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Wayfinding in times of Upheaval: A Journey of Courage Towards More Beautiful Futures

Do you feel a deep disquiet with the status-quo? Are you rethinking and re-examining the systems and structures we live and operate within? Do you believe that a more beautiful future is possible for humanity and the planet? Are you looking for different and unusual ways to chart new courses towards our boldest dreams for the future?

If your answers to these questions are a resounding yes, which we think they will be knowing you, please read on for more information.

New Constellations exists to help people imagine and create futures in which humanity and the planet flourish together. We co-create journeys of exploration for people to explore how things could be different and what’s needed to make that a reality. You can find out more about our journeys here.

We are living in transformational times that require new kinds of leadership. John Seely Brown describes the work of navigating these times as riding a ‘white-water world’. This journey is designed to help participants attain a deeper understanding of the nature of the white-water that’s surrounding us and how to navigate effectively through it. But it is not just about survival and getting through. These are also times of great opening and potential. Times in which we must dream big, dig deep and act bravely. This journey is about becoming comfortable in the unknown, opening up to new and radically different possibilities and learning how to chart new courses towards our boldest dreams for the future.

The journey is designed for people who defy conventional images of power and are putting their leadership and actions in service of creating futures of human and planetary flourishing. It is designed for participants to reach deep levels of personal reflection and awareness for themselves as well as to develop strong bonds of trust, empathy and reciprocal exchange with each other.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, joining this group has been the most valuable development experience I have ever been involved in. It has had an impact on me now, and will continue to well into the future… It was immersive, personal, and created something so valuable it is difficult to articulate.”

Participant, Bold Dreams for Our Future Journey

  • Our invitation and ask

    We are inviting 18 people from across different sectors, industries, disciplines and lived experience to join us for this journey as our founding cohort – or crew. People we think will be nourished by the experience personally and professionally, people who are positioned to make change and people who we admire, respect and want to spend time with.

    Our plan is to offer this journey annually as the New Constellations equivalent of an executive leadership programme. As such, this invitation is for you to join the founding crew and to help us midwife and steward it into being; contributing to the development of this experience for future participants.

    As stewards, we will offer you:

    • The opportunity to help bring a radical, unique programme into existence at a time when new approaches are so desperately needed and to be acknowledged for your role
    • A beautiful, soulful and unique experience with others who will inspire, stretch, humble and encourage you
    • The opportunity to examine your own habits and pathways and, no matter the stage you are at in your life and career, to set your course towards transformation
    • A deeper understanding of the moment we are living through and the nature of the polycrisis we face as well as a set of models through which to see and understand it
    • The support to process and let go of some of the grief, sadness and heaviness that comes with honest reflection and realisation of the nature of the moment
    • Practices to enable you to experience, embody and act as a conduit for the courage and hope needed to bring more beautiful futures about
    • An appreciation of the systemic inter-relatedness of things and what that means for effective action
    • The ability to move beyond dystopian narratives and to develop and enrich your own bold dreams for a thriving, flourishing future
    • Tools and practices to connect with our embodied intelligence as well as our rational intellect
    • The ability to let go of old patterns and habits and explore the future from a place of open curiosity
    • The ability to embrace uncertainty and act effectively within it
    • An opportunity to share with and learn from a group of exceptional individuals who are different from yourself
    • A bespoke set of values/principles that you will arrive at individually to guide your thinking and action and help you chart new direction
    • A group of peers for ongoing inspiration, learning and accountability
    • Membership of New Constellations – the opportunity to become part of a constellation of radical thinkers, makers and doers.

    In return we ask that you:

    • Commit to all sessions, including travel time to 42 Acres and make arrangements to be fully present and offline throughout the journey, 25-28th September
    • Pay a financial contribution in line with our contribution levels. In recognition of your contribution, these are reduced for this journey for all stewards.
    • Commit to 1 x 45 minute call in advance of the journey so we can get to know you better
    • Commit to 2 x 60 minute follow-up learning loop calls (post -journey) to firstly understand how you are feeling having come through the process and if there’s anything we can do to support you and second to provide constructive feedback, development ideas and act as a sounding board for the New Constellations team
    • Should you enjoy the journey, for you to help steward the Wayfinding in Times of Upheaval programme, by:
      • Committing to nominate 3 people from your networks to participate in our 2024
        journey and help us spread the word more generally in future
      • Sharing a testimonial that we can use
      • Agreeing to let us list you on our
        website as a Journey wayfinder – steward
        of the experience
  • Who we’re bringing together

    We know we won’t reach different destinations if we follow the same old routes, so this is an invitation for you to go on an adventure of discovery in service of the future you want to be part of creating.

