Deep Democracy 2012

May 11, 2012 - May 13, 2012

Deep Democracy 2012

May 11 – May 13, 2012

Fri 7:00 PM – Sun 1:00 PM


Developed in post-apartheid South Africa and practiced in over 20 countries around the world, Deep Democracy is a facilitation methodology particularly useful for resolving relationships and group dynamics that are emotionally charged or marked by diversity and difference. The methodology reaches “deep” in that it goes far beyond the conventional methods of facilitating the exchange of ideas and instead surfaces values, beliefs, and attitudes which inform and enrich the group’s process. It is “democratic” in that it emphasizes that every voice matters and that decision are wisest when majority and minority voices are both valued and included. The Introductory training introduces participants to the fundamental tools of Deep Democracy, enabling them to radically improve collaborative processes and resolve difference. No previous experience or education is necessary to enroll in this training.

Where is Deep Democracy useful:

· Is your group or organization having a difficult time with collaborative decision-making?

· Do you find yourself in situations where your team members are working against each other?

· Is your organization experiencing resistance to or sabotage of new initiatives and change?

· Are some members of your community disengaged, disempowered and struggling to find a voice?

· Are you looking for a way to harness the energy of conflict and turn it into fuel for productive group processes?

· Do you need to build your leadership capacity to better navigate complex and turbulent relationships?

Deep Democracy provides a radically transformative toolkit for individuals and groups looking to increase their capacity to address challenges and succeed in complex situations.

Who should attend:

· Leaders and managers at all levels in public, private and non-profit sectors,

· Health workers, counselors and others in the helping professions,

· Change agents in social movements, organizational transformation, and community activism

· Consultants, coaches, facilitators and others working with organizations and individuals

· Educators, parents, care-givers

· Youth leaders, youth groups

· Partners, family members, colleagues and people from all stages of life who are interested in improving relationships!

What is covered in the training?

The Deep Democracy training course consists of eight learning modules, which give you theoretical background, detailed instructions, and experiential learning opportunities that you need to begin using the most powerful and essential tools of Deep Democracy. Specifically, the modules provide you with the knowledge and skill you need to do the following:

Collaborative Decision Making

· Facilitate dynamic conversations which unleash engagement and spontaneity, creativity and excitement

· Harness the amazing power and collective intelligence of the group by enabling even the most quiet participants to find their voice and express their views

· Create safety in both large and small groups for the difficult conversations that need to take place

· Search for the wisdom of the minority in groups and improve majority decision making by incorporating the minority’s wisdom

Understand Relationships and Group Dynamics

· Read the dynamics of a group, pick up on the early signs of resistance and emerging conflict and act in a timely manner to reduce tension

· Understand the obstacles to good communication and build the foundations for shared understanding

· Begin and end meetings with a powerful way to connect the group and get a handle on what is happening in the room

Resolve Conflict

· Recognize underlying tensions that block a group’s progress, diagnose shifts in group dynamics as they become polarized and rigid, and know what facilitation tools to use in such situations

· Resolve differences of opinions, arguments and conflicts instead of allowing anger and blaming to continue, recognizing and unleashing the creative potential that lies within every conflict

· Use conflict as an opportunity to enhance learning, leadership development, and interpersonal relationships!

Program cost:$785 ($570 tuition, $40 textbook + $175 meals/accommodation)


Aftab Erfan

Aftab Erfan – Coming from a background in environmental activism and community organizing, Aftab has spent the past five years working as a community planner for local governments in both staff and consultant capacities. She has assisted diverse communities in visioning exercises, long term planning, housing policy formulation, and neighbourhood design. Currently much of her time is spent working on a doctorate in community planning at the University of British Columbia. Her research concerns grassroots initiatives to work through deeply embedded socio-economic, racial, cultural and ideological divisions in small towns. Aftab spends part of the year in Vancouver BC, and the other part in Tatamagouche NS where she lives on a communal farm. She has recently taught Deep Democracy courses in Vancouver, Montreal and Beirut.

Sera Thompson

Sera Thompson – For almost 10 years Sera has been creating spaces for collaboration, innovation and committed action through designing and hosting transformational spaces (change processes, strategic dialogues, communities of practice, conflict resolutions etc, and leadership trainings etc.). She is a co-founder of a social enterprise called The Hub in Halifax where she lives. She is passionate about engaging diversity and works to bring communities together across generations, classes, sectors and cultures to collectively solve pressing challenges. She has recently been working on regional initiatives in the areas of public health, sustainable food, and shifting systemic racism. She has lived and worked in the US, Canada, the UK and Southern Africa.

Marion Thomson

Marion Thomson has a strong interest in the field of popular and transformative education. She has experience working with community organizations and unions throughout Canada, Britain and Ghana, West Africa. She recently developed civic education programs which explore social justice and human rights issues from a historical and equity perspective. Marion applies community based experience and community development principles to organizational development and leadership education.

She has a PhD and Master’s in Education and a Degree in Women’s Studies and History.

For more information please visit the website.

Categories: Lifelong Learning  |  Ministry  |  Workshops