I really liked these ideas from an article called Utopia Inc.
Here is the article:
Meanwhile, at Damanhur, conflicts are cleverly allowed to escalate into a playful battle that serves to exorcise community tensions and animosities. ‘The battle lets people have a defined space to bring out the natural competitive energy in each one of us in a way that is playful and constructive, and ultimately leads to a sense of unity,’ says Quaglia Cocco, who has been part of the Damanhur community for eight years.
A battle at Damanhur isn’t too dissimilar from childhood play-fighting. Teams equip themselves with white shirts and squirt guns filled with paint, and judges are used to determine whether a person is still in the game or has been defeated. Battles allow members to vent their warrior natures and access more of their shadow personalities, too often repressed by the soft statues of civility to which we default.
Damanhur’s mock battles prevent the kind of burn-out you find when the most empathetic people in a community get tasked with dealing with the emotional needs of others, putting a lot a strain on the shoulders of a few.
In New Zealand, one freelancer collective in Wellington has found another way of distributing the emotional load: a system of emotional stewardship. Every member of Enspiral has a steward – another person who checks in with them regularly, listens to their emotional grievances, and holds them to their commitments.
As Rich Bartlett, a senior member of Enspiral, explained: ‘One of the main jobs of stewards of the culture is to be continuously weeding this beautiful garden. In practical terms, that means being really proactive about hosting conversations, calling out harmful behaviour, treating each other with compassion, prioritising relationships and feelings over process and rightness.’