CoResolve: Introduction to Deep Democracy

CoResolve: Introduction to Deep Democracy 1800 1200 Brook Thorndycraft

May 24, 25, 31 and June 1

9:00am-1:00pm PST / 1:00-5:00pm AST


To be effective in workplace and community contexts where diversity is more than just a slogan, leaders need to become skillful in creating spaces where truths can be spoken, differences in perspective and worldview can find legitimate ways into conversations, and pragmatic ways forward can be co-created across differences.

It has been said that the path to equity and decolonization is paved with conflict. This includes conflict among those who try to work together towards social justice. In fact, social change spaces are often fraught with conflict, because the issues are real and those who are engaged care deeply.

The premise of the course is that strong facilitative leadership skills are a key part of the long path towards justice, equity and decolonization. This course introduces a set of pragmatic lenses and tools for those who hold spaces for this kind of work.

Use Deep Democracy to:

  • Understand what’s happening under the surface of a conversation and uncover the hidden wisdom of a group
  • Hear all the voices and draw out the creative potential of diverse perspectives and experiences
  • Make long-lasting decisions that everyone can feel good about
  • Build trusting and honest relationships on a team
  • Move through conflict to discover creative solutions

The basis of the training

CoResolve is based on the Lewis method of Deep Democracy developed in post-apartheid South Africa and practiced in over 20 countries around the world. Deep Democracy is a psychologically based facilitation methodology particularly useful for working with relationship and group dynamics that are emotionally charged or marked by difference. CoResolve gives you the theoretical background, instructions, experiential learning opportunities, and long-term support that you need to begin using the most powerful and essential tools of Deep Democracy in your leadership.

Who Will Benefit From This Course

This is an introductory training in Deep Democracy for leaders, managers, consultants and facilitators. Participants come from government, start-ups, non-profits, corporations, community sector, and academia. It is particularly relevant to:

  • Seasoned facilitators with an existing facilitation toolkit, looking to pick up powerful and practical tools for working with conflict as it emerges
  • People in leadership roles without previous facilitation training, looking for a broad yet simple approach to working in groups

What We Cover

A lens for understanding group dynamics

Much of what happens in a group is invisible to its leaders. Based on psychological insights, Deep Democracy offers a clear lens for reading what’s happening under the surface of a group that makes it significantly easier to helpfully intervene.

Skills for steering discussions and making lasting decisions

Many of us go to too many unproductive meetings. Many groups struggle with making decisions, or they make decisions that don’t get implemented and are constantly revisited. We teach a simple set of 4 steps that can be used by meeting leaders to guide conversations, avoid the common traps of human miscommunication, engage even the quietest voices, bring out and work with dissent, and make more intelligent, creative decisions.

Tools for engaging with tensions and mining the gold of conflict

Often we are not aware of conflict until it is erupting in our team, organization or society. Though it often feels like it comes out of nowhere, conflicts usually build up slowly over time, and if diagnosed early can be handled with ease. In this course, we offer a theory of conflict and practice a step-by-step process for safely working with tension.

Course Outcomes

When participants leave the two-day training they take with them:

  • A set of metaphors and frameworks for understanding the psychology of teams and organizations and for reading the fabric of the group
  • A coherent understanding of how conflict emerges and strategies for recognizing emerging conflicts and preventing conflict escalation
  • An alternative decision-making mechanism for groups and individuals that is more robust than a vote and less time-consuming than consensus building
  • A simple 4-step approach to facilitating productive discussions and avoiding common pitfalls in group communication
  • A step-by-step approach to dealing with a polarized issue one-on-one with a colleague, client or partner
  • A model for inviting and hosting a group debate as tension arises in conversation

How Much Does it Cost?

$1,000.00+HST CAD with sliding scale available for 20% of tickets. Contact Big Waves to request a sliding scale spot.

About the Instructors

Camille Dumond

Camille Dumond (she/her) is a settler of Indo-Caribbean and French-Irish descent living on unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlil’ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. Her practice is as a conflict and group facilitator, trainer and somatic trauma therapist. She thinks our global moment calls us to take a fierce, principled stance, while nurturing a heart that can include our own and others’ pain. Camille co-founded the Refugee Livelihood Lab with Nada Elmasry to amplify the impact of leaders with lived experience of forced displacement and migration. She is principal at Dignity Facilitation and co-founded Waterline Cooperative.

Brook Thorndycraft

Brook Thorndycraft (she/they) is a settler of English and Austrian-Jewish descent living on unceded territories of the Mi’kmaw. Brook has many years’ experience in the areas of conflict transformation, organizational change, adult and experiential education, and relational leadership. She works with social impact leaders and organizations to support personal, organizational, and systemic change. Brook integrates a holistic embodied approach to creating healthier and more impactful organizations. She offers support, training, and mediation to teams transforming or healing from conflict, going through organizational change, or wanting to improve their workplace culture. She also supports organizations with the complex work of impacting systems, through systems thinking, collaboration, and creative problem solving.

Register for CoResolve