Connect with us


Newsletter EnglishFrench Spanish  


Twitter @TheConstellati1


Youtube channel: The Constellation SALT-CLCP
How would the Constellation become part of a broader movement powered by local responses?

The idea is to join forces with all those who share the same belief that communities have the capacity to pursue their own vision and address their own
concerns, and who share a similar way of working, based on appreciation of
strength, rather than analysis of weakness, or need. Joining forces is
important, to make large scale  progress and to join voices for greater belief
in community capacity and for related changes in the
behavior of global institutions.

I propose to hold this discussion in five steps, each of approximately one week.

First, we review a text called "Resonance" to replace the current "Our Roots" page of our website.  

Second, we contribute additional names of organisations, discuss criteria for inclusion and suggest how to approach them

Third, we suggest additional references and discuss criteria for inclusion

Fourth, we further reflect on the spiritual dimension of SALT

Then, we wrap up the discussion, edit the new page, post it and discuss next steps.

Many thanks to Marie and Apriil, who will animate the discussion.


Views: 295

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

This discussion is very stimulating and important for all of us at this point in our journey together. Some of the key things that are 'resonating' with me are:

* the need to articulate the roots that were there when we started the Constellation (eg learning from local experience) as distinct from those experiences/traditions/etc that resonate that we will name as linked sources of shared vision or approach

* nurturing of a movement that goes far beyond the formal partnership connections that are stimulated by the Constellation. I think this links strongly for me to the vision and practise that we all hold from personal experience/conviction and live out in the places where we find ourselves..the starfish image shows that well, with multiple, simultaneous forms of action, accompaniment, practise, partnerships etc being supported by individuals, groups (eg country teams or regional CST's), organisations, etc. This connects to the 'control' word referenced by JL earlier and perhaps linked to 'coordination' as the movement continues to grow and expand

* the care needed as we try and articulate our individual and group understandings of how SALT can stimulate deeper appreciation for elements of faith - too specific and it will be felt to exclude others, too generic and it will not help people to go deep. So as we move to that part of the discussion, I will be interested to hear further thoughts on this. What I have appreciated most in my years linked to the Constellation, is that whatever faith context or experience we come from, there is a sense of freedom to express that, interpret what we experience in light of that and share what that means to us with each other. So perhaps these under-lying values are what we can best express in terms of the 'spiritual dimensions of SALT' that are evoked as we live out this practise in our daily lives.

I have a few lines on a note card by my desk that I refer to often: In essentials - unity. In non-essentials - charity. So, I am left with a question about What is essential to us as a Constellation movement for which we need unity in order to move forward?


I've wanted to weigh in on this for days now, but have been really pushed for time. That pressure has not relented, so this may be a short response.

There is significance to each of the words "global", "movement" and "local". And we may need to analyse them individually to really come to grips with the full implication of JL's question.

My sense is that ACP is expanding globally. And one indicator of this is increasing local response. The bottom-up responses are accelerating with more energy and demand for accompaniment at a local level, possibly outpacing the capacity of the original catalytic coordinating core. None of us are opposed to this - in fact, this is what we are all working towards.

But it does imply a more deliberate shift in perspective, and heralds a defining moment for both CST and coaches based in countries. The speed at which we can all adapt and adjust appropriately may be an important signal of our own competence as The Constellation.

In order to go to global scale with millions of local responses, we might be ready to shift from international coordination to international (and, increasingly inter-regional and inter-country) collaboration, driven by the movement of response in increasingly localised settings. The pattern seems to be international partneship that catalyses national regional or local ACP demonstration. But once that demonstration is in place, people need accompaniment much closer to home.

The starfish model has been useful as a way to replicate the Global CST into national ACP chapters, in the places where that has already happened. But, could we be approaching an evolutionary leap, where other places may skip that stage completely (like the VCD before DVD!)?

My impression is that full movement of local responses (at global scale) becomes possible as Coaches become the new focus, locally, in the places they are based, for stimulating transfer. Transfer of both the ACP partnership process, and of the capacity for coaching and accompaniment. This doesn't rule out the CST role of stimulating new international partnerships, but it may pose the question about how to support the rapid expansion of coaching capacity at an increasingly local level. This will be a significant shift towards greater freedom - from coordination to supportive and reinforcing collaboration - with autonomous (though interdependent and interconnected, supportive) and mutually local action.

