My friend and colleague Luea Ritter and I presented a pre-conference workshop at Integral European Conference 2016—whose theme was “Reinventing Europe.” Our workshop aimed at greater “Understanding the Ecosystem of the Bigger Movements” which are all, in one way or another, aimed at reinventing some aspects of working together. The workshop led to some deep reflections, with quite some consequences.
As it goes in these times of Social Media-Dialogs, the idea for the workshop was born after a little conversation on Facebook: George Pór mentioned that a question I had posed could well be the topic for a workshop in this conference. My personal passion and inquiry is always to look at the potential that is near to realization, but that has not yet come into tangible manifestation.
Thus, I have been wondering: What is each of the ‘tribes’ (such as the Integral Movement, Art of Hosting, Teal/Reinventing Organisations, Permaculture, Transition Towns and many more)—all in one way or another aiming at a better, more coherent and healthy world—contributing to the whole of manifesting that world? I can see that all these practices, and their networks of practitioners, have each grown their expertise, maturity and capacity over the last 10 to 20 years. Time seemed ripe to look into the future potential of the ecosystem they form for Reinventing Europe and the world. Luea and I chose systemic constellation work and deep circle practice as the methods used in this workshop around that question.
In preparation for the workshop delivery, Luea and I sat together. She shared she was feeling some kind of sadness. Being trained in body awareness and knowing about systemic dynamics playing out through our individual senses, she used a little representational exercise to check whether this sadness was related to the conference, the hotel we were in, personal or something else. Soon enough she realized it was not any of these; it was the sadness of Europe.
This realization brought us to the following articulation of the guiding question for this systemic constellation: What is needed in order for all these movements to work better together, in service of Europe?
One dynamic that captured our attention in the constellation, next to a lot of other ones was a Europe quite immobilized by what we can call trauma energy—not very alive or able to move. At some point, a representative was brought in for a spot on the floor the Europe representative kept looking at. This new person, who laid down on the floor, mentioned the witch hunts, and later named herself as all the dead people, all that was not articulated or mentioned, all that was forgotten and not acknowledged.
Over time prior to the conference, I have done several systemic constellations where the dynamics between Europe and the pain of Europe, and other elements were investigated. I had seen the importance of all the pain, all the deaths, or the forgotten-to-be-witnessed. So the dynamic emerging in this constellation was not surprising to me.
Bringing in a representative for Conscious Community, as a friend of Europe—and represented by both a woman and a man—as well as a representative for the Future seemed to be quite important at this moment in the constellation.
It confirmed my sense that the real synergies between the different reinventing-the-world tribes will only happen or have real impact when they are working together in real, local projects. Not in conversations about how it could work!
A more important realization was about the power of the question we used to step into this systemic constellation. Asking “What is needed?” as the guiding question we used, draws our attention—and the energy of the total constellation—to what is missing, to what is not there yet. It also meshes with the assumption that there is “first” something which needs to be done, for making something else possible.
Another approach to synergy-generating would be to start with what is already present, with the seeds we can already notice in synergies between different tribes/methodologies. How can we amplify these synergies in the larger ecosystem—as we can see them in the spaces in between—and invite them into more tangible manifestations and forms?
That was for Luea and myself the biggest take-away from this constellation: the passion to try out a next constellation with this different perspective. (We actually did, just a few days ago at another conference, The Art of Co, in Spain— with great outcomes! We are in the process of distilling the insights and learnings, which will be published online—best to follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ria.baeckhttps://www.facebook.com/luea.ritter
My personal interest is in the field of Leadership and Consciousness and how this relates to Communities—in work and daily life. I worked first in the area of personal development, coaching and the social profit sector, and later with leadership for organizations and global systems. I am always fascinated by “What else is possible?” My website: http://www.vitis-tct.be/