For millennia, across cultures and continents, we have looked to the stars to navigate when we are lost. Celestial bodies have exerted a magnetic pull over our lives and imaginations.
Constellations connect and reveal patterns between individual stars, bringing them together into forms that become symbolic of bigger, mythic stories – stories more powerful than the pull of any one star on its own.
In this era of transformation, in which everything is in flux, we are locked onto old stars that are pulling us in a perilous direction. We need to discover new stars, new possibilities, and reset our course.
Our mission is to hold and grow space to imagine and create a future in which humanity and the planet can flourish together; to find and illuminate new constellations of hope and possibility we can orient our lives towards as we explore what true transformation will take.
Our work is:
- Holding space to dream and imagine futures of human and planetary flourishing.
- Researching and mapping ideas, models and practices that can hasten our shift towards such a future, across many disciplines. Our audio encounters are a core method of our research. We invite your help to reach stars we have not yet found.
- Illuminating these ideas through beautiful creative content, including audio, writing, and immersive experiences.
- Creating and guiding bespoke journeys of discovery to help people step into the unknown, let go of the old stars and discover new possibilities.
- Collaborating with fellow travellers to create experiments, experiences and content.
- Building, nurturing and activating a community that shares the belief that another future is possible, and connecting people within and across it.
- Trusting and being guided by the principle of emergence.
We are living through an era of extraordinary change and complexity which asks huge questions about what will become of us. We know transformation is needed, but will not be enabled by the existing structures alone, many of which feel dysfunctional and obsolete.
We share a sincere belief in the possibility of a better, more beautiful future emerging from this moment of huge change. An era of human and planetary wellbeing.
This future is already here, emerging through the darkness. It glimmers in new economic and political models, new forms of community and ownership, new systems for decision making and value exchange, people learning from nature and returning to Indigenous wisdom, regenerative agriculture pioneers, ethical technologists, young people upending the systems that don’t serve them, and so much more.
New Constellations finds these glimmers and connects them together – the act of patterning hope.
The more we illuminate these patterns, the brighter they will shine. The more people see them, the more they will be ready to turn towards them, away from the dystopian narratives so pervasive in our culture.
We know we don’t yet have the answers so will not tell you what to think. We hope to listen and learn with you as we make sense of this together.
With your help, new connections and patterns will grow and take shape. Over time, together, we hope to tell the story that emerges from these new constellations of the brighter future that lies ahead.
Our small team works together and with a network of many other people who all enable New Constellations to emerge.
Gemma Mortensen connects people, ideas and possibilities to meet the challenges of our times. She holds our vision and tends to the overall constellation. As an award-winning CEO and co-founder of innovative start-ups, she has a track record of making big ideas happen. She enjoys stretching established thinking and practice and drawing on her experience of media, international politics, civic participation and technology to help people make changes that they didn’t think were possible.
Iris Andrews weaves strategy, creativity and the sacred to build hope and action for a better world. She creates campaigns, stories and spaces that engage both heads and hearts to grapple with the big questions of our time. Iris’s work draws on over 15 years as a campaigner and cultural strategist, working on major social and environmental challenges with a diversity of international NGOs and businesses, high profile artists and influencers, and grassroots groups. It is equally informed by a decade’s yoga teaching, a lifetime’s personal development and her ongoing enquiry into how we can heal and deepen our relationships with ourselves, each other and nature.
Jo Barratt works with sound pushing the boundaries of how it can be used to to create spaces for reflection and social change. He is the co-founder of Farmerama Radio. His work includes radio, podcasts, audio content and sound design for exhibitions. He also has a background in working with governments and organisations using technology, education and advocacy to promote open data, open knowledge, data literacy and open science.
Lily Piachaud is passionate about building meaningful and creative connections between people to unlock positive change. She focuses on the practical, developing systems and processes rooted in care, trust and kindness that create the conditions for new possibilities to emerge. At New Constellations she runs the day-to-day operations and tends to our community, drawing on her background in partnerships, operations and campaigns in the international development sector.
New Constellations is currently formed as a non-profit company limited by guarantee. We are located across the UK but working beyond our borders, and actively exploring new forms of organisation and governance. We are not seeking to build a new institution; we see this as a time-bound initiative, ready to step in at this moment, and to step out when we are no longer needed.
The inspiration behind New Constellations is itself a constellation of wonderful people who have helped this project emerge and continue to shape our thinking.
Thank you to all who have done so, including…
Aaron Dworkin, adrienne maree brown, Alaric Mostyn, Alec Proffitt, Alice Jay, Alvin Carpio, Andrea Barron, Andrew Naylor, Angel Acosta, Anna Murray, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Anthea Lawson, Audrey Tang, Baljeet Sandhu, Becky Burchell, Bel Lyon, Benjamin Davis, Beth Kirkby, Bill Sharpe, Bo Davis, Candy Chang, Caroline McGinn, Casper ter Kuile, Cassie Robinson, Charles Foster, Coleen Waldron, Cosima Barratt, Dean McSkimmings, Emma Sky, Felicitas von Peter, Fiona Napier, Gemma McKell, Geraldine Chin Moody, Geoff Mulgan, Giles Hutchins, Hardin Tibbs, Harry Morgan, Hilary Cottam, Hope Turner, our friends at House of Beautiful Business, Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir, Iona Lawrence, James Mallinson, James Turner, Jane Hera, Jane Riddiford, Jaron Lanier, Jay Zaccarini, Jessie Teggin, Jim Godfrey, Jo Cox, John Murphy, Karen Mahaffy, Kat Segal, Kate Raworth, Laura Storm, Lauren Bryan, Lilian Carpenter, Liz Slade, Lonnie Bunch, Louis Davis, Lucy Powell, Mabel van Oranje, Maddi Nicholson, Margaret Levi, Martin McLeavy, Mathieu Lefevre, Natalie Chapples, Nick Grono, Pat McCabe, Phoebe Greenwood, Polly Mackey, Poppy Mardall, Rob Hopkins, Rod Sugden, Roman Krznaric, Ruth Ibegbuna, Sally Osberg, Sam Plum, Sarah Arun, Sarah Hunter, Sarah Jackson, Sharon Mullen, James Mallinson, Shauneen Lambe, Sophie Howarth, Theodore Zeldin, Tim Dixon, Tom Lowes, Tom Pravda, Tristram Stuart, our friends at UTILE, Yo-Yo Ma.
We dedicate this work to the highest possibility of human and planetary flourishing, for the benefit of many generations to come.
We believe the time is now and our responsibility is great.
We seek deep and true transformation, within and without.
We see that this is bigger than each of us and also made up of something we bring.
We commit to bringing about new ways of being and doing.
We take responsibility for future generations and becoming good ancestors.
We will create new alliances, work across generations and with people who are different from us.
We believe technology should be built to enable human and planetary flourishing.
We believe we have more in common than that which divides us; so should focus on the biggest challenges of our time rather than the arguments and grievances of today.
We want to work through fear, grief and anger to share hope, beauty, exhilaration, and possibility.