Showing posts tagged with: the thing
You are Invited to Co-create a New Social Enterprise

1st April 2012  –  10am-5pm

Our mission is to support the emergence of resilient, sustainable and fulfilling livelihoods, communities and organisations. ‘This thing’ ~ we still haven’t decided on a name ~ does this by creating an experiential year-long training programme for the next generation of collaborative entrepreneurs and change-makers. We combine innovative and holistic education with a hands-on learning challenge: The learners work in partnership with local individuals and organisations to transform disused buildings into enterprise and learning hubs that have the mission to enable people in the local community to build fulfilling livelihoods that contribute positively to the world.

The prototype is set to start in September 2012. You are invited to shape its development.

Purpose of the day

Since our last co-creation day in February, the picture of what this thing is has become clearer ~ for the time being! Right now, its time to not only develop the business model, but to focus on creating the innovations needed for the project itself. 

The focus for this day is the learning journey of participants (click here if your interested to view where we got to so far), specifically the self-directed / personalized learning aspect. 

Our purpose will be to explore self-directed learning, and through this, to create ‘prototypes’ for our programme that we could potentially pilot together. 

The intention for our programme and potential ‘prototypes’ is that we create open yet supported learning processes and environments that enable people to learn what they need to learn in alignment with what they are called to do. This may be gaining a practical skill for earning a livelihood, changing or deepening your connection to your purpose, or obtaining the ‘know how’ for setting up a business.

Our guiding question is: how can we facilitate processes and nurture an environment that will enable diverse and purposeful learning?


We have designed this day to make it a rich experience for all involved as well as productive for the project. We will facilitate the day, drawing on creative participatory methodologies to stimulate rich and bold conversations, collective intelligence and ideas generation – an authentic meeting of diverse people who are passionate about creating new solutions to the challenges we face.


When? Sunday, 1st April, 10am – 5pm. We will be waiting for you with coffee and tea from 9.30am. And we invite you to join us in a nice river side pub afterwards. 

Where? Hermitage Community Moorings Limited, 16 Wapping High Street, London E1W 1NG

Maps Google: Google Map Microsoft: Bing Map

Hermitage Community Moorings is situated at Hermitage Wharf, which is located at the entrance to the former London Docks, just downstream from Tower Bridge. Walk down Wapping High Street – the entrance to number 16 is just set back from the road, next to the memorial gardens.

Additional Info: There are no costs involved for you, and we will provide a simple but yummy home-made lunch and non-alcoholic drinks. 

To RSVP please register here:

We hope you can join us and are looking forward to hear from you!

Temujen Gunawardena, Johannes Moeller & Simone Tiesinga-Poutnik

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‘Feeling Harvested’ Co-creation Weekend February 2012

We set out to look at ‘this thing’ that we have been developing over the past few months with fresh eyes. We wanted to test, enrich and modify the concept, drawing on the diverse perspectives, expertise and enthusiasm of people we admire and resonate with before we head full-steam into the next stages of planning and development.

And what a rich day it was! 

Buzzing conversation, warm-hearted challenges, burned soup, sparking ideas, synergies between people that went far beyond the project, and overflowing generosity ~ it seemed that 23 unique people bought their gifts, their particular way of knowing the world, pouring this into ‘this thing’… 

Since our co-creation day on Saturday we have been busy harvesting, digesting and changing.  

Below is another go with describing what we do. What do you think?

But first of all, we want to send thank-yous and our appreciation to all of you who have joined us on a Saturday morning, and to those who couldn’t make it but send us their warm wishes.

The day has served ‘this thing’ to deepen and accelerate, and we hope that our harvest is a reflection of it. We are excited to share it with you!

Our reflection comes in two parts: ‘The Harvest’ collects everybody’s insights, questions, and proposed actions from the Open Space sessions we ran. ‘Harvesting the Harvest’ is about themes and insights the team generated on Sunday, based on the storytelling feedback, the open space, and all conversations that happened in between.

Here you can view online or download our harvest. You can also comment on the document if you want to add or critique.

What is the core / the essence

Key Insights

  • Essence is different from different perspectives: passionate about being well in transition (Simone), learning for change (joh).
  • These spaces become lifeboats (or epicenters), that drive the emergence of the new economy; they work towards resilience and sustainability.
  • The physical space acts as an anchor, and a canvas/ platform.
  • its an  practical alternative to mainstream higher education system (or a complement?), in order for people to thrive in the future (more like a MA/MSc rather than BSc/BA).
  • The intergenerational piece is important: allows people to give back & connect
  • Its addressing the underemployment of people (use yourself better) and resources (use stuff better)
  • The core is the underemployment of resources (of people, spaces, networks).
  • “Utilisation is important to you guys”
  • It does not matter what the activity it VS yes it does! Something that is related to creating a livelihood, its not enough to impart experience

Any next steps

  • Look up Design for change school, and the Hunger Project. 
  • Keep checking-in on “This project exists to…”

Any Unanswered questions

  • Is this thing an educational philosophy? Which can be applied in many different ways?
  • How can we provide the philosophy AND the means to have it applied?

THE QUESTION: As we are all describing the essence of ‘this thing’ all differently, are we looking at the same thing from different perspectives, or are we looking at different things?

Relationship of ‘This Thing’ to existing institutions

How could this project benefit from engagement with existing cultural/educational institutions? From this question came a conversation about why participants would choose to come on a course without an existing reputation, and what is it that people are searching for in educational programmes, and how This Thing could tap into the resources (libraries/access to online journals/space) of other institutions and whether it should align itself to more established entities to start off, or if it offers enough in itself?


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