Welsh Government Event – Working with communities and nature to create sustainable change

A one day workshop for experimenting with creative practices in support of co-production and new ways of working.


– 16 November, Glasdir, Plas Dre – Conwy

– 17 November, Chapter – Cardiff

This workshop develops an experimental approach for designing and implementing collaborative projects and exploring new ways of working to help meet the challenges of the future. It will attempt to align local practices with policy mandates in the Future Generations Act and to strengthen local resilience in the face of budget uncertainties and local biophysical changes due to climate change. Underlying this approach is the idea that the strengths of communities and of the natural environment can be harnessed in the process of designing projects.

More experienced co-production practitioners will find new facilitation techniques, an opportunity for peer-to-peer consultation, and the experience of creative and playful ways of working.

This workshop will be designed and facilitated by Fern Smith, Kelli Rose Pearson, and Chris Blake. Fern is an expert in arts and leadership and is the founder of Emergence, an arts collaborative focused on sustainability in Wales; Kelli is a researcher in sustainability leadership at Wageningen University with a background in community and regional development, and Chris Blake, an experienced social entrepreneur, and environmentalist. It builds on insights from psychology and social science and uses facilitation techniques from the creative arts to support lasting mind-set changes. The design of the workshop will be based on Otto Scharmer’s “Theory U” methodology which, at its most basic, follows 3 steps: Observe, Reflect, Act. It will be fun and stimulate the imagination.

Sustainable Community

Objectives of the workshop:

  • To give participants first-hand experience of creative methods that can be used to support the mindset shifts necessary to successfully co-design with nature and communities;
  • To identify and work with underlying mental models, stories, metaphors, and emotions that impact on our work;
  • To explore and experiment with creative approaches to collaborative project development;
  • To develop shareable skills in creative facilitation practices using practical case studies and scenarios;
  • To develop a customized take-away toolkit for creative facilitation.

As Kelli is a researcher this workshop also will help her to gather useful data for her PhD research on cultural dimensions of sustainability leadership.

Who should attend?

Officials and front line staff in the Directorate of Environment and Rural Affairs (ERA), in Natural Resources Wales and other ERA grant funded organisations inspired to explore new ways of working are invited to apply. Communities you work with will also be welcomed to apply so do please nominate individuals. Each event (North and South Wales) will work with up to 40 participants.


– 16 November, Glasdir, Plas Dre – Conwy

– 17 November, Chapter – Cardiff

To register or for queries please email Usha Ladwa-Thomas: Usha.Ladwa-Thomas@gov.wales/ 03000 250745 orJudith Inker:Judith.Inker@gov.wales/ 03000 251241

Please notify us of your language preference / dietary and other requirements you have to facilitate your participation in the events.

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