    We are bringing together an intimate group of people – from a range of sectors, industries, disciplines and walks of life – who feel deep disquiet with the status quo, who realise that incremental adjustments to existing systems are inadequate and that deeper transformation is required. A group of people who, despite their success, have the humility to know they do not have all the answers and are able to be vulnerable with others. A group of people who look to the future and feel a defiant optimism that we can overcome the challenges before us.

    We are inviting you to be part of this journey because we we think most (but not necessarily all) of the following descriptions will resonate with you:

    • You believe we have more in common than that which divides us; so we should focus on the biggest challenges of our time rather than the arguments and grievances of today
    • You know deep down that we’re in trouble and that we have to go ‘beyond business as usual’ to meet this moment of huge upheaval, but you don’t necessarily know what this fully means for you yet
    • You question how the ways in which we live and work contribute to the harm we are doing to each other and the planet and realise that our search must be for other ways of being and doing rather than mechanistic fixes to the problems we have caused
    • You want to take responsibility for future generations and become a good ancestor
      You seek deep and true transformation, within and without
    • You believe that we won’t find our way through the challenges we face unless we do so together
    • You want to magnify the level of change you are prepared to make and prepared for by at least 10 perhaps 100 times, and desire the support, challenge and encouragement of others to realise this potential
    • You are interested and committed to the strength and vulnerability that comes with exploring the major issues of our time in community with others
    • You recognise that you have things to teach and things to learn from others, no matter your age, experience or status
  • The details

    The journey will run over 4 days and 3 nights from 25th – 28th September 2023.

    Through an experiential process, our founding cohort will deeply connect with and learn from each other, cross-pollinate ideas and experiences, and find common ground and common purpose in wishing to bring about the futures we dream of.

    The journey will combine individual, partner and group work, reflective and embodied practices, storytelling, sound, and learning from and in nature. We intend to hold space for big and tough questions, to which we won’t always have answers and to which there will be very different opinions and perspectives in the group. Powerful emotions may arise, which we welcome, and we will support participants closely throughout (hence keeping the group to an intimate size). But this may not be for you if you are not ready to be in a space which may include challenge and uncertainty.

    The journey will be held at 42 Acres, Holt Road, Witham Friary, Frome, BA11 5HL – a beautiful venue in nature. Precise timings and logistics will be shared in the lead up to the journey.

    This is a fully immersive process, so we ask that you commit to all sessions, including travel time to 42 Acres and make arrangements to be fully present and offline throughout.

    We are creating the journey to be a nourishing, challenging and invigorating personal and relational journey, in service of the places, communities and natural world we love and our collective future. We hope you will leave feeling rejuvenated, emboldened and resourced ready to make a difference in the world.

    After the process we will check in with you through 2 x 60 minute calls to, firstly to understand how you are feeling having come through the process and if there’s anything we can do to support you. Second, we will look to get your feedback and insights as a steward of this journey so we can deepen and develop the experience for future crews. As a steward, your participation will be a blessing for New Constellations, for other members of the crew and also for future generations of the programme.

  • What’s the contribution

    Welcome to our pilot wayfinding journey. We want to nurture and grow this endeavour with you, so for the group of stewards, we are offering this journey at a discounted rate – below the price that it will cost us to design and run it. As such, we will all be making a financial contribution towards this experience. It is our hope that we can build off our learnings from the experience and your invaluable insights and feedback to launch this programme officially in 2024.

    We have arrived at these discounted contributions in recognition of the different sectors and industries our diverse group will be coming from and our belief that we need to have people representative of all parts of our systems present for transformational change to happen. With this in mind we have looked at the total cost of organising the journey and have come up with a system that we hope will work for the majority of people, whilst recognising this is our pilot year and building towards long term sustainability. We do not want cost to be a barrier to participation so if these contributions don’t work for you, please do get in touch and we can work it out together. We are also offering a small number of fully funded places by invitation.

    In theory we could have opened this journey up to many more participants and spread the costs further. However, this is an experience rooted in depth and intimacy and we need to ensure that we have the capacity to attend to each participant’s needs, and to foster connection and community. This makes this journey distinct but it also makes it more expensive.

