top of page

Time is TBD



Waterline Level 1: Foundations of Working with Difference

An introduction to the practices of Deep Democracy for anyone who wants to engage conflict or tensions with heart, clarity and courage

Registration is closed
See other events
Waterline Level 1: Foundations of Working with Difference

Time & Location

Time is TBD


About the Event

Join Camille Dumond and other trainers from Waterline Cooperative to level up your skills in handling challenging group dynamics!

Put your name on the waitlist for the next course below.

As organizations become more diverse and complex, leaders are increasingly called upon to skillfully handle complicated interpersonal and team dynamics. This training increases leaders’ capacity to succeed in turbulent times by offering practical tools for working with differences in a group and turning destructive conflict into creative tension. 

While many studies confirm the value of diversity to organizations, diversity often means the presence of contrasting points of view which can lead to conflict. Conflicts are typically feared because we don’t know what to do with them.

The longer we go without addressing rising conflict, the farther away we move from each other and the more stuck

we become in our positions, and more likely to entrench inequity in the workplace. The work of the leader is to get th e conflict out into the open and use it skillfully as a source of creativity and as a catalyst for learning and growth. To just respect our differences is to forgo the real gift that is offered to us by diversity.

This course is based on the Lewis method of Deep Democracy developed in post-apartheid South Africa and

practiced in over 20 countries around the world. Deep Democracy is a psychologically based facilitation methodology

particularly useful for working with relationship and group dynamics that are emotionally charged or marked by

difference, power dynamics and invisibilized beliefs. It gives you the theoretical background, instructions, experiential learning opportunities, and long-term support that you need to begin using the most powerful and essential tools of Deep Democracy in your leadership.

This is an introductory training in Deep Democracy for leaders, managers, consultants and facilitators. Participants

come from government, start-ups, non-profits, corporations, community sector, and academia. The course is

designed to meet both novice and advanced practitioners where t hey are. It is particularly relevant to:

- Seasoned professionals with an existing facilitation toolkit, looking to pick up powerful

and practical tools for working with conflict as it emerges

- Technical experts who have risen to positions of leadership without previous facilitation training,

looking for a broad yet simple approach to working in groups


1. A Lens for Understanding Group Dynamics

Much of what happens in a group is invisible to its leaders. We may be aware that parts of the organization

are disengaged, or that some members of our team are actively working against one another. But we may

not know how our leadership impacts group dynamics or what role we can play to address and prevent

interpersonal challenges without getting bogged down in their complexities. Based on psychological insights, an understanding of systems of oppression, and a trauma-informed approach,  Deep Democracy offers a clear lens for reading the fabric of a g roup that makes it significantly easier to helpfully intervene.

2. Skills for Steering Discussions and Making Lasting Decisions

Most of organizational life happens in meetings, and many of us go to too many unproductive meetings. Too

often conversation circles at the surface, leaving the elephant in the room untouched. Many groups struggle

with making decisions, or they make decisions that don’t get im plemented and are constantly revisited. We

teach a simple set of 4 steps that can be used by meeting leaders to guide conversations, avoid the common

traps of human miscommunication, engage even the quietest voices, bring out and work with dissent, and

make more intelligent, creative decisions.

3. Tools for Engaging with Tensions and Harvesting the Fruit of Conflict

Often we are not aware of conflict until it is erupting in our team, organization or society. Though it often

feels like it comes out of nowhere, conflicts usually build up s lowly over time, and if diagnosed early can be

handled with ease. Timely conflict engagement should be encouraged because once the energy of conflict

is released, teams become far more innovative and efficient, whil e individuals learn, grow and improve their

relationships in the process of exploring their differences. In this course, we offer a theory of conflict and

practice a step-by-step process for safely working with tension.


When participants leave the two-day training they take with them:

- A set of transparent metaphors and mental frameworks for understanding the psychology

of teams and organizations and for reading the fabric of the group

- A coherent understanding of how conflict emerges and strategies for preventing

conflict escalation

- A simple 4-step approach to facilitation productive discussions and avoiding common

pitfalls in group communication

- A step-by-step approach to dealing with a polarized issue one-on-one with a colleague,

client, or partner

- A model for inviting and hosting a group debate as tension arises in conversation

- An alternative decision-making mechanism for groups and individuals that is more efficient

than a vote and less time-consuming than consensus building


The course costs vary and will be posted at least a month prior to the course. Solidarity rates are available. Please reach out directly. Course fees include a detailed 8 module reference manual for your ongoing use of the skills, and 4 half day experiential training and practice sessions with experienced facilitators.


Aslam Bulbulia is a new settler on unceded Coast Salish territories from Johannesburg, South Africa with Indian heritage. He has a background in teaching, arts activism, dialogue, facilitation and planning.

After moving to Vancouver, he completed a Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement at SFU where he now serves as an advisor. He currently works on community engagement and leadership development around Vancouver through numerous roles including co-hosting the RADIUS Fellowship, coordinating community engagement initiatives for SFU's Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies, and serving on faculty for InnerActivist. He is constantly looking for ways to live the multiple perspectives on decoloniality he embodies with particular interests in Decolonial Islamic Studies and Liberation Theology.

Sera Thompson is a social innovator and master facilitator whose work is focused on building capacity for participatory leadership and creating movement around complex issues. Her work creatively engages a diversity of players and stakeholders in finding shared clarity and timely actions. She began her career in the complex field of Environmental Consulting, juggling the needs of diverse stakeholders balancing economic, ecological and social sustainability. Since that time she has successfully led change with dozens of organizations on four continents in the Public Sector, Academia, Non-profit and Corporate sectors.

Camille Dumond has worked at the intersection of healing and justice for close to 20 years.  With a focus on cultivating inner, group and organizational presence, Camille is committed to the wisdom that comes when we bring in visions and voices from the margins of any given system. Trained in conflict facilitation, somatic trauma therapy and adult education - Camille loves to bring these worlds together through creating dynamic and impactful learning experiences.  She is founder of Dignity Facilitation, co-founder of the Refugee Lab with Nada Elmasry, and serves as a faculty member of Inner Activist.





  • Register your interest


    We will email you when course registration opens!






Share This Event

bottom of page