It’s time to accept that an increasingly complex world, we need to adapt to more nuanced stories and resist the urge to hone in on the one that is the most black-or-white.

Darkest Before the Dawn by Andrius Banelis as part of the Reimagining Human Rights project shared under the Creative Commons licence

One of the things that make us unique among our Earth-dwelling family members is our inherent need for stories.

By ‘stories’ I don’t just mean those that are fictional — I mean the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, why we are here, what we are doing, and what is important to us. Whether it’s the story of Jesus, Mark Zuckerberg or your own grandparents, stories about how we got here and how the world came to be the way it is help to give our lives fundamental meaning, orientation and direction. Storytelling is a form of sense-making.

Image from Moral Imaginations Lab, with the Watchet Community, February 2021. By resident artist Reilly Dow

The story of Moral Imaginations so far, one year on since our launch in April last year.

Perception determines our map of the world

If you’ve read the story Flatland, you’ll know about the idea that we are limited to perceiving the world with the senses we have available to us. The 1884 novel tells the story of a square existing in a two-dimensional world, alongside other two-dimensional objects. When the square encounters a three-dimensional sphere in its world of two dimensions, all it can see is an expanding and retracting circle as the sphere moves, up and down through Flatland.

Digital organising is becoming key to movement building and community organising. But are all digital platforms equal?

Recording of the session at the What If Summit

On Friday I had the great pleasure of participating in a panel on the Transition Network’s What Next? Summit which is going on right now. This is being held by Transition: Bound Forward and runs over three weeks from 3rd-20th March and each week is themed the following: What is, What if, What next? You can have a look at the website and sign up for free to the conference here:

The panel was on the theme of digital tools and organising using technology, aimed at the Transition Towns community and…

This is an exercise in moral imagining — a body of work developed by a growing network of storytellers, facilitators and narrative medicine practitioners to exercise #moralimaginations. Illustrated by Reilly Dow (@reillypinkfish)

What is the Whole Systems Question Game?

This is a collection of questions that allow you to participate and tend to the shift of whole systems. If you scroll down, you can find the full list of questions and also find out how to get in touch about using them with your context, team or organisation.


Last weekend I went for a walk in the forest just outside of Berlin where I have moved for the rest of lockdown. …

We start with a recommendation from my favourite futurist and NARWHAL ambassador, Wendy Schulz, who is always sending through articles and resources that feed my thinking on futures/narratives research:

A quote from the article that really stood out:

The original Greek word «ΜΕΤΑΦΟΡΑΙ» means “transports.” It is embossed on every moving truck in Greece. To metaphor is to move the contents of one house into another. To metaphor is to move the contents of hope into a pokeberry seed. Or move the contents of love into a rubbed off “A” on a typewriter. Metaphor is a moveable burial plot…

Originally published on 4th August here.

Suspended in time. She was reading another one of those Medium articles that pop up on the radar, something about futures and systems change. “What a juicy combination of topics”, she thought to herself. “Maybe this time I’m going to come across something I haven’t seen before”.

She paused, realising she had been reading and re-reading the same sentence over and over. Her mind was wandering, and she couldn’t catch enough of it to focus on the actually meaning of the sentence. She read it again.

“We have an opportunity to re-imagine human and…

In our own bodies, we are outnumbered 9-to-1 by non-human cells. If we as humans need these organisms to function, what exactly do we mean when we think of ourselves as ‘an individual’? What new ecological insights can be gained from thinking of the planet as an organism in itself?

General Ecology Programme

In 2016, I was part of one of my favourite projects to this day, the General Ecology Programme at the Serpentine Gallery UK. I served as an advisor to the programme and had the honour and privilege of participating in the programme, bringing my lens as a deep ecologist and…

Learning and insight from the cohort of Digital Fund cohort of 29 organisations on collaboration and ecosystems — what works, what doesn’t work and challenges. The cohort take part in a designed and facilitated learning journey over the course of their grants with us.

Ecosystems and collaboration: everybody wants more of it, but it’s not always straightforward to make it work in practice. With the Covid-19 pandemic andthe sector’s response, many people have been reporting about unprecedented levels of sector level collaboration between organisations. This makes it an especially good time to take a moment to reflect on what makes a good collaboration, what the essential factors are that are needed to make it work, and how to mitigate things going wrong.

For this month’s theme of the Digital Fund’s learning rhythm is Collaboration and Ecosystems and so we asked our grantholders the following…

The Deep Times Journal is the unofficial newspaper for people who have experienced the shift in perception invoked by Joanna Macy’s The Work That Reconnects.

Deep Times is published twice a year. For this upcoming Aug/Sep 2020 issue I have been invited, along with three others, to join a Guest Editorial Board to design an invitation and curate the publication.

Our theme is that of “young people”, which is subjective — please submit a piece if you self-identify as a young person, or your submission is related to the theme. The invitation is to write from the perspective of your present-day self, or a future being of the year 2160, who we call into visiting us in 2020 from a devastated future. In 2160, just…

Phoebe Tickell

Cares about the common good. Building capacity for deep systems change. Complexity & ecosystems obsessive. Experiments for everything. 10 yrs #systemsthinking.

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