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S04 E01 – Restorative justice

(Content warning) In this episode we speak with Kayleigh Walsh, an Outlandish colleague, about restorative justice, trust and more.

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Kayleigh’s Favourite Books

  • The Overstory by Richard Powers
  • House of Spirits by Isabella Allende

Find all of our guests’ reading recommendations at our The Tao of WAO book club.



Important note: this is a lightly-edited AI transcription of the conversation. If you require verbatim quotations, please double-check against the audio!

Laura Hilliger: [00:00:00] This episode of The Tao of WAO comes with a content warning in our conversation about restorative justice. We touch on things that might be triggering, such as sexual assault. Hello and welcome to the Tao of WAO, a podcast about the intersection of technology, society and internet culture with a dash of philosophy and art for good measure. I am Laura Hilliger.

Doug Belshaw: [00:00:46] And I’m Doug Belshaw. Laura, are we still unfunded?

Laura Hilliger: [00:00:50] Yes, we are. But say the lines.

Doug Belshaw: [00:00:53] Okay. This podcast season is currently unfunded. You can support this podcast and other we are open projects and products at open

Laura Hilliger: [00:01:04] I felt like that was very convincing.

Doug Belshaw: [00:01:06] Thank you.

Laura Hilliger: [00:01:08] Today we are very pleased to have a special guest, Kayleigh Walsh from Outlandish. Welcome, Kayleigh.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:01:15] Hello. Thanks for having me.

Laura Hilliger: [00:01:17] Thank you for being here.

Doug Belshaw: [00:01:19] Kayleigh is one of my favourite people. Kayleigh, we usually kick things off by asking our guests about what their favourite book is. Sometimes people sneak in more than one, or like Adam Proctor, like ten. But do you have a book or two that you’d like to share with our audience?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:01:39] Um, there are two that sprung to my mind. One is the Overstory by Richard Powers, which is I think he’s a scientist. I think he’s a biologist by trade, actually. But he wrote about trees. Yes. Have you read it?

Doug Belshaw: [00:01:55] No, but I gave it to my mother as a gift.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:01:58] I absolutely love that book. Every chapter is about a specific tree and like how it weaves in to the story of somebody’s life. And it’s just a really beautiful book, but written through the lens of somebody who knows what they’re talking about in terms of the science of trees. And I and it kind of, um, it helped reinforce my love of trees because I think some people take it as a bit woo woo, but I actually don’t think it’s woo woo at all. So he and he, he helped me remember that. And the other book is The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, which is quite a heavy book. Um, it is about it’s kind of the story of the dictatorship in Chile between from the 70s to the 90s, but then it also has a lot of backstory about kind of how that even came about. Um, and it’s, it’s told a very opposing. Views around the grandfather, who was very supportive and benefited from the the dictatorship and his granddaughter, who he absolutely adores, who is a left wing activist fighting against it. So, yeah, Love those two books.

Doug Belshaw: [00:03:12] Both fiction books.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:03:13] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Doug Belshaw: [00:03:16] Very cool. Very good. Um, I after we were recommended a book by Kerri Lemoie, one of our previous guests, she recommended a book called We Make the Road by Walking, which was a lovely book which in terms of being based on conversations between Paulo Ferreira and Miles Hyland. And the book is fantastic. Like, I was not expecting it to be so good. It’s not the kind of book I would have picked up, and I finished it last week, so I’m very much looking forward to reading the Overstory when I steal it back off my mother. Um, and yeah. Isabella Land. Um, yeah, I think that’s the kind of book my wife reads. Who, You know, I think both of you. Hannah So, yeah, I’m looking forward to reading those. Great.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:04:03] Let me know what you think of them if you do read them.

