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What is needed for the future of work?

About 40 people attended the event at the Oasis School of Human Relations, Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.

Oasis takes a whole person approach, based on what it means to be human, embracing imperfection as an integral part of life and learning.

Nick Ellerby, co-director of Oasis, said: “The idea was to stimulate conversations about what is needed for a different kind of future, one that is prosperous, equitable and sustainable for all. We believe that to achieve this, we have to change the way we operate. We embrace the disruption of comfortable ways of working that are redundant – we need to create something new, agile and dynamic.”

Some of those creating these changes were conversation starters at the Salon. They shared their experiences of bringing more of themselves to their lives and work in activism, business and the community.

Ian Bray, activist with Rising Up and Extinction Rebellion, talked about the need to tell the truth – even when it is uncomfortable, and to put your ego to one side. He said: “Extinction Rebellion is about telling the truth and becoming a good ancestor, projecting forward into the future.”

Andy Falconer, a community developer who has worked with Oasis Foundation’s grant-winning Middlesbrough Urban Eco Village initiative, talked about working with young people and community groups.

He said: “We want to build a new world within the shadow of the old. What can we do differently to embody change? We can hold spaces where we can be together, reflect on what’s going on within ourselves and within the community, and find ways to connect with others.”

Rachel Fellows is the Chair of Collaborative CEO at Bettys & Taylors Group, Harrogate. She talked about the community aspect of working for a family business. “Family businesses are based on relationships. That’s what gets things done. When you share deeply and bring your whole person to work, you create a deep connection that offers support and challenge. People nowadays want to be part of a workplace that stands for something and recognises the benefits we can bring beyond our walls.”

Chris Taylor, director of the Oasis Foundation, said: “The behaviours that have led to our current environmental, social, and economic challenges are symptomatic of a deeper problem rooted in human consciousness. It will take shifts in the person – the whole person, the system and the relationship between them to make the changes and transformations called for.”

The speakers were joined by author, activist and change facilitator Gill Coombes, from Totnes, Devon, whose latest book The Trembling Warrior is a ‘guide for reluctant activists’.

This event was the latest in Oasis’s series of Salons, which are held four times a year. They provide the opportunity for deeper conversations in a relaxed environment, bringing practical wisdom to shape great organisations and responsible practice.