The Work That Reconnects

An empowerment process that leads from despair to constructive, collaborative action
Deep Ecology Work, Active Hope, Despair and Empowerment Work

The Work That Reconnects is a four-stage experiential approach to inspire and empower participants to take part in the healing of our world. It fosters courage, solidarity and positive action to collectively bring about the “Great Turning” - the transition from our industrial society to a life-sustaining society.

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What is The Work That Reconnects?

The Work That Reconnects helps transform despair and apathy into constructive, collaborative action. Its aim is to connect with each other and with all life. This deep connection allows participants to simultaneously feel love and awe for life alongside the pain and the wounds of the world, toward ourselves and our fellow species. The Work That Reconnects gives space and voice to those frightening feelings of pain, numbness, rage, sadness and fear without the need to turn,  run away, gloss them over, or be paralyzed by them. Helplessness gives way to an inner freedom and new perspectives from which  motivation springs forth, along with a capacity to engage in a  collective healing process for the earth. The work that reconnects is permeated by a deep love and care for all life. If you facilitate this process you should be able to connect with this as a foundation.

The Work That Reconnects follows a spiral sequence, flowing through four stages: beginning with gratitude, honoring our pain for the world, seeing with fresh eyes, and finally, going forth. Each stage comprises a certain quality and intention, that can be carried forward with different kinds of experiential exercises. Though Joanna Macy offers a wealth of suitable exercises, she encourages facilitators to find their own style and make use of their  creativity to best suit their audience.  Here we feature a combination of Joanna Macy’s method, along with others linked in this toolbox.

The spiral can be repeated several times in a workshop or just once; the process can vary from several hours to a whole month.

Joanna Macy
Lit: Joanna Macy, Molly Brown: Coming back to life: The updated guide to the work that reconnects.New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island 2014.

Here is a series of 17 videos describing the methodology, core ideas of the approach, background and attitude, as well as selected seminar recordings of some of the methods.

This Video is in english.
  • Appreciative / Community building
  • Awareness Raising
  • Ceremony / Ritual
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Empowerment
  • Group communication
  • Integration of input into daily life
  • Mindfulness & Meditation
  • Problem Solving
  • Reflection
  • Social skills
  • Sustainability
  • Team Building / Trust Building
  • Understanding complexity
Innovation Phases
  • 1 Understanding the challenge
  • 2 Creating an Innovation-Friendly Culture
  • 3 Fostering New Perspectives & Ways of Thinking
Train the Trainer seminars including The Work That Reconnects can be found here: