Episode #73 ReWorlding: Co-Creating a Politics of Wholeness with Eva Schonveld and Justin Kenrick
How would the world flourish if our politics were based on trust? And how can we make that happen? Eva and Justin are co-creating the ‘ReWorlding’ online conference in late May and we came together to explore how even the making of this has been an exploration of what it is to be human, to trust, to grow and to dare to be different.
Eva and Justin were guests of Episode 44 in which we explored the links between personal and collective trauma -and they outlined the work they were doing in Scotland to build towards a constitutional convention that would help to weave new democratic structures for an independent Scotland.
Now they are weaving a new Gathering into being – an online week, bringing together people from all over the world to find new ways to be human in the 21st century – ways that will take us forward into a world that is regenerative for the human and more than human worlds.
In their own words:
“Reworlding is asking: how can we develop new decision making processes – and integrate with enduring ones – in order to collectively create a decolonised, just, empathic and regenerating world at every level? This is not a call to get involved in politics. This is a call to help create a new politics.
Reworlding will bring together people who have:
– experience of working with their own and others’ trauma, and/ or
– experience of decision making systems that seek to enable a mutual world, and/ or
– experience of resisting domination to protect and enable a just and regenerative world
This week is an exploration, a scouting out of what is already happening, and a searching ahead: imagining and working towards assembling a politics of wholeness, including through deepening our awareness of what colonises within and between us – and what liberates us.”
Manda: Today I am delighted to invite back to the podcast Eva Schonveld and Justin Kenrick, who were with us back in episode number 44 almost a year ago, midway through first lockdown in the UK. And at that point, I was really struck by the extent to which Eva and Justin were really working to create a new narrative around democracy, ways of finding a democratic process that would work. They were at that point convening people’s assemblies that would feed into citizens assemblies, that would feed into a constitutional convention, that would inform a new democratic process for Scotland as and when, and we should say, if it becomes independent. And a year on, I’ve been watching with some awe as they brought together something called a reworlding gathering or conference and online meeting at any rate. And I’ve been watching some of the process of that and some of the extraordinary facilitation that they’ve done to bring people from all round the world together in ways that allow us to get to know each other better so that we can talk together so that we can build trust. And this is all leading to a conference that is happening at the end of May 2021.
So if you’re listening to this around the time of transmission, there is still time to get involved and we will tell you at the end how to do it. And in the meantime, we had certain technical challenges with this one. The line kept dropping. So I apologise for the not entirely seemless results. But Caro has, as ever, brought real magic with the sound. Thank you, Caro. So people of the podcast, please welcome Eva and Justin and the reworlding gathering. So, Eva and Justin, welcome back to the Accidental Gods podcast on this beautiful April morning. We could do with some rain, but will not get too upset about that. We’re not at Californian standards yet and we are heading into, the most amazing time for you because you’re creating the reworlding week, so that’s why we’re here, that’s what we’re going to talk about. But in our pre-podcast chat, we decided we would look at where each of us is as a start off, because partly because I want to tell everybody what I’ve been doing, which is reading about Audrey Tang, who is the minister without portfolio in Taiwan and is the most extraordinary person. This is someone who is reading advanced mathematics, aged six and is the youngest minister in the Taiwanese government and also the first transgender minister in the Taiwanese government and is there to provide a bridge between the older generation and the younger generation.
And wouldn’t it not be wonderful if we had governments that did that, but because they were deeply involved in the open source software programmes in California at the time when they lived there, they’ve created digital democracy so that they can crowdsource ideas in an open source way. And it’s done very cleverly. So people put forward ideas and the ones, not necessarily the ones that get the most votes, but the ones that get the broadest consensus are the ones that are then lifted up to ministerial level. And apparently one of the ministers in the government complained that the general public had more access to what they talked about than they did, which you have to think is a good thing for democracy. And there are some very good podcasts. I will I will link the one with Tristan Harris because it was by far the most coherent that I’ve listened to. And it also went through the programme that they created for digitising the response to the coronavirus, which was just amazing. So where I’m at is being very inspired for the future of democracy, because there are things being done by intelligent people who understand technology and what can be done with it, which is so heartening. So that’s my smile for the day. So passing on to Justin, you have also, I think from the sound of things, a smile for the day or at least a place that’s very rich for you just now.
Justin: Yes, yes. I have a big smile for the day, but I first want to say that’s a lovely, lovely to hear what you said and to hear about democracy being renewed in that way and the attempt to bridge the generations, because here in the UK, Brexit and the climate crisis and, you know, the transgender issue and here in Scotland, the independence issue of so kind of shown the huge gap between generations. And that’s that’s what I’m also hearing about people having more access to an input into decision making than people who are officially in charge. It’s lovely. And I guess that links to what I wanted to bring, which is kind of the joy over the Shell seven Extinction Rebellion seven who the jury found not guilty, you know, who heard the evidence around the climate crisis. And then we’re told by the judge that they should discount that evidence in their decision. But clearly, having heard that evidence, they then decided to acquit. And so hearing that us ordinary people, when given the chance to consider the issue, any issue and to decide, you know, kind of consensus, deliberative way will come to a really clear decision, that’s totally different system we’re in is really reassuring. And that’s what we found with citizen’s assemblies, people’s assemblies. There’s lots of questions we can go into later in the podcast, but that’s a delight. And it really feeds into the reworlding week that we’re wanting to focus on here, which is around how do we change our politics utterly, not just adapt it, but utterly transform it into something that starts from a basis of trust and deliberation rather than trauma and trial.
But my good news is yesterday I got a I got a letter from the courts telling me that although I’d won a case, they were appealing against it. And the reason why that’s strangely good is because two weeks ago, I was down in London City of the Magistrates Court for having blockaded the streets of London back in October 2019 with Extinction Rebellion. And I was in court for obstructing the roadway. And I happened to have seen my grandson and granddaughter the day before, newly born granddaughter, so I was so totally delighted to have to travel all the way from Edinburgh to London, legally obliged to travel during a lockdown, and I could visit her. So I was in a state of bliss, having seen my three year old grandson on my newly born granddaughter. So I went into the courtroom very, very happy, and I didn’t try and persuade the judge of anything. I just told him how it was and established a good relationship with him. And we had a really good exchange. And the policeman who arrested me had a good exchange with him. And I was basically just saying I was trying to help stop the bus driving us over the cliff edge. And that’s why I was obstructing the road. It wasn’t to stop traffic, stop our system teetering over the edge in a way that’s pushing so many people and species over the edge right now. And to my astonishment, the judge acquitted me.
