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Date: 01/22/2014
  • Foundational Material
  • Analysis/Framework
  • Emerging Facilitators
  • Facilitators

Aims of the Work That Reconnects

from chapter 4 of Coming Back to Life by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown; second edition, published 2014. Enhanced by WTR Network team. Additional Aims are marked with *


The central purpose of the Work That Reconnects is to bring us back into relationship with ourselves, each other and with all life on Earth by helping us to trust our raw experience and give voice to what we see and feel is happening in our world. This, in turn, fosters the desire and ability to take part in the healing of our world.


In order to do this, the Work That Reconnects:

  • Provides perspectives and practices drawn from systems science, Deep Ecology, and spiritual traditions that reveal our Interbeing with the web of life through space and time.
  • Engages our moral imagination, through role-play and shifts in assumed identity, to broaden our perspectives of the world, create empathy for others and expand our awareness of what is possible.*
  • Reframes our pain for the world as evidence of our mutual belonging in a relational universe, empowering us to take action on behalf of life.
  • Awakens stamina and buoyancy to live with full awareness of both the Great Turning and the Great Unraveling, historically and in present time, and to embrace the uncertainty.
  • Reveals the systemic injustice, racism, and oppression of the Industrial Growth Society, and generates our commitment to transform all our institutions for the benefit of all humans of every color, culture, religion, gender identity, and history.*
  • Affirms that our intention to act for the sake of all beings, and to work for the liberation of all oppressed or marginalized people, can become organizing principles of our lives.
  • Helps us identify the strengths and resources we can mobilize in our commitment to the self-healing of the world.
  • Presents the Great Turning as a challenge that every one of us, in collaboration with others, is fully capable of addressing in our own distinctive ways.
Contributor/Author: Joanna Macy & Molly Brown