It’s March 2022, and after many months of working on our website, it’s finally launched!
It feels good to take a moment to celebrate, and to check-in to see where we are, and how we got here.
Girassoles was born formally in 2021, but Leticia and I have been working together as facilitators and consultants to many projects since 2011. We actually met in 2009, but that’s a story for another day….
From 2010 to 2016, through our work with Común Tierra, we had the opportunity to visit and document over 150 EcoVillages and Permaculture projects which provided us the gift of learning first-hand from many visionaries and activists around the world. In the middle of that period, we co-founded the CASA Latina network in 2012, and began working closely with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN).
While the ecological regeneration of our planet was what initially called us to study the EcoVillage model, we soon realized that the most challenging aspects of many of the projects we documented were social – how to work and live together in a just and harmonious way? How to make decisions together? How to not only resolve conflicts but learn and grow through them?
We started to ask more questions:
- What sustains collective projects over the long-term?
- What separates a successful project from one that fails?
- How can groups create a collaborative culture?
- Are there specific practices that increase the likelihood of success?
- What is the true role of conflict in a group, and how can we harness that energy to fuel the mission of the project?
- How can projects participate in mutually-beneficial networks and form wider communities?
We’ll be writing about these themes and many others here in our blog, so check back soon for more.
These questions accompanied us through many project visits, courses, and interviews, creating a field of knowledge and experience that eventually formed the base of Girassoles.
In one of life’s synchronicities, as our own confidence and capacity has grown, people have organically sought us out for a range of services: groups who wanted to create a new Ecovillage or who needed outside facilitation for meetings and events, organizations who wanted to implement Sociocracy, groups who needed support to work through conflicts, projects that needed specific help with strategic planning and communication, people looking for mediation in different contexts.
Through these processes, we created and adapted methodologies to attend the specific needs of each group. We brought together the lessons learned from our past work with many groups and networks, experiences with entrepreneurs and NGO’s, and each piece has contributed to who we are and how we approach new projects.
Each facilitation, each mediation, each consultancy is another small piece of the work that we see as creating a more beautiful world, one step at a time. Our society is facing multiple crises, and our planet is in a deep process of transformation, from which it will be reborn. The future is not only unknown, it is unknowable, but that doesn’t mean we are powerless in the face of destiny.
We believe that each of us has a role to play in building projects and communities that together will literally create the future. And we have tools and practices to help facilitate a new world into being! There are many ways to renew the social fabric of our society, to take actions that promote creativity and collaboration towards a deeper caring of our Planet. If not for ourselves, let’s do it for our grandchildren!
Stay in touch here on our blog, and through our social media channels linked below.
Ryan and Letícia