And that’s not happened before, in hundreds and hundreds of XR cases in front of judges. They never acquit us. They never find us innocent or not guilty. So that was quite astonishing. I was actually a bit shell shocked to be found, because I was just totally assuming that I would be found guilty. But I what was disappointing was that it didn’t really it was hard to hear his judgement. So I wasn’t sure whether he was finding some technical way of acquitting me because he happened to like me or whether he was actually ruling on the substance of whether it is OK to take action like this. And then seeing the ruling yesterday morning because they had to send the ruling through because they’re the Crown Prosecution Service is appealing against the ruling because I don’t like it. And so they’re appealing to the high court, seeing the ruling and seeing that he actually had said, yes, Justin did what he said he did effectively, but paraphrasing a tiny bit. And that though that was obstruction that was entirely within his rights and was proportionate and necessary, given the context was overwhelmingly moving. And not because that restores any trust in the system. I don’t trust the system at all. The system is designed I mean, at appeal, they’ll definitely knock it back. And but what that shows is that judges, even judges, can really have the courage to step into their humanity and out of the system. And that’s really what we need to do, what we’re looking at in that reworlding week. But that’s my good news.
Manda: Yes. And and before we move to Eva, I’d like to just riff on this for a little bit longer. Two things. First of all, my understanding I saw something whizz past my Facebook feed night before last, that there were six of the Shell seven who had pled not guilty and went to jury trial. One of them had children and didn’t feel that she could go through that and she felt she’d had to plead guilty. And in the wake of the six being found not guilty by the jury, the judge gave the seventh a conditional discharge, I believe.
Justin: Believe that’s right.
Manda: Was it the same judge, that it was in yours?
Justin: No, different judge, and that’s a different finding. A conditional discharge still means that you’re guilty and it’s just the judge being the kindest. Yes, exactly. So that being as kind as possible in that context.
Manda: Yes. And so I’m wondering, given that we have legislation going through the British parliament at the moment that would effectively render not just protest illegal, but the way it’s worded, as I understand it, from my legal friends, if a policeman decides that you’re walking along the road in an annoying fashion, they can arrest you and you are liable for 10 years. And they will abuse this because every every bit of legislation they’ve ever created and they go, no, no, no, we only use it in exceptional circumstances, turns out to be abused when they choose to, and ignore it when they choose not to. And so I’m wondering if the judges appeal, because it can’t be that the whole of the legal profession thinks this is a good idea. If the judges at the appeal court might decide the first judge was right, are you certain that they’ll not?
Justin: No, but I guess what I’m saying is it doesn’t matter. What matters, what I mean, it would be great if they decided that that this was they upheld the first judges, because that’d be great. But it’ll be good for them as individuals because it would be them stepping into that courage. What I’m meaning is that we can’t have any hope in the system as a whole. Adapting what you’re describing there, Manda is, is individual judges saying this is outrageous, what’s happening and shifting the centre of gravity from trusting the status quo to saying we need something else that we trust, which is our humanity. And that’s really Eva and I are looking at with the rewilding and many others looking at how do we shift the political system and how do we not keep on having hope in COP26, hope in government climate ambitions, hope in all that because there’s no hope in that. But there is huge hope in our humanity if we stop putting our energy into trying to persuade them. So there’s something about going to court now, go to the high court and not trying to persuade them, but trying to give them an opportunity to actually step into their humanity. That’s what we’re doing. We’re offering them something rather than demanding something of them. So it’s a shift from Extinction Rebellion is kind of demanding of power, which is what Extinction Rebellions been doing. And I’m part of that. And I’m happy to continue doing that. But it’s a shift from that demand to an offer we need to offer people the way through rather than be demanding.
Manda: Right. And having that conversation is as important as the outcome, although also the outcome will establish a legal precedent, which might not be a bad thing, although I guess if they change the law, then it doesn’t stand. Let’s move on from legal depth’s to Eva. What is most alive for you this morning?
Eva: Hi, this is lovely to be here. And yeah, I think that, you know what Justin was pointing at the the reform versus revolution or replacement or, you know, Evolution is kind of a you know, it’s at the heart of the conversation that we’re part of at the moment. And I think there is you know, there are lots of people who are still looking at the system and as it stands and asking, you know, how do we change this so that it works better, so that it’s less destructive. And I can really understand that. And and I have moments where I feel like that myself, particularly when I see things like, you know, well, like the judgement that Justin had or like the fact that they’re doing the work that reconnects in the Welsh parliament at the moment as part of a long plan to try to influence the civil service in particular, I think, towards being a bit more human. And, you know, you see these little kind of gems of of hope and of humanity. And of course, everybody in that system is a human being who cares and, you know, has family and you may have different opinions about the severity of whatever crises is that we’re talking about, but fundamentally is a caring person. But I think people I think there’s something about the structure of the power, the systems of power that we have at the moment that trap people in parts of themselves that are fundamentally about repression and control rather than about connexion and care. Once you’re in a system like that and, you know, in the UK, our system has been established for hundreds and hundreds of years, it feels like there’s, not too much of a hippy, although this bit of a bit of a losing battle,
Manda: You can be a hippy. It’s cool.
Eva: I think there’s kind of like energetic patterns in there that make it very, very difficult to show up in that room in Westminster or in the corridors of power in Whitehall or even in Holyrood and not find yourself drawn into that same dynamic of command and control, because that’s what it’s all been about. And, yeah, every single part of that system is pushing you towards making that kind of intervention, which is why what we’ve been doing is looking at what might the system look like if we if we started again and we started from our understanding of how human beings work and understand things around trauma, which are, you know, deeply backed up by science as much as anything else, what might that look like? Yeah, so it is interesting and it’s an interesting thing to be starting to bring into the world in the form of, well, the work that we’re doing around people’s assemblies in Scotland and the reworlding conference, I think we said this last time as well, is quite countercultural. And I just sent as part of this kind of starting to come out of the closet with all this. I just sent our website to a friend who really couldn’t cope with the kind of language that we were using with the fact that we were talking about trauma. And he said something like this is the kind of questions Lenin was asking himself on the steps of the Winter Palace.
Manda: It is an interesting metric to take.
Eva: And an old fellow revolutionary. But I felt it was very much the point. Exactly no. Exactly not, these are not the questions he was asking himself. And that’s the point is we’re trying to do this in a different way. We’re not talking about a violent revolution. We’re talking about a systems revolution. And one that that’s not blaming any person within it. But there is looking at the system and saying, is this as good as we can manage, given what we know, given our experience, given the wealth of alternatives that we’re aware of, you know, both way back in time, enduring systems that have endured over thousands of years and cutting edge scientific research on how humans work and beautiful new technologies like sociocracy, is this really the best we can do in terms of getting good decisions? And I think there are a few people who would say, yes, this is the best we can do, probably even people within the system.
