26.04.2016 @ FoAM bxl

Core question: What kinds of activities could we create, based on our skills, interests, experiences and energy/ies?

Goal for the day: create a portfolio of possible activities.

Outline of the day:

  • We briefly wrote down our expectations/longings/intentions for the day and for our group
  • Throughout the day we could write down words or phrases that struck us as associations to our group
  • Brief exercise: tapping our body and spirit awake (by Eva DG)
  • Cooking pot: 2 rounds of foraging ideas and proposals
  • Pairing up in two and working out one proposal per group in terms of title, short copy, aimed ‘customers’: create concrete proposals, as if they were entries on our – for the time being – imaginary homepage
  • Presenting proposals + discussion
  • Speaking out our expectations, longings and intentions we put out at the beginning + were they met?
  • Looking at the associations: does anything speak to us as a possible name for our group? What would we expect of a name?
  • Practicalities and next steps
  • Homework

Ideas, proposals and suggestions for possible activities to be developed by the hosting community. Three have been worked out as sketches, others have been listed at the gathering, but need developing in smaller working groups (as homework)…


IMPROVING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SPACE (Also called: the Ghostbusters proposal)

By Luea & Stevie (luea, stevie please edit)

Rough copy

Working and living spaces influence our creativity, but we rarely use all our senses to get to know them. By becoming aware of the effects the environment has on our senses, we can learn how to improve our relationship with it. Noise pollution in cities, for example, can effect our mood and concentration, but it often goes unnoticed. How can we become more creative, by sensing and improving the relationship with our environment?

This experiential activity aims to engage all our senses to explore the spaces in which we live and work, to begin improving our relationship with them. Not only do we learn how to experience the richness of sounds, sights, scents, tastes and textures of spaces, but also how to become attentive to the residual spatial memories that can affect our creativity.


Target group
  • EU or corporate world (also expats);
  • Experts like architects, urban planners, designers, engineers, schools, hospitals (place where lots of people are sharing the same space and have to collaborate) – for a workshop to learn the techniques

Frame: 5 sessions within 2,5 days involving the senses (research, experiential sessions + theoretical)

  • preparation phase: starting off with research of the space, e.g noise pollution (by us)
  • phase 1: diagnostic session (analysis): analysis of the building + pitch (what can we do for you, what will that bring you?)
  • phase 2: group sessions

Client = a company: 10.000 EUR Phase one: diagnostic + pitch = 3000 euro (fees and preparation) Phase two: 7000 euro Client pays and the amount of people in the building that take the sessions doesn’t affect the total price Client = an individual For architects and experts: workshops of 2,5 days (more focusing on giving them tools): 300 euro per person an individual session > a cleansing ritual for your own building (almost as a performance) rough estimate: 250 euro whole package (1 hour on the spot and preparation and recommendations) 1 hour of preparation and out of that comes a price, that will determine what the design looks like.

Challenge: finding the right language!

  • if you use words like ‘the energy of this space’, that doesn’t fall well
  • Crafting the words will be a challenge but also interesting. The craft is not losing your sense of direction in using language that fits the group you’re aiming at.
  • What we want to bring out there should avoid words like productivity > ‘more effective use of the space’

Soul Whispering

By Rasa & Eva DG

Rough copy: Soul whispering. Discovering your true core, silencing the choir of opinions, removing the established frames, etc. Spending time to 'unpeel the onion'. Singing life story, design prayer, etc. tools like guiding cards, etc.

It’s a life-changing experience, so very tailor-made (maybe cooking together, sleeping together, anything is possible), maybe even four people are participating in caring for that person, maybe even celebration at the end where the person can invite…


Target group

Individuals or couples, mothers and daughters, people that spend time together

Frame: 2 models: Four days, intensive weekends: dividing them into seasons or phases; not only about celebrating but also letting them to discover their doubts, ask different questions and insecurites and be in that moment Four days throughout a whole year, one day per season

Price: 9000 euros (fees, materials, rental facilities) (4 people 5 days at a rate of 250 euro a day + 30 %) cheaper version: only two persons, or one to one > light version (with all the rituals and the symbols but more one on one) e.g. organization in Leuven that helps to find a fund for reconstruction of breasts after breast cancer

  • we could also help them to find a fund (like vision quest)


  • add lighter version as well where you have time where you are more alone?
  • Expensive! Risk is you ask enough money to valuate the experience, but if you ask too much you add pressure that devaluates the concept and experience. Maybe we should resize this one to a lighter version that is more affordable?

