Vital Ingredients

Composting Power-over Culture
into Relational Culture and Wild Reciprocity


Expanding beyond our individualistic human-centric lens of the world to include collective, nature-connected, more-than-human ways of listening, seeing, being, doing, knowing, imagining and becoming, that support us, and our groups, organisations and those who fund them, to source our visioning, planning and actions from beyond the consciousness that created our current crisis. To become ecocentric is to listen to Earth’s dreaming as She whispers sweet everythings into our infinitesimal ears. The process of becoming Ecocentric is Eco-awakening: the physical, emotional and psycho-spiritual knowing and very visceral experience of being part of and belonging to the entire Earth Community. Engaging in Wild Reciprocity, we recognize the sovereignty and agency of all beings and relate reciprocally with them to enhance Life. See the Design Principle Eco-Awakening for more on this.

Trauma Attuned

Recognising our current world-unravelling as the expression of historic and current species-wide trauma - and this being the collective waters we are swimming in (albeit to varying degrees of suffering). Compassionately owning our co-creation of, and therefore our responsibility for transforming planet-wide trauma. Expanding beyond trying to fix ‘broken individuals’ (so as to create more palatable, controllable, productive cogs in our consumerist works) or ‘broken societies’ (which only leads to repairing symptoms and repeating the culture that is wounded rather than letting it die and be composted). Centring trauma’s transformative power: harnessing the impetus that the unravelling of trauma creates to alchemise our species-wide core wound: The Illusion of Separation, into a sacred wound of apprenticing to the co-creation of relational culture and wild reciprocity. Centring the radically inclusive ‘wholing’ process that supports us to notice and welcome more and more of our parts, especially those we have learned to reject, as part of the healing, reparative impulse of Life.

*see our design principles Radical Inclusivity, Wholing and Healing and Healing and Transforming Civilisation Trauma for more on this.

Emergent Strategizing

Letting go of our need to predict and control. Re-membering how to embrace deep trust in the cyclical nature of the elemental pattern of Life-Death-Life and the regenerative dance of rupture and repair. Upon the ground of that trust, we begin to withstand the initial discomfort of Life’s inherent uncertainty and relinquish “needing to know”. That threshold of not-knowing becomes the fruitful womb of our creativity and our capacity to listen. Out of that listening it is possible, one step at a time, to navigate by the North star that is our overarching vision - be that our own or that of our group, organisation or movement. Actively surrendering to a power greater than our human selves means becoming a hollow bone or empty vessel, for the regenerative power and potential of the Life-death-life cycle. 

By learning to really listen to what Earth is up to in these times, rather than our inner voices of fear, shame, certainty, hope or despair, we align our actions with what each of us hears from Earth as our particular gift to the collective initiatory transformation afoot. Welcoming a multiplicity of stories, perspectives and creative possibilities, we recognise no one person, group or organisation has the answers, only questions being birthed from the particular emergent edge of life that we are each aware of. 

* See the design Principles Co-Evolutionary Intent and Emergent Strategy for more on this.

Decolonising at Depth

Whilst challenging external manifestations of racism and race-related systemic injustice is essential, unless we turn towards how we have internalised colonialism and racism within ourselves, our groups and organisations, we will continue to pursue solutions via the same power-over consciousness that created white supremacy.

By decolonising at depth we mean the gritty process of liberating ourselves from the internalized supremacy/ racist aspects of our culturally conditioned worldview that creates the violence and scarcity symptomatic of  the destructive power-over colonial culture. To do this we must track colonialism's imprints within our own psyche, identity, behaviours, ways of relating and beliefs. This means healing and transforming the collective trauma resulting from historic and on-going coloniality, as it more and more shows up within us, our groups and our organisations. It means recognising and having compassion for our vulnerability within this deep trauma healing work. And for some of us, it means recognising the privilege in being able to choose whether we expose ourselves to the acute pain of the impact of our supremacy and the responsibility to do the decolonising at depth work that lessens our fragility and enhances our capacity to become better allies to all those  who are marginalised.

Disclaimer: Contained within all of this is a recognition that we hold a “not-knowing” about where we personally and collectively are headed, and that there are many truths as life is ceaselessly unfolding and evolving. Rather than produce answers, we are interested in the questions and the potential that arises in the spaces between us when we compost power-over culture within ourselves, our groups, organisations and institutions. We do not want to replace the single story of exponential growth and consumerism with another “right way” to do things. These three ingredients and in fact our whole theory of change are our current (and ever changing/deepening/expanding) expression of what we sense supports what is needed for change and transformation to be possible, rather than a step by step instruction of how change happens and where we are headed.

Design Principles

Out of these vital ingredients flow a collection of nested design principles, all which interrelate with each other and show up, in, as and through us, as the ever-in-flux dance of Life’s inherent complexity at depth and scale. Our design principle dance will soon be available to explore under the 'Approach to Change' Menu.