Doug Belshaw: [00:04:06] So we’re going to talk a little bit about restorative justice. So it might be worth giving a little bit of context about what it is and also, like why you might care about it from a personal point of view, I guess Kayleigh.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:04:20] Yeah, so restorative. I’ve basically been involved in restorative justice circle for about a year and a half now. And it was quite strange timing because just as I started and I gave a bit more kind of context into how I got involved. But, but I think what is also important to say is that I work at a worker co-op called Outlandish, and we are lucky enough to work with a lot of socially progressive people and organisations. And around the same time I started, I did a small piece of work for an organisation called Circles Southeast, and the work that they do is basically kind of rooted in some work that was done years ago in Canada where there was. Just. There was a lot of sexual violence, basically taking part in an indigenous community. And the community really wanted to like address what was going on, but not in the kind of traditional carceral sense. And so they they managed to kind of establish a way of. The victim talking to the person that had. And sorry, just as a side note, like I’m always really worried and try to be really conscious of the the language I use around crime. So and, you know, not talk about the perpetrator and stuff like that. So I might sound a bit clumsy as I’m talking about it, but basically the person who had. Who had done the sexual violence basically, and the victim and get to the point where they could talk in the same room and have a safe conversation about what? What it had what had happened to them during that time and get into a bit more. Basically kind of more human conversation around what was going on for them and how they could prevent it in the future. So is this real like community? Kind of like holding this scenario and not shying away from it. And so basically I started to get involved with circles, which are doing that in the UK. So they have they have a slightly different take where they. They work with the person who has normally been in prison. And so when they’re coming out of prison in the UK, they offer them a safe space where they can start to talk like really honestly about their thoughts and what’s going on for them and why they did it and and basically try and support them so that they don’t find themselves in a similar situation again. So that’s kind of like a very, like clumsy parallel that was happening for me. And then at the start of lockdown, I had already by that time I had already been on two courses that have taught by a really great friend, the first being race and gender in popular culture, which was a short course that I did at Goldsmiths University, and another one called Race Rhythm and Revolution. And and the thing about the book recommendation as well is a bit like, ah, because I’ve been really lucky to read so many incredible things over the past couple of years, which I didn’t know about previously and have been, you know, kind of on the the course reading for these courses and just like a whole new world has opened up to me and really kind of validated a lot of what I had thought and still think is important in the world. But a lot of people kind of seem to shy away when I bring this thing, these kind of things into conversation. So basically I kind of found my people and specifically my person who is like a teacher, but also just a really great friend to me. And she invited me into this restorative justice circle that was just about to start. And another kind of layer of context as well is that and I’m okay with saying this now, but I think we don’t really say enough as adults is that I had felt quite lonely for quite a long time and. Even though I’m surrounded by like, a lovely family, like really great people that I work with, there was just something missing like in me where I wasn’t really able to have conversations that I really wanted to have. And it was it was doing something to me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So I had been kind of like searching for something like this for quite a long time without really knowing what it was. And so the restorative justice circle for for me has afforded me a space that happens on a monthly basis. It was obviously happening happening online for quite a long time, but we had our first in-person session in November, which was about eight hours. I don’t know how long it was. It was so happy to see each other and there was so much to talk about. But basically usually there’s a theme. That we come together and talk about. And one of my favourite things about it is it’s intergenerational, it’s interracial, it’s international, there’s a mix of people’s kind of day jobs. So the people who kind of coordinate the circle are. Trained counsellors basically like they do mediation in organisations, but also kind of, I would say more grassroots organisations. And they do it in schools where there’s a lot of knife crime and kind of things like that, where it’s kind of beyond teachers like remit, almost like, you know, like teachers are kind of at a loose end for, for vulnerable families. So there’s, there’s this really amazing set of skills from the coordinators. There’s a man who has worked in in in peace, basically. That’s how he describes it in Northern Ireland through the Troubles. But then there’s also artists. There’s a minister like there’s just such a big range of of our backgrounds.

