Create the support you need to see yourself through the changes

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Consider starting a local group to support you and yours through changing times.

It's to a) support you and the others personally and emotionally as you do your community-building  relocalizing work and b) help you get your things done.

I know that starting a local group can seem like a lot . . . have a look at this three minute video on leadership and social change that had me smiling - the things we do for love!


Made you smile? 

What I like about groups is that they speed things up and they make a whole class of possibilities newly visible. I recommend them wholeheartedly. I'm putting out what I want here and what I think will serve.

By the way, the groups and meetings that I'm currently in do not have all these elements in one place - this is a work in progress! I've drawn on personal experience and my coach training and the experience of Weaver groups in making the starting point.

I think of it as an Open Source Relocalizing Group, "Open Source" meaning it's co-developed by its developers - each of us.

Note: here's a simple way to start a local listening circle, or learning circle.

Open Source Relocalizing Groups are open source, buildable and refinable by those of us working with it. We're collectively creating the form we hope can serve many as we go along. They build on elements that have worked before and the format is intended as a starting place. Take what you want, work it, refine it, feed it back into the whole.

If you join in you help create a local group that can work for more and more people so we can get more relocalizing done. I invite people interested in maybe working with some variant of this form to connect with me so we can share and discover what's working.  

Contact me if you like this and want to take a next step or if you want to be connected to others who are (for example on a conference call). Make sure to be on the mailing list (top right) if you like the idea.

Potential benefits:

  • ·         helps us separate what's important from what's not
  • ·         builds resiliency to cope with a challenging future
  • ·         busts the sense that our perceptions are only private rather than shared too
  • ·         invokes “collective intelligence” rather than ego / survivalist thinking
  • ·         helps to emotionally and spiritually support and sustain members
  • ·         can lead to collective insight
  • ·         is social and fun and builds community
  • ·         inspires positive action and clearer thinking
  • ·         give a place to be accountable to others for actions we want or need to take
  • ·         builds in positive feedback loops in multiple ways
  • ·         a connecting point for people feeling marginalized

How it works- Tree Roles suggested
Three roles - Facilitator, Listener, and Liaison - are suggested, to be rotated each meeting or each quarter. The Facilitator introduces the meeting and each part of it (e.g., reads from the guidelines). The Listener listens to how well we're listening, lets us know if we're drifting, and is a reminder to us that listening is as important as speaking, The Liaison person reminds us of time and venue of upcoming meeting, and rents meeting space if necessary and connects with other open space developers or ensures someone else does.

Getting started
Try this format for three months or three meetings and then make changes as need be. The three months to get some regularity and some energy going. If you can't agree to meet for the three months then meet for three meetings at least so it's crystal clear to all about what it is you're changing.

It's good if you can meet every two weeks on the same day and time. Same place if possible. During sharing rounds, let people jump in as the spirit moves them; no need to go in order.

The rest of this page is the suggested format as of April 25, 2010 . . .

Open Source Relocalizing Group format

1.      Welcome by Facilitator
(a rotating role open to all)

2.      Facilitator  introduces each part of the meeting with a sentence or two so all are on the same page

3.      Facilitator sets intention by reading the Purpose and Guidelines below (or has others read them)

4.      Go-round 1. Internal Updates Members let each other know what they've been working on “inside” to live with greater strength and integrity, and how things are going with it. No feedback please.

Go-round 2. External Updates  Members let each other know what they've been doing in the community / world and how things are going with that. No feedback please.

Go-round 3. Moving Forward Request input on new initiatives (internal or external) to make the world a better place. More informal and people can jump in and out.

7.      Closing. Participants express appreciations for what anyone has shared or done; everyone doesn't need to speak. Facilitator checks if everyone’s finished.

8.      Next meeting date and new roles chosen if needed


We come together to support ourselves and each other in being stronger, more resourceful and resilient in a time of change and transformation. We hope to make a difference to ourselves and be a catalyst for positive change locally and in the world.

Guidelines (read these at the beginning of a meeting, modify them to better serve your needs after the three months have elapsed)

  • ·         Speak simply and directly and keep comments on topic.
  • ·         In the first or Internal Update go-round, tell others know what you've been working on “inside,” personally or internally to live with greater strength and integrity and how things are going with that. In this and the External Update go-round, don't offer feedback in order to allow people maximum space and permission to say what they must. Listen deeply instead and speak your truth when it's your turn. You can raise your hand when as an indication of "me too" if you stronly agree with something.
  • ·         In the second or External Update go-round, let others know what you've been doing out there in the world and how things are going with it. In both the Internal and External updates, others are specifically asked not to interrupt or make “helpful suggestions.” This helps the speaker have the space and safety to say what they wish. No comments from others as mentioned
  • ·         In the third or  Moving Forward go-round, state a “next step,” something you'd like to accomplish either internally or externally. If you want comments or feedback on how you might move forward, speak up and ask for them here; and if you don't want any help at this point, say that too so others know what's wanted.
  • ·         Ideas can build on each other in the Moving Forward section in an unpredictable way. Something someone says may nudge a thought in another, and “collective intelligence” can uncover something new and exciting.
  • ·         To encourage collective intelligence, affirm or build on another's ideas if you genuinely like them and leave them alone if you don't
  • ·         Be aware that the group isn't a therapy session or a salon for philosophical disputation; rather it's a way to connect more richly with yourself, peers, and perhaps, collective mind.
  • ·         Please respect everyone’s point of view and allow others to speak without interruption. The Listener is tasked with bringing us back on track if someone's is off topic.
If this idea speaks to you in some way, contact me (Andrew), or sign up for the monthly update at the top. Monthly updates will include updates on the progress of relocalization groups.

Click here to read my essay on why groups are so important at this time.


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