Nurturing the Fields of Change

Resuming February 2024

A programme and community for people working on social transformation

Welcome to Nurturing the Fields of Change!

This programme and emerging community of practice are for all who are interested in social change and cultural transformation, fostering a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. Join us on a journey into the living dynamics and experiential heart of holistic change facilitation. Responding to the turmoil and imbalances of our time, this community of practice opens an opportunity to come together and explore how we can synergise our energies and nurture joint inquiries into the big questions that confront us, such as:

  • How can we nurture flourishing for all life on Earth? 
  • How can we open to nature and collective wisdom? 
  • How do we inspire coherent action for transformational outcomes? 
  • How do we experience and approach the challenges we encounter? 


Inquiries into these questions require not only a theoretical appreciation of the holistic, interconnected nature of our world, but a deep and ongoing commitment to engage experientially with our individual and collective interior conditions. Experienced psychologists, therapists and holistic change facilitators will accompany us on this collective journey.

“Many of us have begun to appreciate that purely external, technical solutions are insufficient in addressing the multifaceted problems of our time, because they are bypassing the inner dimensions of the crises we have been experiencing. There is a growing recognition that our global challenges are rooted in dysfunctional mental states and social dynamics, and that we need to engage in inner work to evolve our capacities and skills in addressing world-wide insecurities and volatilities” (Nurturing the Fields of Change report, p.12). 

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Community has always been at the heart of Alef Trust, a not-for-profit global learning provider active in higher education, research and community development since 2012. Our work is about cultivating balanced ways of being, as well as activating the potential of rigorous whole-person learning and inquiry for the betterment of human habits, cultures, and systems. The programmes and courses offered continue to evolve in response to the intensifying complexities and urgent needs for sustainable and ethical human development. 

In early 2020 we received funding to launch the Conscious Community Initiative, which supported a growing community of holistic facilitators associated with Alef Trust who contribute to individual and collective transformation around the world through their diverse professions and communities of practice. Initial approaches and findings from 2020-2022 are presented in our report Nurturing the Fields of ChangeThese include the significance of working skilfully with intention and attention whilst cultivating curiosity, open awareness and self-care. We found that holistic change agency thrives through collaboration and supportive community.  Community building and connection are at the core of enabling sustainable and lasting change. Peer communities help us in our practices and enable us to engage with the unknown in more courageous and resourceful ways. With the support and encouragement of our peers, we feel accompanied, seen and validated in our work; and we grow in our relational capacities and in our ability to hold multiple perspectives. 

And so, Nurturing the Fields of Change was born as a community and programme that responds to the needs of our day. In this programme we are co-creating resources and relational structures that help strengthen our individual and collective change agency and that empower us to prepare the soil and sow seeds for change, wherever we are based in the world. 

Nurturing the Fields of Change is a living programme and oasis of practice for effective change agents in today’s world. The community meets entirely online and is hosted on Sutra, an online community platform which shares the values and ethos of Alef Trust. 

The programme is active from February to July and September to December each year. It features a structure of nested circles, with the outer circle being accessible to the largest number of people. This outer circle includes a monthly programme of topical presentations and dialogues, which will grow into an evolving library of digital resources to which you will have ongoing access. The inner circles focus on accompaniment in smaller groups, resourcing you more substantially with facilitated reflective meetings, and theoretical and experiential content explored in greater depth. 

What we are offering here is not a conventional training programme. Whilst we are exploring many ideas, theories, models, and practices in this programme, when it comes to the big questions of our time, no one map or model reflects the complexity of the challenges and uncertainties we are navigating. What we intend to do together may be best described as collaborative sense-making, relational deepening, and playful remembering, releasing into the present moment, making space for emergence, and honouring the sacred by following the promptings of the deeper sources that animate and enliven us. 

Essentially, we are seeking to co-create an inquiry community with you. The facilitators of the programme do not hold all the answers. Instead we are convening a place for co-creative inquiry to honour the edges of our knowledge and attend to the questions that call to us all.

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”
(Rohr, 1999)

Our multi-disciplinary and international team of practitioners and researchers look forward to this shared learning journey. Together we are co-creating the community that will resource and support us as we work on holistic change around the globe. 

