Be the first to know when courses open up!

We are a worker co-op that helps leaders and teams work well with conflict.

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.

What we offer:



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.


Education and Coaching

We make an impact in the world by enabling people to be skillful in relation to conflict. Our courses and coaching offer a highly experiential deep-dive into a fresh way of understanding group dynamics and ourselves. We 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.


Conflict Engagement

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.


Yabome Gilpin-Jackson

SFU, Vice President - People, Equity and Inclusion

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. 

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.