Building a More Beautiful World

A One Day Workshop with Schumacher North
Facilitated by Anna Harris, David Midgley and Adrian Lovett
Saturday 8 March, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.   Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, Leeds LS3 1AD

Shared Lunch – Donation requested.   Click here to book

Inspired by the ideas of Charles Eisenstein, the aim of this workshop is to re-ignite the idealism, enthusiasm and optimism that motivates those working for environmental sustainability, economic justice and a better society, but that can so easily be worn down by the repeated shocks of a global economic system that seems determined to destroy the results of our best efforts.

The workshop will be divided into three sessions, led by the three facilitators.  Each session will aim to build connections and mutual support between participants, draw out the ideas and gifts each participant has to offer, and work towards specific, practical actions that people can begin to work together on after the workshop.

Session One: Optimism in Dark Times  – David Midgley

Accelerating climate change, the shocking injustices of austerity policies, and apparent widespread indifference to these grave problems can readily induce despair, undermining our motivation to work for positive change.  But if we succumb to the despair, we become part of the problem – in fact, arguably, despair itself is the problem – so how do we break out of this loop?

Charles Eisenstein has shown us that we need not despair – the current crisis is a symptom of a world-view that has reached the end of its useful life, and if we recognise what is going on we can be the agents of transition that bring a new world to birth out of the ruins of the old.  Through exercises, dialogue and building connections with one another we will begin to translate this awareness into action.

Session Two: Working through confusion – Adrian Lovett

I was hoping ‘it’ (the more beautiful world Charles Eisenstein talks about) would be possible without magical technofix surprises – like biochar, or Mayan bread fruit to feed our heavily-populated world  – and that instead we could do ‘it’ just by changing our attitudes and our behaviours, so that it all comes right, regardless.

But actually, it all seems (to me) quite likely to come out all wrong, regardless – especially if we do nothing, even with hope. It’s all going pear-shaped far too fast – the forces of greed/ignorance/wilfulness seem to be surging ahead. So we can’t ‘do’ nothing. But what to do?? If we argue with them, won’t they just dismiss us as cranks, or wishful thinkers, and reject our views, because they are from a different story? And don’t they have the power (of the old story)?

So this workshop session will explore and share what we, ourselves, are thinking – and try to build on that.

Session Three: Emergence – Being and Becoming – Anna Harris

This workshop is about tuning in to what is wanting to emerge through me as an individual, and us as a group. Leaving behind our ideas of what should be, acknowledging fears which close us down, but bringing with us our tender vulnerability, and exploring together, we begin to open up to the possibility that something within us is being called into being/becoming ­

This life energy, which we experience deep within as stillness, is also movement. It is always complete in itself. And, also, always gives rise to movement out of and away from itself. Not because it isn’t enough, or needs more, but because that is its nature, and that is my nature too. By aligning myself to the expression of the life impulse I regard as myself, I can trust in not knowing, allowing myself to experience fully the significance and preciousness of this moment, trusting that it has its own organic path to a future we cannot yet see.

We will do some exercises in partners and groups to bring this alive.


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