Adaptive Space Learning Group

An offering of the Adaptive Space Network

Weekly sessions, January 12 to March 30, 2021.

Applications are closed. Interested in a future group? Let us know.

A rare blend of input and a profound space for conversation and group learning. We’ll work together with the challenges of complexity, oppression and trauma, community-led development, facilitative leadership, and strategies of co-creation.

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 inequity 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?

This is for you, if…

  • You shape programs that create social change
  • You feel frustrated with top-down approaches that avoid genuine engagement and complexity
  • You would like to improve your ability to lead and work in difficult situations
  • You’d like more time to slow down, reflect and learn about different ways of being and working

This group will be 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.

What you’ll get

  • A kind of retreat: time each week where the pace is spacious, whatever you bring is enough
  • The company of fellow leaders and changemakers who can see and hear you, who grapple with similar questions as you
  • Practical tools and frameworks that will support your work to create shifts at different scales
  • The presence and stories of inspiring leaders who work toward long-term system shifts
  • A curated library of resources to support your own development and that of your team

An explicit goal of this group is to create a place of belonging and support — a culture with care and reciprocity at the center. This gives us a base from which we can explore new and sometimes uncomfortable ideas and practices.


Here is a visual overview of the topics for each of the twelve weeks. See the Topics page for more detail.

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.