Manda: I don’t think anybody thinks that, but they don’t know this. This is the thing is they don’t understand what else is possible. So let’s really have a look because, because definitely if somebody is listening to Accidental Gods podcast, they are thinking, what else can we do? And I don’t think many of them are asking themselves whether Lenin was questioning this on the steps of the Winter Palace, because I don’t think that’s our listener group, although it’s a very interesting question that I would really like to get into at some point. But let’s look at let’s look at the reworlding week. Let’s look at, what it is, how it’s happening, why it’s happening, but before we do that last time and this time we’ve talked about the technology of Sociocracy and I somewhat suspect that most of our listeners may have heard of it, but almost everybody doesn’t know what it is and how it works and what it does. So can we just before we leap into the reworlding week, unpick the technologies a little bit, would that be useful?
Eva: Yes. Well, I’m your gal for for Sociocracy. And it’s a tricky one because I you know, I really love it. I find it incredibly useful and really inspiring, but it’s quite unwieldy. You know, I had been learning about it by sort of doing it, which is one of the best ways to learn it before I did a year long course on it. And anything that you have to do a year long course to really get to grips with understand is like it’s not the most accessible tool. And yet some parts of it, like having a go round when you start meeting it, that’s that’s part of Sociocracy.
Manda: You go around and see how we’re doing. Okay. Yes.
Eva: Yeah, and within Sociocracy using circles to process ideas to make sure that everyone’s voice gets heard is something that happens a lot in Sociocracy. So what it is, is a way of structuring organisations that is completely holistic in that it takes into account both the structure of the organisation, the way all the working parts within that organisation work and interact with one another, and how meetings are run and how decisions are taken.
Manda: So will it be different in every organisation? You go into an organisation and look at the way it’s structured, already and then begin to apply sociocratic, Sociocracy principles to kind of soften the edges of that, or do you just go in and go, OK, abandon everything you did previously and start from the bottom up and rebuild it?
Eva: Yes. So what you’re talking about is implementation, which is a whole big bit of how you learn Sociocracy and both both apply. You can start off by saying, OK, we’re going to have a cehck in before every meeting and in our otherwise completely conventional organisation, and that’s you beginning to implement Sociocracy or you might say, right, this is it, we’re changing our organisation. We’re going to work with somebody to get a design. And that wouldn’t be something that would come from outside or from the top. It would be co-designed over time. So you can’t just wake up one morning and decide now we’re a sociocratic organisation, but you can decide to do that implementation very quickly. So it’s about the speed. I mean I work in several organisations where we use it in different ways. One where we were we’re building the organisation from the ground as a sociocratic organisation. So we were we were doing it right from the beginning. And the other one is in that process of transitioning. But let me give you a few kind of pegs to hang things on, which will help with the kind of overview. So Sociocracy works with circles. So not just those kind of check in go rounds, but also working circles. And normally, if you’re if you were starting from the beginning, you would start with a general circle, which is everybody who’s involved in the organisation. And as you grow and you start identifying specific bits of work, you might say we really need more focus on our communications and media.
So we’re going to make a communications and media circle. And that would be a first working circle. And they would have one representative of that circle who would report back to the general circle. So it might have that circle might have several other people who never have to go to another meeting apart from their circle meetings. But they would have a representative on the general circle and the general circle would have a representative in the working circle. So there’s a double link going in both directions. And that’s quite an sociocratic principle. So you can see from that that over time, if you were doing it organically, you might end up with a general circle that had reps, reps from several groups that were part of it, and some of those working circles might have sub-circles. So media and communication might have a social media group because that was a particular focus. And the idea is that you bring those new levels of work in when they’re needed. So that’s the kind of organisational structure. And you can also see how that’s going to look, although it’s a template is going to look completely different in different organisations because you’ll create the circles that you need and you won’t create ones that you don’t need.
Manda: So can I ask a quick question? I’ve been part of groups that were trying to implement, I think probably in a highly untrained way, things like this, one in a transition turn group and the other in a local political party. And simply trying to do a check in at the start provoked a lot of I’m not doing the touchy feely stuff, I’ll just leave and come back when you’re done, either physically leaving or just emotionally checking out behaviour, which I didn’t have the technology or the skills to overcome. Partly there was quite a big age gap and gender gap even had there not been, how does sociopathy go into companies or movement and facilitate the kind of emotional flexibility that functioning circles seem to me to need?
Eva: Yeah, well, I mean, it’s a it’s a difficult job. And in in any situation, I think education’s a really important part of it. So finding the ways that you could communicate why you’re doing a check in and you know, you might use different words in different groups Justin you looked like you had something to add to that.
Justin: Yes. No, I just think that’s where we have a slight difference over this, which Eva was alluding to, I think. So my experience of Eva facilitating in a Socratic way is that’s brilliant. So I have no problem with the practise of sociocracy. But it is this question of how it’s how it arrives and how it can arrive in a way that people can really see it. And I think there are two ways and one is coming in quite subtly and just happening to start with a check in, like it’s really just saying it’s really useful to hear how people are at the start so that we kind of all arrive together. And, yes, people can react, but it’s like, well, OK, that’s not too big a deal. And the other is to be is to say this community council does not work. This group is not functioning, we keep on getting into conflict, there are hidden things going on. So there are two different ways in suggest and it’s that is that judging and that sense of how to move into that territory, which I think is the the other bit that I feel like what we’re both bringing, but I emphasise rather than the abilities which Eva has and which Sociocracy clearly has to really enable good meeting. But your question to me, Manda is absolutely crucial and there’s not a answer. But I think deciding whether you want to be doing the subtlely, because that’s actually the best way of just get people to be familiar with the idea that things are changing, makes things better, or whether actually you need to be quite upfront about, look, there’s a choice here. We carry on failing or to try something different in a way with the reworlding gathering and the politics we’re looking at. It’s about saying this really isn’t working, guys. We’re going to need to try something very different.
Eva: Yeah, I mean, I think taking seriously the challenges of implementation and having an implementation team. So it’s not just one person or one or two people kind of on their own going, oh, Jesus really isn’t working, what do we do? But there’s actually a team of people who are sitting down saying, OK, that didn’t work. What’s our strategy now? And acknowledging that even just the first baby steps in some ways may be the most difficult ones? Because once you’ve got an acceptance that things need to change, that these structures help us to work better together and then the further on steps might be easier.
Manda: Right. Right. Which is. Yes, especially in the political one, It works for some people, my experience was, and they didn’t want it to change. Let’s not get locked into this because I feel we could, and it’s an interesting area. But actually, I really want to move into. What you’re reworlding is doing because it feels very exciting, particularly as Scotland seems to be on the edge of independence, I sincerely hope. And then the possibility of being a beacon for the world in the way Taiwan is being of how, politics and democracy and people can move differently, so either one of you, Eva or Justin, tell me about the reworlding conference, what it is, how it arose, where it’s at and where it’s going.
