We are so super happy to announce Vanilla Way’s new program within the field of collaboration research, networking and life-long learning:

The Dragon Dreaming Collaboration Incubator

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This series of practitioner workshops results from almost 7 years of field work of applying, testing, teaching, researching and further developing the “Dragon Dreaming” philosophy, model and meta-methodological technology for project design, inspired by ancient wisdom, living systems-theory, Deep Ecology and change management.

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We are continuously fascinated by Dragon Dreaming, as it serves a more integrative, community and requirement-oriented work culture, that is driven by purpose. The attitude and process facilitates the process of allowing the development of community driven projects and rapid cultural change. It therefore enables us to have failures early and succeed more rapidly. Dragon Dreaming supports the release of hidden dynamics, unleashing the creativity of a group and as a result leads to empowered, collaborative leadership.
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The facilitating process for group-projects with Dragon Dreaming is tremendously rewarding. It feels like being able to assist a simultaneous process of birth and death – all at once. A facilitator helps groups to observe previously ignored facts without adding drama and to consider and appreciate the past while paving the path for the future. The future hereby is the vision of their project, their dream. As soon as a collective dream is put down on paper, together with all other necessary information, like goal and objectives, tasks, responsibilities, timing and budget – all of which are decided upon collectively –, then and only then is there space for deep commitment to happen. The moment commitment happens, is the moment when the collective project is born truly – even if it has already existed theoretically for a few years.
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Despite this hymn of praise, it has been a long time since we have been teaching it. Why? Despite Dragon Dreaming’s capacity of simplifying extremely complex things, like collaborative decisions on a vision and a mission, dealing with power dynamics, showing your own vulnerability in a group, and successful strategy planning, it is not simply a method that you are able to understand cognitively and then apply. There are so many factors at work, which enable you to facilitate this process and incorporate it within body and soul, especially when it comes to your everyday project work.
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It helps, for example, to be able to listen deeply, and therefore to be able to listen to what is said and what is not being said. It helps to be able to stay connected with your own inner processes and to what is happening outside of you at the same time – so that you won’t forget your own needs: this is essential for your self-care and thus to avoid your later burn out. It helps to improve practical skills, to be a doer, a walker and to gather experience in collective leadership and management. At the same time, it encourages you to freely express emotions, apply creativity and deal with chaos. All together it points towards a source of limitless patience as being vital. Actually, what it comes down to is the development of all the skills you could possibly imagine, when doing something together with humans in such a manner. It is not only not a fixed top-down process but also leads you to avoid drawing a line between professionalism and friendship. Dragon Dreaming invites the human being as a whole to be part of a project. And – if meant to be – we want to get projects done. This complexity is why a Dragon Dreaming training must focus on building a new collective leadership capacity.
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At the same time, Dragon Dreaming is also not rocket science. It is so intuitive and simple that even children could apply it. It is knowledge of a deeper understanding of how living systems themselves function as collaborative projects are indeed living systems. John Croft did not invent it, he discovered it. Some people have fortunately had enough experience in their life, have learned complementary things, or on the contrary, have never unlearned to trust their intuition and to trust others – resulting in them being potentially able to apply the approach after a mere introduction.
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When training the approach of Dragon Dreaming, we aim to find new ways, so that it is considered, that there is no single linear learning process underlying while teaching it. We don’t believe in a training course with part 1, 2, 3 after which you get a certificate and get off.  Dragon Dreaming is a community practice, something you incorporate, something you do. It is something you live, it’s a movement, a family, a home, an initiation, a ritual. It’s an invitation to live life at it’s fullest now, to accept no compromise: It is pure self-satisfaction, it’s limitless trust – a reclaiming of your needs. It’s believing in belonging, in win-win-win, in mutual support, in transparency, in protection, guardianship and overall the power of community. It’s about integrating joy and grief, success and failure. It’s about trusting the required process for changing the world as we know it.

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No facilitator will ever be able to teach you all this in a linear way. Not in 3 days, not in 30 days or 3 years. You yourself can learn it only through practice and experience. A Dragon Dreaming workshop can be a safe place for experiencing and practicing. So we have decided to share the knowledge of Dragon Dreaming once again in workshops, but this time around we want to take a different approach:
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WE ARE A PRACTICING GROUP.

We seek to steer away from teaching Dragon Dreaming as a method purely as teacher to student, and move towards coming together as a supportive group of practitioners who meet as equals in order to assist each other in the beauty and the challenge of transformational leadership.
We want to meet everyone where they are, addressing the issues that affect their burning needs concerning transformative action as well as leadership and make room for the wisdom and resources that exist within the group. Our vision is of a diverse group (by gender, class, ethnicity, background, occupation and nationality) but also simultaneously a homogeneous group (by degree of awareness and commitment to contribute to the social transformation of building a new culture), which comes together and possibly but not necessarily, keeps collaborating beyond the three day course.

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NON-LINEAR COURSE PROGRAMM.

It is a course design with a non-linear structure. While every workshop consists of the same structure, at the same time, every successive workshop will be a (con-)sequence, a deeper and more profound exploration and understanding of the practice meeting the personal needs of each individual participant. Frequency of attendance and choice of various locations can be determined individually. Some may attend several workshops a year, some may attend only one in their life. We are planning to have a 3-day workshop twice a year at each location, and therefore hope to allow for development of a local community of practitioners. Because Dragon Dreaming is a transformative practice – we wish it to be lived. Furthermore, there is an option, for those who are interested, to design their own learning pathway to simultaneously ultimately become a Dragon Dreaming teacher and facilitator. However, this practitioner is especially trained to help people implement the approach in their own work as community organizers and project leaders.

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MONEY.

Putting a price tag on this and excluding people because it seems to expensive or to cheap does not work for us.

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Right now, what appears to make the most sense, in our view, is a process inspired by Gift Economy principles. Each individual contribution will be based on the Dragon Dreaming process of the individual Balance Point of that person. And of course, we understand, that this might need further explanation, as to what we mean by Balance Point, so we decided to discuss it in more detail during the registration process. Apart from that, of course, we are happy to address any questions and to clarify arising doubts around money. We seek to address the question around d(h)ealing  with money in projects through our own example.

For those, who prefer a fixed value to be billed and just pass it on to their accounting department, we suggest a specific amount that varies form country to country. Anybody working with the Balance Point will decide on his self-determined contribution in the workshop. That can be any sum and any „currency“. In our money exchange process, we will then also distribute transparently the revenue among organizers, trainers and everybody else involved. The process used has been inspired by the “win-win money exchange“ applied in Brazil (find article about it here).

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The first workshop ever of this kind will come out in Upstate New York this December 8-11, 2017 and further dates are planned and soon to be confirmed:
January, 2nd half of – Occidental, California, USA
March, mid – Berlin, Germany
April – Zürich, Switzerland

and again in June 7-10, 2018 – Upstate NY and November 15-18, 2018 – Upstate NY


Further dates and locations to be decided, contact us if you like to host.

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Find links to further information here:
REGISTRATION ALL PLACES
Download PROGRAM FLYER for Upstate NY,
the program will be similar in other places, with every different local partners adding his flavor.

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For any questions contact info{at}vanillaway.net

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Pictures taken during the Dragon Dreaming Intensive Course in Berlin 2013 (c) by Patrick Palucki