© 2016

Conscious Collaboration

Re-Thinking The Way We Work Together, For Good


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Ben Emmens
    Pages 1-9
  3. The Collaboration Conundrum

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Ben Emmens
      Pages 23-36
    3. Ben Emmens
      Pages 37-48
    4. Ben Emmens
      Pages 49-58
  4. Conscious Collaboration

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 59-59
    2. Ben Emmens
      Pages 61-75
    3. Ben Emmens
      Pages 77-88
    4. Ben Emmens
      Pages 89-100
    5. Ben Emmens
      Pages 101-110
    6. Ben Emmens
      Pages 111-122
    7. Ben Emmens
      Pages 123-135
    8. Ben Emmens
      Pages 137-147
    9. Ben Emmens
      Pages 149-159
  5. Action

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 161-161
    2. Ben Emmens
      Pages 163-174
    3. Ben Emmens
      Pages 175-186
    4. Ben Emmens
      Pages 187-196

About this book


When collaboration works, the results can be breath-taking! But it doesn’t always deliver on its potential. Collaboration has been defined as "an unnatural act practiced by non-consenting adults". And often that’s exactly what it is! Some collaboration can be painfully difficult with the result that problems are either ignored or smoothed over until the collaboration falters or disintegrates, or self-interest and personal agendas take over and conflict quickly arises.

Collaboration and partnerships work well in the aid sector because they have to – no one body has the resources to solve massive problems on their own. Business often sees the advantages of collaboratively sharing costs without fully recognizing the shift in mindset that is required to take managers with a “winner takes all” worldview and get them performing effectively in a win-win world.

Part of the solution lies in bringing consciousness to the workplace and developing it as a core competence. A conscious approach to business relationships, planning, and delivery can enable individuals and organizations to truly think about what they are doing, make changes where needed, and become more effective. It is a particularly effective way of managing the multiple and occasionally conflicting stakeholder objectives inherent in any collaborative project.     

The author draws on his experience in the aid sector and with non-profit organizations to describe the building blocks that underpin successful collaboration, and inspires us to re-think the way we work together, for good.


community organization aid consciousness partnerships mindfulness innovation non-profit strategy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The Conscious ProjectBarnetUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Ben has worked in the aid sector for the last 15 years, holding a range of roles that have seen him work with humanitarian and development agencies in more 40 countries. He spent ten years with People In Aid, an umbrella organization that provided HR and people management support to those working to reduce inequality and alleviate suffering. Prior to his career in the aid sector, he held a range of roles in the private and public sectors.

He is the co-founder of The Conscious Project, a social business that typically works at Board, Executive, or senior management level and whose client list includes UNICEF, the Red Cross, Action Aid, Save the Children, Oxfam, CARE, World Vision, the International Rescue Committee, the International Water Management Institute, International Food Policy Research Institute, the Scout Association, Amnesty International, the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum, and the National Health Service. 

Bibliographic information

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