The session is on: Monday, 28th of March 7 - 9pm BST
Meetings are at the heart of our groups and organisations. They are spaces where we discuss issues and get creative, where we can put our values into practice, build stronger connections with each other and make decisions that align with our shared purpose.
How to be a great meeting participant
You may not be the designated facilitator for a meeting, but everyone has a role to play in making sure the meeting is effective. If you would like to know how best to support the facilitator, and to support the group to move forward effectively, collaboratively and stay on purpose, then this session is for you. In the session we’ll explore what makes a great meeting participant and share some top tips for how to support the meeting facilitator.
Who is the session for?
This session is for people working in groups to create social, climate, ecological or economic change. It's for people who want to support their group to make great decisions, benefit from the wisdom of all their members, and have lasting impacts with the work they have chosen to do.
Cost: There is a sliding fee scale of £5 - £20 for the session. Please pay what you can, and if this cost is prohibitive please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to make the session as accessible as we can. If you have the means and would like to pay more, we welcome additional donations. If you’re coming on behalf of an organisation that has funding, please ask your organisation to pay for your participation, at the top end of the sliding scale.
Deadline for signing up: 7pm Sunday 27th March 2022
If you have any questions about the session, please contact us email@example.com
Where we’re coming from
Navigate has been working with groups for over 15 years. Many things have changed in those years, and some things have stayed the same. Again and again, we’ve encountered tension and conflict in groups, and oftentimes this conflict has roots at a systemic level. Unclear ways of making decisions, information that hasn’t been shared, people going above and beyond what they have time and energy for, in order to keep the group going - all resulting in frustration and hurt, as well as less effectiveness in achieving a group’s purpose.
For years, we’ve been supporting groups to develop their systems and ways of working together, using an approach that we call “Living Systems”. It’s hugely influenced by the work of Dominic Barter, and also Miki Kashtan, Donella Meadows, Frederic Laloux and others.
By “Living Systems” we mean more than just procedures or policies - it’s what is lived in the organisation, and so it’s ever changing. It’s the ongoing ways of handling things like making decisions, engaging with conflict, or organising support. These may be clearly agreed and spoken about, or just the way things happen.
Where we’re going
As we’ve tried to reach more groups with this work, we saw that some materials and resources would be useful - something people could refer to and that didn’t depend on us to be present for it.
And so we’ve begun: this guide to Living Systems is a first attempt at writing down our approach to working with systems. There will likely be further versions in the future. If you like, you can send us feedback on it at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve also begun working on an on-demand online course, based off the training we ran in autumn 2020 ‘Living Systems for Thriving Groups’. There will be videos, resources, reflection questions and templates to support you to work with your group on systems - all at your own pace. More on that in early 2022.
Share your systems with us
One thing we’d like your help with: something we often hear when doing this work is that examples would be really helpful - examples of systems that are up and running and functioning. If you - through work with us or independently - have a system that you’ve articulated in some way (be it written down, as a flowchart, as picture or another way) that you’d be up for us sharing with the world, please send it (preferably as a link) to: email@example.com
“...and none of these things mattered as much as the need to weave a solid alliance that would grow into a force that could fight and win.”
Navigate is creating a space for different groups to come together to find ways to collaborate better, and to work through their differences, with our support, in order to build collective power. In this post I delve into why, and how we might support you.
What do groups, projects and organisations need to work together effectively and sustainably?
One of the most fundamental things that makes the difference between a group thriving or falling apart is its living social systems. By “Living Systems” we mean the ongoing ways of handling things like making decisions, engaging with conflict, or organising support. These may be clearly agreed and spoken about (explicit), or just the way things happen (implicit). A Living System is 3 dimensional and dynamic - more than just policies or procedures. Agreeing good ways to handle stuff like decision making or conflict is one of the most useful things we have seen for supporting a group to fulfil its purpose, navigate power and look after its people.
We are offering a 9 week programme to support groups to develop systems that support them to do the work they do. Registrations have now closed.
Applications have closed
In the past months, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the failings and injustices of our current economic and social systems. We then witnessed the racist murder of George Floyd, and the further exposure of the extreme racial violence and inqualities embedded in our justice systems. Out of these tragedies, people worldwide are creating opportunities to start doing things differently, to imagine something new, to transform our communities, to build more equitable, compassionate and creative solutions which respond to everyone’s needs.
The uprising against structural racism and the rapid rise of mutual aid groups in the UK shows that people are ready and willing to stand in solidarity and to care for each other. It shows that there is energy and desire to strengthen our local communities and respond to the needs within them.
This course is designed to support those working with their local communities. Read on for more information on the content and set up of the course.
The last few months have brought lots of change to Navigate, and to the world we all share.
We’re celebrating and enjoying the much needed growth of our team – Roz, Jana and Sarri joined the team in December 2019! Since then we’ve been busy exploring new ways of working together. To find out a bit more about them, have a look at our ‘who we are’ page.
“When a really dear friend emailed me a link to ‘join the Navigate team’ and said ‘this sounds like you’, my attention was arrested. What an opportunity to work with people who are truly invested in and passionate about what they do and who have incredible experience and skills to share! I’m taking skills I’ve collected over the years, honing them, massively adding to them and thinking about them more strategically.” - Roz
Another thing we’re celebrating is that we’ve finally made the move to a new website making it,much easier to share our resource lists with you! You can find them on the resources page – and we’ll be adding to them and refining them as time goes by.
Of course, there have been huge changes outside of Navigate too. As the Covid-19 situation develops worldwide, we’re adapting what we’re offering to online settings. We’re exploring what the groups we work with most need to be effective and healthy during this crisis and how those things will continue to support us all to work collaboratively, equitably and caring for the needs of all life in the future. We’re still keen to hear from you, but do please be advised that we can’t commit to ‘in person’ meetings until social distancing measures are no longer necessary.
We’re excited to continue employing creative and innovative ways for working online, so do get in touch if you’d like support with....
We offer our work for free to unfunded grassroots groups and for groups with an income we have a sliding scale, meaning you pay what you can afford. Contact us for more details on this.
The deadline for applications was 28th July 2019. Applications are now closed.
18-29th May 2019 Ulex Centre, Catalunia
This training of trainers aims to support activist-trainers who want to develop and deliver trainings on sustainable activism and are interested in the approach developed within the Sustaining Resistance project. Through the training we will share experience and offer a range of tools and methods, both personal and collective that can support people to make their activism more effective and sustainable. The training will provide space to design and deliver sessions and receive feedback from peers.
Saturday 12th January 2019, 10.30 –5.30pm, Bristol
The class system is embedded in all of our lives and its not surprising that when we organise for social and environmental justice in our groups and networks that the same class oppressions are often perpetuated. This one day workshop aims to give space to reflect on our own experience of class, to build awareness of how class oppressions are reproduced in our groups and what we can do to change that, so that we can create stronger and more effective groups and movements for social change.