Our approach is all about collaborative relationship. This is why Starter Culture was conceived through what we call a ‘Cups of Tea’ process.
This relational approach involved more than 100 conversations exploring what it is like for those wanting to include the inner dimension of life into social and ecological change work.
As well as a number of common and very juicy threads emerging from these conversations, it was very apparent that simply mapping and connecting those interested in inner-led change was incredibly suportive and generative in and of itself.
The simple act of making space to talk about how it is to try and integrate the inner dimension into our work and groups enabled valuable connection and solidarity. This instantly felt transformative in and of itself. Not least because we could feel how simply connecting around this common theme made us feel more confident to come out and speak more boldly about the importance of inner-led change.
Our conversations also highlighted to us that whilst collaboration is on the rise in relation to more outer focused work, efforts around inner-led change still tend to be happening more disparately and in the margins. This significantly hinders the potential for both deepening and scaling up this vital work.
Communities of Practice
With all this in mind, we identified a number of place-based and thematic areas with a critical mass of people and organisations already engaged in some form of inner-led change - and therefore ripe for collaboration.
We are now beginning to sew the seeds for thematic and place-based communities of practice. Through these we want to support the peer-peer collaboration, cross-pollination, reflection, learning, skill and resource-sharing and solidarity needed to deepen and scale up our efforts around inner-led cultural transformation.
Themes and sectors we hope to leverage significant cultural shifts within include: activism; education; frontline services; politics; judiciary system; transforming trauma; diversity and anti-oppression; rites of passage; and indigeneity.
We feel excited about the transformatory potential for cross-pollination and collaboration across all these themes and sectors, both in-place, trans-locally and internationally.
Collaborating across Scotland, England and Wales
We experimented with initial Cups of Tea processes across * [Scotland] * [England] * [Oxfordshire] * [south Devon]
Based on what we learned, we are now experimenting with this exploratory approach across * Wales* North west England * Bristol. In the future we hope to also collaborate with those in Ireland.
We have applied our Cups of Tea process internationally by having conversations with those working outside the UK, and those already working internationally themselves.
We are now in the process of identifying collaborators in countries outside the UK who are a good fit to explore what this collaborative approach looks like in different cultural contexts.
We are starting to seed theme-based Cups of Tea processes. These international processes are cultivating relationships between those developing an inner-led approach within particular themes. Together we are exploring how connecting and collaborating could amplify, deepen and scale up the impact of efforts around inner-led cultural transformation.
Imagine what life might feel, look and taste like if cultivating relationships with ourselves, others and the other-than-human world were the top priority for us as a society?
We are seeking out conversations with practitioners across the globe working around the following themes: politics, democracy and collective decision-making; activism; frontline health-care; education; legal system; radical inclusivity, diversity and anti-oppression; collective trauma; rites of passage; and indigeneity.
A (w)holistic approach
By supporting cross-fertilization and collaboration between practitioners working across all these themes we hope to harness the wellspring of transformative potential that tends to flow when a commitment to compassionate solidarity, collaboration and radical inclusivity are placed centre stage. In our experience this is the stuff that transforms Love into action.
Thematic communities of practice
You can find out more about the themes we are exploring and our approach to collaborating and creating communities of practices around these here.
[We would love to hear from you] if you are involved in any of these areas of work and are passionate about integrating inner-led culture change.
Links: Emergent threads from CoT: [common threads]