Justin: Ok, well, I’ll respond first, but I want to just refer back to what you were saying there, because I thought was quite telling the point you made that when if I heard you right, is that when things are successful at changing, people can really resist that. So maybe I heard you wrong, but success can be as challenging as failure. So if you’re bringing an approach that is succeeding, then that’s unbelievably challenging to the status quo. I know that from my work in Africa where when communities are demonstrably better able to take care of their lands than government, government is really threatened and wants to burn people’s homes to get them off their land. So this isn’t about success. It’s about power. So there is something about when you’re showing that you’re successful, that’s when you start to become really, powers comes down on you quite heavily. So just to be aware of that, again, just aware of the process that as you succeed, that’s when things you think that’s people go, oh, great, how wonderful. We have an alternative. Well, those who are really wedded to the status quo come down heavily on you. And I guess to to point to your point about independence, it’s kind of like, well, the way that we become independent will determine what kind of independence we have. And so, again, the process is really key. It’s not clever to do some clever tricks to get voters to happen to vote in this way or that way in order to then be able to trick everybody over the line into independence. That’s not a clever way of getting there. It’s really just
Manda: As happened with Brexit
Justin: As happened with brexit, and as in a way is happening with some of the independence parties in Scotland right now, with the other party trying to get it’s understandable. It’s totally understandable response. I totally understand it. It’s trying to play the game in terms of how the proportional representation system works up here. So you end up with more seats in parliament than you should get from those who back to you. It’s understandable because the status quo plays that game against us. So it’s understandable to react and play that game against. But it’s absolutely what we’re saying we need to not do is play that game at all. So we need to really bring people with us and really inspire people to see that independence isn’t about a nationalism, independence, about really deep change that can enable people to live their lives fully. And that’s why it’s worth going for. And in fact, if the whole of the UK happened to be under a governance system that was aiming for that, then people should go for that. It’s not about where you draw lines, but it is about the fact that drawing lines can be really helpful in creating safe space. As we know with women’s groups or other groups, it can help create a safe space to do something very differently. That’s the larger system isn’t allowing you to do so independent matters, but it matters how we get there rather than just that we get there. And I guess so that’s I should make a break between that and answering your question about the reworlding, but I wanted to not let that go by.
Manda: Yes. Yes. Actually, we could probably do an entire podcast on that. Let’s keep going with reworlding because I think that’s going to look back and take us to how we get there differently.
Justin: Absolutely so, yes, reworlding comes out of our experience of really, as I said earlier, making demands of government to change around the climate crisis and finding that when they seem to change by declaring climate emergencies or creating citizen assemblies, nothing really changes. Citizen assembilies though they show really clearly that people, ordinary people gathered together can arrive at much better decisions than politicians and can make much more informed choices than experts because experts are so narrowly bound, whereas ordinary people are aware that actually they don’t know stuff. So they’re really open to learning stuff. So they’re the best people to put the pieces of the jigsaw together, they’re the best people to make the decisions that’s clear from the climate assemblies that we’ve had. But when they’re bound in a very narrow way, then as the Scottish one was, for example, then it can’t do the job that’s needed. So instead of making demands of power, we’re looking at how do we create the people power, the system that can change? How can we create an alternative system that can replace what we have? And so it’s a really fundamental challenge to ourselves, to all of us really is how can we step up and create a system of care that’s based on care for each other rather than based on a kind of traumatised place in the way that I described that response to kind of the status quo around independence can be come from a traumatised place and doesn’t help where it’s coming from a really healthy place of caring can help. So through reworlding week is based on the notion that politics is falling apart, is failing us, it’s not succeeding. It can’t do what’s needed to. The politics of parties and protests are all failing to stop the system that’s tumbling out over the edge to utter catastrophe. And that’s just based on that premise that the system is not something you can tinker with change a bit. It’s something we need to replace. And it’s going to be a small online gathering last week of May bring in people who are either actively challenging the system or helping people process the trauma that the system generates in us.
So it’s bringing those two worlds together, the world of activists and the world of people who are really aware of the traumatised state that we get into all of us by virtue of living in the system, whether we realise it or not. And then we’re looking at what can we learn from enduring indigenous practises. So learning for people right across the world in terms of how they make decisions together, how they can make decisions based on care rather than, what are the processes they use, and how can we learn from the emerging liberatory practises that Eva was referring to? There’s a huge amount of new practises emerging. How can we learn from those? How can we bring those together in a way that creates decision making system in our communities and countries in the wider world that can replace this trauma trauma based political system that can take us take back the power to care. So it’s fundamentally transformational. It’s not us doing it. This is us as part of a much bigger worldwide process. But seeing the need to connect up people because we don’t see that happening, not people aren’t connecting us, maybe. Well, at least out of sight of us. People aren’t connecting in that way that. Really says the whole system has to change and it has to change from a really deeply caring, empathic place, a place of empathy rather than a place of trauma. So I guess what’s different, it seems and what we’re doing is we’re looking at not just how do we change some system out there, but how do we recognise that system as being something that inhabits us and is something that we need to address. How do do both of those jobs at the same time? Yeah, so it’s kind of like stepping stones. We need to step from one stone, self awareness, other stone system awareness, self awareness, system awareness, to get across this river that we just cross as opposed to just falling in every time because you do your personal process and you come up against a vicious world or you confront the vicious world, but your personal process is really still taking over your response to it. So it’s a stepping stone approach.
Manda: And how have you found the people to be part of this small online gathering? How have you gone about recruiting those two separate groups?
Justin: Left it rather late, but people are responding really well. I mean, to be honest, this is only in a month’s time. And we’ve been so caught up with all the other social change work we’re doing and the whole everything else, I don’t know. You can refer to the process between us, but we left it late. And whats lovely is even just like this week, contacting people, everyone’s responding really well. So contacting people, indigenous people in Kenya who I work with, people in Peru and elsewhere and contacting, so people in an indigenous struggles, people who are in resistance struggles, people are looking at democracy, but also people who have that kind of trauma based awareness, which is where Eva’s much more coming from with this. So, yeah, we’re finding people responding really well, even though we’re really last minute. And I don’t Eva do you want to say something why we’re really last minute.
Eva: Yes, some of us, some of us leaving it rather late, I’ve actually been reaching out and talking to people who I think might have something to say to this for quite a long time.
Manda: And you’ve been holding meetings because I’ve been part of them.
Eva: Yes. And we have. Yes. I think I think Justin has a wide web of international connexions. And I think that what he’s talking about this this kind of lateness, is that he’s just kind of found a route through to kind of like, oh, this is this is how I need to bring this request to them so that they’ll really understand. So there has been lots of reaching out. But, you know, and I’ve spoken to lots of absolutely lovely people doing amazing work. But actually what I found is the the number of people who live somewhere in that crossover between social change and in particular around politics and a kind of emotional trauma based awareness are quite thin on the ground. So although I’ve spoken to lots of people who I definitely want to stay in touch with and really respect their work and not necessarily the people who we’ve needed to actually come and kind of hold sessions or present or whatever it is. Yeah, and the and the the council sessions that you’ve spoken about feel like there another stream that’s kind of feeding into this in terms of the conversations and thinking and people who have been kind of gathering as a as a Rolling Stone going through. And just before I go to the programme, I think there’s something in here. I think I think some of this kind of piecing together in quite a sort of what feels it’s not it doesn’t feel laborious, but it’s slow is to do with the fact that we’re trying to do what Justin was talking about. We’re trying to both question the system and question ourselves and to do something that’s that’s being done in a new way. And there’s no shortcuts at all. Everything is longhand. Everything we’re having to kind of work out as we go along. And I think what that’s done is meant that it’s been it’s been long and they’ve been kind of assumptions that we’ve made that have been holding us back, that it took us quite a long time to to notice that we were making.
