Constructivist Adult Development coLAB

From Chopsticks to Tchaikovsky: Developing repertoire for personal and systems resilience at a time of planetary crisis.

Co-Stewards: Susanna Carman, Dana Carman & Hilary Bradbury

Started March 12th, 2024. Meeting second Tuesdays at 09.00 Universal Time, 75-90 mins (not July)

We invite you to join a Global coLAB in support of your work in advancing adult development at personal, group and systems-cultural levels. This cohort of busy action researchers is stepping further into developmental friendship at a time of consciousness of planetary crisis elevating around the globe. This coLAB combines the practice of constructivist adult developmental assessment with the spirit of participative action research. Our aspiration is that participants feel helped in recognizing the profound relevance of adult development to their lives and personal/professional challenges. We encourage participants to make safe experiments and make assessments available at minimal cost longside one-on-one coaching to help your transformations happen!


The coLAB offers a transformative learning space for practice in the spirit of learning by doing. It is one in which we give ourselves and others permission to step to our ‘developmental edge’ - informed by our assessments– and work to liberate our own gifts within our own worlds of practice with clients, students, family members! In it we’re developing our own sensemaking and action taking in support of adult development. Expect an experimental spirit in how we both work together in session (e.g., including artistic methods, role play etc) and in pursuing experiments outside session that we later report on. Additionally, we’ll bring in “best ideas” from the world of constructivist adult development and contribute by writing case studies and journal articles from our own work.

The monthly cohort coLAB convenes participants who seek a learning/practice community in support of their own work. Our various worlds are in business, in healthcare and any myriad of human system. The AR+ stewarding partner in this work is  Shifting Horizons

Getting started

Each month, expect one plenary session plus one self-organized intersession per month with a small group. All participants may expect to be both protagonist and audience. This learning orientation may best come alive in developmental friendship.  Therefore, consider this coLAB foremost a brave space in which we not just talk about, but practice explicitly with power, collaboration, and feedback. 

Developmental friendship: Heart of a coLAB

The practice of the coLAB invites participants to bring the “co” of collaboration and learning together to a “lab” of laboratory in which we are up for taking creative action.  Think of a coLAB as a community of inquiry and practice that invites and supports participants to develop capacity with others. In this coLAB, we will specifically work with the Shifting Horizons feedback tool within our own development as change leaders, AND in how we integrate this tool co-creatively in our work with clients, colleagues and transformative partners. In this developmental practice, we are primarily concerned to learn from our impact in the real world and take further, improved action. At this link, please read more about the spirit of developmental friendship.

A coLAB is also a space for assessing, continuously, the quality of our work so we grow confident with humility.  Thus, we emphasize learning by doing, seeking integration between practice and inquiry. At this link, read more about the spirit of a coLAB.

Early Session Snippet Preview

Dana writes: “I will shape an early session in which we connect adult developmental theory and the Shifting Horizons assessment with different OD practices. In session a chosen skill is honed, followed with a vertical move in perspective (i.e., “subject to object,”) to which awareness of body wisdom/intuition is given space. Finally, in explicitly returning to the theory, we use Constructivist Adult Developmental theory as a road map toward further experimentation. In this we're actively building capacity to hold the true diversity that enables creativity among people shaping more lifegiving culture." 

Participants' cases

Participants are invited to bring issues from their own practice (e.g., how do I propose introducing constructive developmental theory more generally, and the Shifting Horizons feedback tool more specifically, to my new stakeholder/clients?). We expect to choose at least a few issues for preparation in advance with a facilitator best placed (based on area of interest and expertise) to offer the gift of facilitation when an inquiry case has a general enough flavor that it may inform all participants in a plenary session.

We imagine a plenary case can be discussed at least twice – first in depth for learning about “current aspiration or desperation” and later with a briefer update on which feedback was useful, i.e., which experiments worked and which did not work. For this, preparation is done outside a session between the facilitator and participant-protagonist meeting to clarify the inquiry/challenge. When appropriate, we may invite an advanced practitioner associated with Shifting Horizons (not a regular participant) to guide on a particular topic. 

Occasionally we may also introduce new instruments (upcoming a group assessment and 360 degree) for early piloting among cohort participants.

Participation requires registration at the link below

Trust that we are open to tweaking the logistics/meeting start time once we establish the timezones of all who register.


If you are seeking a partial scholarship, please submit a request here: