Toolkit: A guide for diving deeper

We build the Great Turning by talking and acting TOGETHER. 

Here is a short guide to some ways that you can bring the insights from each episode deeper into your life:

  • Check out the individual episode pages for resources, prompts, and practices designed to help you explore the episode topics.

  • Start a podcast club! Gather members of your community to listen and dive deeper into the episodes together. Check out our guide below for how to start a podcast club.

  • Send an episode or a bonus episode to a friend. Better yet, invite them to listen with you! 

  • Use the hashtag #WeAreTheGreatTurning to share your insights from the show on social media, and open conversations about these topics with folks in your network.

Learning about and Practicing the Work That Reconnects


Joanna Macy has written many books, and we recommend starting with:

  • Active Hope – a primer on the ideas of the Work That Reconnects (with Chris Johnstone)
  • Coming Back to Life – a facilitators’ guide to the Work That Reconnects (with Molly Brown)
  • World as Lover, World as Self – a deeper dive into the Buddhist philosophy and systems theory that underpin Joanna’s work 

The Work That Reconnects is an open-source body of work, available for anyone wanting to use the practices and concepts in workshops, study groups, etc. Facilitating the WTR doesn’t require certification, so you can jump in and start practicing!

Find Work That Reconnects Workshops that you can join online and in person at:

How to start a Podcast Club

We Are the Great Turning is all about coming together with our communities, to talk about what is happening on our planet and to act in service of life together. 

Podcast clubs are a simple way to use the episodes as a jumping-off point for having the meaningful conversations most of us yearn for—conversations that deepen our relationships and open up creative possibilities for ways that we can build the Great Turning with our loved ones. Starting a podcast club is simple:

  1. Register your podcast club to get special updates and invitations from Jess Serrante, only for podcast club organizers. 
  2. Gather a group. A small, even number is ideal; we recommend 4—10 people.
  3. Design your podcast club structure:
  • Will you listen to the episodes together, or before you meet? 
  • How many times will you meet? You can meet just once or 10 times, once for each episode.
  • When and where will you meet? In-person is best, but online works too. Two hours is a good length of time to aim for if you are listening to the episodes, doing an exercise, and discussing. 
  • Don’t forget drinks and snacks to share!

4. Prep for your gathering:

  • Each week, you can click into episode links at to find a list of resources that will help you make your plan. 
  • Mix and match the activities in the toolkit (or create your own) to make a plan for your time together.

Sample Gathering Structure

You can structure your gathering however you like, but here’s a sample to get you started:

5:00—5:15 Folks arrive, snack, catch up

5:15—5:20 Settle in. Sing a song, move or meditate

5:20—5:45 Listen to an episode together

5:45—6:00 Discussion (check out our discussion guide below)

6:00—6:45 Play a bonus episode and do the exercise together, then talk about what you got from it 

6:45—6:55 Closing go around—what is the key insight or question you’re leaving with? 

6:55—7:00 Wrap up—sing a song, move, or meditate

Tips for a successful podcast club gathering

  • Get clear on your purpose for gathering, and let that guide your time together. Our hope is that these episodes will help you to speak truthfully, build and deepen connections, and renew your commitment to taking action together.


  • But don’t just hold a strategy session. Because the climate crisis is so anxiety-inducing, it can feel easier to intellectualize the problem and debate solutions. Make space for feelings, and allow for what is messy and uncertain.


  • Share the space and conversational time. Be aware of who in your group might (or might not) feel more empowered to speak up because of personality or identity. Practice deep listening.


  • Less is more, and flexibility is key. If you give your group the space to go deep and be vulnerable, the questions and feelings that emerge in your gatherings might surprise, delight, and bring you closer. Plan to do less and leave space for something surprising to emerge in your conversations—don’t rush through a packed agenda.


  • Bring in the beauty, and let yourselves play! The topics at hand might be serious, but delighting in each other and the beauty of our world are essential parts of the Great Turning. Consider how you want to make your time together special: bring snacks or share a meal. Set up a cozy space to gather, and bring some flowers in for the table. Sing songs, meditate, or do some movement together (dance! stretch!) to open and close your gatherings. Invite others to help facilitate different parts of your gathering, and let it really be community-led.

Opening up discussion

The episodes will likely stir up some big ideas, feelings, and questions for you. 

As you listen, take note of:

  • What are the topics or ideas that grabbed your attention from this episode?
  • What feelings arose for you as you listened? 
  • What questions or confusion are you still sitting with?

There are lots of ways to get the conversation started:

  • Find common interest: Go around the circle and invite everyone to briefly answer one of the questions above. See if there is a common theme among the reflections, and jump into a group conversation from there.


  • Start with a pair-share: Have everyone partner up for 5—15 minutes of one-on-one reflection. Then come back to the group and share what you discussed.


  • Focus on the feelings: Go around the circle and invite everyone to name the feelings that arose for them as they listened. Leading with your emotional response is a great way to stay heart-centered and avoid overly intellectualizing the topic.


  • Break the ice with one of the episode-specific prompts on the episode pages linked below. 

Ready for more?

Find episode-specific prompts, practices, and resources here.

Are there resources you’d like to see on this page that aren’t here yet? Email us at

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This podcast arose from Jess and Joanna’s regular conversations about the beauty and pain of our personal lives (love, heartbreak, aging, loss), the events of our world (climate catastrophe, COVID, social injustice), and the Great Turning that we commit ourselves to be a part of every day. We’ve recorded these talks with you in mind—a welcome guest at Joanna’s kitchen table, bringing all your heart, creativity, and courage to an undertaking that impacts us all.

The Sounds True Foundation creates equitable access to wisdom-based tools and practices through scholarships, outreach, product donations, and strategic partnerships. To learn more about the Sounds True Foundation and ways you can support initiatives such as the We Are The Great Turning podcast, visit

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