Here we are at the Spring Equinox, when day and night are in perfect equilibrium. It’s the point of the year in our hemisphere at which the light defeats the dark; a time to begin new ventures, make plans and journey, to throw off the restraints of the cold winter and reach out for new possibilities. 
We see and feel it in the green shoots pushing up steadfastly through wet dark earth, verges exploding with brazen yellow daffodils, the just-about-discernible warming of the air, the energy of action, the lengthening of the evening light. And yet these are times that feel dark, heavy and desperately uncertain. 
Like many of you (we imagine), we are feeling the weight of these times and asking ourselves big questions about the contribution we can best make. And like many of you (we expect) we don’t have the answers yet, but are doing our best to orient toward hope and possibility, and share a few things below in that spirit.
We’ll be back in your inbox at Beltane. Til then, thank you for being here, a very warm welcome to those new to this list, and we are always here for questions or conversations (and looking to grow our constellation of collaborators – see below).
With love and hope,
Gemma, Iris, Jo and Lily
New Constellations
From the shore to the stars
We set up New Constellations to help people begin to imagine and create futures in which humanity and our planet flourish together. As many of you know, we have been developing an experimental process to help people examine the reality of the status quo, become more comfortable in uncertainty, open up to new possibilities and discover bold new visions for the future. These journeys are spaces for collaborative enquiry and collective imagination, spaces to hold big questions without grasping for answers and to deeply connect with fellow travellers as we explore what transformation will take. They are what we felt we needed in these times and wanted to be able to offer others. Gemma is sharing more about our journey methodology here on our blog for the first time, if you would like to learn more.
We are looking to add to our constellation of collaborators – people who are passionate about and aligned with our mission, and interested in working with us on a consultancy basis on specific projects and initiatives (starting soon in some cases). More details are here, and please do pass this on to anyone that might be interested.
We were overwhelmed by the response to our call for applicants for Bold Dreams for Our Future; huge thanks to all who applied and the many of you that helped spread the word. It was our toughest shortlisting job yet but we are delighted to welcome Abdi Hassan, Asif Afridi, Chrisann Jarrett, Clare Reddington, Farah Elahi, Fiona Hegarty, Ivor Williams, Jane Davidson, Jules Peck, Kayla-Megan Burns, Lou Byng, Mahara Haque, Noreen Blanluet, Peter Macfadyen, Sam Bailes, Stephanie Antonian, Sughra Ahmed and Tom Hartley on this program, and look forward to sharing more from them all as their journey begins. We’re also truly sorry we couldn’t accommodate more of the many, many exceptional applicants we had – sincere thanks again to all of you and we hope to be able to announce further opportunities soon.
As spring arrives, we're reflecting on how much our work has been inspired and supported by our relationship with nature, its seasons and cycles. Part of our approach is to help people reconnect with their sense of themselves as part of the natural world, and to help people engage with and listen deeply to views and perspectives that are different to their own.
We have recently been in Chagford, a rural community in Devon where Gemma lives, supporting the Parish Council’s community conversation about people's relationship with nature and possible responses to climate and ecological change. This is a tight-knit community but one in which there have been tensions between the farming community who have worked the land for many generations (some since the 1300s) and those moving in who have different ideas about what it means to look after our natural environment. We created this audio piece to reflect the range of voices and views and surface the profound love of place and land that people hold in common. The Parish Council used it as part of a community event in which people listened together before beginning a conversation that will progress and take shape over the coming months. 
In uncertain times we’ve found solace in this article about despair, hope and action, and returned to Rebecca Solnit. We’ve been deeply inspired by the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people (beautifully celebrated here), the Russian journalist who protested on live TV (and many other brave Russian anti-war protesters), the many thousands of volunteers across Europe and all those in the UK who have signed up to host Ukrainian refugees – glimmers of all the goodness that shines through in times of darkness. We look forward to a future in which our compassion and generosity is extended to all those fleeing such terror.
We’ve been trying to recommit to hope and possibility – digging back into the excellent Collective Imagination Playbook for tools and inspiration for reimagining what could be, as well as the Reset Narratives community’s new website (they share our belief that change starts with new stories of possibility). We’re also looking forward to reading Ken & Kate Robinson’s new book Imagine If…
If you share our hunch that slowing down will be an important aspect of building better futures, our friend Angel Acosta has a timely-sounding workshop coming up (and his encounter from last year is a beautiful reminder of the importance of “letting go and letting in” in the face of uncertainty, and the power of grounded optimism).
If you’re a bold and generous leader looking to deepen your impact, applications are open til April 6th for the 2022 Acumen UK Fellowship. And if you need a reminder that change is possible here’s a heartening thread of recent campaign wins.
As green shoots of spring emerge we enjoyed this conversation between Michael Pollan & Katherine May on our entanglement with the plant world, were inspired by these students’ visions for how robots could help restore nature, and keep coming back to this poem we love, which feels apt for this moment:
The Peace of Wild Things
Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Thank you for reading, may the light defeat the dark this Spring Equinox. 
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New Constellations exists to help people imagine and create better futures; futures in which humanity and the planet flourish together. If you like what we’re doing, you can help us by:
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