Doug Belshaw: [00:10:24] So in terms of this this circle that you’re in, you talked earlier about bringing together and you didn’t want to use the word perpetrators, but people who were involved in the situation, the crime, the incident and bringing them together. It sounds like the circle that you’re in. Isn’t necessarily that, though. It’s it’s like people talking about restorative justice. What what’s the.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:10:46] Well, so we have a specific theme each time we meet. So we’ve talked about shame. We’ve talked about conflict, we’ve talked about we’ve had a one of the people works in in the justice system. So she gave us an amazing talk about abolition. And so we’ve started to move. I would say it’s kind of moving towards a restorative abolition circle rather than justice circle, which has been amazing to be part of that and to kind of shift the way that we talk about things. But yeah, so we’re not. Oh, sorry, Laura, go on.

Laura Hilliger: [00:11:18] No, I just I just wanted to ask if, if the circle is about reframing some of the narratives that we have in society around these various themes and the way that even like something like conflict, for example, is is talked about or actually even used in society. Like, you know, if you it’s the first example that comes to mind. But war terms or conflict terms like like battleground, etcetera, these kinds of terms are used in society in ways that have absolutely nothing to do with armed conflict. And so there’s a I think there’s a bit of a a renaissance happening about around the way that we use language and maybe coming back towards using language in a in a particular way. And I’m just wondering if if part of what you talk about there when you’re talking about these themes is trying to to use language in kind of a more pure way or to to to kind of pick at those narratives in society?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:12:21] Yeah. I think a lot of it is unlearning what society is taught us and having a space that we can talk about really openly and really honestly about what is going on for us. Um, and I don’t, I don’t know how this happened, but we had a really high level of intimacy from the start. Like people just seemed to be able to trust each other from the get go. And, and I mean, there are, there are two so there are two mothers in the group and their grown up children, which for me is incredible because I don’t know if I could talk about some of this stuff in front of my parents and then not be concerned about what I say. Um, so, so yeah, we basically have this space to kind of explore and just to be really honest about what is going on. So like we met, uh, a couple of weeks ago and rather than a theme, it was more a question which was around how are people feeling about what’s going on in the world at the moment, which is an intentionally vague question, I think not vague, but, you know, it’s quite open to interpretation and. Hearing people have this space to say. Most people started to talk about Ukraine and say that they were kind of feeling uneasy about it because why isn’t this this kind of attention and public reaction afforded to other conflicts and other wars and even just being able to, like, say that out in the open and not have people judge them straight away and give them the space to explore it. It was there was like a shift in the kind of in the mood. And I mean, mood isn’t a deep enough word, to be honest, but something happened during that conversation that you could see. People were feeling lighter because they were judging themselves basically for things that they couldn’t for one reason or another. They couldn’t really feel like they could say.

Doug Belshaw: [00:14:10] It sounds almost like the antidote to really fast paced social media.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:14:15] Oh, yeah. It’s I mean, yeah, it definitely is. I think it’s an antidote to just the life that a lot of us are living in cities as well. Meaning that we don’t really have time to have a deep conversation with people, that somebody sometimes I kind of have this joke where if somebody is like, How are you? And you know, like this happens a lot when people like How are you? And they kind of like already walking past you before they hear your answer. And sometimes I want to joke and be like, I’m dying and just see what they say because I’m like, Do you really care? So it is this space as well for people who really care about how the other person is and where they’re at.

Laura Hilliger: [00:14:54] And Kaylee, in in in these circles, are there particular methodologies that are being used to create that safe space or how I mean, is it that as people like the people who are attracted to to these circles, that they they just know how to behave in this safe in the space? Or how what are the mechanisms that the that that everybody is using to be able to have those kinds of deep, intimate conversations as people who are Maybe not it doesn’t sound like you all are strangers at this point, but if it is an open group, how does how does what’s the mechanism there to allow that to happen?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:15:35] I think by the so there are some people that have dropped out. And haven’t to me anyway given a specific reason. But that’s also fine as well. By the 15th circle, I think we’ve kind of like established ourselves well. We’ve established ourselves as our group, but we’re actually starting to bring more people in now as well because we want to open it up and maybe in a couple of years, like some of us will spin off and create our own circles of people, because a.

