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Training Tracks
Tools for Changemakers 2019

Training Tracks

Tools for Changemakers 2019

During Tools for Changemakers – Rebuilding Trust in Europe, you can chose to be part of one of 5 Training Tracks that focus on equipping you with tools for your work, in your organization, or in your community.

Our Training Tracks are run by experts in trustbuilding, peacebuilding and dialogue facilitation. You will commit to one training track over three afternoons. At the completion of the training you will receive a certificate of completion.

In the following overview, you can find information about the different Tracks that are diverse in character and methodology. All of them are interactive and your experience, skills and voice will be integrated. “Tools for Being the Change” will focus on ‘inner work’ designed to support your self-development and personal resilience in order to be efficient and impactful. “Tools for Enabling Change” are tracks designed to develop your practical skills and equip you with useful tools that can be added to your toolkit as a field practitioner.


Tools for Being the Change


Tools for Enabling Change



Tools for Being the Change

Track 1: REAL Change starts within! 

Trainers: Louie Gardiner and Su Riddell  :  Maximum number of participants: 12


About the Training Track

Becoming and being our best Selves calls on a lifetime’s commitment to daily, moment-to-moment practice. If this is true, what can we possibly learn together in the 10 short hours we will share, that can resource us throughout our lives?

In IofC, we believe that changing the world starts within. So, we will start with Ourselves. We learn to listen to others and to the still quiet voice within that many call ‘God’. But whether you believe in God or not, how well do you attend to you? The you that is the most sensitive, potentially sophisticated and potent instrument for change on the planet? How do you attend to the self-hatred, accusations and shame you generate within yourself, about yourself? How do you deal with the labels, judgments and acts of hatred that others direct towards you or others around you, if you do not know how to deal with your own inner aggressor?

YOU are where we begin. We will open your eyes, minds, bodies and hearts to a new approach – Presence in Action - that will help you begin the process of healing and resourcing yourself from within. This is our crucial first step to tackling the growing ripples of hatred, anger and violence spilling out across the world. Join us, if you believe this is the crucial first step for you.

Different versions of this training have been delivered over the last 5 years in Switzerland and UK. Each time it is different – orientated to focus on the particular issues and context of the situation and the people in the room.

We can’t wait to see you!


What past participants say

This is a gentle and powerful approach to understanding the thoughts, beliefs and emotions that tend to affect our lives and our relationships. It goes further than most personal training & self-development methods in that this new understanding is reached at a deeper, more embodied level … so much so that it leads to a level of awareness that is not just in the head but in your whole being.  This leads to internal shifts and change that have more impact, clarity and stickability than anything I have tried before.

…it's extremely powerful and unique in how it helps you understand and face into your emotional life, objective reality and the way you interact with the world… you have to feel ready for it… and you have to be prepared to step into in the unknown.


Louie Gardiner: I am creator of the P6 Constellation – the framework that enables people to access the praxis of Presence in Action. This powerful approach equips people to engage in deep personal change, transforming their relationships with themselves, others and the wider world. I am a Director of Presence In Action (PIA) Collective CIC and Potent 6 in which I am the Lead PIA Practitioner & Learning Partner; Change Consultant & Trainer-Facilitator. I am also a member of Initiatives of Change UK and initiated the REAL Change programme in 2015.

I am passionate about…discovering, creating and passing on what I learn; supporting others to re-connect with their deeper Selves and to liberate themselves into flow; Being & becoming ever more grounded, trustworthy & playful in all I do; pioneering a new ‘Sufficiency Principle’ through a business model called E=E:Cos (Enough equals Enough Contributors) for PIA Collective.

I'm proud of… Rebuilding my relationship with my parents – after years of estrangement; recovering from 17 years of suffering from bulimia (1981-1998); responding to the needs of those I support – leading to the emergence of the P6 Constellation, the growth of the Presence in Action Community-in-Practice and most recently, the co-creation of PIA Collective Community Interest Company (January 2019)

Su Riddell: I am the Local Co-ordinator for Initiatives of Change in Oxford, helping to co-ordinate a range of activities, such as mentoring, discussions, spiritual reflection, conference planning, project management, painting and craft. I’m a daughter, mother, soon-to-be-grandmother, and friend to a web of diverse people who inspire me and I aspire to support. I’ve been working with IofC for the best part of 40 years, practicing inner reflection daily, which enables me to engage with my values and support others in their own practice. For 10 years I was a member of a training team inspiring and equipping people across all diversities to embed change in their lives, and enable individual outreach. I run workshops in art and craft combined with mindfulness.

