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How can we embed human connection 
in systems
and services?

In November 2019, 20 peers set out on the Deepr Learning Marathon to find answers to this question. 

It was a starting point. An invitation to explore human connection alongside each other and together. And what better way to explore human connection than by connecting with a group of humans?

This website is a distillation of our year long inquiry. We invite you to dive in and find something that sparks more human connection in your own life too.


Designing for human connection in peer groups.

Matt, Zahra and Ellie ponder capacity, separation, hosting, structure and discomfort

00:00 / 14:14

Human connection is our life-blood 

Kaz shares her 3 key insights about human connection with Ellie, leading into a conversation about our  interconnected relationships with ourselves, each other and the land .

00:00 / 11:28

Humans, machines and our systems

Sesh and Matt contemplate the relationship between humans and machines 

00:00 / 02:46

Is designing for human connection the same as designing for learning?

After posing this question, Zahra, Ellie and Matt reflect upon relationships, conditions and space needed for learning and human connection in different contexts, and the pros and cons of  that well-known facilitation tool - the 'check-in'.

00:00 / 23:12

Digital connection isn’t always the bad guy

Hasmita believes digital has a strong role to play in the future of connection. She reflects  on the value of these platforms to enable deeper relationships

00:00 / 06:00

Warm systems components

Matt ponders how flexibility can be created by more human connection in services and systems

00:00 / 03:03

Art that connects 

Kaz and Ellie talk about the experience of art, and the shared and nuanced experiences of both artist, maker and viewer

00:00 / 18:57

Rituals and connection 

Indi and Rebecca have a conversation about rituals and designing them into our lives for greater connection

00:00 / 11:19

Permission for human connection with strangers

Emily, Sophie and Ellie reflect on connecting with strangers during COVID-19

00:00 / 06:00

Where human connection intersects with sustainability in design


Sesh poses a dilemma of choice and capacity in sustainable design to Emily, Steph and Ellie.

00:00 / 13:35

Healing power of human connection

Dan, Kaz and  Ellie touch upon how  embodiment and human connection can be an antidote to trauma 

00:00 / 04:34

This Library is home to a selection of conversations we've recorded to capture some of the learnings and insights from our inquiries into human connection.  You can explore and listen to more snippets in our interactive web of connections below.


Find a comfy spot, take a warm drink, (did you know that research has found that people with a physical warm stimulus experience greater feelings of warmth, trust and social connection with others!?) and get stuck in. 

a Web of

Dive in deeper to our conversations with this interactive map of themes that emerged from our inquiries into human connection. 

Here are some ways you can explore our web of connection: 

  • Hover your mouse over a larger ‘Participant’ circle to see which elements and themes they are exploring

  • Hover your mouse over a smaller circle to see Participants that are exploring it

  • Select a Participant to read their bio and listen to any audio conversation clips 

  • Select other elements to discover any relevant audio that we’ve recorded (we’ve not captured audio about every element on this map)

  • Use the buttons at the top to change the view of the web and limit the types of elements you are viewing  (Tip: keep the ‘Participant’ button selected to see the connections) 

  • Zoom in and out using the toggles in the top right corner

  • The ‘Legend’ in the bottom left is a key to the different elements in the web

Who we are

We came together around a shared belief that more human connection could make a real difference to society, systems, services, and the spaces where we exist, and a collective wish to cultivate that. 


Each of us held a personal Learning Question relating to human connection. You can read more about each of our inquiries below.

Embedding human connection in services and systems

Read a summary of the insights from our collective of

20 co-learners.

About the Deepr Learning Marathon

In November 2019, 21 peers set out on the Deepr Learning Marathon to explore this question in partnership with Deepr, Enrol Yourself, and the Hawkwood Centre for Future Thinking.


The question "How can we embed human connection into services and systems?" was a starting point. An invitation to explore human connection alongside each other and together. And what better way to explore human connection than by connecting with a group of humans?


It became a theme that was more timely than we could ever have imagined. As COVID-19 swept across the world, we found ourselves adapting to lockdowns and navigating a transformation, to find an entirely different perspective on the need for human connection in its stark absence.


This website is a distillation of a year long inquiry, capturing some of the richness that has come from our individual and collective learnings along the way. 


We gathered around this theme, and a collective knowing that collaboration and connection are at the heart  of being able to meet the challenges that society and the planet face up ahead.  For most of us, our learnings around human connection have been a drop in a vast ocean, and we hope the ripples can be felt through our interactions, our relationships and our work. 


If one of those useful, interesting, heartwarming ripples reaches you while you are here - an idea, inspiration, provocation, new perspective - we’d love to hear how it has resonated with you. Please do get in touch.

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With deep thanks and gratitude to Enrol Yourself, Deepr and Hawkwood Centre for Future Thinking for their continued support over this turbulent year.

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