Bridgers, support programme — The Systems Sanctuary


Bridgers — The Systems Sanctuary



Part of the work of Illuminate, cultivating the field and practice of systems change.

“My Peer Input session was a highlight – it came at a time when I was second-guessing my approach to, and gut feelings about, collaboration for systems change. ”


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What’s the deal?

Bridgers is a peer-learning cohort for people who are working to create systemic change and are working from non-dominant spaces and communities. This will be a place to share inquiry, key learning and practices, build alliances and camaraderie. 

We know there are stories to be shared about what it takes to be a bridge for systems change.  This will be a place to go deep, to shine light on diverse practices and different ways of knowing, so we may see collective patterns, challenges and identify the subtleties that are the opportunities for change.

Who is this for?

The Community Bridges Cohort is open to anyone working in context of non-dominant spaces, identities and communities and acts as a ‘bridge’ to places of dominant power and influence across the incumbent system. 

As a practitioner you have experience code switching, translating, moving across “borders” to engage broader system actors in their work. You draw on multiple ways of knowing and practices. You are deeply in the middle of a complex project and are facing multiple challenges in doing this work. 

You might be doing systems change work, but might not call it that. You have momentum and movement in your initiative. You have faced systemic obstacles and barriers that feel like ceilings, limitations and isolation. 

We are open to applications from people who resonate with this call, but are not sure if they meet the criteria. Feel free to reach out.

We welcome applications from people all over the world.

What will it involve?

  • We convene peer learning circles in a monthly basis virtually via Zoom
  • Each peer session session is 1.5 hours long
  • 1 hour buddy call with another participant between calls
  • Commitment to a total of 7 peer sessions and individual reflective practice & light homework

Why peer-to-peer learning?

Our experience has taught us that sitting down with colleagues and really digging into the detail of practice, what is emerging day to day, is the most valuable use of time.

You will be meeting people who implicitly understand what you’re talking about, who have ideas you can borrow and who will become a valuable network for years to come. Our role is to the create the conditions where you can connect meaningfully together, then get out of the way. This will be hosted.

What will happen on the calls?

Each session involves small group gatherings of up to 8 people with a different person sharing a challenge each month, followed by peer-to-peer coaching. Through this process we surface shared inquiry, exchange learning, resources and support.

We are joined by guest speakers and practitioners to support you in spirit, mind and body.

We will illuminate personal experiences and the connections to the systemic nature of the challenges we are aiming to shift, we will share systems change practices to help identify paths forward.

We will explore these barriers and start to think collectively about what practices are we uncovering and what are we learning about shifting outdated power structures and cultures towards new creativity, new freedom and a new way of being.  

You will be in a Cohort with people who understand you and who get it. You will feel you are not alone in this. It will be inspiring, cathartic, infuriating and good fun. Join us! 

Proposed dates of calls

Calls will take place October 2020 – March 2021 on the last Wednesday and Thursday of each month.


Bridgers — The Systems Sanctuary