Working in Complexity: How do we take action when everything is uncertain?

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10 October, 2018 to 11 October, 2018


9am to 5pm (both days)
Ashukan Cultural Centre

Once upon a time, a passionate person named Lou wanted to do what they could to make a difference in the world. So, Lou, ready to get to work, joined an organization with awesome values. Lou was told that if they wanted to help people and communities make change happen, they first needed to develop strategies, action plans and targets. And, so they did.  Along the way, Lou noticed that every time they finished a project, the targets had changed and so had the world… just enough for the strategy not to be relevant anymore. And, so they had to start the planning process all over again. Slowly, Lou’s passion fizzled and the value-driven organization became more and more busy planning and less and less available to do work that mattered. The real change they wanted to make seemed further and further away…  

Does this story sound familiar?

We are inviting you to live a different story: a story where you question what we’ve been told about how change needs to happen. A story that reminds us that we don’t really have the answers and to let go of certainties about where we are trying to get to and how to get there. A story that focuses instead on experimentation, testing small ideas, learning from failure and rapidly picking up on good ideas to do good work. We are inviting you to explore your work from a perspective that recognizes complexity.

Register for Working in Complexity: How do we take action when everything is uncertain?

In this two-day workshop we will be exploring:

  • When everything is uncertain, how do we know what to do?
  • How do we create strategies that are adaptive, responsive and take us in the direction of what works?
  • How do we create a culture in which it is ok to not know “the answer” or even how to move forward?
  • How can we shift from highlighting only our successes to valuing learning from our failures?
  • How can we develop listening and sensemaking practices that will help us act with more wisdom?

Over the two days we are offering:

  • A foundational understanding of what we mean when talking about working in a complex system and how to make change happen—within our organizations, in our communities and in our activism.
  • Tools and tactics to help lead and take action differently
  • An opportunity to dig into our resilience, adaptiveness and confidence in responding to ongoing uncertainty and ambiguity.
  • Connection and community with social change peers that can sustain us after we each return to do the hard work in our communities


Chris Corrigan is a principal partner of British Columbia-based Harvest Moon Consultants, Ltd., a specialized consultancy working with organizations and communities to bring high quality facilitation, strategic thinking and participatory processes to complex challenges.  Since 1996, he has worked primarily with governments, not-for-profits, Indigenous communities and social enterprises. Chris’s expertise is in the use of large-scale facilitation methods to create participatory processes for complex strategic work. He has worked extensively in community, public and employee engagement and creates dialogue-based tools and processes informed by complexity theory to help leaders and teams make decisions in uncertain contexts.

Bronagh Gallagher brings over 15 years experience of working with communities and in the voluntary sector in Glasgow, Scotland. She is an experienced facilitator with a particular interest in how we use good process to work on issues of social justice, equity, and structural, systemic change. Bitten by the complexity bug several years ago, Bronagh has been in an ongoing inquiry as to what this emerging, but radical, new field can tell us about how social change happens and how we can put it into practice.

Ateliers Alambic
Montréal  Quebec
Conceptual Frameworks & Approaches
Planning and Evaluation
Stories and Experiences