Direct Intervention & Immersive Initiative

Garden of WE

The Garden of WE is a mobile app that we developed to bring us into each others’ lives on a daily basis. As a platform dedicated to our community, it helps us feel the pulse of the community. With it, we can sense each other’s activity and see where energy is flowing and needed in the Garden.

The GoWE consists of intentional chat rooms (“channels”) where we connect to share our thoughts and feelings, our experiences in life, and to collaborate on projects. Its features extend beyond those of typical messaging platforms, such as Slack, to support us in living consciously in our interdependent community when we are not directly in each other’s presence.

The Garden challenges us and reinforces our rewiring, stimulating us to be present to each other and ourselves.

Our shares reveal what we are feeling in our darkest and lightest moments, our blocks and our breakthroughs, and we reflect each and support each other with a deep and intimate trust that is unimaginable in today’s social media.

The design of the Garden of WE creates an environment and container that reinforces our core values, which we commit to living by before we enter the app.
  • Conscious communication: We agree that the utmost priority is to maintain the health of the Garden, which means that we check our reactivity at the door. When we open the app, we consciously re-enter this space and hold ourselves responsible for our contributions.
  • Trust: There are no gatekeepers; anyone can create a new channel, add/or remove any member from any channel, and enter or leave any channel.
  • Caring: The Caring Economy is integrated into the Garden, with its own category of channels.
  • Integrity: Safe spaces are maintained by members giving and receiving reflections as needed, as part of our commitment to consciously living in community together, not by digital gate-keepers.
Like a physical garden, the Garden of WE is always in flux. New channels arise, and healthy channels grow and prosper. Others fall out of use and are archived. The GoWE continues to grow different types of channels. We categorize their purposes as follows:
  • Needs: Needs channels are sourced from the Caring Economy. When someone posts a need in the Caring Economy, it creates a dedicated channel for that need, and the description of the need is posted in our Community Wide channel, along with a link to join the Need and offer support. Several community members typically join each need and team up to fulfill it.
    • We have a Need Channel called “Confidence” It was started by a member who needed support in developing the self-confidence to step into challenging responsibilities in a new job. The whole community jumped on board to witness and support her through her daily challenges and triumphs.  With our support in just a few weeks she was able to release her negative self-talk, tap into her creativity and begin to truly shine. She helped her client win an award, juggled several different responsibilities, and shared every step of the way in both tearful and jubilant video messages.
  • Community-wide: This channel is used to broadcast information to the full community; anything from important notices to personal achievements.
  • Interests: Interests channels are where we share our passions, curiosities, humor, practices, adventures. 
    • The most popular Interest channel is called “The Buzz”. The Buzz keeps us updated on each other’s day-to-day lives-events and smiles and gatherings with our friends, family, and with each other. The Buzz helped us break through the barrier of physical separateness, as we became a “chosen family”, genuinely involved in the wonders and woes of each other’s day-to-day lives.  
  • Reflections: Reflections channels, including personal journals and buddy reflection, where we push the edges of our emotional comfort zones, become raw, messy and confused. 
  • PODs: The POD channels allow us to coordinate our various efforts to move into intentional collective action. Each POD (e.g., Alchemy, Women’s POD, Men’s POD, Mapping, Pollinate, Spiritual Cultivators) has its corresponding channel.
The name, The Garden of WE, captures the essence of our community.

We are like a garden in that in order for us to thrive, we need a diverse web of life, where each living being is just being his/her unabashed self.  When we are disconnected, tunnel-visioned and siloed, the garden withers. When we express our individual fragrances, diverse as they may be, the garden can pollinate, innovate, and regenerate. The metaphor of the Garden reminds us that we are an integral part of Nature’s ecosystem and are guided by her natural laws.