Making the Personal Political

Dropping into the space and finding our feet together. Exploring who’s at the gathering, what’s drawn us here and what a deeper vision of progress looks like in the real world.

11:00 - 12:00

Registration - The Shed


12:00 - 13:00

Opening Circle - The Barn


13:00 - 14:00

Lunch - The Barn

14:00 - 16:00

Connecting the jigsaw pieces

The Barn

This activity-based, interactive session offers a space to discover who’s in the room, to deepen our understanding of one another, and identify some of the commonalities and differences between us. Getting a feel for the larger network that we’re all a part of in a playful way with embodied exercises.

16:00 - 16:30

Afternoon break

16:30 - 18:30

Making the Personal Political

The Barn

This is a space for us to drop our professional identities and connect on a personal level. In learning pods, we’ll do a range of exercises to get to know one another. There will then be an opportunity for each person to share the change they feel is needed, from their particular vantage point. We’ll begin to integrate many diverse perspectives as a group and build a richer picture of the change that is needed.  

19:00 - 20:00

Sunset Walk

A walk around the grounds to help us transition from our everyday lives and honour the journey everyone has taken to be here. It will be punctuated by some moments for reflection and inspiration, guided by some of the creative talents we have among us.

20:00 - 21:30

Dinner - The Barn

Why political imagination needs spiritual sensibility.

Keynote  by Jonathan Rowson - Co-Founder, Perspectiva

21:30 - 22.30

Gentle Evening Activities  

The Fire

Storytelling and poetry by the fire (open invitation) - Sara Zaltash

The Yurt

Beditation - Mikey Matania

The Granary

Authentic connection and deeper ways of relating - Gaia Harvey Jackson and Sarah                       (Sanga Sanga)


Bed Time


A Politics of Greater Depth and Complexity

Alter Ego was formed in part as a response to the way in which many people who might share a desire for positive changes and progress in society no longer seem able to agree on a vision of what that looks like in practice. We’re having difficulty communicating with one another and transcending our differences, and the conditions of traditional political discourse seem to be keeping us stuck in a cycle of blame and shame.

Through reflective discussion, we’ll explore how we might all - in varied ways - be contributing to this bigger picture. Together, we’ll seek to identify what is needed to move beyond the current state of play in a way that helps us work better with our allies, connect with our adversaries, and inspire those who are alienated from politics.

7.30 - 8.30

Morning Practices

To get us energised and ready for the day

The Granery

Morning Ritual with Gaia Harvey Jackson and Sarah Vero (Sanga Sanga)

The Marquee

Yoga with Stefana Bosse

The Yurt

Morning Meditation with Jamie Bristow

8.30 - 9.30am

Breakfast - The Barn

9.30 - 11:00

what the political events of last year say about us

The Barn

In our learning pods, we’ll deepen our political inquiry by considering what the last year was at both a global political scale and personally, in relation to the work we do. We’ll explore how these two might be related, focusing particularly on what blind spots it revealed, and which of these might apply to us.

11:00 - 11.30

Morning Break

11:30 - 13:00

Going beyond our echo chamber

How can we create a politics that is competitive, appealing and inspiring to people outside of our own echo chambers? These sessions will explore how we can work more productively with our allies, understand our adversaries and make contact with those who feel alienated by politics, to build a model that includes and engages them.

We’ll use some of the live and ‘hot’ issues within politics and the progressive movement as the basis of our inquiry. Exploring how we can overcome internal disagreements and divisions within our own movement and find a coherent way forward.

The Marquee

Building a more relevant and widespread political movement

Only 2% of people are members of any political party. Most people, therefore, find politics as it is most traditionally framed far from central to their lives. In this panel we explore how to understand this phenomenon. We consider what might have to change individually, structurally, and thematically to  make politics more relevant to vast majority.

Host: Sarah Vero, Co-Founder, Sanga Sanga

Contributors: Indra Adnan, Alternative Platform, UK

Hugi Ásgeirsson, Former Campaign Manager, Manager Icelandic Pirate Party

Ruairí McKiernan, Member, Irish Council of State; Activist, Love and Courage Podcast

Keynote listener and sensemaker:

Romy Kraemer, Guerilla Foundation

Mikey Matania, Mind, Present Moment Project

The Barn

Understanding and addressing our adversaries

Lately the progressive movement has met with new and strengthened adversaries as far right politicians, authoritarian rulers, and members of the “alt-right” (among others) capitalise on a time of fear and uncertainty. In this panel we ask wow we can understand this group and learn from its perspective and concerns, as well as integrate our understanding of these concerns into our work. We’ll consider how it might be possible (where necessary) to speak and connect to this group and others who hold radically different perspectives, as well as the potential benefits and pitfalls of such an approach.

Host: Sarah Stein Lubrano, Head of Content, The School of Life


Paul Hilder, Founder, CrowdPac

Xavi Ferrer, Anti Eviction Activist, Party Secretary, Barcelona en Comú

Response: Katherine Lauritzen, Former Chair, Copenhagen Constituency; Member, International Strategy Group, Danish Alternative Political Party


The Granary

Working more productively with our allies

Progressive politics has traditionally been riven with disagreement and division. Lately, a debate about “identity politics” has become especially contentious, as some within the progressive movement abandon that language while others insist on it. In this panel we ask how we can understand this idea and the disagreements around it--and how we might then generate an improved understanding of what it means to be a good political ally.  