Doug Belshaw: [00:16:00] Is there a maximum number of people in a circle as a guide?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:16:02] Um, I think there are about 12 of us and I think that’s a good number. I think especially because we had been on Zoom for so long, that’s like a and it’s also because we’re going quite deep into stuff. I think any more than that it would mean that you have to keep things shorter and then that’s kind of not the point.

Doug Belshaw: [00:16:24] Can I just ask really quickly as well, earlier you mentioned about how you’re moving, almost drifting or maybe consciously moving away from restorative justice to restorative abolition. Could you just kind of explain what you mean by that?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:16:41] I think the thing about justice, whether it’s restorative justice or whether it is, you know, justice itself, is that there’s first of all, it’s just a broken racist capitalist system, um, and doesn’t actually do what it says it does the levels of like re-offending, like, you know, the lives that people live while they’re incarcerated. Like, I just think I’ve, I was. I guess, interested in abolition before I started this part of to be part of this circle. But now I would say I’m very much in support of abolition and like any kind of like angle that I look from it and look at it, I can’t really see a space for prisons in our society if we want to, because if we want to live in like a truly. Well, this is a thing that a lot of people don’t like. It is because I was about to say, if we want to live in like a truly like free society, I don’t think prisons have any place in that society. But I also, on the other hand, understand how much money it makes for some people. And I think really that’s the basis of why the prison system exists. I don’t think it’s to reduce re-offending. I don’t think it’s to do any of the things that people say. I think it is just to make people money.

Doug Belshaw: [00:18:01] I was on a on a call about three weeks ago, and I must have been visibly shocked when this person said this. They were in a country in Central America on a work trip. But the reason they were there, they were there with her husband, who was researching non profit prisons. And the two terms were so jarring to me, like a non profit prison, as if like the default is a for profit prison that I didn’t even know how to process it. And so my face must have just been like a complete shock. But that’s what we’re moving to, I guess in the UK a bit by privatising all the things. Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? Because I think that that. That way of thinking about the world. I’m doing work on missing disinformation at the moment. The default is to block, to put to one side to ignore, to say someone else can deal with these kind of people while us regular people do our normal thing. But it makes it very precarious because if you step out of line, you could end up in Twitter jail, real jail, whatever. It’s a it’s a bizarre situation. Bizarre way of structuring society anyway.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:19:12] I think it’s kind of a black box as well that there’s there doesn’t it doesn’t afford any conversation for a critique of why whatever has happened. And if we look at. The precarity of so many people’s life in this country. And I think just even just acknowledging that is is an indication of why people might get involved in certain things but in their being. And also it’s very prisons are very binary. Right? Like the bad people are in prison. So it’s also like a kind of and I and I’m saying that like, I don’t believe that. But what it means is that we don’t have to engage with those people because where they should be and they did something bad and like the thing, you know, so. It’s just kind of like, get them out of the way. Mm. Rather than thinking, okay, but why? Why has this occurred? And like, how can we really make it? How can we really prevent it in the future? Mm.

