Setting your Intention

The purpose of Setting Your Intention is to clarify, both within oneself and within the group, what each person’s aim is.

Dreaming Circle

The Dreaming Circle is one of the essential skills of Dragon Dreaming. It is the process by which, in a win-win way, the project of an individual becomes the project of a team. In the Dragon Dreaming pathway, this is the first stage. The next stages then are the planning, the doing and the celebrating, which are not in our focus in this description.

Working on a project that has been started by someone else always generates less personal motivation than working on a project collectively owned by a group. And yet every project is always started as the dream of an individual. But, all too often the dream is not shared. And yet as Carl Gustav Jung and Australian Aborigines knew, we rarely ask, “where do such dreams come from”. Failure to share our dreams in an appropriate way is one reason why 90% of all projects get blocked in the dreaming stage. It is easier to work on “our project” than to work on “his project”, and yet every project starts as an idea of one person. How can this apparent paradox be resolved? 

Catherine Baldwin calls this first process “calling” or “casting the circle”. This is the first stage in converting an individual intention into a collective one for Dragon Dreaming, and is a process by which “project ownership” is transferred from the individual to the group. Rather than maintaining a sense of possession, the group becomes custodians of the collective dream of the project. But to do this it needs a “Dream Team”, an initial circle group that can be drawn from friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances, or people you have identified because of their possession of special skills, who come together to share a dream.

Garden of Relationships

Relationships are life. Every person builds up a social network in the course of their life. It is fed by family, friends and professional contacts. In times of crisis, we notice in particular whether this social network is actually sustainable and nourishing or not. 

You can imagine your relationships as different types of plants in a garden. Just as you would regularly water, weed and care for them, you can go through your relationship garden every now and then in the same way. 

In a professional context the Garden of Relationships can be used as a subjective and qualitative snapshot which reveals important issues of stakeholder relationships. Subsequent to that, it is possible to prioritise these issues and to focus on solutions.

Pyramid Lite

“Pyramid Lite” workshop is a tool available to everyone, free of charge, as a way to explore Sustainable Development Goals. You can get updated versions of Pyramid Lite — as part of a larger, free toolkit called “Accelerator Lite” — at this website:

Accelerator Lite


System map

This method is based on a systems thinking approach to problems. It is particularly useful in the case of sustainability since dealing with modern global problems always involves complexity. Systemic approaches helps to see a bigger picture and understand the connections among environmental, social and economic aspects, creating the possibility to not compromise any of them while planning problem resolution.

Osborn’s Checklist

For Alex F. Osborn, the originator of the classical brainstorming technique, building upon ideas already suggested was an important factor of successful brainstorming. This technique is based on playfully and systematically modifying existing products or processes and finding alternatives to the original solution/process/product/situation.

Risk assessment


Disney Method

In the daily practice of Walt Disneys work with his creative team, it turned out that three different perspectives play a key role in creative processes: The dreamer, the realist and the critic. Disney had the ability to keep all three well balanced and recognize each aspect to be important and valuable for the quality of the creative product, in his case animation films.

If one aspect is missing, creativity cannot come to life:

“A dreamer without a realist cannot turn ideas into tangible expressions…A realist without a dreamer and a critic however is merely a robot. A critic without a dreamer and a realist is just a spoiler or a killer. We could even say that a dreamer and a realist while they might make good prototypes and could be a good research and development group does not enough critical thinking to really finalize the ideas into a perfection of expression. A realist and a critic without a dreamer maybe makes a good bureaucracy but not much else. And of course a dreamer and a critic is simply going to be a rollercoaster ride of manic depression. The point is that creativity itself is a synthesis of all three phases of processes.”  (Robert B. Dilts: Strategies of a Genius Vol. 1)

Disney provided different rooms that were dedicated to each of the three phases in order to give space to each of the aspects:

In subsequent turns, the developing team visited the different rooms and refined the ideas as long as they were satisified with the grade of perfection.

We found this method extremely valuable not only to give the possibility to totally immerse into one of those three qualities, but also to productively host the different preferences of team members: Idea givers will be happy there is a place for their fresh thoughts. Builders will have their time. Spoilers can relax, confident their pessimistic view will have their space. Instead of fighting against each other those aspects can build upon each other.

We played with this idea of Disney rooms and tried out different forms and variations. This is one possibility, feel free to adapt it to your specific target group and purpose.

Make sure to have 3 different rooms. The quick way is just to define the spaces with the purpose for each phase and hang up signs at the doors: dream room, realist room and a critic room.

The way to do it with love and care is to furnish and equip the rooms according to their purpose.

Just to give you some inspiration,  Walt disney had pictures and inspirational drawings all over the wall of the dream room. Everything was chaotic and colorful in this room. The realists rooms were the normal workspaces with daily prototyping equipment, and the critics room was called “sweatbox”.

Play with your own creativity to create an appropriate atmosphere and supportive surrounding, using equipment and decoration that fits to your team and purpose.

No matter how you decorate your rooms: Make sure you set a clear intention to each of the rooms. You can do that by a mere clear dedication or by spending some time in the room remembering moments in which you perceived yourself as a powerful dreamer, realist, critic and anchor the positive emotions related to those phases to the rooms. You can also do it by using those rooms as often as possible with that very purpose – if you have the possibility to permanently use the same rooms, try to stick to that purpose and add to this specific quality. Each lively dream enhances the dream quality of the dream room  etc.

Dialogue Interview