Leadership Initiative

LS2016 attendees

Shaping the future of The Haven! 

Leadership Summit 2016, our first blended on-line and on-site initiative, engaged 50 participants through a month-long on-line community and on-site sessions 15-17 April on Gabriola Island. The summit was hosted by The Haven's Education Steering Group, whose mandate is to create and recommend educational strategy and direction.

The Summit focused on leadership at a time when it is vitally important to identify new models for leadership that are relational and self-responsible, explored a range of perspectives on leadership, and expanded our horizons.


A post-summit working group, comprised of Jennifer Hilton, Elfi Dillon-Shaw, Jane Olynyk, and David Hatfield summarized the 2016 Leadership Summit in this  7-minute video.

The following themes from the Summit were identified by the working group. Click on each theme for more details. 


The following videos introduced the summit and welcomed participants.

Movement sessions - movement was an integral part of the Leadership Summit, not just an optional extra. Facilitated by Elfi Dillon Shaw, Jennifer Hilton and David Hatfield, the movement work was infused with themes and intentions related to the stated and emerging aspects of the summit.

Leadership panel discussion (video, 95 min)
David Hatfield moderated a combined online and onsite session focused on the key questions about leadership underpinning the Summit.

Diversity and leadership (video, 56 min)
Camille Dumond provided the keynote on effective leadership models unify the often polarized worlds of personal development and social transformation. Both an inner and outer world focus are needed to sustainably address issues of diversity and equity, healing and growth. Traditional approaches to personal development may miss offering the tools, analysis and awareness that helps people address bias and difference, and interrupt harmful cycles of oppression. However social analysis alone is incomplete without supporting skillful work with our embodied experience in relationship, allowing us to build feeling connections that can endure over time. In this exploratory session, we practiced moving fluidly between the inside and the outside aspects of diversity and leadership. Learning together, we examined:

  • How do my own experiences of class, race, gender, and other identities shape my approach to facilitating diversity issues?
  • Where could I use more awareness and support?
  • What kind of organizational container can best support diversity leadership?

Leadership Cafe (PDF)
The Leadership Cafe was an opportunity to “dream big” about what leadership means at Haven. We explored and harvested a wide range of ideas and topics centred around creating new leaders at Haven, and what the leadership culture looks like at Haven in general. We wanted to understand more of what we need to learn and from whom. There was no 'no'.  Everything was a 'yes' in exploring together. The strategic questions in the cafe were intended to stimulate creativity, motivate fresh thinking, surface underlying assumptions, focus intention, attention and energy, open the door to possibility and potentially lead us into the future. “Strategic questions create a resonate field into which your own thinking is magnified, clarified, and new motion can be created.” - Fran Peavey

Here are some of the questions that were addressed:

  • What’s important to you about leadership at The Haven and why do you care?
  • What do you hope will be most strikingly different about leadership at The Haven in 10 years?
  • If you were interviewing potential leaders - what questions would you be asking them?
  • What is missing from the picture of leadership at Haven so far? What is it we are not seeing?  What do we need more clarity about? 

On-line community hub (Slack, PDF)
On-line and in-person summit participants came together in a joint session on the community hub to post their expectations, outcomes and intentions for the Summit.

Haven training programs (PDF)
Co-facilitated by Jane Olynyk and Elfi Dillon Shaw. A deep dive into the Haven training programs for everyone, not just interns and graduates. We looked to the past and the future as we answered these questions and more:

  • What is your story about why The Haven started the training programs?
  • Why does The Haven run training programs now?
  • What might Haven training programs in the future look like?
  • What draws people to the training - in the past, now and in the future?
  • What might be an obstacle to people doing the training - in the past, now and in the future?

Your space whiteboard (PDF)
A collection of notes, comments and recognition collected from on-line and on-site participants during the 15-17 April sessions.

Post-summit survey results (PDF)

Themes expanded

Youth to Adult Training and Leadership Succession Planning

  • Bridging between youth programs and adult programs (linked to training goals and certifications and Haven’s Mission statement).
  • How to address the aging population in leadership at The Haven.
  • How to access their wisdom and develop mentoring opportunities for new/younger leaders.

