October 2016, a travel to Scandinavia, hosting workshops and a talk about well-being at 2 Power Shift events, in Finland and Sweden respectively.  What follows is some of the material brought to participants.

Background

While working on an international residential training in the youth climate movement about practical skills, the coordinator of Power Shift Finland send among the team an innocuous email asking for some input.  From sharing ideas and experience, over finding recognition, this became a conversation about team / project management and well-being.  Thus followed an invitation to be a workshop host, with the necessary support.  And given that Power Shift Sweden was only 1 week later, it was all too easy to host sessions there as well.  Starting point was twice the established validation workshop and then adding more / new content.

Finland

As mentioned earlier, it all started with an invitation to Power Shift Finland, as contributor. On one hand there was a desire for an international speaker and on the other hand there was keenness on the topic of volunteer well-being. Starting from the validation workshop being scheduled, there was also a request for an “inspirational speech”. So it was agreed to share a “personal story” about background, motivation and well-being.

The well-being part became the bulk of the talk, sharing some reflections. Why is well-being important and which differences can it make ? Which is currently the state / place of well-being in social movements and in particular climate movement, again just from the perspective of one person. A rather daring timing, first up and plenary on the last day (after the inevitable party), but yet very well received, going by several comments and thanks.

The handouts from this talk in Finland can be downloaded : personal story (handouts6) PSF16. And as the well-being part is mostly interpretation to some images and quotes, read on for a video bonus.

Sweden

Relatively speaking, being geographically and time-wise close, it simply made sense to again contribute to Power Shift Sweden. Already last year the validation workshop was (twice) a great success, so an encore -for new and familiar people alike to discover it- was most welcomed.

From that session, in combination with some conversations and observations, it became clear that the topic of well-being and fostering genuine connection was much appreciated. So came the plan to offer another session during free space, no longer about an ICT question, but about inter-personal connection. By request, looking minute long in each others eyes was repeated, in combination with some deep questions. The main element of the session was “the mask”, an exercise about self-reflection and sharing about the presentation of ourselves to others / in groups, ultimately linking that to values.

With the event progressing, it seemed like an interesting idea to repeat the well-being part of the “personal story” for the closing ceremony, after all the talk was ready-made, while dropping and adjusting a few slides is comparatively easy. The talk was put at the beginning of the ceremony, so it could inform those final discussions / conclusions and follow-up intentions. It proved that those well-being reflections definitely found resonance and impact.

The handouts from this talk in Sweden can be downloaded : reflections on well-being (handouts4) PSS16. The entire closing ceremony, including this talk, were filmed by smartphone. The well-being reflections excerpt can be viewed : reflections on well-being (talk) PSS16. (Recommendation : have both handouts and video next to each other, so you can link image / quote with the story being told.)

Reflection

At both events, the workshops and talk were well-received, participants expressing interest and gratitude.  So it seems that well-being and its importance is (slowly) finding a space within the climate movement, even a feeling of necessity.  Two elements of this are on one hand integrating it into our wold vision and on the other hand changing our own ways of working.  Looks like interesting times ahead.