Programme
of events

8th – 11th July

Deep thinkers, exhausted activists, lonely warriors, recovering achievers, curious sailors, aspiring hopefuls, dejected intellectuals, burnout travellers, open-minded cynics, overwhelmed romantics, fellow sufferers, sure-unsures and wounded jesters: join us for The Realisation Festival!

The Realisation Festival is a gathering that is part retreat, part symposium at St Giles House, Dorset. It is for those actively working at the interface between society and soul, and who feel the gravity of our times. 

Over the course of the weekend, you will engage with some of the most exciting thinkers and practitioners of our times, share experiences and expertise, music, movement, food and plenty of conversation. 

Resourced by an astonishingly beautiful place that carries the memory of the complex struggles of generations and has inspired philosophical and political innovation for centuries, the Realisation Festival is a space to reckon with now, imagine alternative futures, and develop a sense of calling and response, independently and together.

Thursday

Arrival from 4 pm, followed by a soulful welcome, dinner and a first evening at St Giles

Friday

Resourcing Society, Soul and Politics

Against the backdrop of a reality that is marked in many ways by ‘ugliness’ – climate collapse and loss of biodiversity, inequality and injustice, polarisation and division – Friday is inspired by writer Toni Morrison’s prompt to instead “do beauty”. 

Speakers will address the big challenges we face today as well as envision what a beautiful society and politics looks like to them, covering topics such as leadership, activism, decolonisation, mutuality and knowledge. Is there a more beautiful way to approach shared challenges? What does it mean to ‘do beauty’ on an individual and collective level? What are the obstacles? And why does it matter? 

The morning will include discussion in small and larger groups.

During the afternoon, a selection of workshops will offer a chance to embody and explore the topics of the day, as well as time to enjoy St Giles, as well as opportunities for more conversation. 

After dinner, we will be entertained by an improvised musical led by award-winning comedian Pippa Evans. 

Saturday

Living With Soul In A Troubled Society

How can we flourish today whilst remaining clear-eyed about contemporary crises? The speakers will draw on their experiences of aligning their work with today’s troubles. They will explore how crises are moments to reset as well as react and respond, as well as considering alternative ways of imaginatively and openly engaging with the world. 

The session is a chance to reflect on the lived ways in which soulful awareness can tolerate even the most dire predicament, doing so because it does not shirk suffering, but sees it as a chance to find more within, around and between us.

The morning will once more involve discussion in small and larger groups.

During the afternoon, there will again be a selection of workshops to choose from, time to enjoy St Giles, as well as opportunities for ongoing conversations. 

After dinner, we will stage an Anti-Debate, a new way of embracing argument, followed by a dance party led by St Giles’ resident DJ.

Sunday

What’s happened? What Next?

A morning to take stock of the weekend with our speakers, and discuss amongst ourselves: how has it informed, moved and nudged us, and what are the practical challenges of moving forward? 

We will finish around 1pm, leaving St Giles resourced and revived.