The Dance of Elders and Youngers

elders and youngers May 10, 2020

In this conversation, I interview Isabel Carlisle about a course she designed and delivered that brought 'youngers' and 'elders' into a supportive relationship. This is one aspect of Wisdom in Action that FireHawk and I are particularly keen to find out more about how such relationships work in practice.  

Isobel has been a part of the Transition movement since 2008 and worked in the Transition Network team as Education Coordinator from when she moved to Totnes in 2010 until 2016. The course that she co-designed and led on was called One Year in Transition, a one-year training for young adults in becoming leaders of social change. To support the students through the rigorous development of themselves and their projects, she convened a group of elder-mentors. 

Isabel Carlisle now leads the team for the Bioregional Learning Centre (BLC) in South Devon. BLC is working on the ground for whole-systems change for climate resilience across all sectors. The emphasis is on multi-stakeholder design that includes civil society. 

Following a long career in the London art world that began in 1980, Isabel set up and directed the Festival of Muslim Cultures that took place across Britain throughout 2006. She then became a Creative Consultant to the University of the Arts in London and developed learning strategies for sustainability with schools in the east end of London.

In 2013 she co-founded the Community Chartering Network that played a role in bringing about the Scottish Government ban on fracking. 

Isabel is trained in Regenerative Development and Design (Regenesis), Education for Sustainability (Schumacher College), and Awareness Practices for Leadership (UAcademy). 

She is a skilled facilitator, designer of learning programmes, and project manager. 

It was a delight to be in conversation with Isabel, and she can be contacted at  


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