healing solidarity name

2021 Conference:

Making different choices

11th - 15th October

Healing Solidarity 2021

At Healing Solidarity, we want to invite different, conscious choices in our sectors of international 'development' and philanthropy -- choices that make our work more equitable, imaginative, feasible, and joyful! 

So this year we are making different choices to structure our annual online conference in a new way. There will be no pre-recorded sessions this year. All 15 events will be live and each day for the week of 11th - 15th October, we will offer three virtual sessions:


Indian Standard Time (IST) - 4.30 pm
East African Time (EAT) - 2 pm
Central European Time (CET) - 1 pm
British Summer Time (BST) - 12 noon
Eastern Standard Time (US ET) - 7 am


Indian Standard Time (IST) - 7.30 pm
East African Time (EAT) - 5 pm
Central European Time (CET) - 4 pm
British Summer Time (BST) - 3 pm
Eastern Standard Time (US ET) - 10 am


Indian Standard Time (IST) - 10.30 pm
East African Time (EAT) - 8 pm
Central European Time (CET) - 7 pm
British Summer Time (BST) - 6 pm
Eastern Standard Time (US ET) - 1 pm

Over the five days of the conference, the daily "in-between" conversations will build on each other, to weave a collective thread about making different choices in our sector.

Rather than trying to determine the “outcomes” of the conference by internally curating and shaping the conversations with invited guests, we’re instead creating a generative process designed to spark new ideas and tease out new threads among our members.

As a result our aim is that the conference will be made up of events designed for sustained, thoughtful group inquiry and deep, active listening - spaces that are conversational rather than presentational.

Whether you join us for one event or many, we will be building our skills to actively act on the re-imagining that we have been doing together via Healing Solidarity since 2018 - and that many of us have been engaged in in different ways for many years prior. And everyone that signs up will also have access to the recordings after the event.

“We are socialized to see what is wrong, missing, off, to tear down the ideas of others and uplift our own. To a certain degree, our entire future may depend on learning to listen, listen without assumptions or defenses.” 

adrienne maree brown in Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

How can we make different choices about how we ‘do’ ‘development’, ‘aid’, and ‘philanthropy’ so that we can build models of solidarity that heal, rather than perpetuate injustice?

How can we make different choices so that this work is sustaining and generative rather than extractive and exhausting?

How can we make different choices to responsibly balance our power and still centre care and love in our work? And to balance our collective power and individual agency?

How do we make different choices to ensure collective care mid-pandemic, amidst the multiple challenges of these times, when the ‘shit hits the fan’ in our organisations?

How do we make different choices within institutional structures to shape what they might be tomorrow?

Join the “in between” conversations

at 3 PM (UK time) each day

Let’s practice together what it means to nurture relationships and trust, and understand how shared knowledge and wisdom arises from emergent processes that bridge the reality of where we are and a vision of where we want to be.


The Directors of Healing Solidarity will share our own visions of what is possible when we are making different choices in the sector.


On day two the threads of our conversation will be picked up by a group of activists who will share how different choices could improve the quality of relationships in the sector.


On day three the threads of day two will be picked up by a group of funders who will share how different choices could ensure resources and power are flowing rather than being controlled.


On day four the threads of day three will be picked up in an intergenerational conversation among elders and youth in our sector about how we can share leadership.


And on day five, the Directors of Healing Solidarity will reflect on the conference “experiment” and weave all the threads together. We have no idea exactly where this process will land us and that is a deliberate choice.


Eager to see the line-up of talks for the conference? Here's the official schedule.

Day 1


Stephanie de Wolfe

Sensory creative writing


Making Different Choices

Featuring Members of the Healing Solidarity Advisory Circle

Roshni Nuggehalli, Pontso Mafethe and Mary Ann Clements


Katy Chadwick

Powerful Voices – using song to connect with ourselves and others

Day 2


Dr. Toyin Ajao

Holistic body scan/breathwork with Kujijua music & dance therapy


Making Different Choices

A conversation in partnership with CIVICUS Change Makers; Marie Christina Kolo, Samuel Sebit Emmanuel (a.k.a Samse Sam), Naro Alonzo & Dahlia de la Cerda.

With simultaneous Spanish Translation


Root, Rise, Pollinate!

Waging Peace with Fierce Love workshop series preview

Kristen Zimmerman, Shawna Wakefield and Rufaro Gwarada

Day 3


Penelope Sanyu

Qweshunga- "Politics of play" discussion & play session.


