"For... communities, and nations to succeed today and survive tomorrow, they must be deeply democratic – that is, everyone and every feeling must be represented. “
This programme is for those who are seeking to be a force of positive change in the world and who wish to facilitate change within their community's. The programme has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the Emergence Foundation.
What is an elder and what is eldership?
Our definition of Eldership is informed primarily by Arnold Mindell, the founder of Process Work. It is not based on age or status.
An elder brings the capacity to hold, with integrity, disparate agendas and life experiences and facilitate those conflicts that are essential to a community's wellbeing.
Eldership does not aim to provide solutions or quick fixes. Rather it provides a space where the collective wisdom of the community is given a voice in which to express itself and heal.
"Elders themselves have made the leap from one-sidedness to compassion … eldership grows in part from having experienced the issues yourself, having known yourself as both victim and oppressor.” (Sitting in the Fire, p. 51).
Eldership and leadership?
"How many times have we wished for wise leaders who are able to not only express themselves well but also make skilful decisions in each moment of their work? How often have we placed hope in a leader, dreaming that they will take the direction we have been waiting for, only to be disappointed by one poor choice or another? Leading skilfully is challenging..."
Why Eldership in the Community?
According to Imran Ahmed, Chief Executive of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, whilst the pandemic has brought some together, it has also created more division:
“the pandemic has driven all types of movements which are based on protection of identity groups, [identity groups being] those groups people feel kinship to” (source: Guardian, 19/10/21).
These growing divisions and with them the deepening marginalisation of those who find themselves without a voice are according to researchers from Kings College complex in origin and longer in the making than either Brexit or the pandemic.
What we are seeing is the erosion of those spaces in which voices and opinions that we regard as 'other' can be heard and witnessed. Spaces which embody deep democracy enable diversity to be woven into our communities. If we are to provide our communities with the ability to endure and embrace a world that is undergoing convulsive and rapid changes it is vital that we nurture those spaces.
Eldership enables an openness to conflicting points of view and the welcoming of all voices with the aim of bringing individuals, organisations and communities together to learn from one another.
Who is the programme for?
Participants from the 2021 pilot programme sharing their experiences.
What will the programme offer?
The programme develops the skills and psycho-spiritual maturity to facilitate conflict, difference and polarisations between and within individuals and communities.
Saturday, 21 May 2022