Laura Hilliger: [00:20:12] So going back to my question about creating the safe space and the the mechanisms, I’m really I’m really interested in this because I think it’s I think that there are a number of topics in society that we that we shy away from. And you’ve talked about some may have some some others in the back of my mind, and I’m just really curious, how do you how do you create the space for people to be able to have the kinds of conversations that these themes elicit? Because it is, for lack of a better word, it’s quite dangerous in today’s fast information landscape to say the wrong thing lest it go viral and destroy a person. And so I realised that I’m drawing a parallel between what happens in online space and an offline space. And, you know, Doug mentioned misinformation, disinformation. So all of these themes are kind of flooding together. And I’m really curious to know how what is the sort of safety mechanism for people? How do you how do you create that that space? What are what’s kind of the tenants there?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:21:21] I mean, the thing is, is that it struck me as well, and I was like, what is going on here? Like, there’s some sort of secret sauce that I don’t I don’t know if any of us know what it is, but how did how did this get created? So it’s been crafted, but like very quickly, relatively speaking, like this is a kind of intimacy that I haven’t got with friends that I’ve known for like many, many years. Wow. And I think that. The way that it was formed was that there were three people who brought in people that they really trusted. And then those people, some of those people then brought in people that they trusted. I think that we have. I mean, to be honest, I think that’s probably like the first. That’s the thing that my mind kind of jumps to. I think there are other things that just by either places that we work or places that we choose to, 2 or 3 things that we choose to give our time to on a personal basis. There’s almost like a back like reading or something like a like a pre reading kind of thing that has happened for a lot of us or like a pre experience or there’s something that has shaped us in some way that has also meant that the the compassion is there as well. But in terms of I have I have tried to think about it and try to articulate it previously and I can’t really put my finger on it, which it doesn’t help to answer the question.

Doug Belshaw: [00:22:42] When I did the deep adaptation course last year, um, I had a lot of affinity with the people on that. And yes, there’s, you know, self selecting group of people, all that kind of stuff. But we did these deep relating exercises and you end up because you have to listen and repeat back and you know what people are telling you and you have to really kind of focus in. I even did this this morning with a potential client, like listened really carefully, made notes, talked back, and they felt a better connection. But to the extent on this course that someone changed the route of their holiday to come and meet up with me in person and I’ve known this person three days or something like it was it was a bit odd, but I wanted to kind of relate the story, if you don’t mind. Just quickly, Kaylee, I knew you before we did this particular week together, the Moodle net design Sprint week, which must have been what, 2018. So like four years ago. Yeah. And you did something which now feels entirely normal because we’re, you know, part of the court world. Sociocracy, which maybe we’ll talk again about in a moment. But you kicked off this week with like the CEO of Moodle in the room, people who are paying for outlandish to do the work and stuff and you kicked off by saying that you wanted to check in and you’d had an argument with someone in your family, I think, and that it was kind of weighing on your mind right? And that you wanted to acknowledge it and was just mind blown that you would say such a thing. But it set the tone for how everyone else then checked in and for the whole week and for the success of it and everything like that, just that seemingly small vulnerability kind of laid the sowed the seeds for the rest of the week.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:24:24] You know, that’s so nice that you can remember that because I can’t remember saying that. And but it’s really nice as well, you know, when you kind of hear something that you did, especially like four years ago and you’re like, Oh, wow, like that, you know, somebody else remembers that. And I think you’ve also kind of brought in. Something that can help with Laura’s question, which is around this vulnerability. And I think that is the thing in the group that everybody is okay with being vulnerable. And and I really think that that has helped us as a group. It’s helped, I think, when you can be vulnerable with people, you can establish trust easier.

Doug Belshaw: [00:25:09] Okay.

Doug Belshaw: [00:25:09] So you the idea of a circle is very comfortable and common to people who work in in co-ops. And you kind of said that you’re already comfortable with that. We’ve talked about Sociocracy briefly, I guess, as part of our podcast episode about cooperation and that kind of thing. But for those who are coming to this new Season four of the Dao and haven’t come across Sociocracy or circles before, what’s the difference between a circle and just like a group of people having regular meetings?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:25:43] Well, a circle. I mean, there’s kind of like two layers to it the way that I that I think of it. And and with these kind of things, I’m always like, Oh, no, there’s going to be like the social sociocracy critic who’s like, No, that’s not what it is. And if it isn’t, I’m sorry, but this is how I experience it, which is basically circles are open for participation, which is the first thing. So if you want to get involved with any circle you can, which is a really nice alternative to kind of mainstream organisations where you’re like, you’re in this role and you cannot move out of this role and you’re kind of pigeonholed and you don’t really get to learn or experience new things and find out what you enjoy. So that’s the first thing for me. But then the second thing of the circle is that the conversation moves around in a circle. So you sit in a way where you can see everybody and. And. You do rounds and if you don’t want two rounds of talking, so if you don’t want to go in your round, you can just skip you. But it basically kind of removes this anxiety that I think happens a lot in meetings where some of us have to fight or like wait for for the person who’s dominating a meeting and which might be conscious or unconscious, you know, like there are different personality types at play and that’s just how it is. But basically waiting for that pause and breath to kind of like, say, your piece. And that also means that you’re not really listening because how can you when you’re just like trying to have like, wait for that break. So these rounds for the circles allow you to really, really listen knowing that you’re going to get your turn.

