Sense-making in a post-truth world

10:00 - 17:00
Oct 7th 2022

Join us to explore how to navigate conflict in a world where our information landscape that is awash with distortion. This is for you if you are a facilitator, peace maker, or community organiser who is seeking to navigate cultural conflicts in the spaces you host, or simply someone curious about how to effectively navigate our current info-scape.

For more information contact us.
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*some bursary places are available for this event, if interested please contact clare@stethelburgas.org.

Join us for a participatory day where we’ll dive into thorny questions about truth and misinformation, what drives division, and what practical tools we can use to regenerate sense-making for the sake of inner life and social repair.



Fake news and misinformation are everywhere. We can all see how our information landscape has changed over the past decade and more. The digital age has ushered in an era of fragmentation and polarisation. But what can we do about it?


We live in an age of permacrisis. Climate breakdown, COVID, war in Europe – and now a cost of living crisis that will ratchet up the pressure on conflict faultlines criss-crossing our society. Many predict a winter of civil unrest across the UK and Europe unlike anything we’ve seen in recent memory.

It’s more urgent than ever to understand some of the deeper forces at work in our information landscape, so we can navigate this volatile terrain wisely. Whether you’re interested in working more impactfully within your activist base, community group, or just in your own inner life (safeguarding truth in ourselves as a protection against the corrosive effects of a world awash with lies) this workshop can help.

Our approach in this workshop:

This workshop is a chance to step back and ask, how do we navigate this terrain? What are the underlying factors, baked into social media and news media that are driving all of this? What are some practical tools we can apply to cope with the conflict that arises when truth and lies become so entangled that it is hard to tell them apart? And what can we gain by meeting this crisis of meaning at a deeper level, as a call for inner and outer renewal?

This will be a participatory session with plenty of opportunities to engage in facilitated exercises, breakouts and whole-group discussions.

What this day will include:

  • A presentation giving an overview and background to distortions in our information landscape, why they matter and what we can do about them
  • A series of facilitated exercises and breakouts for you to take the enquiry deeper
  • some ideas for how to work with groups that have polarising dynamics at play
  • Access to the shared intelligence of the group itself, and a chance to meet others who are engaging with these questions
  • Ideas about the disciplines, values and qualities that are useful at this time
  • Reflections on the deeper sources of the breakdown in our ability to hold to shared meanings

This event is for you if:

  • You want to learn more about distortions in our information landscape
  • You are a climate, faith-based or community activist seeking to up-skill yourself to deal with polarisation in your context
  • you want to find ways of transcending echo-chambers in your work or your community
  • You are tired of public conversations that seem to be dominated by perspectives that are binary and over-simplified, and are curious to dive into ambiguity, nuance, and complexity
  • You are interested in how the lens of peacemaking can be brought to the frontline of sense-making in an increasingly angry and fractured public space.

This is a new strand of work we are developing at St Ethelburga’s. This event is a part of our own ongoing exploration of these themes, and will take an experimental, emergent approach.



At St Ethelburga’s we see a parallel between the breakdown of our physical biosphere and the breakdown of our cultural biosphere. We see an urgent need to address both of these unfolding crises, and to understand them as being interlinked.

Just as there are toxins that are polluting Earth’s atmosphere, so there are forces that are rapidly dismantling our cultural atmosphere. It’s harder than ever for people to hold to a sense of shared meanings – the sense that we are participating in the same reality together. But the more fractured and polarised we become, the less likely it is that we’ll be able to pull together to create the innovative, visionary and timely solutions needed to avert the worst of climate catastrophe, and to adapt to its already inevitable consequences.

As we enter another phase in the new era of polycrisis, with climate breakdown, war in Europe, pandemic, and now energy and cost of living crisis, we are about to see many more volatile conflicts explode, with dire consequences.

We want to offer practical tools and approaches to support people to hold together against the ever-increasing pressure to fragment, and to safeguard a healthy emergent thinking field to allow us to come together collectively across differences of all kinds, to secure well-coordinated innovative solutions to the many urgent global challenges that humanity now faces.

Please note: we have some bursary places available for this event, please get in touch if you are interested in one of these, or if you have any other questions do email clare@stethelburgas.org.

About the facilitators:

Clare Martin is Co-Director of St Ethelburga’s. Previously Development Director, Clare created and led on the Radical Resilience programme and went on to be the strategic lead on our viewpoint diversity work, before stepping up to co-lead the centre alongside Tarot Couzyn. She brings more than 20 years’ experience facilitating groups for the sake of inner enquiry and outer change, and is interested in how contemplative practices can play a role in cultural repair. She has has worked on numerous interfaith projects, most notably for Nisa Nashim, the Jewish Muslim Women’s Network. Prior to this, Clare worked as a communications consultant in the corporate and charitable sector. Currently she runs a community garden on her Hackney housing estate, where she lives with her husband and 9-year old daughter.

You can read her thoughts on the role of visionary imagination in resilience building here, and here is a short piece about contemplation as an antidote to conflict.

Tarot Couzyn is Co-Director of St Ethelburga’s. Previously COO, she played a key role in developing our deep adaptation, sacred activist, and refugee camp volunteering programmes.   She is currently developing an exciting new strand bringing communities together to create nature corridors across large tracts of farmland.  At this time of ecological unravelling, she is interested in the meeting point of large-scale collective action with individual values and transformation. She loves working with diverse groups, bringing people together in shared passion and service.

Previously Tarot used collaborative art-making as a tool for change in the fields of LGBT+ rights and migration, leading projects in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Ireland. She also was involved in establishing, and still maintains close ties with the Bushman Heritage Museum, working with indigenous artists in South Africa.  She loves night walks, sleeping outdoors, spending time on her boat on the Kennet and Avon Canal, and walking in Epping Forest near where she lives. She is passionate about living a closer relationship with the Earth. She thrives in challenging environments, and learned many of her practical skills while building her own house!

Mishal Baig is Communications and Research Coordinator at St Ethelburga’s. She helps with creating media content and designing language and imagery for other communications put out by the Centre. Mishal also assists with developing research into project areas, such as moral courage, and navigating for truth and peacebuilding in an information distortion landscape. She is interested in Spiritual Ecology research and uses it as a guide and reference for her creative approach to work. Mishal is also a student of Journalism at the University of Westminster, where the focus of her dissertation is on how we can restore trust in journalism in the age of epistemic conflict.





The image at the top of the page is ‘Impact’ by surrealist photographer Erik Johansson, used with his kind permission.