Building a Culture of Dialogue at The Haven

  • Creating intentional, on-going opportunities for people to engage in meaningful dialogue around a variety of topics.
  • Examining the purpose of dialogue and what that really means for people (a flow of exploring meaning, staying in the uncertainty, not necessarily directed to some outcome - the Leadership Summit being an example)
  • Having action-oriented groups take what is discovered from the dialogues and implement (if required).
  • Topics of dialogue can be varied and endless and can be brought forward by faculty and other stakeholders of The Haven. Examples of topics brought forward at the Leadership Summit (and potentially other themes can become topics for dialogue):
    • How do other organizations build a culture of dialogue?
    • How can we cross-pollinate and get curious about other layers of practice in the world?
    • “The Shadow Side” of The Haven.
    • Gossip “in the Village” and Channels of communication.
    • Blending the Old and New - a philosophical review of how we interact.
      • What fits/doesn’t fit anymore?
      • How are we listening/talking with each other?
      • How we actually handle internal conflicts, power dynamics, criticisms?
      • How are they talked about?
      • How do leaders interact overall?

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Inclusion, Diversity and Beyond

  • Defining diversity for The Haven.
  • What are we talking about when we talk about diversity?
  • What does it mean to you/me and the organization?
  • What surrounds the use of the word, the currency at The Haven?
  • We are already diverse (if diverse means - acceptance of a wide range of people and willing to have them in).
  • We are about inclusivity. Everybody matters. We welcome everyone. We welcome anyone.
  • The Haven is a predominantly “white” centre. What about inclusion? Is our idea of inclusion being fully tested? How is it different from diversity?
  • How to increase diversity in participants and leadership (age, cultural, gender, other)?
  • How to invite diverse groups?
  • How to invite people in a compelling way?
  • How not to “do” diversity “for the sake of doing diversity for optics”.
  • How to tie in to what we value and what we do. If not, the danger is that it becomes political and that we dismiss the political as not being relevant.

How do we make what we do more visible?

  • How are we being seen? “Blowing our own horn”.
  • What messages are being conveyed to the public - through our website, curriculum materials, marketing materials, etc?
  • How we speak about ourselves personally, professionally and through all media/materials?
  • Is much of what was asked to be seen more of or talked about more because we are not blowing our own horn about what we do? (Example: Diversity, Embodied Mindfulness - already do this - why not talk about it as it is being talked about in the world.)
  • What are we not saying? How do we make it seen?
  • What is the resonance with Soulful brands material? Is it time to review?
  • Have we given the leading messages enough focus/time/investment? What else can be done?

Haven Training Program

  • How to make the training program more relevant and more accessible (in progress).
  • Redefining/renaming the Certification Process (example: The Art and Science of Relational Living or Living Well Together).

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New Workshops

  • Find the leaders and make them happen.
  • Examples that came up from the Leadership Summit:
    • Nature, Self and The World.
    • Men, Youth.
    • Diversity.
    • Business and social entrepreneurism.
    • Embodiment/Body.

Self, Community, the World, and The Haven

  • What is the road (more of a Community and Worldly focus) we want to go down?
  • If we want want to go down this road, how can we do this?
  • Do we want to expand programming into this area?
  • Potentially at the cost of moving away from interpersonal into political.
  • Or, is it about redefining interpersonal?
  • Big questions to explore.
  • The Leadership Summit itself was an example of how the Haven can include the larger world focus. Historically, we had “Beyond New Horizons” as a program to address this.
  • How people are taking home and taking action in their lives with what they learn at The Haven?
  • How participants activate themselves/integrate practices/skills/tools to create change in their lives/communities/the world?


  • Exploring the idea of volunteer work exchanges and residencies and expanding Haven Unplugged programming.
  • How to attract/invite diverse groups of people to The Haven?
  • Training programs and costs and length of time needed to complete.
  • How can technology/on-line opportunities serves us best?

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