Our 200-year present: a fresh perspective through intergenerational writing, with Shelagh Doonan

Event Details

Our 200-year present: a fresh perspective through intergenerational writing, with Shelagh Doonan

Time: April 17, 2020 from 1:15pm to 4:30pm
Location: ZOOM
Event Type: amed, writers', group, free, zoom, session
Organized By: Bob MacKenzie
Latest Activity: Apr 13, 2020

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Event Description

Your invitation:  Please join us in these extraordinary times for a free virtual gathering via ZOOM of the AMED Writers’ Group. Everyone is welcome. We're limiting numbers to 12 on a first come, first served basis, to allow space to play with the technology. Please let Bob know @ bob@amed.org.uk by 10 April if you'd like to participate.

Shelagh writes: In this post-Brexit era, climate emergency and COVID-19 pandemic, we yearn for a clearer understanding of our place in the world.  The idea of the “200-year present” may help us to gain a sharper perspective and sense of agency.  It was developed by peace studies academic and campaigner Elise Boulding in the mid-twentieth century. She tells us that: “.... by thinking about that span of time as encompassing the living present reality of people we know and care about, that span of time becomes accessible. We have a relationship with it.”

Boulding asks us to reflect on what we can learn from the 100 years that precede our birth. What have we benefited (or otherwise) from in that time? And how might we want to influence the shape of the next 100 years?

We are often encouraged to “live in the present”, but the wider lens of our 200-year present - the long present - is one we can adapt for a number of contexts. We can use it to explore:  our own personal ‘intra-generational’ journey; the collective inter-generational terrain between ourselves and people from older and younger generations; and/or as a planning tool for different purposes and projects.

We’ll explore these avenues through our writing and conversations, to see what insights we might develop for helping us to navigate these times of uncertainty and complexity.  We hope this session will be attractive across the spectrum to members of younger and older generations alike.

Process: Shelagh will take us through the process of creating our own personal 200-year timeline. There will be ample time for writing and discussion, and a tea break about half way through. 

This ZOOM session is free

You are welcome to share your thoughts on this Discussion Forum

About our facilitator: Shelagh is a long-standing member of the AMED Writers’ Group, and the Open Source Thinking Project, and has contributed several workshops and e-O&P articles on themes including catalytic conversations, adventures in facilitation, writing & wellbeing, symbiosis & whole system working. With a background in ecology, and 30+ years working in the public and voluntary sectors, Shelagh is keen to keep her facilitation skills and interests alive through voluntary work with schoolchildren and at the Horniman Museum, S. London. E: shelaghdoonan2010@btinternet.com.  

RSVP: Please reply direct to Bob by 10 April (earlier if possible). We'll then send you the ZOOM link and any further information.  Best wishes. Bob. E: bob@amed.org.uk.

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Comment by Julie Allan on March 11, 2020 at 12:22

 This looks excellent and timely Shelagh - and I may be prevented by prior (writing-related) commitments.  I'm watching this space though - who knows what might shift.

Comment by Bruce Cornock Nixon on February 25, 2020 at 3:14


I applaud what you say!

Have a wonderful event.

See my Blog https://brucenixon.com/for very similar sentiments to yours.

Best wishes,


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