by Network Staff
Many things are happening behind the scenes at the Work That Reconnects Network that we love sharing with the wider Network community:
We are embracing a Workers Self-Directed Nonprofit structure:
It is all about living the Great Turning. While we have been working on an inclusive and quite organic environment for years, we recently discovered that, as a Network, we would like to be more proactive and openly engage ourselves in what is known as a Workers Self-Directed Nonprofit (WSDN).
Some of the WSDN practices we use are:
- We make decisions together and ensure all the voices are heard
- We’ve created a structure where most work and decisions are made within smaller “circles” or “committees”, which include representation from staff, weavers and volunteers
- We choose to share responsibilities and accountability with each other as opposed to being accountable to a “boss”
- Rather than hierarchical structures, we have adopted a sociocratic decision-making approach
There are many other aspects of being a WSDN, you are welcome to learn more here.
We are also embarking on a shared learning journey called: Collaborate to Co-liberate:
Through a 12-month journey facilitated by the Nonprofit Democracy Network we will be exploring, among other topics:
- Movement lineages, and consider themes including mutuality, reciprocity, Black queer feminism, and decolonization/anti-colonialism
- Facilitation tools that center on building strong, trusting, open and accountable relationships
- Tools for equitable and democratic conflict engagement and transformation.
- Leadership development, supervision, and personal growth
- Decision-making structures and processes
- Democratically distribute labor and responsibility within your organization
- And much more!
In our most recent session, we explored a number of approaches to decision-making and how organizations are currently overcompensating for previous models of non-inclusive ways of making decisions. Asking the questions of which voices need to be heard and what information to collect, whether our desire to have a say reflects our level of commitment and the tension of decisions under urgency or boundaries of budget, time and other factors. The reality is that those for whom many decisions are made are disproportionately under-represented in the process while usually being the most impacted. We learned that transparency with the public we serve helps to build trust and inclusion, even when most members may not have the time, energy or desire to be part of the decision-making.
Learn more about the Nonprofit Democracy Network here.
We are working on the creation of a new, engaging and more functional website that will be:
- Globally oriented
- Co-created by staff, weavers, volunteers and members of the Network
- Filled with WTR resources for newcomers, emerging facilitators, and experienced facilitators
- An expression of the breadth and depth of the WTR, with images of people offering the Work around the world
We are in our third year of running our most successful initiative:
The Webinars & Conversation Cafe program has recently hosted many amazing speakers and presenters to share topics including: Postactivism, Transraciality and Decononiality, Principles and Practices of Deep Transformation, Regenerative Livelihoods for the Great Turning, Men in the Work That Reconnects and much more. We are excited to explore and share much more coming in the next weeks and months:
- Ecological Civilization: Humanity’s Transformational Alternative
- Conducting Effective WTR Rituals and Ceremonies
- Love, Rage, Rebel: Climate Activism and the Great Turning
- Liberation for All: Bringing Tenderness to Conversations of Power and Privilege
Learn more, watch past recordings, and register here.
We’ve also recently started offering Conversation Cafés every other month to provide opportunities for meaningful and engaging discussions on topics that emerge from our recent webinars or directly from the community. Hosted by WTR Network Staff and facilitated as council-style discussions, these unique gatherings allow us to connect with each other more deeply while entering into edgier conversations and exploring actionable ideas that can contribute to our personal and/or professional lives as WTR facilitators, emerging facilitators and/or participants.
The main content of each Conversation Café will continue to be generated by the participants as we learn from and with each other. In order to create a more interactive and intimate environment, Conversation Cafés are not recorded.
With the intention to delve directly into discussion of the selected topic, we may provide material to review ahead of time.
We are engaging our full team of weavers, staff and volunteers in inspiring ways:
Our team of volunteers has been growing beautifully over this past year and each of us is busy with the work of our committee projects, working closely with our fellow committee members. To strengthen our connections across committees and support the extended team we’ve created opportunities for the full team to connect with each other on a regular basis beyond the busy-ness of our projects. The entire WTR Network team gathers six times a year, alternating between Council sessions and Full Spiral WTR experiences.
Using the principles of the Council Way, councils are centered in inquiries that help people get to know each other and assure that each person is heard. The councils are facilitated by members on a rotating basis.
With a desire to engage in the Work That Reconnects on a regular basis and deepen our connection with each other as a team, we host three Full Spiral WTR experiences per year for our entire team (weavers, staff and volunteers)
The team actively working to support the WTR Network is now 28 people strong:
- 3 paid staff from two different countries
- 5 weavers from three different countries
- 20 volunteers from seven different countries
While most of our staff, weavers and volunteers are WTR facilitators, some are not, but all share the love and dedication to this Work.