Building Collaborative Capacities


Listening, Stories, and Meta-Conversations

December 5th, 12th, and 19th

9:00-11:00 am USA Pacific time; 6:00-8:00 pm CET

Our hyper-specialized, fragmented culture is finally recognizing a need to return to collaboration. Among other key elements, collaboration requires trust, trans-contextual and whole systems thinking, and an ability to hold “both-and” or “meta” perspectives. As we attempt to increase collaboration in diverse contexts, we may find these key elements lacking - or missing entirely. What, then, might we do to regenerate and rebuild them?

In this three-session exchange, we will experience two interactive modalities or “forms” that support regeneration of these and other key elements of collaboration. We will also take time to debrief, unpack, and reflect on these forms in relation with our own collaborative experiences.

SESSION 1:  Monday December 5th—"Listening Circle"

 We will participate in a “Listening Circle,” as designed by We Are Open Circle (WOC) co-founders Miriam Jones and Adam Rumack. Our special guest facilitators will be WOC associates Marisa Hebb and Christopher Arlen, along with GLEN member John Schinnerer.

Marisa Hebb

Marissa is a trainer, consultant and facilitator in the WOC methodology. As an educator and coach, her wide-ranging skillset includes somatic trauma therapy, embodied social justice, peer counseling and community building, ecosystems thinking, and agriculture. Marisa brings over a decade of experience in educational curriculum design, teaching, and workplace managerial roles. She supports individuals and groups to cultivate the presence and dynamism that allows for new possibilities to emerge while in day to day work. She loves to explore the rivers and mountains of Washington or Vermont, dancing, singing, or cultivating restorative food systems.

Christopher Arlen 

Christopher is a consultant and certified facilitator in the WOC methodology. He unapologetically optimistic — he believes in people and what we can accomplish when we come together in good faith around a shared vision or goal. For nearly 30 years, he has worked in the nonprofit and government sectors to push the boundaries of possibility, creating innovative programs and novel approaches that advance health promoting behaviors. Christopher is principal consultant for The Soft Skills Company, fostering positive relational dynamics in increasingly diverse workplaces.

John Schinnerer

John is a whole systems design consultant, teacher, and facilitator who works with a broad variety of clients developing cultural and ecological systems. Since 1996, he has studied, worked, taught and published in the realms of human relations, governance and decision-making systems, appropriate technology, and ecological design. The innovative and collaborative methods, tools and techniques that John offers invite clients to transparency and equivalence while enhancing individual and group effectiveness and integrity. He is a founding member of the Sociocracy Consulting Group


SESSION 2:  Monday December 12th—"People Need People"

 We will participate in a “People Need People” session, a virtual-space adaptation of Nora Bateson’s in-person “Warm Data” design. Our special guest hosts will be kaa Faensen and other certified warm data hosts, assisted by GLEN member John Schinnerer.

kaa Faensen

kaa is leading the co-creation and communication of the Fraendi brand. She studied linguistics and social therapy and is certified in integrative coaching and meta-consulting. She has lead different social institutions before she became an expert in the field of participatory leadership consulting and visual facilitation. Her focus is on enabling the perception of the complexity of what is actually going on and from there finding developmental pathways to embark on collaboratively.

 SESSION 3:  Monday December 19th -"Digging Deeper"

Facilitated reflection space for digging deeper into our experiences in the first two sessions, wherever that may lead us. Large and small groups, prompts and open space, insights and witnessing and themes, and more stories, no doubt!