Manda: Can you say more about that?
Eva: Yeah. So so I think I came in a strong assumption about what an online conference looked like. And we’ve been through several iterations of thinking about, you know, having a big bank of famous smiling faces, looking out at you from the website and, oh, I’m going to meet all these star people or I’m going to get a little piece of them was never what we wanted, but like working out what we do want instead, what’s going to be actually useful and serve what we’re intending really well has been really slow to mature and we’re not even sure we’re getting it right this time. But we’re going to have a try and we may well do the next one really, really differently. And then there was also kind of assumptions that we were playing with. Do we just talk about politics and decision making or do we have economics and media in there and that was quite a strong theme for a long time, but actually we realised that it was really holding us back, that it was just too wide a focus. And although clearly media and economics are crucial in this system change picture, to just focus on the decision making at this stage felt like it was going to give us the kind of clarity and focus that we needed. And certainly we have gained momentum since we made the decision to cut those other the two areas out for the time being.
Manda: So how do you define? Because I didn’t know that I thought it was media or at least narrative economics and politics. So we’re narrowing down to politics. How are you now framing the enquiry of the conference
Justin: With narrowing down to decision making and decision making is politics. It also is at the heart of media and economics. So though we are focussing down on politics, definitely we are, inside that we’re focussing on decision making, and actually that is what’s going on elsewhere. So we’re really kind of going, where’s the nub of of where things need to shift? And if we can, if we can really grasp that here around politics and decision making, that flows to the rest. So we’re we’re cutting them out to able to come back at them in a healthy way rather than to overwhelm it.
Manda: Yeah, that makes sense. But so the thing that pops up for me and you’ve probably been around this and it’s probably one of the paths or the assumptions that you’ve discarded, but if we’re looking at decision making, my feeling is we need to I would need to know what are the moral basis for the decisions that I am making, perhaps are back to Lenin and the Winter Garden again, that I need to know before I can work out how to make decisions. I need to understand on what premise the decisions are being made. Is that the case or have you decided that actually we don’t need to do that. We just need to work out how to make decisions and then the premise will arise?
Eva: No, no, no. You’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head. And and it also points us rather neatly back to your question around the structure. So we have a kind of opening day in a closing day, and then we have five weekdays in between. And on those five days, we’re kind of imagining a flow and in fact, part of the structure of the gathering we’re calling the river. And that’s a two hour slot every day that we’re asking for commitment to. So we’re asking that people can turn up to every day of that which is around process. So it’s fed by the streams of the sessions which are open to anyone and completely drop in and drop out. You can go to one that would be fine, all of them. But each day has got a slightly different focus. And the first one is about getting to know each other. So within this river, within this this contained group, who am I? How am I showing up?
But, you know, we’re all individuals. What’s our story? How do we get to know one another? And then on day two, we are asking, how did we get here and what happened to us? And that’s more about our cultural stories. And it is creating space for talking about the different ways in which we experience. Life in general and decision making in particular, depending on what end of the trauma of colonisation we’ve ended up, so on the third day it is talking about it’s drawing back into the group of people who are in the room and saying, how do we trust each other, just us here at the moment. What do I need? What do we need so that we can trust each other? Because if we don’t have that trust, we can’t have the conversation. How do we trust one another when we don’t have these relationships, when we haven’t met each other, but we’re talking about, you know, countries or communities that are geographically removed, are there fundamental principles or values? What are the things that we can rely on that if we say, yes, this is certain about what the processes that we’re going to use that we can then say, yes, OK, I trust that. And I don’t know whether we’ll come to anything.
It may be that we in that amount of time anyway, we can’t find the things that mean that we can trust the process, but that’s what we’re looking for. Day five is is what are our next small wise steps? So what’s next? Basically. And and in fact, the closing day is about is at least in part about making proposals and doing some kind of decision-making process between us about what we collectively or what parts of us collectively want to do next, because this event is just one of those stepping stones. It’s not it’s not an end in itself. And the idea is that we you know, we will have gone through a real process. We will be somewhere different at the end and there will be next steps.
Manda: And how many people are you anticipating taking part in this emergent process?
Eva: We don’t know how many to expect. We really don’t know and are aware that we’re late in the day at this point of recording about four weeks out from the event and still not really started our promotion. But in that river, a small group is is an advantage where we want there to be process, we want there to be a good number of people. So get a chance to talk and to get a chance to really get to know each other. So if we get more, that’s fine. We can do breakouts and have ways of cross pollinating. But a small group actually at this stage feels really appropriate. I think one of the things that we’ve learnt is how long these things take, how long it takes to build relationships and build even enough trust just to join a wider process. So this feels like a first tiny step.
Manda: But I’m just thinking I’m in the middle of an eight-week span of teaching dreaming courses every weekend. And again, we’re trying to build trust because people have got to be able to be vulnerable in the circle to do the work that we need to do. And this is instead of sitting in a circle, we’re now Zoom, and we are finding that putting people into breakout rooms. If they create the trust in groups of half a dozen, then it seems to translate into the bigger circle, which surprised me and also delighted me because otherwise I don’t think they would have worked. So, have you got people to hold multiple small spaces if you need them?
Eva: Yes, we do. We do. We’re working with a number of people who’ve got skills in facilitation and in in kind of holding space for one another. And we really want there to be enough people to both to hold space and to leave the space, if need be, with people who need to need one to one. So, yeah, really trying to again, to walk the talk and to provide the kind of context, you know, not therapy, but deep heart holding, deep support for if and when people are triggered by whatever part of the process
Manda: And with the aim and the long term. I’m trying to imagine this then moving up the governmental scale. Have you ideas now of how this might scale or is that just such an emergent part of the process?
Eva: It feels like a very, very long way and the kind of government that we are imagining would look so very different, I think, from what we’ve got just now. It would I’m I’m guessing I’m imagining based on, I think, the conversations that we’ve had with indigenous people as much as anything else, that the People’s Assembly has to be somewhere near the heart of it, even if we then have people working in in circles or teams on particular issues. But for me, I think both the party structure, which I think encourages people to polarise and think in silos and the focus on individuals as representatives. Just put so much psychological pressure on people. I think most people break and end up behaving in ways that they would rather not. Yes.
