What is Council?


From the left around the circle: Joanie Kleypas, Diana Chapman Walsh, Camille Seaman, Susi Moser, Beth Sawin, Kathleen Dean Moore, Sarah Buie, Willa Miller, and Mary Catherine Bateson.

Council practice is a process of collective reflection. In this dialogue practice, participants slow down and listen well — to both themselves and others — and to what they do not yet know. In the gradual development of a more collective awareness, relationships are strengthened, community built. By undertaking to consider the full scope of the climate crisis together, fears may be experienced, perhaps transformed; new levels of awareness, possibility and agency may emerge.

Council is a practice in authenticity. It requires a deep listening, rigorous discernment, a reverence for truth, and a steady commitment to transparency and fierce compassion. CENTER FOR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE

Based on a range of traditional practices from both indigenous peoples and others, the practice of Council has always been fundamental to building collaborative insight. To learn more about how it’s being used, see:

Ways of Council  //  Heart Source  //  New England Council Collective


Speak authentically
Listen with attention and receptivity
Speak with brevity aware of sharing time with others
Be spontaneous in speaking rather than rehearsing
Observe confidentiality