Illustration: Molly Costello
Illustration: Molly Costello

0.1 Introducing the CitizensLab journey and approach

We are living in a crucial time, a time of awakening, of searching for collective liberation, of a sense of belonging and justice. We are also well aware that we are living in a time of the collapse, where systems of oppression (patriarchy, capitalism, racism, dehumanisation…) are dismantling our ecosystems and webs of life. We at CitizensLab feel the need and responsibility to navigate these challenging times through a collective quest, exploration, learning, and unlearning with others “How can we cultivate and care for our democracies as a commons?”

We want to start this quest by looking at ourselves, our own bodies, and our living system. We want to start by being in relationships and cultivate, understand, challenge, and deepen who we are and how we manifest and shape our communities, neighborhoods, and active labs.

We embark on a year-long, seasonal journey, to explore four pillars that we believe are core to cultivating these capacities: embracing a living system perspective; creating healthy, collective power relations; decolonising ourselves; cultivating commons of democracy.

Learning Journey 2021-2022
Learning Journey 2021-2022

How we are together

At the CitizensLab, how we are together is just as important as what we do together. The hosting team has put lots of care and attention into these, so we wanted to share some of what this looks like for us.

>In the CitizensLab learning journey we are adopting approaches and The CitizensLab Learning Journey is creating a supportive space to dive deeper into the questions emerging from shifting our perspectives and the tensions of embodying the transitions into a new paradigm and our ways of being in the world. It is providing a Community of diverse people that manifest with different forms/shapes/professions in the world but are sharing a common wish to collectively reflect on these topics.

>We are also bringing a participatory practice of hosting and facilitating to the “space” which refers to the “four fold practice”. Every participant and the hosting team is constantly moving between the thresholds of these interconnected forms of holding space for one another. We become present and “host ourselves” (through a moment of silence, meditation, deep breathing); we participate in “being hosted” through conversation and actively contribute by “hosting others”, creating a shared space all participants take good care of; and finally we explore the potential of co-creating and hosting a community of practice.

>Activating methods that support our multiple senses to be present and activated, through conversation, music, poems, drawing, writing, somatic practices, meditation and journaling.

>The Seasonal rhythm of the Learning Journey is providing a stronger connection and attunement to Earth, to the more than human world and the rhythm of life. It is supporting us in slowing down, in releasing old patterns such as anxiety of longevity, productivity and the need to speed up things. It is opening our capacity to embrace and accept a broader concept of time, to get closer and nourish our deeper essence.

>The simplicity of being in conversations with each other when the space is hosted, held emergent in a way that allows for a more authentic and deep sharing. Connecting our stories as a new way of overcoming the old paradigm and worldviews.

We’re learning as we go and will share more about the journey and the design soon. If you’d like to join us for the next season, sign up!

Read more