Host: Rita Issa, NHS Doctor, Activist

Contributors: Daniel Görtz, Founder, Metamoderna Thinktank

Sense-makers: Nadia El-Imam,  Founder, Edge Ryders

Alexander Bard, Cyber Philosopher

13:00 - 14:00

Lunch - The Barn

14.00 - 16:00

Going deeper  

These sessions provide an opportunity to journey deeper into our inquiry about what might be keeping us stuck in default political mindsets. These interactive workshops are designed to support us in moving away from our preferences and out of our comfort zone, to try something we might ordinarily shy away from.

The Granary

Conscious Leadership In Politics and Activism led by Nick Jankel, Co-Founder, Switch On

What does ‘conscious' leadership - as in leadership driven by an abiding sense of purpose and informed by mastery of our own psychology and spirituality - look like in politics and social change? Why does Nick believe that this form of leadership is crucial to transcending the current political deadlock between left and right and so help us land the systemic shifts that so many of us yearn for? How can this kind of leadership help us break out of the “green meme”, break free of our desire to stick it to 'the Man’ and ensure we can land social innovations and political breakthroughs that reduce suffering and increase thriving in our communities?

The Marquee

Transforming Self and Politics by Values - Led by Jan Henriksson and Fanny Norlin

Try out new tools for personal, organizational and political transformation and learn how to use them for the greater good. Here you will be able to discover the limitation of your own values or any particular values system and reflect about how we can grow and develop to take more holistic decisions.

The Barn

Freedom through Awareness - Led by Conor Cregg

An embodied inquiry into the barriers that are on our side of the ‘us and them’ dynamic of our political discourse.  Our awareness gives us the space to choose to do things differently.




Afternoon Break

16:30 - 18:00

Plenary Space for Collective Sense making

After small group discussions and sense making as a collective, there will be a range of workshops on offer to support us in digesting our experiences of the day. Giving us space to share, harvest insights and reflect on what we’ve learned.


Connecting to ourselves and moving with what’s alive in us

A guided movement session, using embodied practices to digest the content of the day. Followed by a facilitated reflection circle to share how we’re feeling and our experiences of the day.

The Barn

Group sensemaking

Gestalt live enquiry into what came up for us today - what did we notice / struggle with / find enlightening. Using our personal inquiries to illuminate patterns within the group and reflect on how this might relate to the broader political landscape.

The Yurt

Quiet space for reflection and stillness

Guided meditation and journaling.

The Granary

Artistic expression

A space to make sense of the day using various art practices and materials. No artistic expertise required.

19:00 - 20:00

Dinner - The Barn

20:30 - 22:30

Saturday Night Procession

This evening we’ll be taking you on a guided journey - involving music, art, ceremony and celebration - culminating around a fire in the woods.


What are we called to create?

This is a more emergent day to feel into what we are called to create together. We’ll hear inspiring stories from within the network and through collaborative group discussions, understand how we can take this out into the wider world.

8.30 - 9.30am

Breakfast - The Barn

9.30 - 11.00am

Co-creating a more conscious society  

Collaborative conversation on two pillars of change that are at the heart of a deeper vision of progress and essential for a deeper politics. We’ll be hearing from pioneering examples within our network

We’ll begin with some embodied exercises in which we can tune into ourselves, dream deeply together, feel into what wants to emerge and what we feel called to create together.

The Granary

Infrastructure and policy for a deliberately developmental society.

We are contextual beings, and redesigning our environment reveals new possibilities for how we live, work and play. Political change must therefore entail major changes to the often-hidden structure that make up our sense of what is worth pursuing and what is possible. In this panel we consider the systems, infrastructure, and even concrete policies that could be changed in order to build a deliberately developmental society.


Host: Indy Johar, Founder, 00 Architects


  • Nadia El-Imam, Founder, Edge Ryders
  • Jules Mueller, Co-Founder of The Urban Community Experiment
  • Jamie Bristow, Mindfulness in Parliament Initiative

The Barn

Making Psychological growth a societal concern - and sexy!

In order to make spiritual and psychological development a societal concern, we need to be able to make it comprehensible and appealing to the outside world. In this section we combine the insights of those who work in spiritual and psychological development already with insights from earlier in the weekend to think about ways to make this type of deliberate development part of an expanded conception of what politics is and could be.


Host: Ronan Harrington, Founder, Alter Ego


  • Iris Andrews, Senior Campaigner & Cultural Strategist, Purpose
  • Mikey Matania, Founder, Present Moment Project
  • Elizabeth Oldfield, Director, Theos
  • Liz Slade, COO Sunday Assembly
  • Stephen Reid, Director of The Psychedelic Society

11:00 - 11:30

Morning Break

11:30 - 13:00

The Barn

Deep Politics In Practice

We’ll hear from leaders and parties that are beginning to embody a politics of greater depth and complexity on the front lines. We’ll discuss what this type of politics looks like in practice, what works and doesn’t, and how we can collaborate to build this politics in our home countries.   

Host: Indra Adnan Alternative -  UK, Political Platform


  • Kathrine Lauritzen, Former Chair, Copenhagen Constituency; Member, International Strategy Group, Danish Alternativet Political Party

  • Mirko Busto / Francesca Businarolo, MPs, 5 Star Movement

  • Hugi Ásgeirsson - Former Campaign Manager, Icelandic Pirate Party

  • Xavi Ferrer, Anti Eviction Activist, Party Secretary, Barcelona en Comú

13:00 - 14:00

Lunch - The Barn

14:00 - 15:30

Collaborative Conversations

Open space to host initiatives, existing and new, that we can collaborate on together.

15:30 - 16:00

Afternoon Break

16:00 - 17:00

Closing ceremony

We’ll come together for the final time. Reflecting on what we’ve learned and what we’re going to take away with us as we go forward from here.