The Basics of Deep Democracy Facilitation and Leadership in Estonia 21-23 Nov 2014

The Basics of Deep Democracy Facilitation and Leadership

What is Deep Democracy?

Deep Democracy is unique, cutting edge tool of facilitation that differs from traditional problem-resolution techniques and majority democracy in that it doesn’t search for compromise. Instead, it aims to build a deep understanding within group which recognizes and takes note of the wisdom of the whole community including the minority’s viewpoint(s) which we tend usually to ignore or override. The big difference is also taking care of the emotions and uncounscious rather than staying only on the rational level. This way of facilitation aims to follow the natural energy of the group and heighten awareness at an individual and group level of the secondary, or unconscious, processes occurring, because it is a source of hidden energy, big wisdom and potential and the way to real and sustainable progress.

“Deep Democracy” is an important underlying principle to understanding both individual and group processes. Deep Democracy begins with one’s self, bringing all of who we are to the table, including those qualities, habits, feelings and thoughts we tend to push away, are uncomfortable with and marginalize. For DeepDemocracy important are central and marginal voices, levels and signals. DeepDemocracy is about fostering awareness within and of oneself and in groups.
When we allow to be aware of usually seemingly unimportant events and feelings they can offer us new and fresh solutions to the problems and conflicts.

Deep Democracy is a term coined by Arnold Mindell – jungian analyst and creator of new therapeutic approach called Process Work. Deep Democracy brings together the outerwork of social activism with the innerwork of psychology and meditation.

What is the course about?

During the seminar we will find the answers to such questions like:
• How to work with teams or groups to increase their effectiveness, from the position of facilitator, leader or participant.
• How to map the group’s uncousciosness and how it influence the social field of the group
• How to improve group decision making and buy-in
• How to engage a group to create better quality decisions and reduce the ‘back fire’ of disaffected group members
• How to adress underlying tensions and issues in the group that are getting in the way, and how to deal with them
• Identify and engage most of the ‘roles’ in the group – the ‘naysayer’, the ‘control freak’, the ‘victim’ – to increase the teams effectiveness
• How to help the group to face underlying conflicts to reach resolution

During 2,5 days of the training-course we will mix theory, experiential skill-based exercises – mastering our facilitation skills, we will work with group processes, and there will be time for sharing and reflection on experiences. Supervising and case studies are also possible. We will explore application of the Deep Democracy to ‘real’ relationship, group or community issues as part of the workshop.

Although each course follows its special way typical outcomes you might expect are:
• Heightened personal awareness including
• Mapping the roles you may unwittingly adopt in a group and how to be fluid in changing the roles
• Rising your ability to be compassionate and maintain neutrality
• How to connect to what is happening within yourself and apply that insight so as to facilitate the processes more effectively and remain more effective
• A better understanding of the decision making process

Learning PRACTICAL TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES to facilitate decision-making & team effectiveness in complex and conflicting groups:
• How to feel and uncover the energy field of the group
• How to “sort the field” and differentiate between individuals and roles in group dynamics
• How to facilitate decisions and commitment
• How to deliver a “weather report” to raise group awareness and facilitate decisions
• Amplification techniques to help people say what needs to be said
• Reflective listening to help people find their own solution to complex emotionally charged issues
• How to recognize when a group is avoiding facing the underlying issues
• How to recognize the resistance and group avoidance methods

What is outstanding about this course?
• On this course, facilitation means experiencing – and practising facilitating – conflict resolution and decision making processes. The process and skills taught are based on Arnie Mindell’s work (Worldwork) and the aim is to help individuals and groups explore and move beyond the unknown.

This unique facilitation approach:
• ensures that individuals are treated with respect and their wisdom is facilitated and incorporated.
• Facilitates toward working with and empowering people including diverse groups/members.
• The group’s vision is builded and shared through ensuring that the minority’s views and concerns are genuinely addressed and that their buy-in or support is obtained.
• Facilitates the building of community on deeper, emotional levels
• Facilitates decisions needed to create transformation and change
• Recognizes the emotional dynamics within a meeting and provides the tools to deal with these dynamics and to incorporate this energy into the decision making and follow up.

For whom is this course
We welcome people from all the walks of life because deeply democratic approach is helpful on both: on individual and relationship and social levels. Additionally, when you are part of a group for the change, the change agent (Transition Town, Greenpeace, NGO), a facilitator or a counselor interested on new tools for conflict resolution, – member of a community or an ecovillage (or you are building a new one!) or – a businessmanager searching for new tools for the well being and productivity of your organisation, the seminar will give you huge inspiration and new points of view.

About the facilitator
Robert Palusinski is a psychotherapist, teacher and facilitator of group processes. Robert practices Deep Democracy Facilitation over 15 years (since 1997). Born in Krakow (1963), Poland, he lives in Warsaw. During 15 years he was co-owner of publishing house and then, after 5 years (since 1997) of studying in Research Society of Process Oriented Psychology in Zurich he passed his exams and since 2002 works as therapists and facilitator in Poland and abroad. He is president of Deep Democracy Foundation and is experienced conflict facilitator working with groups from all walks of life. He introduced the concept of DeepDemocracy Open Forum to Poland co-organising and facilitating first DeepDemocracy City Open Forum in Krakow in 2004. Working with such big organisations like biggest cities in Poland he is strongly dedicated to work with NGOs and smaller intentional, spiritual and co-housing communities helping them with group processes and discovering the Dreaming that co-created those groups. Robert works also successfully with such issues like discrimination, ethnic, trans-generation problems including collective trauma. He invented and co-created and facilitates 2 years project for Polish and German groups: “Exploring the Legacy of Polish-German Relationship” about post-war reconciliation between Germans and Polish nations. He also created and teaches during last 3 years EU (Grundtvig) sponsored 6 days trainings: “Deep democracy as sustainable way of dealing with discrimination, multiculture and diversity issues in adults’ learners groups” and “How to teach adults about Jewish heritage, holocaust, anti-semitism and persecution of minorities using deep democracy approach”. Robert integrates Process Oriented Psychotherapy with his long term Zen practice and with shamanism.
You can read more about deep democracy: and

Where and When?
The course starts at 21.11 at 18.00 and finishes 23.11 at 17.00. It will take place in Estonia, in Mõisamaa village (70km from Tallinn) at a starting eco-village Väike Jalajälg. The course will be held in English.

Early bird fee:
The course fee is 90€, when registering and paying registration fee 30€, before 5.11.
Regular fee:
Fee is 110€, when registering after 5.11.
The course fee includes simple vegetarian food and accommodation with your own gear at a common room. Nearby there are more comfortable accommodation options available. See more:

For questions and registration please contact Liina Järviste,