Who Should Come?

Anybody with an interest in (or passion for) balancing financial, social and environmental needs in their work.  You will leave refreshed, inspired, motivated and equipped with some kind of action plan.

Walk Your Talk uses Open Space to help people find their way and get what they need from the event.  It is common practice in Open Space to offer a central question alongside the theme suggested by the title in order to help draw everything together or provide ‘an answer’ at the end.  Since Walk Your Talk events result in many different individual conclusions, we no longer impose a central question but invite people to consider the issues suggested by the word ‘Balance’ to enrich their conversations with others.

Walking and Talking are dynamic activities – scenery, subjects, the ground underfoot and emotional undercurrents all change – how do we stay balanced while all this is going on?  ‘Balance’ reminds us of the continual tensions between hearts and minds, structure and chaos, birth and death and all the things that being alive entails.  What are the possibilities?  How do we keep ourselves and our organisations balanced enough to steer a steady course?

There are no formal workshops, talks or presentations, but you’re free to offer them, and even bring along your own case studies or projects.  In other words, you generate the agenda; you talk about what you need to talk about with people who share your interests and concerns.

Whatever the questions you bring to Walk Your Talk, you should leave with a better understanding, new sources of support, and the means to make progress in practical ways.

Open Space

Open Space facilitation is a process of organizing a conference that emerged from one simple realization:  that the best parts of any conference are often the unorganized parts – the informal, lively buzz that happens spontaneously in the coffee breaks.  Open Space uses some very simple principles to give you the freedom to have the conversations that you want to have, and ensure that you meet the people that you need to meet.  It also helps the whole group experience deep learning from its shared wisdom.

Walk Your Talk gatherings (these are not really conferences!), are about the mix of practical/doing (Walking) and theoretical/thinking (Talking).  We invite people to see what the word ‘Balance’ raises for them while they are with us, but other than that, there is no agenda.  You have an opportunity to present or lead a discussion or event on anything, even loosely related to our Walking/Talking theme, about which you feel real passion or curiosity.

Open Space is designed to:

  • Provide a rich, extended opportunity for you and your peers to share learning, get to know each other and cross-pollinate ideas.
  • Model an innovative meeting approach that you can take back and implement in your organisations and communities.
  • Give real momentum to your learning, helping you leave with clear discoveries and a personal action plan.

We strongly encourage you to bring “live” planning challenges into Open Space for your peers to help you explore.  We invite tool providers and specialists to come prepared to informally showcase their tools and applications.  We invite the creation of learning networks among people with shared interests or challenges.

Be prepared to be stimulated, empowered, surprised, and have a lot of fun along the way.

A Bit of History

Walk Your Talk was originally created by Robin Alfred, Charlie O’ Malley and Paul Simpson, who were brought together by Social Venture Network (Europe) and inspired/encouraged by Paul Dickinson. Set up as a conference, WYT aimed to serve cutting edge entrepreneurs creating new models of organisations that hold the promise for an environmentally and socially sustainable society.  The idea was to run events with a strong emphasis on the process of peer-to-peer learning and support, which also concentrated on the practical (walking) as much as the theoretical (talking). For the first three years, it was held at Findhorn in Scotland.

In 2005, the Findhorn team decided they could no longer host the event. Mike Zeidler asked who else would be interested in keeping Walk Your Talk going, and has been the main organiser ever since. To date, all events have been held at Buckland Hall in the Brecon Beacons, with the generous sponsorship of Inspired Lives and modoto and promotional support from The Association of Sustainability Practitioners (ASP).