Making Different Choices

Featuring Fanta Toure-Puri, Sadaf Shallwani, Zanele Sibanda &  Anuradha Rajan

A conversation with Funders in partnership with EDGE Funders


Nikita Shah

Guided Community Poetry writing session

Day 4


Bipoc (1)

 Sarah Diedro

Nurturing Joy, centering Healing and making space for Rest


Natalie Lartey

Elements of Change


Making Different Choices

Featuring Bidhya Maharjan, Gabrielle Bailey, Joyce Malombe & Sandra Macías del Villar

An Inter-generational Conversation about how we can share leadership.



Alina Potts

A collective storytelling workshop on desires

Claire Madarang

Gentle Grief Writing

Writing through difficult times in
a way that feels light, loving, and filled with possibilities

Day 5


Tanya Forgan

Yoga Nidra session


Making Different Choices:

Featuring Members of the Healing Solidarity Advisory Circle

Swatee Deepak, Kwem Kimtai and Jennifer Lentfer


Marie-Jeanne Kenji Maghoma

DJ set- Sista Sounds

Be the part of the conversations

How will you take the emerging threads forward in your organisation and in your partnerships? Let’s dare to believe that we can all do something to challenge and change global development practice.

We’re excited to hold these spaces, and we also invite you to be a part of these emergent conversations with us. You aren’t just invited to listen but to contribute your energy, ideas, and resources.

Join the Healing Solidarity Collective

Join our online space to take part in conversations during the week of the conference and get all the updates!



Spread the word

Invite your colleagues, your leadership and anyone else you think would benefit from being engaged in these conversations.


Our Sponsors

healing solidarity conversations

Host your own conversations

Alongside the five days of conversations that are part of the main conference, this year we will be offering a resource/facilitation guide to support you in self-organising and hosting concurrent or follow-up conversations in your organisation, location, community, or any other space you choose whether virtual or in-person.

Donate to support and join us for these necesary conversations

This year we are making a different choice to honour our commitment to valuing the time and talents needed to put an event like this together.

Therefore, we are suggesting a £50 contribution to join us for all 15 of the conversations and the collective care sessions that are part of our 2021 conference. This payment will include access to recordings after the event.

We encourage you to not think of this as a purchase, transaction, or a fee for service. We have offered the conferences for free in previous years, with 3,500 people taking part. That model has been unsustainable for Healing Solidarity, however.

Our request is rooted in an anti-racist and feminist analysis of late stage capitalism that has taught us all to devalue and “invisiblise” labor. Our sector far too often expects and extracts people’s time, energy, and knowledge - particularly our “local” partners and those closest to the problems. Instead, we invite you to experience “making a different choice” by making the suggested £50 (approximately $70) contribution in solidarity with Healing Solidarity’s work

For those whom the suggested amount is too high, we can suggest a minimum payment for the conference of £10 (approximately US$13). No one will be turned away for inability to pay and if you are unable to pay the minimum contribution please contact us via admin@healingsolidarity.org. Those with more resources are invited to pay it forward by offering £100 to help support our work.

Whichever amount you are able to offer in solidarity with this work, you will get access to all 15 sessions and the recordings to listen back to after the event.


Suggested donation: £50 or minimum £10

(approximately $70 or minimum $13)

Who runs this project?


Mary Ann Clements

Feminist Writer, Facilitator, Activist and Coach and Initiator of Healing Solidarity

Swatee Deepak

Social Justice Consultant, Former Director, Co-Founder and Board Member


Pontso Mafethe

Interim Director of Programmes at the African Women's Development Fund
Jane E Goldsmith 3- Copy

Esua Goldsmith

Author, Facilitator, Strategist, Activist and Speaker
Roshni Photo - Roshni Nuggehalli

Roshni Nuggehalli

Executive Director at Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA)
Jennifer Lentfer

Jennifer Lentfer

Aid worker turned writer/poet, writing coach, and communications strategist

Healing Solidarity offers a free to access online space and events throughout the year, an annual week-long conference and consultancy support for organisations.


I’m not based in the UK, can I take part in this too?
Yes. Our conference, online Collective, resources and events are accessible from anywhere in the world.

How is this project run and managed?
This project is run by an Advisory Circle who are the Directors of Healing Solidarity which is a Community Interest Company registered in the UK. 

Why are you charging for the conference this year?
It's free to join the Collective and participate in our regular events through the year. But we need resources to support this project and so this year we have decided to invite you to make a contribution to support the conference in recognition of the labour and effort involved in bringing it to you. If you want to support out work through the year you can also find out how to become a sustaining member of Healing Solidarity here.

I don’t actually work in international development. Can I still join?
Yes absolutely. Anyone who is interested in issues of global solidarity and collective care is welcome to join us.

A taste of Healing Solidarity 2020

Our annual online conference is a week of conversations with activists, practitioners and thinkers interested in welcoming the change we need in international development practice, and figuring out how to care for ourselves and one other in the process.

Check out a taste of the conversations from our 2020 conference below