Interview with Clare Politano – Building Collective Resonance in a Small Working Group

Interview with Clare Politano – Building Collective Resonance in a Small Working Group

by Hannah Mitchell – Bloom Network Community Lead, (Miss Hannigan)

Following Bloom Network’s Pollination event, I headed to Burning Man and made sure I saw the Terran Collective* (hosts of one of the Pollination Labs) speaking as a panel at the camp of Burners Without Borders**.

I was blown away by the poise and clarity with which all the members of the Terran Collective spoke. Their assuredness intertwined with vulnerability was a powerful thing to witness.

After their panel, I found Clare and asked how it was that she was able to speak with such coherence. Clare immediately responded that it was from the deep knowing that she was held, supported and trusted within her collective. This gave her the strength to do more than what she would be able to individually.

While we have become adept at embracing self-healing and restoring our individual resonance, building a close-knit team and working together in a healthy way remains a sticking spot for many of us. So diving deeper with Clare, we discussed further about what Terran Collective had discovered in working together to build collective resonance as a small working group.

Clare’s Tips on Building Collective Resonance  


  • Being committed to your own healing and self-work is crucial. It’s difficult to work with people who are unwilling to look into themselves and work through trauma and other issues that arise.

Knowing Each Other

  • Meet in person – eye to eye, heart to heart. It is very important to meet face to face and to look each other in the eye. This means your energies will integrate better and the trust and collective resonance will grow. (Maori phrase: “kanohi ki te kanohi”).
  • Get to know each other’s stories, triggers and traumas. As scary as that sounds, it’s important to hear and share your life experiences with each other and how that has affected you.
  • Understand each other’s stories and hold each other. More than just knowing, it’s important for all members to understand how people’s life experiences have affected them. Then, when you see someone from your collective reacting to something, you understand the traumatised place it’s coming from. This makes it easier and more productive to counter-balance and lean into the situation to help

Working together

  • Commit to “having each other’s back”. Everyone needs a few people they can truly rely on. To be able to fall back on when times are tough, and who will stand up for you in your time of need.
  • Create shared goals and work towards them together. It’s hard to achieve anything without a clear idea about where you are going and what your goals are.
  • Work out how to be accountable to each other. Each group will have their own way of keeping each other accountable to the work you are committing too, both in the goals you have set and in the personal work you commit to. Being accountable also extends to the commitment you make to your group and being there for each other.

All of these aspects work together to be able to form a healthy, well-functioning and supportive group. This then leads to the ability to be able to speak coherently and confidently like I witnessed at Burning Man. When you are held and supported by a trusted group the possibilities of what you can do together are profound. Truly, most change happens when we have groups functioning like this.

Photo Above: Terran Collective including Tibet Sprague, Kelly Erhart, Neha Sharma, Clare Politano and Aaron Brodeur at Burners Without Borders theme camp, Burning Man 2019.

*Terran Collective are a Bloom Bay Area Chapter, and hosted one of the Pollination Labs – focussing around trust, and building a measurement tool that could be used to track it. Follow this link to the Terran Collective website:

**Burners Without Borders are also partnering with Bloom Network to deliver trainings to Burners and Bloomers in 2020.

Turning “I’ll call the police!” into an Ecosystem Education Project

Turning “I’ll call the police!” into an Ecosystem Education Project

It was the second day of hearing the motors of chainsaws chugging that Susan McMillan realised she had to make a decision…

“Do I intervene and stop the illegal logging happening next door, or do I let it slide?”

With a brave voice, she shouted loudly through treeline,  “I’m calling the police!”
Fortunately, the chain-sawing stopped without confrontation, and never returned.

This incident inspired Susan to use her “Protect Our Waters” skills to share with the local community the importance of trees to the local watershed. Many trees had been cut down in Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. The region now experiences the drier weather patterns that come with the impact of deforestation.

Susan teamed up with Janine Jordan from Green Wave Enterprises (and a Bloom Chapter Lead), and together they wrote an open letter to the neighbours about the crucial role trees play in the ecosystem. This was surprisingly well received, creating a conversation point for the neighbourhood. Local realtors read the letter and showed their interest as well.