Manda: Have you read Isabel Hardman’s ‘Why We Get the Wrong Politicians’?
Eva: No, I know I haven’t. And I would really like to.
Manda: One of the most eye-opening books I’ve ever read, stories of people, what they go through to get elected and what happens if they don’t, the degree to which they’re completely abandoned. And someone described lying on the floor weeping for a week after the election. And you are assuming this was quite a resilient human being to start with and their family going, you are never doing that again. And we are not living through that with you ever again. And so the people who get through are very broken. I’d like to look back at some point because when we last spoke, you were talking about convening people’s assemblies, and I’d love to know how you got on with those. But in the meantime, just as you had things you wanted to say, the floor is yours.
Justin: The river has moved on. I’m not sure whether I’m in the same place, which is kind of what the week is. So it will moved on. So we’re describing to you now at this point what we’re thinking. And then when we get there, it will be very different. And that’s really the kind of politics we need, is not one that’s preset and predetermined. And I guess what we’re looking at is something that I think could scale very rapidly and very quickly. It once people get that our system currently puts the worst people in charge or actually not the worst, the kind of second to worst, because people vote for the best of two bad options, you know, the lesser of two evils, don’t they? So you get the lesser of two evils generally in charge in our system. That’s how it’s designed.
Manda: Oh, I’m not sure that’s how it works at all. But anyway, that’s a separate discussion.
Justin: Let’s agree on the fact we don’t necessarily get people who are able to be in touch with their empathy who are in the centre of political decision making. I think we can agree on that one.
Justin: So the system that we’ve got is designed in a way that means you have to really harden yourself to do good work. And there are very good people in there. And in fact, I bet politicians of all parties, I mean, all the main parties in Scotland who clearly, when you speak to them personally, have a real compassion. So I can object to somebody there in a party I don’t like. But they themselves have gone into politics for really good reasons. But what they’re able to do in there is pretty, pretty minor compared to the damage that they have to allow happen in order to have that minor good effect in the different areas, they can have an effect. And so we’re looking at a completely transformed politics that starts from facing our trauma. And it was because it’s been a difficult ride with me and Eva. And I’ve organised this. We’re a couple. We have kids together, we live together, and we’ve been through this process, now we’re starting to work together, which I mean in lockdown. So, you know, that’s quite intense process and my work is with indigenous peoples in Africa supporting them, stay on their land and not be burnt out of their homes by their governments and corporations, palm oil companies and so on. And that’s a very outward focussed bit of work, in a sense. And Eva comes from a very strong awareness of the inner world and the kind of the traumas that we experience and how to work with people, how to hold space, so how to hold space in Extinction Rebellion or other groups or community groups, how to make really good spaces for people to be able to work together. So that’s a very it is also outward focussing, but it’s also got a real emotional awareness. Mine is outward focussing, but also has a very political awareness of what do you do in the situation to achieve different outcomes, but within the current politics, so it’s been quite a job to bring together that real awareness of the of the inner and that ability to seize the opportunities which I have that kind of attention to what’s possible in this moment in Kenya to do to make a real difference. And I have that year in my work as well. So marrying to use an interesting word.
So marrying that ability to seize the initiative and find a path through and scout out and that ability to really resonate with, empathise with and listen to the whole picture of what’s going on. Bringing those two together to work together is actually quite a hard process. And that’s been the process of getting to this Re-Worlding week. And that’s kind of what we’re looking for folk to be able to do within that week and looking for the politics to be able to do so. How do we do something completely new in a way that really respects everything that already exists and how people are right now? So you don’t just jump for something new and reproduce the old. You don’t just resonate so well with the old or where we are without taking the risk of moving into something new. So that’s that dance in a way, is where we are and how can we be emergent, but also respect what’s enduring, what’s enduringly healthy and whole inside each of us and in our system. So an example is just a community meeting where there’s a very strong resistance to people taking care of the Land coming from men of my kind of age who are powerful and who want to be able to carry on benefiting from an unequal system. And they’re good people, but they just don’t quite want things to change in a way that would really enable collective ownership and collective care because they are caring, but they also have power through that care.
So we have to stop separating care from, you know, a ruthlessness, whatever. You know, there’s ways in which you can care that actually do keep control and there’s ways that you can care which really open up the space for a mutuality to happen. And in this meeting, which went on for hours, they arrived at a place where actually the older women and the younger people and so on really step forward. And those it ended up being just like a few men out of hundreds of people. So what had looked like a divided community, it became clear there was actually just two or three pushing for one outcome and there was one hundred and ninety seven pushing for a different outcome. And I think our politics is often like that here is that it looks like we’re a divided UK over Brexit or whatever else happens to be. But if you actually had the space to deliberate and really reflect on the issues, you’d find there’s just a few people pushing for something that’s really quite harmful. And there is ninety nine percent of people who actually will accept a different route and want a different route and not the binary that you’re given.
Manda: And so in that example, did the three men recognise that they needed to change their stance or were they just outvoted that?
Justin: I’m not sure, that’s a really good question. I will I will go back and ask that question. But they were certainly outvoted and the community’s moved in in a very strong way. And I think actually one of them left. But I will check. I’ll check that out. So I think there’s different outcomes at that point. You would choose to either join with and recognise you ought to be part of something. You’d step away and not be part of it. You’d be marginalised, as my guess is the three options if you put in. But the point is the community itself has reasserted in a caring way, in a thoughtful way, and in a really deep way, not scapegoating way, but has really reasserted its collective authority.
Manda: And t had the capacity to do that because I’m looking at our world and thinking if the three people who are objecting actually hold a very vast, unbalanced, unbalanced portion of the power structure, it gets very hard for people to outvote them.
Justin: Absolutely. And I think that’s why I wanted to come back to that. There’s a lovely example that we do have those three guys and they are in charge, maybe more than three, but basically we have the equivalent of three folk in the world, and they’re men who are in charge and who have that power. And so we need the same kind of process that they all get carried out at Mount Elgin. And we need to the fundamental to that is the gradual realisation people have, which is that those guys rely on us. We don’t rely on them. They’re power entirely dependent on us accepting it. They entirely need all these workers to be working for them. They can do nothing by themselves. Nothing. I mean, they just I mean they can brush their teeth and brush their teeth and, you know, change a baby’s nappy if they can do that. Who knows. But they can’t actually do anything without the rest of us, whereas we can do everything without them. And it’s just that realisation of where the real power lies. And then there’s the question of how you win over the military, the police, all the rest of it in that situation. I think the example of Egypt and Tahrir square is a really interesting one, because that situation with the 2011 revolution in Egypt where the police had to decide because you had so many people on the streets in that square, basically the commanders of the military had to decide whether or not to give the order to subdue the people or whether the police, then the military would reject that order and side with the people. And they decided not to give that order, not they didn’t want to give it, because if they gave it and it wasn’t obeyed, they’d be finished.
