, but today I’m rolling out some changes to this website. You might notice a new, cleaner design and a couple of new features including search and a contact form. A shout out to Manu for helping bring these changes to life. I’ve also updated the content a fair bit to better reflect the goals of the site. In part, this held up the launch of the new design. As I’ve changed…  
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The Comfortable Life Is Killing You →

Erik Rittenberry:

It’s undeniable that out of great effort and ingenuity we have created a highly prosperous, comfortable, and thriving civilization. But the shadow side of this culture of convenience is that, as Colin Wilson and many other great thinkers understood, it reduces the human being. “The comfortable life lowers man’s resistance so that he sinks into an unheroic sloth.”

This is a great read, well worth a few minutes of your time. May it help change your life for the better.


Empathy Is the Secret Ingredient →

Arunas L. Radzvilavicius, writing for The Conversation:

Even initially uncooperative societies in which everyone judged each other based mostly on their own selfish perspectives, eventually discovered empathy – it became socially contagious and spread throughout the population. Empathy made our model societies altruistic again.

An interesting study, and a terrific resource on the topic of empathy. So many rabbit holes to go down.


Eating Sand →

Nora Bateson:

Systems change is not about fixing the system. It is about sense-making. The fixing will happen by happenchance, not direct correctives … but only when the interdependencies come into view.

Calling it as she sees it. Brilliant.


Not Having All the Answers

I’m reading The Good Life by Hugh Mackay1. I was struck by the following passage, which seems particularly relevant to current times. Fundamentalism (whether religious, political, economic or cultural) thrives at times of social upheaval and insecurity. When we are at our most perplexed or bewildered, gripped by moral panic and baffled by ambiguity, that’s when we are also most vulnerable to pro…  
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Liberating Structures: What’s That? →

Nadia von Holzen:

Liberating Structures is a funny term. At least that is the reaction I get when I am telling about my Liberating Structures workshops. It seems that the term is not easily accessible outside of the Liberating Structures community. I often fail with my explanation that Liberating Structures is a set of methods (you could also call them structures, activities, interactions) to structure conversation and solution finding; and that these structures can be easily applied by everyone. Somehow that sounds quirky and abstract.

I had a similar experience when I explored Liberating Structures with other facilitators last year. I came to the same conclusion, but Nadia does a much better job of explaining it than me …

Liberating Structures is a do-it-yourself concept for teams, groups, networks to work better together.