Can conflict and polarisation be a doorway into growth and connection?

A hands-on training for transforming inner and outer challenges into empowerment and discovery.

Conflict can be frightening, and we often try to avoid it, appease it, or make it go away as quickly as possible. Yet, conflict brings important information and opportunities for insight and growth. When we suppress it, it comes back ever stronger, demanding to be explored and listened to.

Examples of this escalation are all around us – increasing polarisation around climate change, land rights, and many political issues, social uprisings around racial equity and human rights, and tensions stemming from the Covid pandemic, among many others.

In this workshop, we practiced powerful ways to work with conflict to discover its teaching, reclaim our power, welcome lesser-known parts of ourselves, and harness the energy released from the conflict space. We also learned novel tools and creative approaches for facilitating conflict situations and fostering communicating across a polarised divide. 

Tuesday 17th November, 11.00am-1.00pm New York (EST) / 4.00-6.00pm London (GMT)

List of resources recommended by Irina Feygina

Workshop presentation slides

About Irina Feygina

Irina Feygina, Ph.D., is a social psychologist who specialises in the behavioural aspects of policy and program development and implementation for climate change mitigation and adaptation, clean technology adoption, energy efficiency, sustainability, environmental design and communication. As a process-oriented facilitator, Irina supports individuals and organisations to deepen self awareness, strengthen relationships and communication, and embrace conflict as a doorway to discovery and transformation. These tools are helpful for working on conflict and cooperation, overcoming skepticism and supporting engagement, moving from hopelessness to empowerment, and holding space for complex personal and community processes around this vast challenge.

Irina has worked in non-profit settings, including as Director of Behavioral Science and Assessment at Climate Central, in the federal government as a Fellow on the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team and as an AAAS /APA Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate, and in academia. Her doctorate work at New York University was devoted to trying to understand the systemic and psychological roots of why people deny climate change and to fostering engagement. Irina writes about people’s relationship with climate change, and the many things it reveals about our inner lives and the systems we live in. Her articles have been published in social science journals and featured in New York Magazine, Psychology Today, Scientific American, and others.

Irina lives in New York City, where she arrived as a refugee from the former Soviet Union. She comes from a mixed Jewish and Armenian family that has faced a great deal of struggle and mistreatment which has inspired Irina’s commitment to social justice, integrity, and her work to address climate change and transform systems. Irina feels the climate crisis opens an important opportunity to witness, acknowledge, and work on the deeply-seated social and racial struggles and systemic inequalities that lie at the root of climate injustice and our inability to take action on climate change.

Photo used with permission from Irina Feygina

This interactive workshop follows our main GEN In Conversation event on the theme of communication, Communicating in Times of Polarity, held on 3rd November 2020.












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