Laura Hilliger: [00:27:19] Can you do a circle with, like, three people?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:27:22] Yeah, for sure.

Doug Belshaw: [00:27:23] That’s a triangle.

Laura Hilliger: [00:27:25] That’s a no. I was just. I was just. I was just thinking that. I was just thinking in a in a online context or in a virtual environment, how like, how to how to replicate that in smaller ways, like in small in meetings that you have on a regular basis, making sure that you do the round every time. Um, it seems like there’s a number of projects that I think that that would be really useful for just because, you know, people do have more or less ability to, to either speak up or shut up. Um, and, and it, it sounds like a really good technique to make sure that you do get to hear all of the voices in the room. And also this is, you know, going way back to my question about mechanisms, that’s certainly a methodology that can be put into practice. So I like that. Let’s make triangles.

Doug Belshaw: [00:28:19] There might be people listening to this who are like, this is great if you’ve got a relatively small co op, but how does this work at scale? Like people go and it’s all very well, you know, being able to participate in any circles that you want. But I work in a company with 5000 people across four continents. Um. Like not everything has to scale. But what? I’m sure you’ve come across that before. Katie, how do you how would you respond to that?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:28:47] I mean, yeah, my first my initial reaction to that is I really just not a fan of scale. And I’m just I just don’t. I think big organisations, they always scare me a bit, to be honest. And like the amount of efficiency that’s going out the window and the kind of like personal relationships and levels of bureaucracy and this, that and the other not related to your question at all. So I’ll leave that to the side. Um, I mean, the good thing about circles is that they. It allows you to to create a smaller circles basically for people who are either interested in something or want to be part of something. And I think this is a thing as well that happens in a lot of big groups, that there is a variation of interests, which is great. So not everybody has to be involved in a specific decision that doesn’t interest or affect them. And so that’s what circles allow for as well. I think I think they do allow for scale. But I don’t really like scale. I think there’s a lot of power in smaller collectives and organisations.

Laura Hilliger: [00:29:53] Well, also, I mean, I this is, this is a very sort of. We are we are taught in our capitalist society to understand that growth is the only thing that matters. And if you’re not making more money and growing and adding more people, then that you’re not successful. And I mean, we’ve talked about this on this podcast before, that there are different definitions of success and that we as adults and free thinking people are allowed to define what success means to us. And it sounds like this idea of of circles actually is putting the, you know, the definition of success for people in their own hands because they get to choose which which circle they get to choose what they’re interested in. And I think there’s you know, there’s some some parallels there with working openly or, you know, agile methodologies and bringing in sort of the work aspect. I think a lot of a lot of bigger organisations are starting to connect to this idea that the command and control method of of management is not actually super healthy for people and that it and that it doesn’t get the best out of people, it doesn’t lead to innovation. This this sort of we have to be growing mindset but it’s still quite prevalent in our society. So you know.