Seeing an opportunity, Susan and Janine organised a meeting specifically for realtors so they could share more information about why trees add value to property. This deeper understanding within the property industry will go a long way to protect the local environment. The shared letter on Facebook received over 500 hits (which is massive for this small rural community). Enough money has been gathered together to create 3 large road sign posters to bring more attention to the habitat and tree removal. The open letter has also galvanised local environmental enthusiasts who are now starting to come together, creating a website and Facebook community to stay in touch.

So much positive change happening, stemming from one brave decision to speak up and make a difference! This is a great example of the impact we can have in our neighbourhood, local community and ecosystem if we take steps to educate and engage people around ecological restoration and the goals of regenerative culture.

If you want to find out about our Local Bloom Chapters and how they work, head here.

Nicoya Peninsula – where toucans thrive and people live longer, healthier lives.
Creating Decentralised Water Retention Landscapes

Creating Decentralised Water Retention Landscapes

Part of the Researching Regenerative Practises Blog Series

Restoring natural water retention back into landscapes is an essential task to be undertaken. A scary 1/3 of Earth’s land has been desertified at the hands of humans, causing widespread hunger and thirst. This will only get worse if we don’t take practical action.

Sick Earth – from Elemental Ecosystems website

Water Retention programs restore the land to a natural form which brings back seasonal rains. By enabling rainwater to be stored on site, these retention zones strategically hold the water during the dry seasons. The water can then by used to to re-establish forests and restore the water ecosystems.

Many regenerative practitioners are designing water retention systems. There are only a few companies that work through the full process of creating decentralised water retention landscapes from start to finish. Elemental Ecosystems is one such organisation and they are seeing amazing results with their work.

“We can’t address climate change without addressing the water cycle disturbance” says Founder Zach Weiss. “Everywhere it’s the same story. The precipitation levels are much higher when it comes, and it comes less often. Large dams and reservoirs are very energy intensive. Smaller decentralised water retention systems are much more efficient. Zach concludes, “It’s not the climate that’s the problem, it’s actually human management” of the land that we need to change.

Elemental Ecosystems are seeing results beyond the land they are specifically working on. The Portugal Tomorrow Village didn’t have enough water when the project started. Now they have a surplus. In a project in Borneo, there has been a 10% increase in rainfall, not just for the local site, but also locations downwind from the site.

Zack’s next goals are to work on upscaling, using a teaching model that will enable students to learn the process, and then franchise Elemental Ecosystems around the world. It is his hope that water retention projects will take off and regenerate water ecosystems on a worldwide scale.

You can listen to Zach Weiss talk about the work of Elemental Ecosystems here:

Healthy Earth – from Elemental Ecosystems website

By Hannah Mitchell
Community Support Lead
Bloom Network

Researching Regenerative Practises – Blog 1

Researching Regenerative Practises – Blog 1

Sparking our regeneration knowledge by collecting stories happening around the world.

Imagine transforming the survival rate of trees from 10% to 90%? The reality of reforestation work means that little tree seedlings need to withstand extreme heat, dryness and sometimes big winds, in those first few years as they establish their roots.

Without ongoing care, survival rate can be as low as 10%.

That’s where the ingenuous invention by Land Life Company comes in. The Cocoon is a doughnut shaped pot made from paper pulp that is strong and water tight. It is placed over the tree, set into the ground and filled with 25 litres of water. A lid is then placed on top, and the pot covered with soil. In windy places a structure is also wrapped around the seedling to keep it strong.

The result is a 100% nutrient-embedded, biodegradable pot providing all the things a tree needs when it’s living in a health ecosystem. As the pot decomposes, nutrients are released into the soil giving the tree extra food during the first year of planting. Success rates of plantations using The Cocoon are between 80-95%! And this all happens without ongoing care or irrigation to the site.

The Cocoon has transformed the possibilities of reforestation, and can give us an inkling on how switching into regenerative thinking will be able to transform our culture and practises.

Find out more about the Cocoon and the work of Land Life Company by listening to CEO Juriaan Ruys talking with Koen van Seijen (Senior Manager of Toniic) on the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture podcast.