Winterage 2023 at AR+
First, Thank you!
2023 was all about multiple circles inside AR+ showing increasing vitality. The coLABs seemed to be more “brave” than before! Auspiciously, the impact factor of the ARJ journal continues at a robust 2.0. The Gathering in Italy was quite profound, and fun! The photo above is from our recent hybrid Gathering.
2024 brings opportunity for elevating this co-creative leadership. What’s new is to place a few Action Research for Transformations (ART) “sandbox projects” at our center. In this way so we have real life feedback to our learning efforts. Workshops and coLABs will morph and continue. Some financial prize will be offered from AR+ through the journal for excellent ART.
To the degree it lights you up and you believe AR+ can support your efforts, I now invite you to further your participation.
This a new term I have learned in the limestone world of The Burren in Ireland. It’s a region in which cows are driven out to pasture for the winter in contrast with their cousin cows elsewhere who go indoors. In Winterage, then, there’s roaming and grazing on the years pickings.
A reminder of Foundational Intention for AR+ Foundation:
AR+ Foundation exists to raise consciousness of Action Research for Transformation (ART) processes and to practice what we teach by fostering friendly, person-centered spaces as dynamos for members‘ own community change efforts.
Our coLABs and gatherings are designed consciously as brave protainers in which we can practice among developmental friends to do the work we need to be doing “in / for the larger world.” In this way AR+ makes a (small!) contribution to the Great Turning toward a life enhancing civilization;
Moreover, because those who practice with ART usually find themselves a bit lonely in their work, AR+ offers a refuge to support ARTists anywhere on their journey.
AR+ offers a growing wealth of free resources on the site with a blog that reaches thousands of readers. As an organization we are a registered not for profit membership organization with a Board and CEO/ curator. We’re committed to evolving shared leadership (“sociocracy without the bullshit”) among the members so each may bring their talents and gifts as we practice becoming stronger together.
Notables for 2023
- Five coLABs, each a delight in its own way, now coming to a successful close.
- 25 of us enjoyed a successful, fun and profound Gathering. Arts/theatre-based knowledge was central. More information coming soon – including video, photos and blogs from participants.
- Newsletter twice a month showcases various ARTists efforts, including journal articles.
- The journal of Action Research (ARJ) – with Hilary Bradbury as editor in chief – continues with a strong impact factor of 2.0. The mission of ARJ continues to focus – and refine its focus – on sustainability/ART. Journal and AR+ now more aligned.
- A self-paced course – video documentary and other resources is available on AR+ along with cookbooks etc…together these make ART accessible.
Last though hardly least, our annual nonprofit tax compliance filing is complete in the State of California.
There are a few essential (and unique?) keys in ART are sewn into coLAB design:
- Walking the talk of developmental reflexivity; We turn the camera on our own self development.
- Practicing with embodiment; We include multiple ways of knowing inc theatre.
- Experiencing developmental friendship; We practice developmental ways of being without (too much!) anxiety.
Some “big picture” impressions from 2023 coLABS.
Our coLABs are the heart of AR+ in that they convene a practicing learning community that ripples out into the real world.
- Leadership as Developmental Friendship stewarded by Maille, Luea, Louie and Hilary was powerful as we brought personal development to the question of self-identity, race/socio-economic etc. Our inquiry concerned how to be the transformation we need for the world. In particular, we asked: how are we to move from the extractive ways of living we have inherited over millennia toward learning to relate to one another in ways that promote partnering and co-creativity. After self-assessment we each moved to our developmental edge in working together to overcome obstacles to creative collaborative.
- Climate ART (Hilary, Alicia, Ilaria) fed our personal climate anxieties & griefs into experiments so more of us could be nourished in collaboration. We started by having a cup of tea and sharing what it is to live at a time of collapse of the old order. We also planned how to build horizontal collaborations among diverse actors to respond to local climate crisis.
- AMICABLES stewarded by Ruth, Susie and Alastair brought ARTists together as they find their way deeper into the AR+ community. Meeting quarterly, the group alternated a book/movie club type conversation with reflection on personal practice. (e.g., deep listening). (Continuing in 2024)
- Eco-Relational Meditation coLAB, meets each Tuesday with Hilary and Serge Prengel and invites a round-the-globe welcome followed by practice with noble silence before participants sharing that makes palpable how “I” space and “We” space connect up in the “space between us.” (Continuing in 2024)
- Workshopping Transformative Learning Spaces (Hilary, Lone, Andrea) is an AR+ members only spaces to help one another create more effective, more transformative, learning spaces in our work. In each session, one ARTist presents their case challenge, facilitated by another. All participants help by bringing their personal experience to reframe and or improve the situation. (Continuing in 2024)
Experimenting with Sandboxes for 2024
The big idea is that we practice with real time feedback/reflexivity by working with real life projects. These “sandbox” projects are brought by AR+ Stewards. Each project takes an ART approach and is therefore concerned with a relational, conceptual and experimental approaches to a more ecological society. Different aspects of ART are needed, however, in each sandbox. Workshops and coLABs allow for exploring, designing, facilitating and documenting within. For example:
- Spain/Basque Region Sandbox. Women’s Policy and Political Leadership. Stewarded by Miren Larrea of Orkestra/Deusto University. The aim is to gather action researchers with facilitative experiences to share their first-hand experience of how gender relates to facilitation. The sandbox is a process of action research for transformations, as it is a relational space that connects AR+ with Basque Region’s Orkestra Think Tank and Arantzazulab; a conceptual space to discuss the connections among gender, facilitation, and collaborative governance; and an experimental space in improving collaborative governance in the Basque Country. The focus is on workshopping, documenting and sharing this work. More here.
Dear ARTists, please watch out for more snippets from the Gathering and new Sandbox updates in upcoming AR+ Newsletters.
We hope our efforts inspire more of us in responding to the call of our times. Join us in 2024.
- Action Research for Transforming the Poverty Field. ARJ Special issue is out! - March 4, 2024
- Starting March 12 coLAB: From Chopsticks to Tchaikovsky: Developing repertoire for personal and systems resilience at a time of planetary crisis. - February 27, 2024
- Framing AR+ community activities for 2024 - February 23, 2024