So there is that it’s realising that we have the power, which is fundamental, as happened in that community meeting over several hours. The gradual realisation actually, hang on, you are three guys. It looked at the start like it was a big, divided community. It’s not it looks like it’s a big divided community in America between the Republicans and Democrats or here between the Tories and Labour or up here in Scotland with the SNP and Labour, whatever. It looks like that. But that’s not the real story. So if we get to the deeper politics, the deeper sense of what’s happening, then we can collectively say, OK, we’re going to have to stop this guys. And that requires a real shift, a genuine engagement of politics at the national level, at the global level, too. And we are looking at that. But to start off with, we have to start incredibly small. This is like a little acorn in the ground. What we’re looking at with this week, it’s not doing the big job, but it’s with a real eye out towards that big job. We need to collectively make that sort of change happen in a matter of a very few years. Given the climate ecological emergency. We don’t have any time, any time left. This is now. So it’s like it’s the bluff called basically.
Manda: It is. And it seems to me there’s so many avenues I would really like to take. Suddenly all these branches are opening up in front of me where to go first? Because I read a document that came around, I think day before yesterday of 480 companies in the US that had written to Biden, going 2050 is not soon enough. You’ve got to get your carbon down by 2030. We will do everything we can. You need to create the legislation. And it was signed by Apple and IKEA and Amazon and Wal-Mart. And I looked for Monsanto and it wasn’t there. But, oh, there were a lot of very big companies in there and people who do hold huge amounts of power. And I’m sure you’ve read the newspaper article, and I think it was in the Extinction Rebellion book from the gentleman whose name currently escapes me, who was a futurologist, who was summoned over to the states to what he thought was to give a talk. And he presented it, got his PowerPoint, and he was invited into what he thought was the green room. And about half an hour later realised this was the presentation, forget the PowerPoint, because what he was with was some very powerful hedge funders who wanted to know how to control their security guards when the dollar ceased to be of any value.
And in the end, yes, he was covering her forehead with her hand. They went through all of the we could take there their families hostage and restrict their food. But all of that requires, you know, there’s limited food coming in. We would have to feed them. And in the end, they opted for some kind of electronic control collar. And the fact that those conversations were happening and this was several years ago is, I think, who holds the power and how they hold it in a world of very high technology and the capacity for mass surveillance, and yet we do genuinely still have policing by consent, even when our police commanders put out tweets saying that they don’t consider that to be part of their job remit anymore, as happened a couple of weeks ago. So it’s we’re in a very interesting time, I think.
And so. What I’m hearing from you is that this feels like the third arm of Joanna Macey’s three pillars of the great turning, you have the holding actions, which is I would suggest those companies saying they want to change. We just need the legislation. Let’s make it happen. You need the systems design, which almost does this, but you need the shifting consciousness, which I feel really is what you guys are doing. Because when you were describing even the process between you two, and your different ways of being in the world and trying to bring them together, that what it felt to me was happening was trying to merge two sets of intuitive capacities and find the interset between them in a way that would be generative for both, because it feels to me that you both work very intuitively, but you work in slightly different intuitive ways, and that what we need to do if we’re going to move forward is find the ways of bringing people heart, mind to heart, mind to use the kind of language of the dreaming in ways that enables heart to heart communication that can then be given logistical and practical platforms and structures. Does that sound like a fair summary or is it completely off the beam?
Justin: Ok. Well, maybe we could both answer because as you pointed out, we have different ways of coming at this. So I guess first I want to go back to your number of companies calling for legislation and action. There’s something about, you know a kind of grieving process around death where we move into the bargaining mode and that’s where we are. So these companies and governments make all these promises and they plead and they ask and they like, can we just do this and just have that and promise this? And then please, can we just carry on as we are, which really what’s happening there? It’s lovely that they’re saying that they don’t mean it at all. They can’t structurally mean it. I mean, the individuals may mean it, but as a structure, they cannot continue. They cannot have us take the action that needs to be taken on the climate. This climate crisis is just a symptom of a larger crisis that they are so clearly those structures are so clearly a part of. So that’s a that’s lovely to hear that they are at the bargaining stage. That’s great. But it doesn’t actually help us out of this at all. It’s just it’s good information for us. So, again, there’s just something about shifting of not giving them the power, not even thinking they will do anything or characteristics will do anything to help us. It’s good to hear is really good to know where they are. But it’s really important not to give them the agency, but to know that we which includes them, we collectively them as individuals, we collectively need to find our way through. And that, as you say, is through that really deep heart to heart. And it’s I think I’m assuming the people listening to this have the same experience. Maybe they don’t. But I express myself as sometimes being in real stuff, what I call stuff, which is acting in a way that I feel hurt or I feel needy or I feel, you know, greedy or I feel whatever. I feel something that is kind of takes over. And normally it’s fear based actually, and wants to control and change things and and plead and all the rest of it. And that’s not really me. That’s me feeling hurt and feeling traumatised. And I do it quite a lot. So when I say it’s not ready made, I mean I do that plenty.
But that’s a very different person to this person who’s speaking to you just now, who feels really pretty grounded, pretty happy in myself, not with what’s happening in the world and really open to what you’re saying. So distinguishing between when we are in stuff and when we’re in our real authentic self, who can listen is key. And then being from this place and listening to the part of us, that hurts. How do we have that relationship? That’s good with that part inside ourselves and with those around us and a politics based on that ability to distinguish between what’s a real move and what’s a pleading bargaining move in our politics is actually fundamental. So listening for what is a real step that we can build on, what is just a holding step that’s trying not to let change happen is fundamental. So that emotional awareness of what happens inside us, between us is the same that we need at the bigger political level. And that’s I think what we’re looking for is to really generate and support all the moves that are being made that have that kind of intelligence to them, draw those together. People will be part of that drawing together to enable that to become how we how we organise the world.
Eva: I noticed in what you were saying, Justin was with individuals. And I think there is this complex interplay between us as as individuals with individual psychology and and as part of a culture and also us as part of a collective, whatever that collective might be. And I think there is no way for us to shift the situation as discrete individuals. I think there is absolutely work that needs to happen on the individual level. But there’s something about that. How can we trust each other? That question, how can we come together in ways that enable us still to be authentic individuals, but in in collective action or decision making or process? It’s at that point that we become able to affect the wider world. And it’s something that’s been at the heart of what we’ve been kind of beavering away at. Is this really early on in the process, realising that we had to take our climate activists hats off and ask people and listen to what their emergencies were, what they thought is really important and needing change in the world, and the sense that if we could find the different things that bring people into their concern and bring them into their hearts in relationship to the world and then show how all these things connect through this kind of systemic approach is Justin’s talking about, then we can start to be able to have the conversations which are about, you know, this is where I’m starting from, these are the things that open my heart that I see with my eyes and my experience just now. And here’s you seeing the world quite differently.
