Facilitated by the Proteus School of Reflective Social Practice

“a reflective social practice manifests as a way of approaching living processes, delicate enough to seek its own transformation as it suggests the transformation of others.”

Are you excited about the possibilities of reading living processes from the inside out?

Register now


The approach introduced in these five days works with radically different, more appropriate, more organic approaches to organisational, social and ecological processes. It works in ways that are respectful of the complexity and true nature of the challenges we face within the dynamics of human organisms (institutions. communities and ecological realities). And that allows us to engage fully and deeply in the relations and processes that are at the heart of any social situation.

What our current context is asking from us?

Engaging with the problems we face in the world today requires an exercise of imagination and creativity that is often stifled by the driven simplicities of dominant practice.

The core problem with much of our current approach is that it severely impoverishes the depth, the integrity, the humanity, the alive nature of work in the social field. Much engagement with the social world, and most of the thinking that underpins it, works with approaches that do not enable us to see emergent living process on its own ground.

If we can develop the ability to see into the depths of things, then the processes, relationships and connections that form the living skein of social, and socio-ecological situations become transparent. The situation begins to transform from the inside, out. We gain awareness of a larger reality. This, we suggest, is built through the disciplined practice of observation as it enters the living processes through which life on earth unfolds. 

If you are working in the social, ecological / environmental or development field and you are searching for a significantly different way of contributing – through understanding the living nature of social process – instead of continuing to reproduce solutions that don’t satisfy anyone, then please read further.

What is the course about?

These five days introduce a grounded, embodied, aware, and engaged social and interpersonal practice. We will explore what it means to work in ways that are respectful of the complexity and true nature of the challenges we face, and that allow us to engage fully and deeply in the relations and processes that are at the heart of any situation in which we are both ‘readers’ (of that situation), and participants. We need to be able to read any situation accurately through ourselves, and read ourselves in and through any situation. The exercises, processes and conversations entailed throughout the course will make us aware and further develop the qualities of attention, awareness and openness which allow the full complexity and richness of a social process to emerge, to present itself completely. It allows situations to speak for themselves. The practice presented here is premised on a different set of questions and a different kind of language, and a more engaged, personal and tactile way of framing our thinking. Some of the questions we will engage with are: How can we develop our faculties for really seeing? How can we get connected to what is alive in others’ processes? How can we develop respect for what is in the state of becoming? For what is about to come, in a person, in a group, in an organisation? How can we develop the capacity to describe a situation in ways that help the essence of a situation to be revealed?
Register now
What is the course about?

Who is this course for?

Do you recognise this call for different action and personal engagement? 

Do you want to be part of an alternative answer to the common, dominant practices we are all caught up in?  

Are you excited about the possibilities of reading living processes from the inside out?

if you work in or with any kind of organisations, institutions, projects, community development or any other type of social intervention and want to deepen your faculties to support change... Then our Artists of the Invisible entry course as a place with your exact shape!

Register now

Practical information

In Sintra. Arrivals to Lisbon (closest airport) are expected on the 4th of May and departures on the 10th of May 2019.

Participation fee: 
For us it was clear from the outset that everyone who wants to participate should be able to do so regardless of his or her financial situation.

We offer a diversity of rates inviting everybody to consider your feeling of abundance or scarcity around money. The standard price is 500 €.
Those who feel abundant can practice generosity and enable those for whom it doesn't. You can consider these fees:
Corporate: 1.000 € (supports two and half scholarships)
NGO’s, small businesses and individuals: 600 € (partial scholarship)

If you can't commit to the fixed price, you can ask for a scholarship reducing the fee to 300 euros (lesser fees will only be given on a case by case basis with secured funds from contributing participants).  

Travel costs and board and lodging are not included. Consider an average cost of 60 euros per day with full board and lodge in double rooms but all efforts are being taken to find offers that reduce this.

If this invitation resonates with you, book the dates and register now. After that we will send you the details for payment to confirm your place. For further inquiries, you can send an email to info@ripplesexperiment.net


Allan Kaplan and Sue Davidoff are development practitioners, teachers and writers. They are the authors of The Development Practitioner’s Handbook and Artists of Invisible, and of The Learning School, respectively; together they have written A Delicate Activism. They work in the field of social phenomenology, drawn more specifically from the approach and methods developed by JW von Goethe. Their activism includes the leading of long-term and accredited programmes in Reflective Social Practice (which some call a Delicate Activism). Their work is an attempt to realise the full consequences of true participation, of socio-ecological complexity, and of polarity in the generative quest for wholeness. They have established the Proteus Initiative (www.proteusinitiative.org) as a vehicle for doing this. They have also established the Towerland Wilderness Retreat (www.towerlandwilderness.org) as a space for nature and for the learning that may come through immersion in, and communion with, nature.

The course is hosted by the RIPPLES of the NEW eXperiment, a team hosting eXperiences that question how we think, Imagine, collaborate and innovate: https://ripplesexperiment.net/ and facilitated by the Proteus Initiative which strives to bring together a sensibility for, understanding of, and practice towards the relationship between ecological wholeness and social coherence and healing: http://www.proteusinitiative.org/

Are you excited about the possibilities of reading living processes from the inside out?

Register now