We are deeply committed to more and more walking our talk around inner-led change and cultural transformation. This means doing what we can to embody the relational culture we are longing for and seeking, so as to help facilitate it into being more broadly. And within that we are constantly humbled around this being about the journey rather than any notion of getting to some fixed point of perfection.
Embodying the relational culture we are longing for involves investing in the embodied practices that support us to become more and more present and available within our relating; relishing when connection and collaboration flows - and staying open to inevitable ruptures within our relationships and actively tending to repair from a place of heart-centred radical self-responsibility.
As well as serving our needs as a group of people working together, our evolving organisational culture is a significant part of our offering to the wider movement. We are exploring ways of collaborating together with a shared purpose in the world that is centred around including the inner dimension of life within our efforts to help co-create a more life-affirming world.
In our experience, prioritising tending to our connective tissue can be both deeply rewarding and immensely challenging. Our explorations around centring the inner continue to reveal rich and often unexpected learnings that we hope will serve our movements for change more broadly.
The practices, structures, processes and agreements we are experimenting with emerged from practices our founders developed together - and are deeply informed by our wide range of previous experience within myriad cultures and contexts.
Starter Culture is essentially about learning how to cultivate relationships that are healthy, generative and transformative.
For us relational culture is as much about relating with our other-than-human friends and allies, as it is about relating with other humans.
For us relational cultures are committed to Love, intimacy, compassion, care, courage, creativity, beauty, pleasure and play - in service of health, regeneration, transformation and justice.
In these times of social and ecological collapse there has perhaps never been a time when it has been so vital for us to deeply attend to our connective tissue.
"If we accept that we are already tied into a great cataclysmic change, as highlighted by widespread food shortages, drought, ensuing war, an escalating refugee crises and plenty more, inner-led change is vital because it attends to our connective tissue. [...] If you are not connected to yourself you can’t really connect with another human [...] Attending to inner-led change will make the difference between this ending like a car crash or ending like a leaf falling in autumn."
Bell Selkie Lovelock
Our relational agreements provide a snapshot of our current perspective on what supports relational culture amongst our human collaborators. They provide somewhat of a north-star (overarching intentions) for how we are agreeing to relate within our collaborative culture - and a reference point for when tensions and conflict arises.
All Starter Culture collaborators commit to proactively doing what is necessary to more and more align with these agreements, whilst recognising that these are aspirational and none of us are, or need to be perfect.
The way that we work is largely inspired by what we call a ‘shared governance’ model which is a blend of sociocracy and holacracy. It is consists of a range of evolving processes, structures and agreements that focus around placing power in the process rather than in certain individuals or roles. Shared governance empowers collective decision-making. It supports decisions to happen both horizontally and vertically, in service of unleashing the group's collective intelligence.
Since moving away from working as a 'core team' and towards more organic and experimental collaborations, we are currently exploring how to integrate this rich shared governance territory within this less familiar context.
This video produced by Université du Nous gives a sense of the philosophy that underpins our shared governance model - Video: our relationship with power.
Check out more on our shared governance model here:
Youssef Naddam on Unsplash