Introductory, but participants have to feel comfortable with the prospect of engaging in open-ended, experiential learning.
English. It is essential that participants are relatively fluent both speaking and writing.
For Whom
Concerned citizens and changemakers. Coaches and facilitators. Decision makers and senior managers.
By Whom
Judi Marshall, author of ‘First Person Action Research. Living Life as Inquiry’ (Sage, 2016). Philippe Vandenbroeck, shiftN, as a co-tutor.

Living life as inquiry

A masterclass with Judi Marshall

Wednesday 16 Oct — Sunday 20 Oct 2019

Embracing complexity invites us to a different way of being. This goes beyond the mere application of technical tools, however smart. We need to develop a capacity for deep learning that is reflected in the way we conduct our daily lives. Rather than becoming technical experts in ‘systems thinking’, we want to develop an inclination to live our lives in a systemic way.

Judi Marshall, professor emerita at Lancaster University, proposes a practice of ‘first-person action research’ to give shape to such a life of inquiry. It pivots on three disciplines:

  • action research,
  • systemic thinking and
  • decoding issues of power.

First-person action research is not a tightly-knit methodology. It engages multiple ways of knowing and it is experiential and embodied. Its aim is not ‘to sort things out’ but to maintain an attitude of openness and curiosity that gently explores openings for things to happen. For goal-oriented achievers, as many of us are, this is a very challenging proposition. And yet, paradoxically, this discipline of suspending the urge to control may help us to contribute to systemic change more effectively than repeating familiar patterns of action. This program provides a unique opportunity to work with Judi Marshall and to lay the foundation of your style of ‘living life as inquiry’. We will experiment with different practices:

  • scanning inner and outer arcs of attention,
  • collaborative sense-making,
  • soliciting feedback,
  • journaling and writing, and more.

The setting for this workshop is wonderfully relaxing: a quiet place at the mouth of a monumental canyon that cuts through the Massif du Vercors in the French Isère. There will be plenty of time to spend outdoors and reconnect with nature. What will you gain from this program:

  • a solid understanding of and experience with practices of first person action research,
  • disciplines and techniques to develop your own style of practice,
  • a new perspective on how you as an individual can contribute to systemic change.