The transition then, towards a more explicit Coaches Support Team for Transfer and Application and Implementation and Measurement (still the Learn, Share, Transfer functions) at multiple levels - international, regional, country - to connect these multiple local responses is helpful.

Not sure how much sense that makes anymore. I could probably have ordered those thought a little better but, it's all I got for now! :) Greetings from Jo'burg en route to Maputo!

Dear JL,

I read your post to Ian few times and all other responses. In your post you said ' CST is not to hamstring the CLCP movement but to stimulate'.....there lies my question, where would I go and find some discussion and support on the issues we are having right now in Indonesia. You also wrote "our job is not done just by initiating new partnerships and carrying out partnership agreements. We must be able to accompany others so that we influence them and are influenced by others".

At the moment Indocompetence friends and I are facilitating CLCP in 3 provinces of Indonesia. One issues is very new for us Application of CLCP for Gender Equality, we have started it in Kupnag and also go to Papua. We are visiting communities, wondering, asking and sharing our lives, concerns, hopes and learning the Gender Landscape there in Kupang from the people. No Gender Specialist has come and telling us what to do or not to do. But we are learning from as they say the 'organic wisdom' of the community, the natural way. That is what we thought we want to do.

Now to take forward the work that we initiated in Kupang and moving to Papua we need accompaniment, support from friends around the globe and the CST, . We do not have partnership agreement with the supporting agency here and the Constellation. So how and where do we get that accompaniment ... distance and close ?

Time has ripened for we find other more close ways to support and learn from each other. Otherwise our initiatives will not penetrate the community dreams enough to illuminate and bloom, they will remain in buds and which is painful. I wonder what would be the avenues for distance and close accompaniment.

Dear Rebeka,

Time has ripened for we find other more close ways to support and learn from each other.

How we do this is still an area we need to explore in more depth.I don't think that we have a clear answer to your key question. And if we did, it would never be definitive .
What do you and others suggest?
What concrete steps shall we take in order to stimulate and nurture our budding "movement"?

Dear JL,

Today I read your blog again and your communication to Ian. I read "After the financial and ecological crises, the American dream is turning into a nightmare, and no other vision is capturing people’s imagination. People aspire to reformulate their dream for a better future for themselves and future generations".
Could you please elaborate on this?

Bonjour Jean louis et Marie,

Comme Rituu, je penses aussi outre l'invitation des organisations, celle adressée aux individus serait une très bonne chose.

J'attends impatiemment la version française car mon anglais n'est pas très riche pour une vraie discussion.

A bientôt!
Merci Jean louis pour la question. a l'epoque a Sikasso il fallait le test uniquement a Sikasso par test elisa et la confirmation se faisait a Bamako par western blo. Donc je n'etais pas preparé psychologiquement pour la reponse. Heureusement que le resultat etait satisfaisant.
Dear JL

I am excited with one of your topic on the "spiritual dimension of SALT". I think is is one area that needs profound discussion. The SALT approach can be easily abused, misused or even unused when we are engaging in a dialogue. How can we really measure that our SALT dialogue in the community really a spiritual one and not just an activity? Sometimes, when I do SALT visits, though I do not have any money or other resources to leave them, I felt bad that I got their knowledge shared and I do not know what I can offer that they may satisfy their own expectations of the SALT. I hope that SALT is not just a methodology of appreciative inquiry but as a binding force that connects communities with other communities through a facilitator. Somewhat like a positive energy where commnities feel the genuine good in us when we visit them. Where once we got their knowledge, we bring this knowledge back to them into useful tools of life competence

For almost 3 years of being an advocate of Life Competence and almost a year here at our on-line community, I still seek that spiritual dimension. Not only for the SALT but also on the term "community".

Recently, as I was searching for a deep meaning of community, i was glad to discover that Life Competence is nothing new, it is as old as the ancients itself that seems to be forgotten in our era. As I keep on learning and searching on how best I can serve my community, I discovered Lao Tsu of China at around 700 BC and Paulo Freire. I find spirituality in their writings and how this dimension guides in building life competence among people at the grassroots.

JL, can I indulge myself and join the synergy?

The Director of PHANSuP (Bob Nebrida) is also asking if he is still in this loop because he already is not receiving any newsletter from the constellation despite being a member of the ning and have a deep discussion with Usa last time they met.

Thank you very much


PS: our recent updates:
This is really cool ,the idea is GREAT ,im seeing a global strategic alliances

I have an image of global platform where people can share ,sustainability ,ownership ........etc.

