A Natural Change in direction

At the beginning of January Margaret Kerr resigned from Natural Change Limited and withdrew from all involvement with Natural Change into the future.

This triggered a major review of Natural Change – its purpose, the way it’s facilitated, its philosophical basis, its strategy for creating change and the tension between educational and therapeutic processes that are at its core.

At first this was a bewildering and stressful process as Trustees, clients and staff struggled to find ground. But by the end of February a new and powerful energy started to emerge.

By March we had a revised two-year facilitator training course in place, with nine participants, and a fully-booked one-week Introduction to Facilitating Natural Course taking place at Doune in the middle of the month.

By the end of May, we had a new collaborative project with a partner in Hungary, funded through the European Union’s Erasmus + programme confirmed and scheduled to start in September. And this month, we are working on a redevelopment of the Natural Change suite of websites, supported by a crowd-funding campaign.

Last week I posted new dates for the next Introduction for Facilitating Natural Change course at Doune, on Knoydart in October.

Margaret’s leaving was sad and challenging. It has been hard work for everyone involved to gather in the threads, find ways of making sense of what has happened and make plans for the future. But it now feels like Natural Change has entered a new and vibrant phase.

New website and newsletter

After a great deal of thought – and procrastination – I have updated my website. I wanted to include more detail about the specific things I can offer and to make the navigation more intuitive.

The new site will be supported by a regular monthly newsletter which will include news, comment and information about upcoming courses and events.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the new site. Can you find everything you were expecting? Is there anything missing that you expected to see? Does it make sense? Please do leave a comment!

Check out the updated website here >>

COURSE: Intro. to Facilitating Natural Change – March 2015

We’re very happy to have now scheduled another one-week Introduction to Facilitating Natural Change course for March 2015.

We continue to be amazed and inspired by interest in the Natural Change approach, which after six years is still growing across the globe. At the moment one of the few ways people can experience the Natural Change process is though our one-week Intro. course, which offers a taste of the core four-day process along with two days exploring how the approach is facilitated.

This will be the twelfth time we’ve run the programme since 2011, generating an Alumni community of over 100 people. The course has five places left, so if you are thinking about it, get your application in sooner rather than later!

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COURSE: Tending the Flame

24-28 April 2015  |  Glen Prosen, Scotland.

“When asked if I am pessimi­stic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth & aren’t pessimi­stic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth & the lives of the poor, & you aren’t optimis­tic, you haven’t got a pulse.” 

– Paul Hawken

In response to research undertaken by Osbert Lancaster, Margaret Kerr and I earlier in the year, we’ve set up a new course called Tending the Flame. The course is for those who have experience of work or activism for sustainability and related fields, and are finding it increasingly difficult to be optimistic in the face of the ‘data’.

Are you coping with doubts while maintaining a brave face in public as, like many campaigners, community leaders, consultants or practitioners? Or maybe you are seeking new ways to be effective in the world, or looking for affirmation that your chosen life path is heading in the right direction. If so, then this course could help.

The course is being run by Natural Change Limited.

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NEWS: Natural Change Three-Year Facilitator Training

In October Margaret Kerr and I led the first of four residential workshops that form the backbone of the new Natural Change Three-Year Facilitator Training. The workshop took place in Glen Prosen on the south-east side of the Cairngorm mountains. We worked in around the Glen and in the nearby Glen Clova, just over the hill from where we were staying.

In addition to the residential elements participants each undertake 12 one-to-one mentoring sessions each year and complete a professional project in the final year. Parallel to this core training, they will complete a Hill & Moorland Leader Award with the UK Mountain Training Association. They will also explore their own psychological process with a personal therapist not connected to Natural Change.

Our hope for the course is that by 2016 (when the participants get to their professional practice year) we will have a cohort of Natural Change Facilitators able to deliver projects across sectors and cultures.

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COURSE: Ecotherapy Practice

11-15 May 2015 & Autumn 2015 (TBC)  |  Schumacher College, Devon.

This course explores practical aspects of working outdoors to facilitate personal and ecological healing. It combines theoretical perspectives with practical skills and is designed to help you develop the confidence to start working in a variety of outdoor locations.

The course is split into three sections. A one-week residential programme will be followed by a series of six online seminars, leading to a second one-week residential. There will be a total of eight residential days and six, one-hour online sessions.

Course details will be posted on the Schumacher College website soon. If you would like to be notified when the course is online, please email me.