Living with dis-ease

(The art of…)

By Maja & Kathleen

Rough copy

Many of us experience some form of dis-ease in our daily life, whether an actual (chronic, physical or mental) illness or an uncomfortable sense that something is deeply wrong with ourselves and the world around us. How can we use this dis-ease as an opportunity for deep inquiry into our life and work? How can we use this opportunity to transform dis-ease into an ease of living, not just for ourselves, but for our organisations, communities and the world, becoming more resilient, adaptive and joyful in the process?

This programme of activities will allow you to learn, share and experience the art of living with dis-ease. You can get a taste of the programme during our afternoon session (3 hours), or can dive straight into the in-depth retreat (3 days). A longer (6-12 months) coaching programme is available for retreat participants. Living with dis-ease sessions include inspirational talks and testimonials, reflective and experiential practices for self-care, as well as guided sessions to help you connect with people, environments and (hi)stories.

What can you expect to get from participating in this programme?

  • you can learn how to inhabit, explore and accept your dis-ease
  • you can practice a range of creative and empowering techniques and approaches to help you take better care of yourself, allowing you to take your life back into your own hands
  • you can experience how your dis-ease changes when you feel connected to and belonging to a larger whole – from other people, to the larger dimensions of time and space.

Your guides are people with a background in the artistic and cultural sector, who have experienced serious dis-ease or illness, which they used as a raw material in the creative process of changing their lives, works and environments.

We offer three formats

Afternoon/evening session (3 hours): an inspirational talk and series of short exercises in an immersive setting filled with multisensory treats (foods, scents, sounds, light…) Retreat (3 days): a residential programme in quiet, green surroundings with customised catering; including training, practical exercises, guided walks and meditations, artistic immersions, testimonials and other opportunities for sharing. Master class: how can your personal experience with dis-ease influence the larger system in which you live and work (organisations, communities, social systems…)? Coaching sessions: individual sessions tailored to your specific dis-ease and situation (6 months or a year)

Target groups

Open call to anyone who feels a disease (as diverse as possible) Specific target groups we can cater to (atm), for more in depth retreats: Cancer Burn-out Mourning


(rough estimate, likely priced too low)

Non-profit prices per person: 3 hours (including snacks and drinks): 40 euro 3-day residential retreat (including accommodation and meals): 800 euro Coaching hour: 50-60 euro

Market prices per person: 3 hours (including snacks and drinks): 100 euro 3-day residential retreat (including accommodation and meals): 3000 – 5000 euro Coaching hour: 250 euro

  • Excited about the content we could put into a 3-days retreat!
  • Maja to design the inspirational evening within a few months (e.g. tryout around autumn equinox)
  • A lot of potential (there is a definite need and we can respond to it)!
  • To explore funding opportunities (need to be able to subsidise people who can't afford it)
  • There’s a lot of initial work going in here: should we apply for funding for developing? Yes

Other proposals

There are more things on the table that we'd like to explore, so - Let’s do some homework! (feel free to add your name to anything that resonates):

  • Greenhouse & singing (kathleen, stevie, rasa)
  • Life story (Kathleen, Eva P)
    • Roughly: there were many ideas here that are worthwile having a closer look at, e.g. the bardic idea of writing a story or singing, writing a personal prayer, etc.
  • Inspiration dinner & fascination lunch (Kathleen, Eva, Eva)
    • Roughly: developing a tailor-made inspirational dinner where we gather people around a person with a specific idea for a project or another question; a lunch putting together strangers or acquaintances or friends where time is spent listening to eachother’s fascinations
  • Open Sauces cooking club / Food futures / Team building exercises around food (Rasa, Maja)
  • Barefoot walk, nature coaching (Eva DG, Rasa, Stevie, Eva P)
    • Roughly: cf. walks Rasa has organized earlier + exploring nature coaching
  • Multistakeholder sessions for transition/transformation of larger systems (Luea, Nik and Maja)
    • Roughly: Maja, Nik, Luea – describing our 'client work' – types of processes and gatherings we can design and host
  • Spiritual workshops for children (Rasa & Barbara)
  • Workshop Systemic constellation for individuals and larger systems (Luea > Kathleen, Eva, Eva, Rasa) + four extra places we sell
    • Roughly: Luea teaches us and we sell a few extra places to other people interested
  • Hosting craft (Maja)
    • Maja works out the hosting craft course she offered us; Luea would like to add a few things from Sirkle
  • Guided meditations (Maja, Stevie, Nik)
    • Roughly: designing guided and sonic meditations (for live sessions at retreats, workshops… and recordings…

