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A New Story of Collaboration

We are weaving a network of people with associated ideas and projects. Networks enable the sharing of resources and development of greater knowledge, wisdom and capacity for action.

We believe in collaboration over competition. A new story is beginning to emerge. It is not a political concept. Politics is about one side winning over another side –which really misses the point. It’s a new narrative that empowers us to see ourselves and our society differently, and it could be the key to our survival as a species on earth. Increasingly we are beginning to recognise that complexity and chaos are our friends. They are the inevitable spawning ground of innovation, enterprise and re-construction. Cooperation, collective action and complex interdependencies are central to the new story.

People who are adaptive and work with others instead of against them, are more powerful. We are all more likely to succeed if we work together. Collaboration works more powerfully for the greater good over time than competition.

It is becoming increasingly clear that our economic model is essentially broken. COVID-19 has shown how very vulnerable it is; how shaky our globalised system is. Our current model as Monbiot says, is trashing the living world and threatening the lives of our descendants.

Artists and Organisations in Residence at the Creative Living Park

Fear and Change

Change is the essential nature of existence. Everything changes all of the time and at every level. Personally, in our family groups, in our communities, in our ecosystems, nationally, globally, change is the only thing we can really rely on.

So despite calling ourselves a change organisation – we know that we do not make change. Change is inevitable and as constant as breathing. But human beings can be very uncomfortable with change. We have a lot of fear tied up with our relationship to change. It causes us to cling to things even when they have ceased to serve us and we are becoming unhealthy because of it.

Change management is more about making people feel less afraid in changing circumstances. Helping people adjust their thinking; re-frame their self-concepts and beliefs; reframe their hopes and dreams; find a level of acceptance of the emergent new order at the very least.

The new order is coming – it is on our threshold. It is like we are peering through a crack in the door opened by COVID-19 and it is staring us down.

How will we find peace of mind? How can we know that we will be ok? What will we tell our children?

Photo: Anastasia Taioglou (Unsplash)

An image that came to me this week is that water always finds its level. In the same way, after a period of upheaval and flux, there is a calm. After movement…momentary and relative stillness. Everything settles for a brief time, and we may take a breath and refocus, gather what we have learnt, engage in the new relationships that are formed in the process of moving from the old to the new and consider what is next.

The change won’t be an apocalypse, it will be a series of rolling events, small collapses, natural disasters, a fire, a storm, economic recession, a pandemic … hang on… that’s already happening! The change is already here; we are living it right now. And little bit by little bit, it is incumbent on us to organise, to innovate and adapt.

That’s why we are making a Creative Living P(Ark).

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