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Understanding and working in complexity for non-profits, community groups and change makers

Date: 2017-06-16

Location : Pearce Institute, Govan, Glasgow

Event : Once upon a time, a passionate person wanted to do what they could to make a difference. So, they joined an organisation with values, ready to get to work. They were told if they wanted to help people and communities and make change happen they first needed to develop strategies, action plans and targets, and so they did. Yet they noticed that every time this process had finished the world had changed just enough for the strategy not to be relevant anymore, and so they started the planning process again. And slowly the passionate person and the value driven group were doing less and less of the work that mattered and the real change they wanted to make seemed further and further away. And so, the problems got worse…Sound familiar?

We are inviting you into a different story.

One which asks you to let go of what we’ve been told about how change needs to happen, to let go of certainties about where we are trying to get to and how to get there, and to start the journey of experimentation, testing small ideas, learning from failure and rapidly evolving the good ideas that work. We are inviting you into world of complexity .

Join us if these are questions you would like to explore:
When everything is uncertain, how do we know what to do?
How can create strategies which are adaptive, responsive and take us in this direction of what works?
How can we create a culture in which it is ok to not know the answer on how to move forward?
How can we shift from highlighting only our successes to valuing the learning from failures?

You will leave with:
- A foundational understanding of what we mean when talking about working in a complex system and what this means for how to make change happen—within organisations, in communities and in our activism.
- Tools and tactics to help you lead and take action differently.
- Build your resilience, adaptiveness, and confidence to respond to ongoing uncertainty and ambiguity.
- Connection and community with social change peers. We aim to provide you with experience and community that can sustain you as you return to do the hard work.


Pre-work - Reading and/or webinar - will offer some of the basics and give you time to start engaging with the material so we can make the best of our time together
Day 1- Exploring complexity, leadership and organisations
Day 2 - Exploring what complexity means for social change
Follow-up - Re-connection call to explore together how we have taken back what we have learned and any learning, insights and challenges that have followed.

While we will offer some content, we will be using dialogue, peer learning and experiential learning in this course, to explore multiple perspectives and build connections between participants.

We want to make this accessible to as many people as possible from across civil society and are offering a number of fee options based on organisational size.

Large organisation (10+) — £500
Medium organisation ( 5– 10 staff) - £350
Small organisation ( up to 5 staff) - £275
Self-funded — £150
Scholarships— We would like to offer a small number of reduced fee/scholarships for those who would like to use this in their activism/volunteering but are unable to afford the fee. Please contact direct to explore options.

Who’s it for?

Anyone, from front-line to management, who is working in communities, non-profits and/or directly active in social change work in Scotland, the rest of the UK and anywhere else.

To register please contact Bronagh Gallagher - 07717683571

See full flyer here

15th & 16th June 2017, Pearce Institute, Govan, Glasgow

Organisers/ Trainers
Bronagh Gallagher
Over 15 years experience of working in communities and the voluntary sector in Glasgow. Experienced facilitator with a particular interest in participation and how we use good process to work on issues of social justice, equity, and structural, systemic change. Bitten by the complexity bug several years ago, I’ve been learning all I can ever since. I’m in an ongoing inquiry as to what this emerging, but radical, new field can tell us about how social change happens and how we can put it into practice.

Chris Corrigan
Chris Corrigan has worked for 20 years in the field of facilitation and participatory leadership. He has worked across North America and Europe with organizations working to make their communities better. He is a co-leader of an innovative BC based non-profits leadership program called Leadership 2020 and works extensively with indigenous communities, non-profit organizations, faith communities and groups of people confronting complexity in their lives and work.

Contact : Bronagh Gallagher

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