About the 5 Elements Lab

The Five Elements Lab is a generator for power with and power within (and appropriate uses of power over)—for the be-how and know-how of advancing liberatory transformation. It is experiences and experiments, and practice with some resources and tools for tending to the being and doing of prefiguring liberation.

More specifically, the Five Elements Lab is a program that deepens practice in the elements of liberatory transformation: 

  1. Deep Equity & Liberation
  2. Complex Systems Change
  3. Shared Leadership & Power
  4. Multiple Ways of Knowing
  5. Inner work

Why these five elements? We are advancing deep equity and liberation. This is complex, systems change. The way forward is both planful and emergent requiring us to define, understand, and share leadership and power differently. This takes inner work and embracing multiple ways of knowing. The five elements work together as a hand and the lab gives movement leaders, accomplices, and accompanists space to learn and deepen their practice with the hand of liberation.

We hope you will join us for this iteration of the lab, which is “friends and family” and by invite only, where we will bring together social justice practitioners, facilitators, grassroots leaders, and justice funders who are already experimenting and practicing these elements. It will be an opportunity to dive into all five elements, share practices, learn, and (un)learn together.

Design Elements

This will be a five-day in-person experience where we will work together to co-create a rigorous, creative, and liberatory learning and practice space. We will connect with ourselves, and each other, deepening our interdependence and ways of being and doing in service of building and sustaining thriving movements. 

We are envisioning an emergent and co-created design that will be rooted throughout the time in practicing liberation, (influenced by the work of Monica Dennis), connecting, engaging, embracing, and reweaving:

  • Body: Physical practices like dance, 10-step, breath, and neurosomatic practices
  • Source: Nature walks, meditation/prayer, quiet time
  • Emotions: Learning and moving from and with our emotions
  • Story: Storytelling, orally, in pictures, in song

Areas of Inquiry & Practice

  • A Theory of Transformation: Connecting to and deepening our pathways and portals to the next world now
  • LANDS (Liberation AND Sovereignty): Unlearning and learning, reclaiming
  • Complexity: Sense-making and strategy in the emergent and chaotic
  • Shared Leadership and Power: Engaging with power over, with, and within, embracing generative conflict and mutual accountability
  • Multiple Ways of Knowing: Leveraging creativity, intuition, energy, soma, and the natural world as guides
  • Inner Work: Moving with purpose, source, and the sacred
  • Hands-On:  Experimenting with our way forward, application, and reflection

Design & Facilitation:

Getting a Feel for the Lab

To get a feel for what the Lab might be like, we want to share some invocations, inquiries, and offerings from previous labs. 

From 2017-2019 Change Elemental, in partnership with CompassPoint, co-created and co-led the Network Weaver Learning Lab, a space for leaders to develop their thinking and practice, and to explore and experiment together on ways to advance the movement to end relationship-based violence. 

Check out the medicine deck and “cookbook” that came out of the Network Weaver Learning Lab here.

In the winter of 2023, the Change Elemental team launched our first 5 Elements Lab prototype, grown from over 10 years of lab practice, where our staff team and some close-in co-creators came together to deepen our embodiments of multiple ways of knowing and inner work where we have the least amount of collective practice across all of us.

Learn more about the Five Elements Lab prototype experience, and engage in some of the practices we tried on, by exploring Inner Work & Multiple Ways of Knowing: A Five Elements Lab Anthology.



We have three potential dates:

  1. February 5th-9th (arrival Sunday, February 4th and departing on Friday, February 9th)
  2. February 12th-16th (arrival Sunday, February 11th and departing on Friday, February 16th)
  3. March 18th-22nd (arrival Sunday, March 17th and departing on Friday, March 22nd)


We are considering different locations and will land the final details by mid-October based on interest and accessibility.


We anticipate the actual cost to Change Elemental, with 16 people attending, to be approximately $20,000 per person. Change Elemental will be subsidizing this cost significantly. We will be asking folks to contribute what they can in the range of $2,500 – $20,000 or more. This cost does not include the cost of travel to the location. This cost would include lodging, onsite group meals, and snacks. We will have a pool of funds to offer travel subsidies to folks needing travel support.

Interested in Joining Us?

5 Elements Lab Interest Survey

Contact Information

We’re excited you’re interested in joining us! Please fill out this interest form by September 8th to let us know your availability and accessibility needs. We anticipate sending out final details and an RSVP link in early August.


In order to create a rigorous, connected, and sacred container together, we would ask you attend all 5 days of the retreat. Please let us know if you are interested in joining us and which dates you are available:(Required)

Location and Access Needs

We are considering retreat centers in a few locations across the U.S., most of which are within 60-75 minutes of a major airport (one is a beautiful 75-minute drive!). Some provide food and others require us to provide outside catering. To support us in selecting a venue, please let us know the following:

Co-creating Connections