8 Guiding Principles
The following principles speak to the way we approach our work and our relationships. While each principle has been stated individually, we see them as interconnected. These norms and expectations keep us accountable to ourselves, our team, our work and our clients. We encourage our clients to digest and lean into these principles as a new way of working, thinking, and establishing relationships.
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1. Pause as a practice
There seems to be a growing sense of urgency in the world - to innovate and consume. But urgency has its consequence. We believe that transformation requires time and space for contemplation, reflection, and rest. When we slow down, we go further. The pause allows us to better:
- Feel what arises in our bodies
- Consider alternate possibilities
- Bring consciousness and deliberation to our actions and speech
- Sit with and learn from discomfort
- Build resilience, and rest from an otherwise urgent, rushing lifestyle
2. Reciprocal relationships with people and planet
We choose to see our peers as collaborators, not competitors. We center practices rooted in mutuality, community, harmony, and reciprocity. We see an imperative to shift from competitive, exploitative work to relational, collaborative work — that by centering care and critical connections, we can cultivate ideas that serve more people and extend positive change beyond ourselves.
We also believe that all beings of the earth (people, animals, plants) have the right to be treated with respect. We choose harmony, community, and mutual exchange over control and dominance.
3. Embracing multiplicity
We honour and embrace the complexity of our collective lived experiences. We seek to understand, and make space for more than one truth to exist at the same time. Instead of simplifying complex societal problems, we embrace the grey areas, and accept that there are somethings that are uncategorizable. We approach these problems with empathy and curiosity.
4. Begin at the margins
When approaching a problem, we begin by centering the perspectives, experiences and voices of those who are most disadvantaged by a problem as well as those who experience systemic oppression (even if they are on the periphery of the problem). We commit ourselves to prioritizing those perspectives from the beginning to end of a project.
5. In service of past and future generations
We borrow lessons from the Haudenosaunee Seven Generations principle in planning for the future. As future ancestors, we have a responsibility to protect and anticipate the needs of the ones who will inherit the earth we live on now. Like us, future generations will want just, happy, creative, and liberated societies, and healthy lands, seas, and skies.
We acknowledge and seek truth by understanding the histories and wisdom of the communities and lands that existed before us in order to build a society that protects and nourishes future generations.
6. We are imperfect
Although we are knowledgeable, we are ultimately flawed human beings. Our thoughts, beliefs, and practices are iterative and emergent, and therefore imperfect.
As language, practices and thinking continue to evolve, so must we. Our team is committed to being up-to-date, but it is not expected that we will know everything. Mistakes will be made, and we will embrace and grow from them. We do not punish ourselves or others for making mistakes. We are gentle with ourselves and others when we get things wrong.
7. Radical imagination
"Radical imagination is re-envisioning your existence on this land without the inherited privileges of conquest and empire. It is accepting the fact of a meaningful prior Indigenous presence, and taking action to support struggles not only of social and economic justice, but political justice for Indigenous nations as well."
– Taiaiake Alfred
We believe that building just and equitable futures requires us to think beyond our existing system; to imagine something more liberating, more just – even when it feels far-fetched – and to ideate from a place of abundance, to catalyze joy, and to dream and wonder.
8. Joy as an act of liberation
"Pleasure activism is the work we do to reclaim our whole, happy and satisfiable selves from the impacts, delusions, and limitations of oppression and/or supremacy."
– adrienne maree brown
We believe that it is through allowing ourselves to reclaim joy, play, pleasure and abundance that we can achieve work that extends beyond the limitations of oppressive systems – systems that delude us into fear based decision making, scarcity mindsets, excessive work and resource hoarding at the expense of vase economic inequality, our natural environment and personal well-being. This work, justice work, is about allowing all communities to access and experience joyful and liberated presents and futures.
We also want to disrupt the narrative that being joyful at work is a privilege. Marginalized communities, including the ones we belong to, are often conditioned to just survive and suppress emotion to exist in oppressive systems such that finding joy and pleasure as marginalized communities is a revolutionary act in itself.