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.
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.
Finding Collaboration in Conflict: Exploring Convergent Facilitation as a process for making difficult decisions in groups
Thursday evening 28th February – Sunday 3rd March 2019
Would you like to learn how to facilitate groups that are stuck in disagreement to move forwards?
Do you want to better support groups to come up with decisions that work for everyone?
In this 3-day training, we will be exploring a process called Convergent Facilitation and learning how to facilitate effective collaborative decision-making. Convergent Facilitation is a method for bringing a group to decisions that everyone supports, by going into the disagreement and finding a way forward that includes what really matters to everyone involved.
Over the past few months we ran taster workshops in Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol and London, covering these topics: Power dynamics, when decision-making gets stuck, sustaining ourselves, and conflict in groups. We chose topics that many groups are struggling with, so we hope these workshops offered some insight and support.
28th February & 29th March
Almost all groups have moments when they’re going round in circles while trying to make a decision. This can feel like a waste of time, and can drain the group of its energy. Sometimes people resign themselves to this way of working, but it doesn’t have to be like this! There are ways to get out of this stuck place, and into making decisions that work for everyone.
10th April & 16th May
Conflict in a group can be profoundly challenging; like wading through a swamp, or like a whirlwind pulling everyone in and tearing things apart. Though conflict can be intensely painful, it’s possible to find ways through it together. Conflict can be a sign that change is needed, and engaging with it can help a group to have more resilience, strength and energy for action.