Why transforming change?

Change-making is urgent. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we have fewer than a dozen years to avert climate disaster. Meanwhile, huge numbers of people lack the basics to thrive. And these enormous challenges are only some of many before us. 

Processes of change have developed dramatically, often coming out of Euro-centric thought traditions (Cartesian, Newtonian) and often based on the management sciences, with principles such as efficiency and return-on-investment at their core.

Change approaches are often aligned with neo-liberal philosophy, which assumes continuous growth and consumption - perpetuating the patterns that have created our current dilemmas.

Change is needed, beyond just doing different things. We need to deeply transform our paradigm and practices of change, reimagining the systems and institutions of our world. We want to support those engaged in this great reimagining.

So, this is our vision: A deeply connected people and planet with regenerative human-nature connections where resources are used to help social-ecological systems thrive - and empowered change makers who can help get us there.

 

Programme objectives

Mindsets, heart-sets, and action-sets are changing towards:

  • A deep understanding of our own role and agency in the systems they we to change.

  • Connecting to self, society, and nature.

  • A curiosity about and practice of challenging one's own assumptions.

  • Multiple ways of seeing, knowing, and relating.

  • Using multiple lenses to critically engage with complex adaptive systems.

Systems entrepreneur capacities are developed and being applied. This looks like:

  • A culture of experimentation and learning.

  • Capacities to see complexity and agency in systems.

  • Abilities to recognise opportunities in systems.

  • Analysing one's own systems entrepreneurship skills and strengths for specific opportunity contexts.

  • Capacities to navigate emergence.

  • Navigating social, political, and personal systems relationships across scales.

Knowledge and skills are built which can catalyse systems change, especially:

  • Identifying regenerative solutions to intractable social-ecological problems.

  • Connecting innovations to necessary social, political, and financial resources, across scales.

  • Navigating networks that span regions, sectors, and problem domains.

  • Navigating dominant systems in a way that enables the emergence of healthy alternative systems.

How are we doing this - and with whom?

Each year, we bring together a cohort of around 20 participants, drawn from a diversity of organisations and sectors, who want to explore how to transform change.

We seek participants who: want to learn how to think and act systemically; are interested in disrupting toxic systems and building healthy ones; are, in some way, working on Agenda 2030; have a desire for people and planet to thrive together with a keen interest in transforming development practices; work with diversity and try to break down silos; are engaged in an ongoing, honest struggle with their own biases and understandings; and recognise that effective change makers are constantly engaged in both inner and outer journeys. Both are integrated in this programme. As well, the capacity to influence change (both formally and informally) in their organisations and networks is important

The programme is a joint learning journey - participants, facilitators, and partner - we are all learning together. We create conditions to challenge our models, assumptions, and processes through elements such as:

  • On-line and in-person modules.

  • Field studies in module locations across the African continent.

  • Inter-modular work on ongoing projects.

  • Coaching.

  • Sharing, presenting, and analysing each others' work.

  • Module design and delivery which is responsive to participants' realities.

  • Activities designed for both the inner and outer journeys.

  • Learning both theoretical foundations and practical tools.

Uniquely, module one of the programme is part of the recruitment process. This allows participants and their organisations to really get to know what the programme is about and whether it's a fit for them. And, even for those ultimately not accepted into the programme, we hope that offering the first module broadly in this way, will provide learning and value to all who go through module one.

Transforming Change is a learning journey that goes inward to learn about self as a systems entrepreneur and outward to learn about organisations, networks, and the global context as part of a dynamic, interactive whole. Go here to learn about the curriculum.