How do we connect in a creative way and where can we find agreement? What’s the underlying agreement about how it is to be human and how we want to be in this world together. And I don’t think there’s anybody in the whole world, you know, 100 percent of people who would say, well, what I really want for the world is to reduce it to a wasteland and not have any life happening on it at all. That’s the kind of that’s our trajectory. But nobody wants it, nobody wants it. So how can we be together differently in that complex, dynamic interplay between me and us and then the wider us, of us as a collection of species on this amazing planet, how do we be together in a way that allows us to care to be creative and to continue?
Manda: Yes. And how do we create a collective vision for the future that we can all sign up to, that we can be prepared to throw ourselves towards? Because it seems to me that a lot of people are using the war metaphor at the moment. Biden quite a lot. You know, we need to basically be as if we were in the war. But the thing about wars is it’s quite easy because your aim is not to lose and everybody knows what winning feels like. I’m thinking if we don’t create for people a sense of what a future that flourishes feels like that’s different to the one that we have at the moment, we won’t get them towards it. Justin? Sure.
Justin: Just that war metaphor. I think I really agree with you. And I think the better metaphor is actually what happened after the war, Second World War in the U.K. So, you know, during the war, people were fighting and they were fighting for liberty and there was a lot of education happening that was actually very socialist education happening in the military that had to be brought in because the military was so anti Semitic and that wasn’t really in keeping with the war. And so they brought in folk to actually educate people around that. And as you start to look at the racism, you start to look at the classism stuff and people and really saying, oh, shit, we don’t have to live like this. And then coming back from the war quite like keeping their guns, because after the First World War, nothing changed, in fact, got worse. So they kept the guns. And actually, when that’s the shift to the Labour Party being a Socialist Party at that point and being elected and to actually bring in the welfare state, bring in free education, take over the energy sector, the manufacturing sector, the rest of it, there was a huge transformation. I mean, that’s what we need. It’s not the war analogy. That’s not the ideology. What you said, there is a vision of where we need to go and what we need to do at an insistence and a refusal to go back to the status quo. But our place for starting with in terms of that, with this week that we’re coming to, it has those five questions that you’ve mentioned, which was, who am I? What’s happened to us? How do we trust one another here in the room? How to trust one another collectively? And then what should we try next? Why small step will we try next? And that feels like the place to start is with those questions. So we’re not offering a vision ourselves. We’re saying let’s make a space where that vision can emerge from.
Manda: What we need is to schedule another podcast to find out the answers to those questions. So just as in closing, because it’s happening soon, do you want to give people listening more details or, you know, several hundred people sign up? Would you rather they didn’t vote? What would you like to tell people? And leaving.
Justin: But just that it’s happening between 23rd of May and 29th of May, and they’re very welcome to turn up to the sessions, which are happening three a day, nine in the morning, half eleven and five o’clock and the very welcome we can have as many people like to turn up to those three sessions a day and we’ll be appetising. Those on the website, which is a global assembly dot net. So have a look at that with this programme is not up there yet, but it will be up there shortly. And if are really wanting to commit to coming for two hours a day for five days, Monday to Friday, two to four for the river, for what’s really the session that’s really trying to listen to and distil out of the other inputs where we need to go next. And they’re really welcome to come and join us, however many they are and have a few. We are
Manda: Brilliant. Thank you. I think that might be a really good place to end.
Justin: Oh, so lovely. Manda so lovely. Thank you so much. Such a helpful space. Feel very moved.
Manda: Thank you. Me too. Yes. Well thank you. And I apologise for the interesting technical glitches will never to make this as good as we can and so grateful. Thank you both so much for the time for this and the energy that you’re putting into the transformation of the world.
Eva: Lovely to talk to you.
Manda: So that’s it for another week. Huge thanks to Eva and Justin for battling with the technology, but more than that, for offering us a way forward that is going to be radically different to what we have now for understanding that the current system is broken and that tweaking the edges, painting the wheels on the bus a different colour is not going to stop it hurtling off the edge of the cliff. And we need other approaches and we need them to be brave. We need courage beyond anything we have seen before to start processes without knowing how they will end. But trusting in human ingenuity, in human compassion and human intuition, in the capacity of heart, mind to meet heart, mind and bring together something that will be better for all of us. And that’s what Justin and Eva are doing. So you are listening to this before the end of May do head off to Global Assembly.net be part of the process because the only way we’re really going to achieve change is if everybody wants it, and that means as many people as possible having a hand in the creation of difference. So that’s your task for this podcast, come and join the revolution, or at least come and join the Evolution, because I think that’s more like what it is.
Manda: And we will be back next week with another conversation. In the meantime, thanks to Caro C for the sound production and the beautiful signature music at the head and foot, thanks to Faith for the website and the tech. And thanks to you for listening. If you want to support us, there’s a Patreon link on the website at AccidentalGods dot life and you’ll find details of the membership programme there and the gatherings. We’ve had a series of gatherings online throughout the year that were fairly carefully designed by me to lead towards a greater understanding, each of us, of ourselves. We’re kind of halfway through that process now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t jump in. The one at the solstice in June, we’ll be looking at our own personal narratives. How is it that we shaped the stories of ourselves? And I think that’s particularly relevant when we’re looking at how we shaped the stories of our democracy. So if you’re interested and you want to come along and play, the details are on the events page of the website and on the website for all the details of the membership programme. You know about that already. I won’t go into it again. So that’s it for now. Thank you for being there. See you next week and goodbye.
You may also like these recent podcasts
As our world hurtles towards tipping points, how can we be part of the solution? How can we find resilience, in ourselves, our lives and our communities? Above all, how can we bring Active Hope to the world? Dr Chris Johnstone and Madeleine Young have set up an online training course based in Joanna Macy’s work that reconnects and we talk about it in this week’s podcast.
As we hover on the edge of the Great Turning, how can we find a spiritual practice that draws from the roots of who we are and yet provides the sustenance we need to help us navigate our changing world? Sue Philips of Sacred Design Labs explores the possibilities.
In a world that is literally burning, with politicians whose positions of power are predicated on their not listening, what are the most creative, thoughtful, caring people on the planet doing to bring about change? Sophie Miller of Ocean and Extinction Rebellions was an integral part of the stunningly impressive actions at the G7 summit earlier this summer. In this second of two parts, she reflects on her experience – and looks ahead to future actions.
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ As our world burns ever faster and our politicians cling ever more desperately to the old ways of being and behaving, Sophie Miller of Ocean Rebellion commits her creativity, artistry and courage to bringing truth to power.
STAY IN TOUCH
For a regular supply of ideas about humanity's next evolutionary step, insights into the thinking behind some of the podcasts, early updates on the guests we'll be having on the show - AND a free Water visualisation that will guide you through a deep immersion in water connection...sign up here.
(NB: This is a free newsletter - it's not joining up to the Membership! That's a nice, subtle pink button on the 'Join Us' page...)