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Why Waterline

With levels of conflict, uncertainty, and polarization in our world and in our lives growing, we need new ways to get grounded, protect those most vulnerable, and make sense of the chaos. This kind of leadership comes from the inside out. Waterline is here to help you get aligned within yourself and within your team. 


To create healthy and equitable teams, we need the capacity to face conflict with clarity and agility. To do this, we bring together wisdom from many traditions. These include Lewis Deep Democracy and Process Work, along with practices based in decolonial, liberatory, and anti-oppressive learning. To support safe and lasting change, our approach is anchored by trauma-informed embodiment practices. Waterline Workers Cooperative offers leadership development with a focus on people.


Our work challenges many of the cultural norms  of white supremacy, such as the leader knowing best, decision-making being a rational process and diversity being a challenge to organizations. We train with a focus on self-awareness, understanding interpersonal dynamics and practical tools for interactions where conflict may present itself.



Strategic Conversations

We facilitate team meetings and stakeholder conversations that serve the double benefits of arriving at decisions and building stronger relationships. We design and deliver customized sessions ranging from a few hours to a few days to meet the specific needs of each group. We rely on the tools of Deep Democracy, along with other complementary methodologies, to help people have the strategic or difficult conversations they need to have, bringing out the wisdom and creativity inherent in groups.

Engaging conflict

Engaging conflict is at the centre of our expertise and often the reason we are called in by clients. When tempers flare and team or interpersonal dynamics become painful, it can throw everything out of balance. Our compassion, clear seeing, and skill in working sensitively with conflicts helps groups find their way to the other side.  Developed in the fire of post-apartheid South Africa, our Deep Democracy tools are particularly apt at getting at the root of conflicts while making it safe to work with them in a productive manner and in favour of staying in relationship.


We make an impact in the world by enabling people to be skillful in relation to conflict. Our courses offer a highly experiential deep-dive into a fresh way of understanding group dynamics and ourselves. Courses provide simple tools to make sense of how we build relationships, navigate power, and make strategic decisions. Learners on the waterline pathway become more relaxed and centered in the midst of chaos and adept at navigating groups safely through stormy seas.


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Aslam Bulbulia has interests in politics, philosophy, Islamic law and spirituality, public engagement, user-centred design and decoloniality. He brings his experiences as an arts organizer, teacher and stand-up comedian into his facilitation. He lives and works between South Africa and Canada and is the principal at Shura Consulting and Engagement.

Camille Dumond is a somatic therapist, conflict and group facilitator with over 20 years experience facilitating change processes. She brings depth psychology, social movement analysis, and embodied spirituality to organizational change. Camille co-founded the Refugee Livelihood Lab with Nada Elmasry to amplify the impact and transformational influence of racialized leaders with lived experience of forced displacement and migration.  She is principal at Dignity Facilitation.

Sera Thompson is a social innovator and master facilitator, working to support deep shifts around social and environmental issues. Her work creatively engages a diversity of players and stakeholders in finding shared clarity and timely actions. She has successfully led change with dozens of organisations on four continents in the Public Sector, Academia, Nonprofit and Corporate sectors. 

Tasha Nijjar has over a decade of experience working with communities in the not for profit sector where she explores how creativity and social change overlap. She has worked with various community and youth-led organisations using art, film, theatre and social media to amplify grassroots voices. In her role as an Equity Facilitator Tasha has integrated Deep Democracy tools and practices in decision-making, curriculum design, and dialogue on social justice and anti-racism.

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Alan Chen

Planning Assistant III, City of Vancouver

Amidst the intractability of our world’s problems, the staff behind Waterline Co-op breathed new life into my ability to practice hope. Our learning group was gently guided through exercises that helped us pull apart polarities, bringing out buried wisdom in each person. Together, we experienced a rare sense of awe and joy at our collective learning. By assuming that we each have what is needed while learning to practice techniques to draw it out from ourselves, I feel more resourced to approach broad and deep work for systemic change towards equity. Waterline Co-op’s skilled team held us in a beautiful container, and it excites me that they are growing their capacity to offer their approach to others.  



Yabome Gilpin-Jackson

Managing Consultant, Organization Development, Fraser Health

I am a senior organization development practitioner with many years of facilitation, mediation, and conflict resolution training and practice. However, I was drawn to Deep Democracy because of the unique paradigm of the process that encourages the uncovering and amplifying of differences, in service of giving a voice to all and ensuring decisions arrived at are real decisions that can truly be committed to by all. It was invaluable for me to do this training with two of my leadership team colleagues, As a result, we are exploring ways to bring this methodology to the teams of consultants we lead. 

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Chris Corrigan

Complexity Leadership Teacher and Facilitator

After taking this course I can feel my well established resistance to conflict slipping away a little more. The tools and theory contained in this course invite us into the work of hosting a world in which conflict is generative, necessary and life-giving. The tools help make this work feel possible.

For experienced practitioners there is no end to the learning about how to work with difference. The journey to improve ones resourcefulness in this area is critical work to do in a world that is deeply divided and where those deep divisions are reinforced by echo chambers, algorithms and malevolent intent.  No matter where you are on your path as a leader or a facilitator, you will find an invitation in this course to a way to go deeper.  

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