Groundwork Online Course


Groundwork Online Course – 6 Weeks: 4 March -15 April 2019

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Groundwork: Preparing the field for collaboration that matters

COURSE STARTS 4th MARCH 2019 – Sign up now!

“Just as every good farmer focuses all his attention on sustaining and enhancing the quality of the soil, every good organisational leader focuses all her attention on sustaining and enhancing the quality of the social field that she is responsible for.”  – Otto Scharmer

What principles and practices will create the right conditions for collaboration that makes a difference for the better?
The big question for many is how do we actually go about collaborating?

The purpose of this course is to support each other in building our shared capacity to collaborate more effectively and with more powerful results. We will identify some of the elements of Groundwork practice through a framework called the Foundations of Powerful Collaboration. Using this framework we will explore principles, practices and tools that can support us in practising Groundwork more consciously.

The practice of Groundwork is about much more than just being well-organised. It can be practiced at the individual, team and organisational level and in all cases, it invites a focus on that which is less visible or that happens underground, below the surface. This includes:

  • the ongoing work of developing the self, the interior condition of each individual and the strengthening of personal and collective leadership.
  • a focus on the quality of relationships and hosting or tending to the social field.
  • holding the bigger perspective while defining and navigating long-term purpose and strategy.

What will you get out of this course?

By participating in this course you will be introduced to the core elements of Groundwork practice. Groundwork is both a personal and collective practice which can be integrated and applied to any aspect of life. In particular, the training will explore:

  • How do we build a solid foundation for powerful collaboration?
  • How could we practice more harmonious ways of organising ourselves, each other and the work that matters?
  • How do we invite others in a humane, real and artful way?
  • How do we create inspired and connected teams committed to creating meaningful impact?
  • Where has this worked before, and what are good stories of application that can inspire and strengthen our work?

Who Should join?

This training is specifically designed for people working in teams that are interested in working more with process, participation and engagement. We encourage teams to attend together and to bring a concrete project which can be used as a focus for the practice.

Groundwork is for you, if you :

  • Have an idea or goal you want to achieve
  • Work within Government or Business
  • Serve on a Board of Directors
  • Work or volunteer with nonprofit or grassroots organisations
  • Work with Social Enterprise
  • Are an Entrepreneur or Intrapreneur
  • Need to grow connections with people in similar questions

Come as an individual or as a team!

The Groundwork Model

The Foundations of Powerful Collaboration is a conceptual model incorporating the essential elements of good organising into an easily accessible and easily usable format. The Foundations model can be used in 3 ways:

1 – As a generic map, offering a high-level overview of the elements at play in any collaborative endeavour
2 – As a planning canvas for startups and projects
3 – As a tool for reviewing progress in established teams/organisations​

It is applicable to any process where organisation is required; whether you’re building a team, organising a meeting or event, preparing the field for an important strategic conversation or engaged in the day-to-day running of a successful business.

At the heart of every collaboration lies the Need and Purpose; the reason for which the collaboration exists. You could say that clarity of purpose and need is the starting point; the solid ground on which strong foundations can be build. Without it, nothing else makes much sense. The model describes the Need and Purpose, along with five other foundational elements required for effective collaboration: The Cultural, Strategic, Structural, Practical and Resource Foundations


Practical Information
James Ede and Rowan Simonsen and  Toke Møller

Price: Regular price USD 300

  • Team discount for teams of 3 or more: 40%

We have priced this course to be as accessible as possible – 100% of the suggested registration fee covers the costs of producing this training.
AND we don’t want finances to get in the way of your participation, so there are alternative financial options in your registration form, including an invitation to contribute more to cover those who can’t pay the full rate.

Dates and Time:

The Course will run on Mondays from 4 March – 15th April

  • Live Session: 4 March, 18 March, 1 April, 15 April
  • Practice Circles: 11 March, 25 March, 8 April

The timing of The Practice Circles will be organized according to the needs of the participants in each group.
The live sessions will be 2 hours and start:

  •      Pacific time: 7.00
  •      Mountain time: 8.00
  •      East Coast time: 9.00
  •      UK: 15.00
  •      Central Europe: 16.00


We invite you to join us in exploring Groundwork and the nature of organisation and collaboration in your own context.

For more information about Groundwork visit:
If you have any questions about the course, please write to Rowan on:

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