seeds for change
growing your brightest ideas with Jonathon Porritt
FRIDAY 13 SEPTEMBER (1PM) - SUNDAY 15 SEPTEMBER (2PM) 2019
Residential venue near Bangor in Wales (3h 20m train from London)
seeds for change
Everyone has a great idea bubbling away inside to help bring about environmental or social change. Something that we would love to do if we had a bit more time, fewer professional constraints or more courage to make it happen. It might be connected to your work, such as a social change project, a new app or a disruptive innovation. Or it could be a very personal passion project, such as a vision for how to enrich your community, create a wild urban corridor or inspire a plastic free high street.
This retreat is an opportunity to think big without the usual limitations and to bring your brightest ideas to life. By exploring, testing and evolving your ideas with a community of fellow change makers, they have the chance to grow wild and free. Who knows where this might lead?
You will leave feeling nourished, grounded, inspired and invigorated – with greater clarity, energy and confidence around driving the change you would like to see in the world. You will also leave resourced and supported by a new community of fellow seed growers, who will help you cultivate and nurture any emerging green shoots.
what will you come away with?
As environmental and political challenges keep growing, it feels like there has never been a more important time to come together, hatch plans and dream big. Manifesting something positive is essential for our wellbeing and motivation, and can re-energise us in all areas of our lives. Yet we often feel so busy trying to stay afloat or “change the system” that many of our best ideas never see the light of day. These ideas provide an important avenue for channelling our passion and creativity, and bringing about different models of change.
By the end of SEEDS OF CHANGE you will have:
Explored, tested and evolved your brightest ideas for change, drawing on fresh perspectives
Connected with a deeper sense of purpose, giving you clear direction and drive
Built resilience and courage to overcome doubts
Set realistic goals for taking ideas forward and built an ongoing support network to hold you to account
Learnt to build, grow and develop a strong community around any ongoing projects
Developed compelling communication and active listening skills
Been refreshed and rejuvenated by nature
Formed strong bonds with a like-minded community of fellow change makers
Been inspired to create local or transformative change, resourced with new networks, capacities and insights
Feedback from our Reignite Leadership Retreat 2018
100% of participants felt better resourced to meet challenges at work and/or at home
89% of participants formed closed personal connections in a short period of time
89% of participants felt less stressed and overwhelmed
Across all our programmes in 2018:
88% of participants felt a greater sense of general wellbeing
85% of participants felt more practiced at listening to others perspectives without judgement
80% of participants felt more inspired and creative
what will we be doing?
Led by the Change in Nature team (Andy Raingold and Chloe Revill), with the support of Jonathon Porritt, this programme draws on their 65+ years of combined experience in driving environmental, economic and social change. We combine a carefully curated set of deep discussions, workshops and personal reflection time, all in a pristine natural setting that will help you to truly unwind. There will be ancient oak trees, wide open skies, rushing mountain rivers, fireside discussions and lots of laughter – supporting you to be inspired, enthused and think outside the box.
The programme is designed around our unique change process. At the centre of our model and all that we do is people. We believe that bringing ideas into action depends on building personal relationships and community around your project. The process is as follows:
1. Open. Awareness and spaciousness. Unwinding from our busy modern lives enhances our wellbeing and helps us to approach difficult challenges with fresh eyes. There is a significant body of evidence showing that natural environments are uniquely restorative for mental fatigue (Nilsson, Sangster et al, 2011).
2. Listen. Observe and develop empathy without judgement or solutions, and recognise complexity. Good listening skills are essential for making the best decisions. However, most people usually only remember about 17 to 25% of the things they hear. While there are four distinct listening styles, only about 40% of people use two or more at any given time.
3. Explore. Shift perspectives and discover new insights. This is an opportunity to road-test, innovate and open mindsets. The most successful innovators know that tapping into a strong network provides invaluable support and access to a broad range of knowledge.
4. Create. Crystallise vision and intention. Research shows that spending tech-free time in nature increases our creative problem solving abilities by 50% (Atchley et al, 2012).
5. Action. Leave with an action plan and and a network of supportive peers who can hold you to account. Research shows that very few of our ideas and commitments to ourselves are acted upon. It is often 10%! But this jumps to 95% when you are accountable to someone else with a specific goal and timeline (The American Society of Training and Development). Such commitments are a big factor in turning our Seeds for Change visions into reality.
where is IT TAKING PLACE?
Cae Mabon Eco-Retreat Centre in Snowdonia, Wales. This has been described as ‘jaw-droppingly’ beautiful, a ‘fairy-tale village’, ‘a verdant retreat from the crazy world’ and, according to Professor Tom Woolley, the ‘number one natural building project in the UK’. At its heart is a thatched Celtic Roundhouse surrounded by a family of seven elegant dwellings made from straw bales, cedar logs, cob, stone, thatch, turf, timber and hempcrete. Together they accommodate up to 30 people. A renovated barn contains a fully equipped kitchen and a large dining room. There is a composting loo, washroom, thatched shower hut and luxurious hot tub. It is set in an ancient oak forest by a rushing mountain river.
WHY in nature?
As our world gets ever faster and more complex, we desperately need more time and space for deep, creative thinking. We are much less likely to get the clarity we need when our brains are constantly distracted and worn out. By bringing our most refreshed minds into the environment where they perform best, we allow our brightest ideas to flourish.
That’s why some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world take this approach. Warren Buffet dedicates 80% of his time to just reading and thinking. Bill Gates gives himself two whole “Think Weeks” every year. And there’s a reason he spends these weeks in a remote cabin by a lake. It’s what we all know, and science now tells us – that our minds are much more receptive and creative when we’re out in nature.
Combining the great outdoors with a like-minded community of change makers to bounce ideas off, there is no end to the potential for radical thinking and ambitious doing.
GUEST FACILITATOR: JONATHON PORRITT
Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development who has been described as "Britain's most influential green thinker". He was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90); co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83) and Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission. His books include The World We Made (Phaidon 2013) and Capitalism As If The World Matters (Earthscan, revised 2007). He has long been interested in the spiritual dimensions of the green movement.
change in nature facilitators
Chloe and Andy are two senior sustainability professionals, who after many years of working to influence policy in Westminster, went on personal journeys in nature to renew their sense of purpose and drive. Having experienced first hand the power of wild time, they set up Change in Nature to support other professionals to reflect, reconnect and reenergise.
Seeds of Change brings together their expertise as sustainability professionals and experience of facilitating transformative change processes.
Chloe is an international climate change diplomat and public policy strategist, who has worked closely with Government Ministers and senior negotiators from a wide range of developed and developing countries.
Andy is a seasoned sustainability campaigner, who was Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group for seven years, working in the corridors of power with CEOs, Government Ministers and thought leaders to drive UK and EU policy change.
Both have extensive experience as workshop facilitators. For more information on their professional backgrounds click here.
Exclusive use of a wild and remote site in Snowdonia National Park with cosy, covered spaces // 2 nights of accommodation in beautifully designed, naturally made dwellings // Facilitated discussions, workshops and experiential practices led by the Change in Nature team // Freshly prepared, healthy and delicious vegetarian meals // Optional meditation and movement practices // Night-time stories around the fire // Bottomless supplies of tea, coffee and tasty treats // A very special foraged feast // 2 day digital detox // Comprehensive insurance // Outdoor first aiders on site // A wood-fired outdoor hot tub by a rushing mountain river!