Today is the autumn equinox, when day and night are again of equal length, in perfect balance. From here the light wanes in our hemisphere as night overtakes day and this year’s cycle moves towards completion.
The time of blooming and bounty is passing in the natural world as growth slows and stops, and the sap of trees returns to their roots, changing the greens of summer to the reds and oranges of autumn – the beginnings of the process of letting go and dying back.
It’s still a time of harvesting, when we can reap what we have sown earlier in the year, and a good moment to reflect on the hopes and intentions we have set, to consider how they have manifested so far and to bring things to completion with that last burst of energy before the winter sets in. We are also able to let go of what is no longer serving us: to embrace the reality that we cannot always remain in perpetual growth, and that periods of slowing down and shedding are essential to keeping our systems in balance.
In this period of reflection, we are looking at what we need to move away from and what we want to turn towards at New Constellations. We are exploring new forms of organisation, considering again how we can best contribute in these complex times, bringing some projects towards completion and preparing for some new ones.
More on this, some powerful new audio encounters and a few glimmers of hope we have been discovering below, and as always we love hearing from you if you have any thoughts to share with us.
There are now 32 encounters for you to enjoy on our website, or wherever you listen to podcasts. They spread by word of mouth so please pass on your favourites. We always love hearing your thoughts and reflections on them as well as getting your suggestions for other people you want to hear from.
At New Constellations we know we are not alone in thinking we need to reimagine the way in which organisations are built and run in order to meet the huge challenges of our times. Following a call we put out on Twitter and LinkedIn, Lily has been enjoying conversations over the summer with people across the globe doing amazing things and innovating in this field to uncover alternative practices in the space of organisational development.
What has come through strongly is how keen people are to share what's working (and isn't) within their organisation and to learn from others. So over the next few months we will be exploring how to illuminate some of the practices, models, systems and processes that have been unearthed through these conversations so far, and how we can connect this group of people in a meaningful way. Lily is still really keen to speak to anyone who may be interested in being part of this, so please do get in touch with her if that’s you: email@example.com
Margaret Levi’s audio encounter from 2020 explored how we might build a new moral political economy, and the Center she directed at Stanford is opening applications for their acclaimed residential fellowships for the 2023–24 academic year. For the geeks out there, this is where some of the classics of contemporary political thought have been written: including John Rawls’s The Theory of Justice and Edward Said’s Orientalism.
We’ve spoken often of the challenge of living in times of great uncertainty, and becoming more comfortable with this is a focus of part of our journeys. Gemma will soon be chairing a sessionon decision-making in uncertainty at the Royal Society in collaboration with Professor David Tuckett, with whom we worked in Sheffield and whose research on the role of narrative has informed our thinking. You can sign up to the event here.
Rachel Coldicutt (see her new audio encounter above) and partners recently launched The Case for Community Tech, which sets out a powerful vision for how technology can give power and generate benefit for communities. And Derek Bardowell (whose encounter we released at summer solstice) has a new book out, exploring the effectiveness of charity and calling for more radical giving.
We’re excited to see The Nearness launch publicly this month: a cooperative holding beautifully curated 8-week journeys for small groups to help people from any-and-no faith background nurture spiritual connection with “yourself, the world around you, and the people you love”. We also love the look of Try a Ting with Freedom & Balance: the art college for the artist in everyone (you can join in online). Here’s Iris on the podcast What Can We Do In These Powerful Times?, discussing how we can help build agency around shaping our futures, and a great collection of films from Rubber Republic exploring how social imagination tools can unlock positive futures.
And finally some lovely star stuff: we recently discovered Ophelie Trichereau’s cosmic embroidery (see header image), loved this image of spiralling young starsfrom the Hubble telescope, and enjoyed diving into this gorgeous thread on astronomical art through Islamic history.
Thank you for reading, may this equinox bring you balance.
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: