Worldwork 2008 Masthead
Navigation links
WW in London  (home page)
London history
UK regional information
places to visit
practical tips

structure and methods

Information + registration
accommodation + meals

getting involved
regional information
other resources
gallery links contact us community
community - world echoes online registration & payments
Latest News

Browse through the images and listen to audio clips from Worldwork 2008.

Join the mailing list of Worldwork

Download the event flyer - pdf

“Worldwork 2008 London was an amazing experience...”

The Worldwork 2008 conference,’ Doorways to Diversity, Seeking a Home in the World; Processing conflicts around borders and boundaries in culturally diverse societies’ took place in the Royal National Hotel in the centre of London in April 2008.

London with its amazingly diverse population, a long history of migration and a colonial legacy was the ideal spot to host the 11th Worldwork with the theme of finding ‘home’ in the midst of a diverse and ever changing world around us, in our inner life, outer relationships, communities and nations.

It was an extraordinary, diverse, dynamic and transforming experience. Some 420 people gathered from 38 countries and nations. This large and diverse group created an exciting and creative atmosphere through which issues related to racism, colonialism, genocide, war, violence, trauma, gender, sexual orientation, economics, language, hope and hopelessness were worked on deeply. As well as processing the issues around our diverse personal and collective histories and present time, we also learned and practiced cutting edge methods of Worldwork facilitation including the principle and practice of ‘deep democracy’.

There were also plenty of opportunities for engaging and networking with others as well as to observe, and take time for reflection and integration of the learning and experience. There was awareness for many of the participants on how we contribute to the polarisation of conflicts, and how we can contribute to conflict resolution and make a difference in our communities.

Many commented that this was the most successful Worldwork conference to date in terms of the diversity represented, the hearing of many different voices and the possibilities created.

Amy and Arnold Mindell (the co- founders of Process Work), a team of 70 facilitating staff members and an organizing team headed by Arlene Audergon, Jean Claude Audergon, Anup Karia and Stanya Studentova worked round the clock so that everybody could feel at home. 

Each day, in the mornings, the large group gathered. We would first focus on learning different aspects of Worldwork theory and skills for facilitating multi cultural communication and conflict resolution, and then have a facilitated large group interaction on pressing issues that the group chose.
Facilitated with experience and belief in the potential wisdom within community, these large group interactions  went into extremely difficult and emotional territory – recognising that with facilitation,  we are able to not only re-create conflict, but facilitate and transform our awareness and find new pathways forward.

After lunch there were Theory sessions, and special interest ‘Hot Topics’ sessions. The Theory presentations were about the orientation, concepts and methods of Process Work and Worldwork The ‘Hot Topics’ sessions revolved around a selected central topic, and included 2 to 3 informative and succinct presentations, followed by discussions among the presenters and group.

The participants also met daily in small closed groups of about 15 people with 2 facilitators which provided opportunities to go deeper into the morning themes, practice and engage with each other in a more intimate space as well as process issues personally and in relationship. In the early evening, everyone met again in the large group and a smaller sub group would work in the middle in a ‘fish bowl style’ on specific issues that were relevant both to that group and also on behalf of the large group.

The 420 participants from many cultures and countries became a microcosm of the larger society developing awareness personally and as facilitators for situations they encounter. The powerful group processes that took place included those that concerned multiculturalism, race, migration and asylum. We also worked on issues around colonialism, genocide and the power of Aboriginal peoples from the Americas and Australia. There were intense interactions around issues of gender, abuse and power and also around economics and disparity in wealth. On one of the days the group worked intensely on collective trauma through the channels of movement, sound and theatre.

There were multi cultural sub groups who took the opportunity to work deeply together, including people from Greek and Turkish backgrounds working on long-standing conflicts ; South Africans and Australians working on the pain of the past and present, as well as extraordinary hope for the future. There was a powerful group of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered people working on issues of love, internalized and external oppression.

There were opportunities for each participant to have one to one meetings with a Worldwork staff member, for the purpose of exploring personal reactions and learning, and to explore how to specifically apply the learning in one’s own organizational and community context. All participants also had access to a member of the ‘heart team’ who were Worldwork staff members on hand to provide emotional support throughout the conference

Awareness of language is always a central Worldwork issue as the main language for the Worldwork conferences is English, although most participants do not speak English as their first language. For participants who were not fluent in English, there were ‘interpreting spots’ or ‘islands’ in the main room. Rather than formal interpreting, it was set up so that people who were able to interpret could do this with the help of simple and effective sound technology. Those who needed could gather at these ‘islands and were able to fully participate. The languages which were interpreted included Japanese, Greek, German, Spanish, Slovak, Turkish and Polish. A hearing impaired participant had a ‘My Link’ wireless hearing device that was spontaneously tied to a stick that could be easily passed along with the microphones, making it possible for her to fully participate. A dedicated sound team who worked flexibly and round the clock made a huge difference to our communication overall.

In the evenings there were a multitude of wonderful activities to choose from including theatre, music, movement, yoga, film presentations and facilitated dialogues. Playback NYC, together with Playback players from the UK and Switzerland offered fantastic playback theatre and hip hop. We also had a fabulous dance evening with a great DJ!
The overall experience could best be described as one of immersion into a world of diversity, community and learning for six days. We would love you to browse through and enjoy the rest of the pages on this website to give you more information about Worldwork and to share some of the experience.

 website design:metacosm Sitemap