I am passionate about… Reflective living, which resources, refreshes and reconnects us to our values and to one another across all boundaries. I love accessing arts, crafts, music and drama for fun and inspiration. I’m passionate about our planet, which nurtures and supports us in every way.

I'm proud of… Launching my children into the world, caring for my Dad, tending my supportive web of people, feeding wild birds, and persevering in keeping physically and spiritually fit.


Track 2: Sustaining your Spark  - The science and practice of staying sane and engaged in a world that gets you down 

Trainer: Agnes Otzelberger  / Maximum number of participants: 15

About the Training Track

This course is for you if some or all of these apply:

  • You feel overwhelmed and/or conflicted in the face of injustice, poverty, physical/structural violence or ill health in your community or the world.
  • You experience signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue, empathic burnout, or similar: e.g. depletion, hopelessness, cynicism, ill health, or disconnection from others.
  • You would like to sustain - or regain - trust in yourself as an able, resourceful vehicle for change.
  • You wonder how to sustain your spark and emotional involvement in your work, whilst also staying healthy and able to act.
  • You are interested in or open to working with your inner world.

In professions relentlessly confronted with the suffering of injustice, poverty, violence, or ill health, it is a common belief that emotional shutdown – often dubbed ‘being professional’ – is the only option we have to avoid emotional breakdown. But with numbing the pain, we shut out all the good stuff, too: joy, gratitude, inspiration, intuition, empathic connection with others. Increasingly at war with ourselves and with the world, we end up losing trust in ourselves. We fear losing our ability to care.

These struggles are a silent and costly epidemic. They go by the names of compassion fatigue, or empathic distress/burnout, or vicarious trauma.

The thing is: We can’t actually tire of compassion. But most of us need to learn it first. What we do fatigue of is ‘affective empathy’ — our visceral, painful mirroring of other people’s suffering. But compassion, neurologically speaking, is a different emotion altogether, and a way to stay fully present to suffering, without overwhelm and paralysis. This response comes more naturally to us with e.g. our offspring than with people we perceive as ‘other’. As neuroscience now shows - on the back of insights developed over millennia - it can be strengthened and expanded like a muscle. And that’s what you’ll be learning to do in this programme.


In this training track, you will

  • learn the difference between empathic distress and a healthy, sustainable way of caring for and about others and the world – a way to stay deeply engaged without running yourself into the ground;
  • learn the time-tested mind practices that will help you do this;
  • be supported to develop a way to practice that works for your personal needs and circumstances; and
  • gain inspiration and motivation through the connection with a group of people in the same boat as you.

This approach unpacks what trust in ourselves and connection with those perceived as other means on a physiological basis. Trust, physiologically, is a nervous system modus where the body can rest and digest, as opposed to a state of threat – fight, flight, freeze.  In the former, we are able to engage, connect, empathise, learn, reflect – all the things we want to be able to do in the role of a change maker. The training, without going into arduous details on these neuroscientific aspects, teaches techniques that expand our ability to work from this safe, connected place of trust even under trying circumstances which would normally tip us into threat mode.

The training comes in three parts – the three cornerstones of healthy compassion –, taught through a mix of group discussion, guided practice, individual reflection and exploring of resources: 1) mindful awareness 2) self kindness ('inward compassion'), 3) common humanity ('outward compassion').

This particular training has been delivered before to two groups of people working in humanitarian aid/ international development, environment & sustainability, activism & human rights, youth & social work, healthcare, and mental health & coaching.


What past participants say

A unique opportunity to explore the core pillars of compassion and experiment with simple, yet potent practices to deepen our capacity to be mindful, kind and more cognisant of our interconnectedness. Agnes leads with her warmth, and takes care to create an accessible and inclusive space for the group.

Sophie, researcher/human rights activist, Spain/USA


This stimulating programme gives deep and fascinating insights and practices to help participants discover ways to flourish on a personal level whilst sustaining a compassionate approach to others. […] A vital kind of self knowledge for those in the helping professions.

Chris, humanitarian worker, Liberia


I would recommend this to all people who burn out and run on empty.

Hannah, Youth worker, UK


I thoroughly recommend it for everyone working in a caring profession – be it for people, animals or planet.

Will, environmental activist, UK


I now have a new understanding of the difference between empathy and compassion and how they employ different neural circuitry. This has given me a new clarity about the goal of my personal practice plus inspiration that there is potential for positive change. And I have practical strategies I can use.

