He aha te mea nui o te ao
He tan­ga­ta, he tan­ga­ta,
he tan­ga­ta

What is the most impor­tant thing in the world? It is the peo­ple, it is the peo­ple, it is the peo­ple

Māori proverb

We want to cre­ate a cul­ture of deep curios­i­ty, care, and com­pas­sion for our­selves and oth­ers.

We believe that if we’re going to be able to do this on a scale that address­es the crit­i­cal chal­lenges we’re fac­ing today, that we need to devel­op ‘sys­tem lead­ers’ with high emo­tion­al-intel­li­gence, that place peo­ple and pur­pose at the heart of every­thing we do.

The first step toward becom­ing a sys­tem leader is to devel­op the capac­i­ty to see the sys­tem through the eyes of oth­ers.

The sec­ond capa­bil­i­ty involves fos­ter­ing reflec­tion and more gen­er­a­tive con­ver­sa­tions.

The third capa­bil­i­ty cen­ters on shift­ing the col­lec­tive focus from reac­tive prob­lem solv­ing to co-cre­at­ing the future.

The Dawn of Sys­tem Lead­er­ship

Inter­est­ed in more evi­dence this work mat­ters? We’ve com­piled a few of our favourites: evi­dence

A game

We’ve launched our first tool: Heart­work — The Well­be­ing Game, designed to make empa­thy and com­mu­ni­ca­tion eas­i­er in the work­place. And, we’ve cre­at­ed work­shops to sup­port organ­i­sa­tions to learn how to play and use this tool. Chat to us if you want to find out more.

We’re a community.  

We’re cre­at­ing pub­lic events and online forums for peo­ple who care deeply about peo­ple and want to join us in cre­at­ing a more com­pas­sion­ate cul­ture in Aotearoa, to con­nect and share ideas, to cel­e­brate wins, and to sup­port each oth­er.

Win · win · win

We like to think of it as our true north, our ‘iki­gai’. For an indi­vid­ual it’s when you’re doing some­thing you love, that you’re good at, that you can be paid for and that the world needs.  For an organ­i­sa­tion, it’s that sweet spot where every­one in the waka wants to be in the waka; you’re row­ing in the same direc­tion; and you’re mak­ing some­thing beau­ti­ful the world needs.

Our team

Clare Rousseau spent four years at the New Zealand Trea­sury work­ing to cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties for New Zealan­ders to flour­ish through gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy and inter­ven­tions. She saw an oppor­tu­ni­ty for her and oth­er peo­ple with­in gov­ern­ment to cre­ate bet­ter out­comes for New Zealan­ders through increas­ing their capa­bil­i­ties for empa­thy, per­spec­tive-tak­ing and sys­tem lead­er­ship as defined by the Stan­ford Social Review. Her back­ground is in eco­nom­ics and phi­los­o­phy, and she trained as a coun­sel­lor with Youth­line.

In June 2018 she start­ed col­lab­o­rat­ing with Peter Jacob­son, an Engi­neer, Expe­ri­ence Design­er, and Mind­ful­ness Teacher to explore that oppor­tu­ni­ty, and in Octo­ber Clare and Peter co-found­ed Heart­work.

They wove Heart­work togeth­er from evi­dence and prac­tices from a num­ber of dif­fer­ent fields:

  • The research and prac­tices from Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gist and Inter­na­tion­al Con­flict Medi­a­tor Dr Mar­shall Rosen­berg on human feel­ings, psy­cho­log­i­cal needs and com­mu­ni­ca­tion to enable us to meet our own and each oth­ers needs,
  • Te Whare Tapa Whā and Te Wheke, the most wide­ly used Māori mod­els of men­tal health,
  • Mind­ful­ness, and
  • Gam­i­fi­ca­tion, and
  • The The­o­ry U prac­tice of change, design and facil­i­ta­tion by Dr Otto Sharmer at MIT.
  • The aim was to make paths for lead­ers and staff to cre­ate rich, con­nec­tive, heart­ful ways of work­ing where every­one is flour­ish­ing.

    Clare and Peter have been joined by the delight­ful Paula Airth, design­er and pro­fes­sor at West­ern Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty. She came to Aotearoa to Study Co-design, and has been inte­grat­ing her research into Heartwork’s prac­tices.