“Exploring Identity, Belonging and Interdependence”

Fri, 28th July, 2017 from 9:00 AM, in Awliscombe


You can’t remake the world
Without remaking yourself
Each new era begins within.
It is an inward event,
With unsuspected possibilities
For inner liberation.

From Mental Fight, Ben Okri

Notions of western/liberal democracy are being challenged across many different countries and across many different levels of society. And with it there is a polarization of debate, including between globalism and localism, interdependence and isolationism, open and closed, between people who see the world from Anywhere and the people who see if from Somewhere (D. Goodhart, The Road to Somewhere, 2017)

It is not as simplistic as right or wrong. The outcome has undoubtedly unleashed a still small but virulent streak of xenophobia and given voice to the deep frustrations and sense of powerlessness of many who have been at the sharp end of austerity for some years and feel excluded.

It is easy to try and apportion blame but, deep down, each of us will recognize that we have, to some degree, exercised our own degree of unconscious bias; that we are part of groups that have enjoyed opportunities denied others and have been –perhaps unintentionally – complicit in allowing a growing gap between those with hope and those in desperation.

We invite you to join us in an exploration of Identity, Belonging and Interdependence

Is there a different way of showing up in the world where we are clear about our own identity, values and purpose and, from that place, find ways to meet with others of difference? Can we find new ways of engagement and collaboration that can shift some of the deepening fractures in our society?

To be transparent and authentic in our connections with other individuals and groups, we need to be honest and non-judgmental in our understanding of our own identity and in acknowledging the unconscious bias that we have.

Only then, from a place of acceptance of ‘what is’, are we likely to make meaningful connections and engage in true dialogue with others, recognizing and acknowledging difference with respect.

During our workshop, we will explore:
• Our social identity – who we are at our core and what groups we belong to.
• Unconscious bias; how to acknowledge it in ourselves as well as others
• The benefits and tensions of belonging in groups, between an in-group (us) and an out-group (them)
• A dialogic process to connect across groups and boundaries in which we respond rather than react to other people’s thoughts and increase our ability to understand otherness as enriching.

In youth, our soul’s wish for a life and work of our own is tempered with triumph and failure. Gifted at midlife with a kind of wisdom, we now yearn for a return to family and community in a new way…….
We take the road of midlife not as the beginning of disengagement and retirement but as a newer and profounder path to meaningful work……
The task of midlife is the task of finding the difficult, often dangerous road to this eldership of love. It becomes, for all of us, the road worth taking, the road back home”

From The Heart Aroused, David Whyte

Alison Hogan:    has 30 years of experience as a trusted advisor to senior executives on strategic communications, corporate reputation and transformational change. More recently, as a professionally trained coach, the focus of her practice has been to support leaders and organisations who are committed to be a force for good in a fast-changing, uncertain world. Having lived in London for much of her working life and travelled extensively, Alison is enjoying deepening her roots in the west country, a region of vibrant communities and great beauty from coast to moor.


Sue Holland:      is a retreat leader, change agent, executive coach and facilitator. She works both 1:1 with leaders and with groups to provide challenge, insight and support in the pursuit of personal and business results. She has trained with the Academy of Executive Coaching and the London Gestalt Institute. In previous roles she was a scientific Botanist nerd and then a leader within a large multinational organization. She now spends her time working with organizations, running leadership retreats, working with a charity that supports people with dementia and being a home bird.

Date, time and venue

Date(s) - 28/07/2017
9:00 am - 12:30 pm

DEVON – Creative Beings Studio, Awliscombe
The Old Rectory
Awliscombe, EX14 3PJ

Map and directions