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.

Medicine Walk

In order to get clarity about a topic or to determine your spiritual location, you go out alone into nature and trace this topic there. In the mirror of your environment, guided by your intuition, you receive “medicine”, a gift of impressions and impulses.

The Medicine Walk is an ancient and a modern practice. We have always made medicine walks into nature or pilgrimages, because the space out there gives us the possibility to reconnect. To reconnect with levels within ourselves that are not accessible to us through the mind alone, the deep inner knowledge about nature and being. It is a magical experience. Magical because it is animated by many different encounters – with plants, trees, animals, stones, branches, images…. All the living beings out there invite you to get in touch with them. For example, an encounter with a squirrel. You can ask a question about something specific that is on your mind and see/listen to what happens, what comes up as an answer while observing the squirrel. You can also let yourself be drawn to interesting places. It’s a free space out there, follow your intuition.

If you feel a burning question in you – take it with you on your Medicine Walk!

Round of Gratefulness

The purpose of the Round of Gratefulness is to practise the attitude of gratefulness. This brings deeper peace, greater well-being and an enhanced capacity for joy and self-empowerment.

There are five guiding principles that can serve as touchstones to support the practice:

  1. Life is a gift
  2. Everything is a surprise
  3. The ordinary is extraordinary
  4. Appreciation is generative
  5. Love is transformative


Intention Setting

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

Three Horizons

The Three Horizons are an underpinning structure for conversations about the past, the present and the future. This framework examines behavioural, social and organisational patterns using three distinct lenses, called Horizons. These map the shift from established patterns of the First Horizon (past and present), that are no longer fit for purpose, to the establishment of new patterns in the Third Horizon (forecasted future), via the transition activity of the Second Horizon (current changes).

It’s a facilitation technique that can be conducted with flexibility, depending on the audience, the context of the workshop, any specific themes of change for the horizons etc. Core elements involve defining each horizon, identifying patterns and behaviours that reinforce each, and then exploring the kinds of transformative responses that will ultimately bring about change. The aim is to understand how the third horizon of the future can become the established status quo of the present. This can be analysed for numerous purposes, including how to assist in the transition. The details emerge via participant engagement and interactive discussion.

The First Horizon – H1 – is the current dominant system, representing ‘business as usual’. Society relies on these systems being stable and lasting, and for better or worse, much of our daily lives and lifestyles are intertwined with this paradigm. As the world changes, the norms, patterns and systems of H1 begin to feel out of place, inappropriate and, in extreme cases, a threat to future horizons. Business as usual will eventually be superseded by new ways of doing things, and actually contains the seeds of its own demise.

The Third Horizon – H3 – emerges as the long term successor to business as usual. Fringe activity in the present continues to grow into the flourishing status quo of the future. H3 consists of completely new ways of doing things, with some trial and error, but many of its characteristics end up being much better fitted to the world that is emerging than the dominant H1 systems. Pockets of this future can already be found in the present.

The Second Horizon – H2 – is a pattern of activities, ideas, innovations that are disrupting the way things are done. Communities, companies, people, various groups all pioneer new approaches in response to the ever-changing world around them. Some of these innovations will be absorbed by H1, incorporated to prolong its life, while some will aid the transition, and set the stage for the radically different H3 systems to blossom. The disruptions of H2 can be harnessed to manage the collapse of H1, and thus support the more wholesome H3 systems to be embedded in the new H1.

Guiding Principles & Shared Agreements

Guiding principles are a defined set of statements or intentions that represent the ethos and culture within a group, community, organisation etc. They are precisely worded and ideally concise, while epitomising the values that the group’s mission and vision are based upon. They provide clarity for new members joining, as well as for existing members when navigating challenges or making major decisions that affect the direction the group will go in. Depending on the group, these can be reviewed and adapted over time if appropriate, or they can be non-negotiable fixed points to anchor the group in what they’ve set out to achieve.

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.

Design Sensing

Design sensing is a good alternative to Design Thinking or the U process of Theory U as it combines the advantages of both approaches. The Design Sensing process guides an innovation team from the perception of a problem or challenge to the tested and implemented idea. It is a very structured and straightforward process yet  at the same time gives space for intuition, sensing and refined perception. 

In order to call it Design Sensing, the following are important in the process:

The process can be run through several times, each cycle with more focused questions, based on the insights from the previous cycle. The pace of one cycle can vary from one day to several weeks, depending on the complexity of the challenge, time and resources of the innovation team. Generally we recommend to run through the cycles several times but at a fast pace.

Learning for Change

Learning from one’s own experience is often viewed as very difficult, and learning from others’ experience as more or less impossible. Instead, as repositories for experience, we build databases of best practice, which, paradoxically, tend to keep us where we are by focussing mostly on the superficial, successful specifics of particular projects. The generalised or generic learnings, usable for others, are seldom extracted, neither from the ongoing process nor from the final results.
Learning for Change was developed to take up the challenge of making learning from experience easily accessible to both individuals and groups, initially within the arena of sustainable development. The ‘Internal’ format is designed for a group of people who are or will be working together with a common focus.