Dr. Jessica Bockler is an applied transdisciplinary artist and transpersonal psychologist specialising in embodied approaches to accessing creativity and imagination. She is a co-founding director of Alef Trust, and teaches across a range of courses in integral psychology, creativity & transformation, research design, and applied transformative psychology, bringing spiritual perspectives to activism and social change. Jessica’s research interests converge on the intersection between inner work and holistic approaches to social change. She believes that working with the deeper streams of consciousness, tapping collective unconscious domains, is critical to enabling human beings to come into a more holistic and wholesome relationship with nature and earth. Jessica is on the academic advisory board of the Inner Development Goals initiative, and contributes to the UN’s Conscious Food Systems Alliance. She is also an active member in the global research network of the Presencing Institute.

Luka Bönisch is a writer, artist, transpersonal coach, and graduate of the Transpersonal Coaching Psychology Professional Certificate with Alef Trust. After many years of studying various schools of spirituality, philosophy, and psychology, and extensive inner exploration, he finds joy in assisting others on their individual journeys. You can find out more about his work on his website www.mindfulled.com

 

Lorraine Clewer is a transpersonally oriented therapist, activist and researcher based in Mexico City. She offers integral therapeutic accompaniment to individuals and groups wishing to heal, grow and transform from trauma, conflict and distress. She draws upon extensive training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, dance and body oriented psychotherapy, and trauma informed yoga therapy, as well as decades of experience accompanying social justice movements around the world, to tailor approaches that honour people’s struggles, and create space in which transformational processes can unfold. In addition to her professional qualifications, she holds an MSc in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology, and an MPhil in Development Studies.      

Jevon Dangeli is a transpersonal coach and co-founder of the Live Foundation – a non-profit whose mission is to create opportunities for positive change by providing free education and empowering resources to those who contribute their time and energy to humanitarian aid or environmental sustainability. He established the Open Awareness for Change Initiative in February 2020. The initiative involves providing groups with a practical system whereby they can harness their collective consciousness and combined creativity with the aim to address health or safety concerns, social problems, or environmental issues in their community or globally. As a project mentor on Alef Trust’s Conscious Community Initiative, his core intention is to support the project’s overarching aim – to build a global community of holistic change-makers who nurture individual and systemic transformation.

Jules De Vitto has a BSc in Psychology, MA in Education and MSc in Transpersonal Psychology, Consciousness and Spirituality. She is an accredited and certified Transpersonal Coach, Authentic-Self-Empowerment Facilitator, as well as an experienced teacher and educator. She is the founder of Highly Sensitive Humans – an online community that offers courses, coaching, articles and a podcast for Highly Sensitive People. She helps those who identify with the traits of high sensitivity to navigate emotional overwhelm, step into their authentic power and align with their true purpose in life. She is a published author who wrote Resilience: Navigating Loss in a Time of Crisis which provides practical resources to cultivate greater resilience and find greater meaning and purpose through times of crisis. She has published her research in the peer-reviewed journal Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology.

Dr. Kendra Diaz-Ford is a transpersonal psychologist, Ayurvedic Wellness Coach and yoga teacher.  She earned her PhD in Transpersonal Psychology from Sofia University (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology) with specializations in Education and Research, Spiritual Guidance and Women’s Spirituality, and has taught in the field of transpersonal psychology for 10 years. She serves as Academic Programme Leader for the Alef Trust. Her practice and research focuses on women’s psychospiritual development, Ayurvedic rituals, practices and ways of daily living, integrative theory and the intersections of transpersonal psychology with spiritualized feminism.

Dr. Simon Divecha has two decades of experience leading and co-leading initiatives for beneficial change. This is particularly around connecting our lives, work sectors—businesses, universities, NGOs—and the dynamics between our inner and outer worlds. Practically, he particularly works both with individuals and catalysing large coalitions of (often unlikely) partners to see and enable alternative futures. This has included advocacy programs for international NGOs (such as Greenpeace), changing international law and, in facilitating sustainable models for businesses. In tandem with that he co-hosts and/or curates transformational programs. Simon’s fascination with the paradoxes inherent in this work catalysed interest in holistic approaches and a PhD. He is the co-creator of (be) Benevolution, faculty for Pacific Integral, an Associate Editor of the Action Research Journal.