Doug Belshaw: [00:31:11] The interesting thing for me, you know, when people are very interesting co ops and oh, tell me more about this. And you know, you talk about people being added and removed and people people always ask the question as I’ve done about scale. And then when you talk about, oh, well if I I’ve got to a certain size, we’d probably split it and into two and then have different co ops and then, oh, actually we’re part of a network of co ops called co Tech and actually we share work amongst each other. And that kind of horizontal scaling kind of blows people’s minds. That you would share your work?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:31:47] Yeah, I think it’s I think things that, um, it’s, I’m linking it to, to what Laura just said as well. I think things that make us question what, what we understand to be like the foundations of a of a specific subject can it can be quite a jolt and and it can I think it can be quite jarring for people that they’re like, no, no, no, no, no. Because I’ve I’ve believed this my entire adult life. So don’t tell me there’s an alternative, please. And I and I find that really a really interesting psychology that there’s there’s a kind of it’s not even that there’s an unwilling to, like, learn about something new. It’s just the kind of fear that, oh, my God, this has been existing the whole time. But I put all my eggs in my capitalist basket, like, what’s going on here? It’s I think it can be a little bit of a shock for people, to be honest.

Laura Hilliger: [00:32:39] Well, I think I mean, I think the other thing is that if we’re talking about if we’re we’re talking about scale and we use the word capitalism and we are relating that to the world, you know, when you try to talk about other systems, there is a lot of failed experiments, I’ll put it that way. Failed experiments that don’t actually adequately reflect the theoretical underpinning of a particular economic system. So I remember, for example, I was on a work trip and was talking about co ops with somebody and, and I started talking about cooperativism more broadly as like a system that we could use in society. And, and she, she became very defensive and she was like, no, no, no, no, this doesn’t work. And you can trust me. I’m from Venezuela. And, you know, it’s hard to have that conversation that what you experienced was, you know, a corrupt, cooperative society, you know, when you’re talking about cooperatives, because when you try to bring in, like the corruption of of a thing and also try to explain that this theoretically could work if things were organised a bit differently. I mean, it’s the same with capitalism. You know, the idea was with capitalism was not that one wealthy person at the top would have all of the profit, but rather every time profit came in that they would hire more workers and provide more jobs. So, you know, the theory of of capitalism and the practice of it are two completely different things. And so, yeah.

Doug Belshaw: [00:34:13] Kayleigh if people want to find out more about restorative justice, either, you know, in the justice system or the abolition thereof or just in terms of all the things you’ve been talking about maybe around sociocracy and stuff. Do you have recommendations? It might be books, it could be websites, it might be come to our workshop. Any of those any of those things. What would you recommend if people are interested in the themes of today’s episode?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:34:44] I think people like Adrian Marie Brown are doing a writing some really amazing, um. The kind of glimpses into into work in Detroit, for example, and community organising. They’ve got a really amazing book about organisational strategy that I just just recommend for like whether or not you are. The title doesn’t sound great, but it is brilliant book. And then and I feel like silly about it because I’m going to say like me in a minute. But you know, people like Angela Davis as well, who’s been working tirelessly on abolition for most of her adult life and and and so that’s one thing. And so I like very like strangely put my name into it, which is if there’s like a lot lower hanging fruit I guess that you’re interested in and and finding out about sociocracy and consent based decision making. And we do run public courses at outlandish because lots of people kept getting in touch with us to ask us how we how we run our business. So we have created a new strand of work called Building Out and the out stands for openness, understanding and Transparency. No, it’s not. I always get that wrong. It’s trust. Oh, but I mean, you know, like maybe it should be a double T, Um, and yeah, we run public courses on consent based decision making and also do coaching on how, on how it can work in a practical basis. Because I think also when we’re talking about these things and when I was talking about the restorative justice circle, I’m talking about a harmonious group of people. But I also really don’t want to suggest that groups of humans all always harmonious because they’re not. And that’s fine. I think it’s just about how we work through it. So we also have another workshop called Reframing Conflict, um, which is basically if you keep having a fight with a specific person or people in your organisation like, you know, come and like talk about it, come to this workshop and you can talk about it with the person in a safe way. Um, yeah. And there’s like, I mean, just even I haven’t really looked for restorative justice much online because I feel like very. It’s almost like I don’t really want to get anyone else’s perspective because I’m so. I’ve enjoyed my own experience with it so much, but I can imagine that there is a lot out there because I think a lot.