More ideas 'from the pot’ that haven’t been assigned as homework:

  • Holding collective healing spaces for “complex” systems (acknowledge threshold phases for teams/groups/organisations
  • Transition weekends for men/women or men and women
  • Sircle (co-learning space and education)
  • Better food in clinics, hospitals, and other health-related spaces
  • Noise pollution (new age in sound - spas, metro, hotels…)
  • Morning chorus (Ruben)
  • Co-learning community

Work with people who you like to spend time with, be curious about each other, share the things you are seeking for, make the others a part of your vulnerability and have faith.

-Josse De Pauw


For the day

  • To explore what we could be and what we could do as a community of practice
  • Getting closer together again; see where we are, what happened in the last months in this circle; atunement together; clarity of the next gentle step
  • Designing a possible organization
  • Mapping possible activities
  • Designing one or more concrete products

For the future

  • Yearning, Learning, Earning (and connecting)
  • Community for Contemporary Contemplation and Celebration
  • Creating a place/organisation where I/we can co-grow on our professional path, where we can put into the world the things we’ve learned and experienced and “mold” them into a meaningful product or service
  • To become a self-sustaining, diverse, supportive community able to work in different, fluid constellations with a range of individuals and groups
  • Connecting personal with societal (or systemic) grounded in artistic/cultural sensibilities
  • To support multistakeholder groups to work together (and transform), influencing wider systems
  • To encourage, enable and facilitate “unholy alliances” of people committed to work together in the long term
  • To create peak experiences (rituals, “total experiences”, celebrations…) as well as function as guides through the “forests” of daily life (transitions, challenges, dis-ease…)
  • To apply holistic methods of group dynamics to our own group
  • To learn more about various strands that are our group synergy
  • To design four-fold “ensemble synergy” 3 quartets, 1 “director/conductor”
  • To select 'help gifts' among us - “solo synergy”. Quite specific + one on one, like a study.
  • Important to have a community of practice/supervisory group where we can connect back to!
  • Miracles, smiles, energy
  • Exercise by the side of the experienced
  • Safety and trust
  • New horizons
  • Wild plans that energise
  • First concrete steps


Associations and ideas that might lead towards a name in the future?

  • Lab, Creative studio
  • The sublime collective (“sublimity”)
  • Avaa
  • RAIN (recognise, accept/acknowledge, inquire, nourish)
  • Summer rain
  • Community of practice
  • Circle
  • Scraping the soul
  • Foam
  • vibrations
  • it will appear…

We also love names like: seething radiance, luminous green (ask Nik!) Acronyms can be fun: Crash (Centre for research in the arts, social sciences and humanity)

Option to keep in mind: FoAM’s legal structure could be kept and can be very useful. But doesn’t have to be used as a branding, branding can be something entirely different.

Fun workshop idea: all the spiritual names that we DON’T want!

Not just a place of homecoming, also a place of working, vigour: community of practice has both of it.

  • Community of practice: Look into why should we exist, what are we as a community of practice and how could it work? How do we support each other, how do we learn? What holds us together? Our internal culture, our research database?
  • What is our offer (activities): follow-up from today: 3 types of activities:
    • joint project portfolio (above),
    • individual projects that can be supported by the group (either through consultation/advice or collaboration on each other's projects)
    • external projects called by clients that we tackle together
  • Governance and business models (including legal and economic side)

Upcoming Gatherings

10 June: community of practice + 3 types of activities (and all the homework done!) – Maja, Nik 28 June: governance 7 July (overflow, for things that come up during the first two meetings, or things we don't manage to tackle)

Note: Keep these dates free if possible. With our busy schedules: not everyone will be able to attend every session, alas.

Before the summer we want to have a sketch of:

  • a 'membrane' (why should we exist and what would we like the community of practice to be),
  • types of activities (what could we do?),
  • possible governance and business models (how could we organise and finance the community and its activities)


  • Each group draws/writes report about their own proposal discussed today: answer the questions – why, what, how, for whom, where, when (how long), how much…
  • The other proposals: small groups work those out together (people who weren’t able to join today: feel free to join a group)
  • Kathleen sends a business model canvas to use when looking at the proposals
  • Eva & Maja: notes + online
  • hosting/april_2016.txt
  • Last modified: 2016-05-06 18:56
  • by maja