Dr. Hennie Geldenhuys is a medical doctor, clinical researcher, academic, transpersonal coach and trainer, and a curious human. He has a passion for integrating his experience in the healing arts with the applied transpersonal perspective to coaching and psychology. Hennie specializes in mind-body-spirit integration, integrative health and wellness, applied ethics, and mindfulness-based balanced living. He teaches on the Integrative Medicine and Transpersonal Coaching Psychology courses at Alef Trust. He lives in the Western Cape, South Africa, nestled amongst the mountains, with his family, cats and dogs.

 

Francesca Hector is coordinator of the Conscious Community Initiative and Alef Trust community. She has an MSc in Consciousness, Spirituality, and Transpersonal Psychology and MA (Hons) in English Literature and Italian. As editor of the Alef Field digital magazine and editorial assistant of Alef Trust’s peer reviewed research journal she supports the infrastructures and processes that allow the vital work of members within the Alef community to ripple out into the wider world.  She has a background in holistic transformation and kundalini yoga, and is interested in developing participatory and holistic approaches to personal and social transformation, through multidisciplinary research and embodied living experience. 

Ayesha Iftikhar is a clinical psychologist and integrative psychotherapist based in Lahore, Pakistan. She has trained counselling students and facilitated process groups, as well as contributed to and presented research on social narratives on intolerance, otherization and advocacy. Her focus now includes bringing the transpersonal perspective and creative process to change work, especially with other mental health workers, teachers, activists and those who serve the wider community.

 

Tabitha Jayne is the Founding Director of Earthself, a Community Interest Company that works with teams and organisations, people and communities to put Earth at the heart of business. A Transpersonal coaching psychologist and Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF), Tabitha has coached leaders and teams from social enterprises, start-ups, small businesses, corporate and non-profit organisations. She has also trained 100+ coaches in how to coach with nature and Earth through her signature EarthConnected Coaching approach. Tabitha is currently Interim CEO of Net Zero Nation, which focuses on mobilising SMEs on their Net Zero journey.

Victor Jivanescu is a peak experience integration coach, a teacher of integrative practice and facilitator of transformative events. He is a former strategy consultant with a keen interest and published research in psychedelic transformation and integration. He initially studied philosophy at Oxford University and more recently he graduated with a MSc degree from Alef Trust, focusing on consciousness studies and transpersonal psychology. Victor’s psychedelic integration journey led him towards earning certifications in hatha yoga, as well as participating in meditation retreats and engaging in a sustained personal practice of breathwork techniques. His commitment to making consciousness studies and integrative practice more widespread determined him to co-found an NGO dedicated to this mission in Romania in 2017.

Sean Khaya Andrew is brought into his work through the potential of dialogue and unearthing ways of organizing that support connection, learning, and action. His practice focuses on designing, hosting, and facilitating transformative conflict, action-inquiry, nature-based culture regeneration and collaborative governance processes that are in service of people working on their most complex insidious questions. Through a relationship and principles-based approach, he’s continuously exploring different perspectives and possibilities that guide us into deepening and expanding our individual and collective worldviews, creating questions that incite imaginative feasible action and together deciding what our next most graceful step might be as a present expression and seed for the future world we yearn to work, play and live into.

Dan McTiernan
Dan works with clients to facilitate growth, connection and healing at the fertile edge between transpersonal psychology, embodied meditation and permaculture. His unique background in deep ecology literacy and permaculture practice combined with training as a certified transpersonal psychology coach and embodied meditation teacher allows for a truly holistic framework of inner and outer process work. His focus is to help clients recognise their felt sense of aliveness and in doing so to recognise their true nature as a deeply grounded presence and their connectedness with all of Life as life itself. He is co-founder of www.earthbound.fi

Christine Miskelly
After retiring from a career teaching psychology in schools Christine studied Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology with the Alef Trust.  More recently she has qualified as a Transpersonal Coach and has a private practice with a particular interest in the challenges of later life. She is also actively involved with her local hospice being on the chaplaincy team and also supporting the bereaved. Her great joy is playing the piano and singing in a number of choirs. 

