13: When trust is broken

Session 13: April 25

When trust is broken

How do we start when oppression, distrust, past pain and trauma stands in the way?

Creating together relies on the premise that people will want to create together. But sometimes the system’s trust is in tatters, the actors in the system live in vehement denial, suffer from painful psychological wounds, or the system in locked in seemingly intractable conflict. What then? In this session we look at things that have help to move delicate situations towards a better state. We also spend a moment looking at ourselves and our positions of privilege: what is our response to and responsibility inside a system that favors a few?

Lecture and activities

  • Introduction to oppressive power
  • Transformative scenario planning: when no agreement can be found
  • Truth and reconciliation commissions and restorative justice as alternative ways to heal the past
  • When the system favors a few: privilege of constructed identities

Key concepts

  • Presencing vs. absencing
  • Societal trauma, restorative justice, white supremacy, creative class, the possibility of privilege
  • Healing as a creative process
  • Recovery and rest

Required materials

Listen to Vanessa German, I lost my cool at a community meeting (start at 13:40)

María del Carmen Lamadrid, Social Design Toolkit

Ignite anti-racist toolkit


  • Daily practice for week six: Shifting shame and guilt
  • Working with constructed identities

Optional materials

Tema Okon, From White Racist to White Anti-racist

Wikipedia articles on restorative justice, transitional justice, and truth and reconciliation commissions

Reos Partners, material on transformational scenario planning

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