Jessica, coach, UK


Agnes Otzelberger is a trainer and facilitator working to get our minds, hearts and bodies in shape for the social good we seek. From a young age, she knew she wanted to be involved in tackling injustice and inequality in the world. Then, 10+ years of working as an adviser, trainer and researcher in the international aid sector, and in a range of non-governmental and public sector organisations, left her feeling depleted and deeply troubled about the many ways in which their work seemed to model that which they were against. She began to explore the paradox of systems that are set up to ‘do good’ and yet often inflict harm, and of people who fight the good fight for others, yet often fail to truly do this for themselves. Over the past seven years, she has immersed herself more and more in a range of ‘inner’ and interpersonal practices that can help us bring our values and ways of being in this work into better alignment. This includes various techniques for group process, working with the mind and body, and interpersonal communication, working with individuals, groups and teams. Agnes works independently, and as an associate with OpenEdge – Transforming Conflict, and Wild Things. She is passionate about the emerging meeting places between Western and Eastern psychology and science, and she has recently completed a certificate in Compassion-based Psychotherapy and Social Transformation with the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, which brought her to the work on compassion fatigue she now does.



Tools for Enabling Change

Track 3: Advocating for a New Story - What story do you want your life to tell?

Trainer: Anne-Claire Frank  :  Maximum number of participants: 14



How do we change the world? Change the Story.

Charles Eisenstein

Neither revolution nor reformation can ultimately change a society, rather you must tell a new and powerful story... one so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and our present into a coherent whole, one that even shines some light into the future so that we can take the next step forward.

Ivan Illich, priest/philosopher 1926-2002

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. 

CS Lewis, academic/novelist 1898-1963


About the Training Track

In an increasingly fragile and divided world stories can heal, stories can harm. We will explore an invitation to take responsibility for the stories we tell and to transform them for the future benefit of our communities and in the cause of peace. What might it mean to be an advocate for a new story’– the story of our shared humanity? 

Over the course of the sessions, each participant will have the chance to investigate their own sense of identity, and to prepare and tell an aspect of their own story as a tool for peace advocacy.

The areas of learning are:  
1. The potential of each individual in becoming an ‘advocate for a new story’
2. Skills in listening deeply to ourselves and others as a means for healing
3. The role of storysharing as a tool for deepening connections and advocating for peace

Hosted by Creators of Peace



Track 4: Preparing trustbuilding trainers for healing and equity in a diverse world 

Trainers: Rob Corcoran and Ebony Walden  /  Maximum number of participants: 14 (Participants need to have a good understanding of English. They must also have experience as facilitators.)


About the Training Track

This intensive and interactive track offers tools for experienced facilitators seeking to increase skills as trustbuilding trainers in support of efforts to overcome racial/ethnic/religious divisions and xenophobia, and to build social cohesion and equitable communities. 

The collaborative training approach engages the talents and wisdom of the participants in four key competencies that connect personal and social change:  

1) Authentic leadership rooted in core values that move individuals from blame to self-awareness, personal responsibility and accountability;

2) Understanding of the power of history, narrative and trauma in the formation of group identity, as well as steps in the process of healing and repair;

3) Skills to design and facilitate honest conversations among all stakeholders in highly polarized environments;

4) Tools to build and sustain diverse multi-sector teams, partnerships and networks rooted in shared visions and values.


These skills form the basis of IofC International’s trustbuilding project now in development. The training draws on more than three decades of internationally recognized work by Hope in the Cities in Richmond, Virginia, USA.  It is designed for facilitators who have a commitment to the lived-out values of Initiatives of Change.



Rob Corcoran is a trainer, facilitator and racial healing practitioner who has worked with diverse and polarized groups across North America and Europe and in Australia, India, South Africa and Brazil. He is the founder of Hope in the Cities, Initiatives of Change USA’s flagship program, in Richmond, Virginia. He collaborated on a dialogue guide for President Clinton’s Initiative on Race, and was a consultant for the W.K. Kellogg national enterprise, “Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.” He is author of Trustbuilding: An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility (University of Virginia Press 2010).


Ebony Walden is a trainer and facilitator who has over a decade of experience as an urban planner and community builder. At Ebony Walden Consulting she facilitates workshops and engagement processes that explore race, equity, and the creation of more just and inclusive communities. She is also a lead trainer and facilitator with Hope in the Cities in Richmond, Virginia.





Track 5: A fifth Training Track to be announced soon!