Our Mission and Values

The GoodWork Academy is a response to a deep human longing to make a positive difference in the world and to become a resource and support to those who wish to explore the path to practical wisdom, the invisible heart of good practice.  Our mission is to encourage and enable people to do good work.  We are committed to developing and disseminating ideas and practices that nurture appreciative, collaborative and creative approaches to good work in communities and organisations around the world.

Our Core Values

GoodWork Academy is rooted in and motivated by a set of core values that:

  • inspires an attitude of inquiry to our life and work in the world, nurturing a culture of learning in all aspects of our organisation and practice.
  • holds to a relational and interconnected worldview that refuses to stand apart from the world in which we live, requiring us to work together for the common good.
  • celebrates our difference, whatever our background or tradition, promoting freedom of inquiry and expression in recognition of how much we can learn from one another.
  • opens up spaces where our desires can be nourished in the deep roots of the spirit, recognising that spirituality is many things and cannot be defined by dogma or supervised by institutions.
  • nurtures communicative spaces, ensuring that stories of our life-world are heard in the system-worlds we inhabit.
  • seeks practical, sustainable, and accessible solutions, responding positively to the challenges of a changing environment.
  • works through partnerships and alliances that promote our shared values and fulfill our common purpose, providing mutual support and accountability.

We expect these values to deepen and grow as we practice them in our daily life and work.

Emerging Perspectives

The GoodWork Academy has emerged over the past decade to respond to a deep human longing to make a positive difference in the world and to become a resource and support to those who wish to explore the path to practical wisdom.  The Greek word for goodness is kalos, a way of being and doing that Michael Novak suggests can be thought of as “a kind of grace in action”. There is reverence and respect in every aspect of good work.  There is also a second meaning to kalos – one which recognises its etymology in the word ‘call’ – the desire to do good work is a response to life itself.

Our inquiries lead us to several perspectives on good work:

Good work is not just the outcome of new knowledge or improved skill.  The journey towards effective and fruitful action in the world takes us into the heart of becoming ourselves.  We are transformed as we seek to transform.  We therefore ask not just “what might I do or think differently?” but “how might I be different?”

Everyday experience is the fodder in which wisdom and character is formed.  The opportunities to learn lie around us in the moments that trip us up, that interrupt and surprise us, sometimes with a sense of awe, but often to disturb us.  These are what have been called “holy disruptions”.  We seek to give careful and critical attention to these experiences.

We are learning to live with questions, the wild questions that refuse simple answers, that tease out the sometimes contradictory assumptions we hold about a situation.  Wild questions can help us tune in to paradox, taking us to new learning edges in our practice.  The questions we live with tell us what really matters to us.