Dragon Dreaming Project Design

A project will best succeed with people being fully committed. This is where Dragon Dreaming comes in, a concept on project-design developed by the Australian John Croft.

Dragon Dreaming is a powerful, holistic tool for project planning relying on

  • the traditions of the Australian Aborigines
  • a smart 12- step process,
  • which works in 4 phases, i.e. Dreaming - Planning - Doing - Celebrating
  • and is based on a version of  the critical path analysis

Dragon Dreaming is a process that explicitly supports and nourishes sustainability in this world.

Excerpt of an article on Dragon Dreaming by Kosha Joubert

Dragon Dreaming relies on the power of our dreams and visions, to make use of the power of the desired future state. The goal of this method is to bring about projects, not institutions, projects that only exist for a certain period of time until the focus moves on to the next step, the next vision. There is always a gap between what currently is and what we wish with all our hearts, for ourselves and for the whole. Often we put up with how things are instead of taking serious and following our desires. Dragon Dreaming helps us to find each other and build bridges in order to get from the place we are to the one we want to be at by means of successful projects.

This method was developed in Australia and is inspired by the ideas of the chaos theory and complexity theory, by systems theory and the ancient wisdom of the Aborigines. Applying these makes culture change. The method aims at reintegrating aspects which were separated in the history of civilization: left and right hemisphere of our brain, intuition and logics, the individual and the environment, thinking and doing, working and playing. Furthermore, it focuses on cooperation and the power of the community. John Croft, Australian born, one of its founders and initiators, if not THE founder, has repeatedly come to Europe since 2007 to generously share his knowledge with all those who are willing to join this exciting journey.

According to John Croft projects will not become sustainable if we tend to neglect an essential part of the sound project cycle of Dreaming-Planning-Doing-Celebrating, and that is the part of Celebrating. Without a sound culture of celebrating we will not nourish ourselves enough, but gradually lose our pleasure in doing something and become exhausted.

The phases

The project begins with a dream or vision cycle. An inspired individual invites people who qualify as possible cooperation partners, and presents her/his vision. Here it is helpful to keep in mind a variety of different personalities.

The project idea should fulfil the Dragon Dreaming criteria:

1. Supporting personal growth. While carrying out the project we discover new aspects of ourselves and acquire new skills. We deepen our contact with the world and life on the whole.

2. Supporting community building. Trust and cooperation in the team grow by experiencing that all visions are respected and everyone can find her/his most coherent place in the whole.

3. Supporting the whole. We find meaning in our doing by experiencing the feedback loop in our environment. We put ourselves at the service of the whole and stimulate as well as nourish diversity, creativity and life.  

After dreaming comes planning. Now that information is collected, alternatives are considered, strategies developed and first test runs are made. Dragon Dreaming cultivates the art of taking on the visions of others and integrate them in a way that we truly think from their position. A process of collective intelligence is created so that the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts and this makes a mind-broadening experience for each participant.

Finally, all strategies are brought together in a project design, called Karrabyrrdt (spiderweb): a complex network of  'Songlines' leading from the now into the future to sing alive the collective dream. Where the lines cross, nodes are created. These are meeting points for people to gather their knowledge and skills for the sake of bringing a project one step closer to realisation. The Songlines themselves represent the energy flows between the nodes: communication, exchange of information and knowledge, mutual support.

The design enables an organic distribution of roles. Participants/people can contribute where they really want to, serve as experts in the background in fields which they would usually tend to take on but their heart does not beat for at the moment. It needs no statically defined working groups, the groups come into being and dissolve again depending on the flow of the process/action. Applying this design makes a major part of all minute-taking and preparation work unnecessary, as it makes clearly visible how the project is moving on, what has happened so far and what comes next.  

Dragon Dreaming offers a toolbox full of various methods partly known from the field of organisational development. But this time the toolbox is coloured by its alignment to deep healing: healing the separation between man and environment, healing the gap between thinking and doing. The focus is on the energy flow which connects all levels.

What makes professional project- and process facilitation with Dragon Dreaming? 

External process facilitation of a project dovetails with internal project management. The concrete who does what allocation of work is agreed along the tasks and goals set out.

When facilitating projects I commonly take on the following tasks:  

  • Support in the set-up of  DreamCircles and identification of goals
  • Conceptualisation of a concrete project plan
  • Facilitating the project or steering team
  • If required:  conceptualising/designing concrete processes for workshops and conferences
  • Briefing and Coaching of  VIPs
  • Facilitating meetings and events