I like the elements in first step and the fourth they kind of bring trust and confidence in in this movement

Dear JLL,


Positive Deviance (PD) resonates much with CLCP. Particularly, the power point on PD which is at:


Specifically, the slide that compares and contrasts the difference between the 'traditional] and 'positive deviance' approaches is so much like the difference between the 'Targeted Intervention' and 'CLCP' appoaches. They are on slides 17 and 18.


With best regards,




Dear all,


Here is a summary of the first step of this discussion which concerns roots and resonance.


“A root is something arising out of personal conviction, experience, analysis of members and associated actual experiences. A root is something we all grow from, and we have these roots in common.” Ian Cambell 


What are the Constellation roots?

(1) "learning from local experience" Ian Cambell and April Foster,

(2) “acknowledgment of diverse backgrounds – spiritual and secular, with no imposition” Ian Cambell,

“whatever faith context or experience we come from, there is a sense of freedom to express that, interpret what we experience in light of that and share what that means to us with each other” April Foster,

(3) "care to change in home and neighborhood" Ian Cambell.


We are also looking for resonance:

“Many background sources or schools or theories have resonance (but are not necessarily held in common by the Constellation ie they are not roots).” Ian Cambell

“In physics, when one system responds to another system in the absence of physical connection, we say that they resonate.
So I think that we are looking for ideas that resonate in the absence of a shared root. And then the opportunity surfaces to explore the inherent similarity that leads to resonance.” Phil


References of organisations and thinkers with resonance:

Stepping Stones (MariJo),

Positive Deviance (Dr. E. Mohamed Rafique),

Lao Tsu of China at around 700 BC and Paulo Freire (John Piermont Montilla)


If you would like to discuss the roots proposed or add a root or a resonance, please do!




Dear all,


Following are some of my thoughts and questions on the exciting subject of the roots of the Constellation.


First level:

Historical roots:

In the summary of the story of Constellation at,

there are three main historical roots:

· Phayao and AIC (Appreciation, Influence, Control) - communities take charge; 

· Salvation Army - SALT;

· Knowledge Management - the self-assessment.


Behind or before these roots we have to look for rootlets. They are extremely important because they ensure the absorption of minerals and water and produce the raw sap.  


What are the rootlets of the three main historical roots of the Constellation?


Is maieutics also called Socratic midwifery a rootlet? Is Buddhism another one?

It would be great if our Buddhist friends could help us explore deeper the contribution of Buddhism to the approach. Our Salvation Army friends and Geoff Parcell could help us for the two other historical roots.


I think that action research is another rootlet leading to AIC used by Usa Duongsaa and Dusit Duangsa in Phayao. William E.  Smith who designed AIC studied under Drs. Russell Ackoff and Eric Trist. Dr. Ackoff challenges one to examine the results of producing “a group of people who think in the way we have been thinking for years rather than departing and developing new concepts and new ways of understanding.” Eric Trist's work was influenced by Lewin's work. Kurt Lewin (1890 - 1947), Germano American psychologist, was interested in group dynamics and social change, and he highlighted the role of participation in action, in the motivation to change. He is the father of action research which the most recent methodologies emphasize four points:

1. The knowledge must be relevant to the action in the world;

2. As action is interaction, action research must be participatory, relational.

3. It is part of the world experience of each participant and

4. in present time. (Reason, P. & Torbert, W. The action turn: Toward a transformational social science. Concepts and Transformation, 2001, 6:1, 1-37. )



Can founders of the Constellation help us deepen the understanding of the historical rootlets? We know that the Constellation was founded to give a chance to communities to take the AIDS issue in their own hands. We know that the founders are from different horizons. What stimulated their decision of participating to the Constellation? How did it resonate with their own experience and philosophy?


Second level:

New roots:

As a plant grows, new roots appear to anchor it to the soil.

I understand the need to distinguish between the roots that were there when the Constellation started and those that resonates with the approach. I just want to point out the fact that some resonances might have been integrated in the Constellation approach. I have two examples in mind but I’m sure there are more: The Starfish and the Spider concept of Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom, and Non Violent Communication (NVC) of Marsall Rosenberg. How do we know if a concept is a new root or a resonance?



I have just re-read the Resonance page of the site and I think it is outdated; we should add groups that you have had contact with since, as PAAR and those suggested in this forum.









© 2024   Created by Rituu B. Nanda.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service