Doug Belshaw: [00:37:10] I can definitely plus one your own recommendation of outlandish is workshops. We have done the Sociocracy courses and also the reframing conflict one and in fact used it the other day when we were having a bit of an argument and managed to kind of sort it out by using some of the tools from that from that workshop, which was great.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:37:31] That’s great.

Laura Hilliger: [00:37:32] Yeah. That’s why that’s why we were smiling because Doug and I were just remembering Doug and I sort of fight like brother and sister sometime, and we do. Ever since the Reframing Conflict workshop, we’ve been using some of the tools that that we learned from Pete and Abbie. And, and it was a really good experience. We we are open to Sociocracy last year and this year we did reframing conflict and you guys are going to have to come out with a new one for next year because I think we essentially just want to take all of the outlandish building out stuff because yeah, we’re also we’re really interested in finding that safe space both for ourselves inside of our work, but also just more generally in society. And I think it’s, it’s very inspiring. Like everything that you’re talking about today is really interesting and inspiring. And. Yes. Thank you.

Doug Belshaw: [00:38:26] Before we wrap up, actually, it’s worth mentioning because we haven’t really said this yet. We’ve talked about your personal experience. We’ve talked about outlandish, but we haven’t really said that. We’ve kind of touched on it, but we haven’t really said that you do bring this stuff into your work with clients. I’ve seen you do that. Carly Um, and it’s really important stuff. It’s really important work. People bring their full selves to work not only inside a co op but inside client organisations. So yeah, that’s nice to see as well.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:38:55] Thank you. I think I’ve tried to commit to holding myself accountable and to doing the things that I said I would do and and sometimes like it doesn’t land very well and clients like, What are you doing? I’m like, okay, let me just give you a bit of like context, what’s going on here? But also I would prefer especially like, well, not even especially in a client relationship, but any, any working relationship that I do have. I prefer to know like what people are up for towards the start. And also like what their boundaries are as well. I think if I have a client that I’ve had clients in the past that think it’s just okay to shout at me and I and I don’t I don’t shy away from saying I can’t work with you like this. Like, would you like I’d like to have a feedback conversation before we continue working together. And, and if they say no, then I just don’t work with them because I don’t have to. You know.

Doug Belshaw: [00:39:47] For me to my kids all the time, like you people can only treat you the way you let them treat you. And people say, yes, but and it’s like, no, not yes, but like you can walk away from situations. It’s very important. So it’s good that you said that.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:40:02] Yeah. Just because they’re paying us doesn’t mean they get to treat us however they like.

Doug Belshaw: [00:40:05] Exactly, Exactly. Cool. Um, Kaylee, we’re at time, but it has been an absolute pleasure to have you on our podcast. We’ve been wanting you on here for a while, but you’ve been travelling and doing client work and stuff. Thank you for your recommendations. We’ll look those up and make sure that we get them in the show notes and make sure we spell things correctly because you know, there’s some hard words in there. Yeah. Is there anything you want? You haven’t had a chance to say? Any questions that you haven’t answered anything at all that you wanted to ask of us? So any final words?

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:40:37] Um, thank you for your time and for creating the space to do this. I mean, there are loads and loads of other things that I could just carry on talking to you both about all day. But there’s probably I’ll have.

Doug Belshaw: [00:40:50] To have you back on.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:40:51] Optimum length for a podcast.

Laura Hilliger: [00:40:53] Yeah.

Kayleigh Walsh: [00:40:55] Thank you both so much!

Laura Hilliger: [00:40:56] Thank you, Kayleigh!

Doug Belshaw: [00:40:59] Thanks, Kayleigh!