 

Dr. Lila Moore is a transdisciplinary artist and theorist with expertise in the fields of technoetics, screen-dance, film, fine art, mysticism, contemporary spirituality, Jungian, feminist and cultural theories, and movement-based therapies. She holds a PhD in Dance on Screen (Middlesex University), MA in film (Central Saint Martins), Posdoc in Technoetics and Cybernetics (Planetary Collegium) and her writings were published in academic journals. She is a lecturer and dissertation supervisor for the Alef Trust and recipient of the Outstanding Lecturer Award (Department of Mysticism and Spirituality, Zefat Academic College). Moore’s films and artworks are archived by SIGGRAPH and Archive of Digital Art. 

Hazel Mutch is an integrative psychotherapist, artist, and creative facilitator based in Lancashire, UK. She is an artist/facilitator for the arts on prescription program, Creative Alternatives; an applied strand of the Alef Trust. She specialises in the uses of poetry, story, and images for contact with body, mind, and soul, and facilitates creative sessions in nature. Hazel is trained in Internal Family Systems, which is a deeply compassionate psychospiritual approach. It informs her therapy and facilitation and provides a model for wholehearted communication.

 

Nargis Raza has lived and worked in Dubai since 1975. She started her transpersonal journey at the age of sixteen when a near death experience opened her perception to a larger consciousness. She is a graduate of the MSc programme in Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moore’s University, UK, and has also studied at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University), in California, USA. Her early interests in mindfulness and meditation have expanded through the years to include group work in areas such as freeing the feminine spirit and body & mind harmony.

 

Paula Staunton is a dancer, educator, activist and events organiser. She is a director of the Earth Moves Cooperative. Her roles include creative direction, volunteer coordination and workshop facilitation. She is also instrumental in growing plants in the community growing spaces and sharing/learning permaculture information/practice. Paula has an MSc in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology from Alef Trust and Middlesex University and a BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Liverpool John Moore’s University. She has taught psychology and related subjects for Liverpool and Wirral adult learning and other community/adult education organisations since 1999. Her work has been published in various journals. Paula has run a dance business since 1998. As ‘Ishtar’ she has presented dance in therapeutic, entertainment, educational, team-building and digital contexts.

Adi Vickers is a holistic educator. She co-founded Asana, an international language school, in 1993, and has been teaching, teacher training, and designing curricula for the past 32 years in Ireland, Italy, Spain, Laos and India. She is passionate about transformative, whole-person, arts and nature based learning for young people from all over the world. She is currently in the process of opening up the school to teenagers in the local community who are floundering in mainstream education and in need of a more holistic approach to learning. Although she enjoys being part of the Asana and local Cahersiveen community, she feels that the time has come to share her Asana experience with mainstream educators in Ireland, Europe and the wider world. She is currently doing a PhD in applied transpersonal psychology in order to document and evaluate, in a rigorous, evidence based way, the impact of a type of education informed by transpersonal and integral perspectives. 

Through this evolving programme and community we aim to nurture between us the fields for paradigm change, honouring our deeper nature and embeddedness in the world, and galvanising our action potential by developing conscious, integrative, full-spectrum responses to our perceived predicaments and visions.

We approach holistic change facilitation with the awareness that our deepest inner nature is embedded in nature at large. Therefore, the core content of this programme is built around transpersonal, depth-psychological and ecological principles. Throughout our time together, we will attune to natural patterns and rhythms and listen to our intuitive, emotional, somatic, and vital intelligences and what they invite us to do or undo…

  • emerges through Earth-based wisdom, and is rooted in integral and transpersonal frameworks;
  • combines interactive presentations and dialogues with opportunities for personal reflection and integrative development;
  • engages in inner work to evolve our capacities and skills for outer action;
  • embraces a whole-person and whole-systems approach to human development and societal transformation;
  • offers personal accompaniment and coaching alongside theoretical and practical training;
  • supports networking and transdisciplinary practitioner dialogues;
  • honours the different backgrounds and experiences, different paths and stages on the path of all participants. 
  • You are interested in the principles and practices of holistic change facilitation. 
  • You want to explore psycho-spiritual development in service of outer (systemic and social) change. 
  • You may be a practitioner, researcher, writer, teacher, or activist with experience in fields relating to change facilitation, such as education and coaching, health and wellbeing, sustainability, peace-building and humanitarian efforts, international development, and/or systems change. 
  • You may or may not already have experience in inner development and integral or spiritual practice. 
  • You want to participate in leading edge and intimate dialogues in a safe and respectful container.
  • In summary, the programme is open to all who feel called to contribute to collective transformation and paradigm change. You will be able to apply the programme offers and arising insights to any field of work. 

