Adaptive Space Learning Group

An offering of the Adaptive Space Network

Some questions matter tremendously to our work, but they are too complex for direct answers—they can only be lived into. And living into those questions may look different for each of us.

We invite you join a community of learning leaders in reflection and engagement with questions that are central to programs and institutions moving toward greater equity, sustainability, justice and belonging in our communities. Let’s learn, explore, reflect, and inquire together into the challenges of working for change in our communities and systems.

A rare blending of input from the lenses of complexity, oppression and trauma, community-led development, facilitative leadership, and emergent approaches.

How can we better think about the impact of our programs and the relationship between our work and the communities we serve? When the change we seek — social justice, life-sustaining environmental policy, communities that engender belonging for all, the conditions of thriving for our children and young people — when those changes are so deeply human and relational, and so fundamentally complex and uncertain, how do we work?

The learning group is designed around three intentions

Grappling with complexity together

Each week we will gather to grapple with the complexity of social challenges, and consider ways to expand our kit to embrace the realities of emergent change. It’s a “learning group” rather than a “course,” because the questions we work with are at the edge of understanding and practice — there are no easy answers.

Engaging with the pain of current systems

Our conversations will engage with the fact that our current systems contain patterns of oppression and trauma. How can we deepen our work, ourselves and our collaborations in response?

Creating a practice space together

We develop by practicing together. How can we make a practice space together in which we individually and collectively shed unhelpful patterns and develop new abilities? How do we be together in a way that makes room for emergence, for unraveling? How do we practice welcoming each person’s full humanity, truth and liberation?

Who is the learning group for?

This group will be particularly valuable for people whose work involves conceiving, shaping, and guiding programs aimed at social outcomes. But the group is open to anyone who wants to apply, with no prerequisites other than openness to learn and willingness to participate in a group learning experience. We are in a time of transition, which challenges almost every aspect of our efforts. Let’s work with that, learn from others, and explore for direction together.

Community as curriculum: creating a caring community of learning leaders

An explicit goal of this group is to shape an experience of creating a place of belonging and support — a culture with care and reciprocity at the center, which is different from the culture of conformance and performance many of us may come from. This gives us a base from which we can explore new and sometimes uncomfortable ideas and practices. We aim for a group culture that supports each person in finding their balance of rest and retreat or challenge and stretch. We’ll set aside several sessions for this work of community co-creation (an activity we hope may inspire similar efforts in your own context of work).

How the group is structured

Set your own pace and level of engagement

We know how busy you are, and we know that schedules can be a little intense. We’ll offer materials and structure you can use to create a rhythm of learning and development for yourself, in the company of others.

Each week has the same structure

  • A curated “mix tape” of rich material to view and listen to on your own schedule.
  • A two-hour live session of conversation, reflection, and experiential learning, in
    which we work with the week’s key ideas and their application, through small groups and experiential learning (we’ll bring in reflection, we’ll bring in the body, intuition and soul).
  • A weekly practice or challenge, optional but strongly encouraged, that invites you to apply the week’s ideas to your own life and work.


We’ll have twelve weekly sessions starting January 12, 2021 and continuing through March 30. Zoom sessions will be 11:30am to 1:30pm.

See the Topics page for information on our plans for each week.

The last day to apply is December 15. Seats are limited to 25!