    The price includes 3 nights accommodation at 42 Acres, food and drinks and all journey activities. It does not include VAT.


  • How to register

    Great news! We’re delighted you’d like to accept our invitation to join our Wayfinding journey, contributing to the development of this experience for future participants alongside the New Constellations team.

    Please register by completing this short form.

  • Covid-19 and our collective well-being

    We are committed to running this in-person gathering in the safest way possible for all attending, and will conduct full risk assessments before we gather to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. We will be in touch with participants nearer the time to communicate what steps we are taking to ensure we are gathering in the safest way possible.

  • The New Constellations team

    This journey will be run by a team of experienced and committed individuals from a varied range of backgrounds.

    Gemma Mortensen connects people, ideas and possibilities to meet the challenges of our times. An award winning social entrepreneur, she has a track record of making big ideas happen, and draws on her experience in media, international politics, civic participation and technology to stretch established thinking. Holder of our vision and strategy at New Constellations, Gemma is also co-founder and vice-chair of More In Common and sits on the global advisory boards of Yale University’s International Leadership Centre and the Apolitical foundation. She was previously Chief Global Officer at and CEO of Crisis Action (which won the MacArthur Award and Skoll Award for its innovative systems model) and co-chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on systems leadership. She lives on Dartmoor which she loves exploring with her young family.

    Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir is an experienced manager, an award winning entrepreneur, and practitioner in how to bring about transformative change. She has worked in areas ranging from post-conflict reconstruction and development with the UN, to film making and the arts, to various roles in the private sector. A firm believer that change starts from within, she is passionate about finding balance between the creative and rational, intuitive and analytical in a world in flux. She designed and directed a university program based on these ideas, written and co-directed the documentary film InnSæi – the Power of Intuition shown worldwide on Netflix and is currently writing a book in English on the topic. She is the managing director of Iceland‘s Centre for Sustainability, a managing partner at the Nordic Circular Hotspot, a Nordic Ignite Angel Ambassador, a board member of Eyrir Invest and the Advisory Council member at the International Leadership Centre at Yale. Hrund has been awarded for her sustainability leadership in Iceland, is a Yale World Fellow, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and Cultural Leader. Hrund spends her time with her family between Iceland and Germany and loves most activities outdoors.

    Jo Barratt works with sound pushing the boundaries of how it can be used to create spaces for reflection and social change. Jo conceives, directs and produces our audio research and experiments at New Constellations, including our audio encounters and how we weave audio into journeys and experiences. He is the co-founder of Farmerama Radio and a creative producer whose 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.

    Joanna Sparber is a passionate community and coalition builder driven by her belief in the power of collaboration across sectors to effect systems change. She is an expert in designing and facilitating innovative partnerships, programmes and initiatives that mobilize multi-stakeholder groups to achieve positive change with experience across the private and not-for-profit sectors. She runs her own strategy consultancy, Sparber Consulting focussed on supporting organisations design and deliver their social impact, community and external affairs strategies. When not working, you will find her nose deep in a book – all genres.

    Lily Piachaud builds meaningful and creative connections between people to unlock positive change. She focuses on the practical, developing systems and processes rooted in care and trust that create the conditions for new possibilities to emerge. At New Constellations Lily runs day-to-day operations, tends to our community, and explores new forms of organisation and governance, drawing on her background in partnerships, operations and campaigns in the international development sector. Lily previously oversaw and managed partnerships at the international NGO Girl Effect working alongside governments, NGOs and civil society organisations across the globe. Before that she was a core part of the small team that established and ran the Jo Cox Foundation, and a Campaigns and Research Assistant at Crisis Action.

    Yasmin El Dabi connects people with themselves, others and their purpose in the world. As an executive coach and facilitator with 20+ years’ experience, she is passionate about creating the conditions for people to learn, grow and evolve. She works with individual leaders, facilitates CEO peer learning groups, helps executive teams work better together and facilitates leadership development workshops. She works internationally and with a wide variety of businesses and sectors. Recent and current clients include: The Atlantic Institute, OnPurpose, Sanergy, Viamo and Yasmin is a life-long learner. When not working with leaders or leadership teams, you will find her attending courses or reading books on systems thinking, neuroscience and personal and systems transformation. She is half German, half Sudanese and lives in York with her teenage daughter.