Which circle do you feel most called to join?

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Participate in topical presentations, join conversations, and feel inspired by different perspectives and ideas. We will be holding 10 interactive sessions, exploring the principles and practice of holistic change facilitation with Jessica Bockler, Francesca Hector and project leaders from the previous cycles of Alef Trust’s Conscious Community initiative.

All sessions 14:00-15:15 UK time – Mondays 
5th February, 4th March, 8th April, 6th May, 10th June, 8th July, 16th September, 14th October, 11th November, 9th December.

Registration fee: voluntary donation

Access: All sessions are held on Zoom. Recordings are shared on our online community platform.

Please register here to join Tier 1, starting 5th February 2024.

Join a reflective circle, cultivate connections and resonances

Participate in Tier 1 Widening Perspectives:

  • 10 Tier 1 sessions exploring holistic change

    All sessions 14:00-15:15 UK time. 5th February, 4th March, 8th April, 6th May, 10th June, 8th July, 16th September, 14th October, 11th November, 9th December 2024.

Plus Tier 2: 

  • 10 intimate Tier 2 Reflective Circles (max 10 per group) for ongoing reflections on the questions and perspectives we explore throughout the programme. These  offer an opportunity for peer-to-peer dialogue and practice with the support of an experienced group facilitator.

    All sessions 15:30-17:00 UK time (following after the Tier 1 sessions). Mondays, 5 February, 4 March, 8 April, 6 May, 10 June, 8 July, 16 September, 14 October, 11 November, 9 December 2024

  • 10 exploratory monthly Deep Dive Sessions with leaders in the field who are working on the growing edges of transformation.
    • 13 February, 17:00-19:00 GMT: Gretchen Steidle & Gyslaine Uwitonze, Global Grassroots, Rwanda: Conscious Social Change for Women
    • 15 March, 16:00-18:00 GMT: Olen Gunnlaugson, Associate Professor in Leadership, Université Laval, Canada: Dynamic Presencing as a Path of Presencing Mastery
    • 17 April, 16:00-18:00 BST: Kosha Joubert, Pocket Project: Our Potential for Collective Restoration – Growing a Culture of Trauma-Informed Care
    • 20 May, 16:00-18:00 BST: Jamie Bristow, Inner Development Goals Initiative: Mindfulness, Compassion and Policy Development
    • 19 June, 9:00-11:00 BST: Vivianna Rodriguez, University of Sydney: Peace and Wellbeing for People and Communities
    • 9 July, 16:00-18:00 BST: Robin Alfred, Open Circle Consulting, Findhorn: Leader as Mystic  
    • 30 September, 16:00-18:00 BST: David Nicol, EarthRising: Subtle Activism for Global Change – A Cosmic Narrative
    • October (date tbc): Injairu Kulundu-Bolus, Rhodes University: Regenerative African Futures
    • November (date tbc): Nessie Reid, Global Diversity Foundation: Spiritual Ecology, Land, Art, Social Justice and the Sacred
    • December (date tbc): Satish Kumar, Resurgence: Making Peace at All Levels.
  • Discussion forum to connect, share, and network with other participants

Access: All sessions are held on Zoom. Recordings are shared on our online community platform.

Please register here to join Tier 2, starting 5th February 2024.

Join Nurturing the Fields of Change 2024!

Please register here.

We look forward to hearing from you, and are happy to respond to any further questions through our general enquiry form. 

Find out more

Tier 1

Tier 2

Join Nurturing the Fields of Change 2024!

Please register here to join Tier 1 or Tier 2, starting on the 5th February 2024. 

We gratefully acknowledge the charitable funding that has enabled financial accessibility for all who wish to join Tier 1 and subsidised participation for Tier 2.

We look forward to welcoming you into our community of practice and programme, and are happy to respond to any further questions through our general enquiry form. 

Would you like to find out more?

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