Image by Sharon McCutcheon


Shaping The Space That Includes Diversity & Establishes Equality

A 6 session Thinking Environment® peer learning experience for diversity, equity and inclusion practitioners, and those interested in holding a truly safe space for conversations about difference, equality and inclusivity.

Cultivating the Field of Inclusion offers a peer learning experience grounded in the principles of the Thinking Environment to shape spaces which include diversity and establish equality, for a maximum 8-person cohort.



After years of research and observation Nancy Kline, founder of the Thinking Environment® recognised that people generate their best thinking if the people around them behave in certain ways. This program will introduce you to these behaviours and their practical applications for creating inclusive spaces which welcome difference.

Conversations about our differences, in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, national origin, cultural identity, gender identity, assigned sex, neurodivergence, physical and mental abilities are often interpersonal communication spaces that can feel uncomfortable, and potentially fraught with the risk of “getting it wrong”. 

Additionally, there is the issue of divergent thinking, and the risk of polarisation. This is an experience that appears to be sharply increasing in today’s world where many people feel a ubiquitous rise in the degree of instability and confusion in their daily circumstances.  This, in turn, produces a longing for – and potential attachment to – positions of certainty in thinking and responses to life’s ambiguity.

Diversity, equity and inclusion practitioners, together with leaders and managers of people, are required to create environments in groups, teams and organisations, where people can lower the defences created by these increased levels of anxiety. 

Practitioners and leaders need to help groups and teams find ways to come together in dialogue around the discomfort of difference in order to find what lies on the other side.  This is the rich and satisfying joy that comes from joining together in the face of apparent opposition, by discovering how effective communication around diversity and its attendant issue of equity, can produce the true harmony that is made up of different notes played by different instruments.

In today’s world of an upsurge in volatility, uncertainty, chaos, crisis and ambiguity, people who lead people, whether as team managers, organisational leaders or facilitators, need to be able to experience for themselves, what it feels like to be in a space where these conversations can be had effectively, safely and successfully.

Image by Tim Mossholder


In this programme we are offering a dual process for participants:

  • To experience for themselves what happens when an environment is created in which each person feels wholly included – able to come as they are, and be who they are in conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion. 

  • Participants will be equipped to be able to create safe spaces for others to similarly experience the freedom we long for: to be able to connect authentically and come together around topics that have historically left us feeling isolated and divided.


Over six sessions of 2.5 hours per session, participants will increase their ability to:

  • Share their own story of difference and exclusion so as to develop this into a powerful tool to create connection and safety for participants in DEI discussions;

  • Bring alive the ten behaviours that create a safe space for people to think together collaboratively and creatively: The Ten Components of a Thinking Environment®

  • Find compelling questions to ignite collaborative thinking

  • Create experiential exercises and processes for teams and groups to connect, share and understand each other more deeply

  • Unpack untrue limiting assumptions attached to diverse group identities and transform these into questions that ignite liberated thinking and self-expression

Participants will walk away with:

  • valuable time to think about topics that matter most to them

  • access to the diverse thinking of peers

  • practices for hosting crucial conversations

  • a lifelong network of peer learning practitioners & thinking partners

  • a library of resources for creating Thinking Environments, and on the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • rejuvenation and a commitment to weaving the practices into your professional and personal ecosystems



Cultivating the Field of Inclusion is a highly experiential course designed to explore the theory and demonstrate the practical applications of the Ten Components of the Thinking Environment for creating spaces of difference and inclusion. The course material covers:

An introduction to the Ten Components and exploring how to embody these ourselves and provide them for others

The Time To Think Council, a powerful peer learning process which draws on the collective wisdom of a group to progress one individual’s challenge

Honing the art of crafting key questions to unlock breakthrough thinking and action in the inclusion space

Exploring the ‘Building Blocks’ of creating a Thinking Environment, including Thinking Pairs, Dialogue & Rounds

Examining the ways in which meetings, discussion, facilitation, and working with colleagues and staff can be transformed into spacious, energising, inclusive, positive experiences

Building Incisive Questions™ to remove internalised assumptions on Group Identities

Image by Brittani Burns


Participants should plan for:


  • Six sessions of 2,5 hrs each of online group work

  • Weekly 15 minute 1: 1 peer thinking pairs in the intersession periods

  • Reading time for recommended articles and books, including The Promise that Changes Everything by Nancy Kline

  • 1, 5 hours of individual coaching time  


Pricing: AUD 1250

(partial bursaries available on request)

​Times: 3.00 pm - 5.30 pm AEDT; 12.00 -2.30 SGT, HKT & CST

Format: Online via Zoom

Maximum no: 8 people



Candice Smith and Trisha Lord have over 90 years combined experience and practice in the endeavour of making and holding space for the conversation of diversity and inclusion.  This comes as a result of their own personal stories in the narrative of gender and race.   More specifically in the last 16 years they have both been members of the Global Faculty of Thinking Environment Teachers.

Copy of TrishaLordRule_0197_mustard_gentlesmile_edited.jpg


To borrow from the title of a book by Debbie Irving, Trisha woke up white and found herself in the story of race.  She exiled herself from East Africa to England in her late teens, unable to face the assumptions her social circle presumed she shared as an “expatriate”. 

When she returned to Africa, 20 years later she vowed to be part of bridge building across the racial divide. 

In her early years in South Africa she co-facilitated with Equality Matters, an organisation using Ashok Ohri’s model for Understanding the Construction of Ideologies of Superiority.  Along with Candice she was trained by Nancy Kline and finally found her home: The Thinking Environment. 

Trisha’s business, BraveHeart – Cultivating Courage was originally founded by both herself and Candice before Candice emigrated to Australia. 

Trisha is the mother of two children, one male to female transgender daughter, and one gender fluid, oftentimes non-binary son.  She lives in Cape Town, and loves novels, poetry, flowers, trees, mountains, rivers, the ocean, bonfires, meditation and yoga in no particular order of importance!



11 November 2021


22 November 2021


2 December 2021


20 January 2022


10 February 2022


24 February 2022