Nurturing Evolutionary Development
How we started on the journey to establish Newcastle as a restorative city.
Mary Porter AM, December 2017
What is a Restorative City?
A Restorative City is a city that approaches social and community challenges through restoring relationships and applying restorative practices rather than one that seeks to divide, blame and punish. It encourages the community to work together, through conflicts, disputes and anti-social behaviour, to resolve the harm caused. This approach ultimately creates a more harmonious, safe and cohesive city.
Why is the NED Foundation particularly focusing on restorative practice?
Years ago, Ned Iceton came upon Terry O’Connell on an ABC presentation of Australian Story and learnt of his journey of discovery of how to use restorative practice to bring about cultural change and healing in the community. Terry was a serving police officer at the time and searching for alternatives to the law and order response that unfortunately still exists today.
Ned decided to explore these concepts further and to encouraged members of the network to work with him to look for opportunities to bring about this cultural change wherever they could.
You've got the ideas. Maybe NED can help.
Our community grants could make it possible to realise that dream!
If you've got the big idea and need funding to help get the project going, we'd love to hear from you. Together, we'll develop your idea and make the necessary grant application.
What is NED?
- The NED Foundation is a non-profit organisation fostering social and personal evolutionary processes within Australia and the world.
- NED is an acronym of 'Nurturing Evolutionary Development'
- NED arose from the realisation that a pro-active approach was needed, beyond the purpose of the SDN.
What is SDN?
- The Social Developers' Network is a non-profit, free association of people with a commitment to personal and social development.
- Social Developers meet at national and regional workshops, to contribute and share knowledge and experiences.
- Between workshops Social Developers keep in touch in person, by phone and mail, and online.
- That the earth and human species face a crisis of survival.
- That we all need to use our potential for inner growth for the benefit of all.
- That citizen involvement must be the primary purpose of our next evolutionary step.
- That we need to participate regularly in retreats and workshops to review our goals and objectives.
The Initiating Mission Statement
A non-profit organisation: NED affirms the life-enhancing importance of fostering co-operative and mutually supportive relationships among Australian citizens. We seek the emergence of an invigorated, unifying Australian ethos, and then beyond this we advocate an Australian role in helping humanity steer itself to secure a future on the Earth.
In point form we want to see:
- A life-enhancing, inclusive ethos
- Improved linkages, mutual acceptance and co-operation
- A maximising of our human potential at the levels of: the individual person; communities everywhere; global society; and thus
- Steering ourselves effectively and collectively towards a future for our planet, by building whatever level of world cultural convergence is necessary to energise effective, comprehensive global action on global issues.
How Did the NED Foundation Begin?
First came SDN: In 1975 two long-standing friends, John Russell from Melbourne and Ned Iceton from Armidale organized a first workshop with personal contacts who were interested in social change. From this, new people became involved, in more groups, and the concept of social development began to emerge. Ned began a newsletter to link people between workshops, began holding regional workshops and planned the first national one, held in 1980.
NED arose to actively foster social developers:
- The NED Foundation is the Will-project of Ned Iceton.
- Ned's interest was in the process of individuals coming together to facilitate personal and societal change.
- Ned devoted much of his life in fostering connections.
- Those connections evolved into a network of mutual support.
- An interim board was formed in 1997, and continues to oversee the work.
- NED is a philanthropic foundation that funds socially developmental projects.
- A fulltime professional social developer is being planned for.
The NED Foundation is the Will-Project of Ned Iceton.
Ned Iceton died on 30 June 2015 and was farewelled at a large funeral gathering in Armidale on 7 July. A later memorial meeting was held in Canberra on 24 October. On both occasions strong tributes were given to the significant impact of Ned’s life on many people around Australia.
"Much loved and respected friend, supporter and mentor to many people and causes."
Continuing the work of Ned Iceton
Ned Iceton left a foundation to continue promoting creative social development. This website is the online face of that foundation. The foundation's mission is to support social and community activists.
Nurturing Evolutionary Development Inc (NED) supports and promotes The Social Developers’ Network (SDN).
SDN is an unincorporated network of people who have either attended an SDN Workshop, or are sympathetic to the ethos of SDN.
“SDN workshops may challenge our views about ourselves and the world. This is because SDN is not just a feel‐good experience – it strives to be real and relevant, on a personal and social level, for those engaging actively and sincerely in the issues of our times. Beyond this the SDN culture is at its core one of mutual appreciation and energising group wholeness.”
Ned saw himself as a ‘cultural therapist’
He was inspired by his mother’s efforts as a community developer during the Great Depression when she galvanised the town of Gunnedah NSW to cope. His early experiences as a doctor working in the Northern Territory, the UK and the Sub-Continent gave him confidence to engage with many different people and situations.
I've been 'on about' people and society even before I went to study Medicine at age 16. I always felt I wanted to engage with people as they really were, without any bullshit, and decided that if I were looking after them when they were ill they'd be more real; and so I did Medicine. That was great, but the day came when I realised that my patients' gratitude was misplaced, because they shouldn't have become sick in the first place. They were living a lifestyle that was illness-producing!
Ned Iceton - The Book
A book is in preparation about the life work of Ned Iceton. The book provides insight into the development of Ned Iceton’s theories, embedded in a history of a network of social developers.
The Interviews with SDN participants in the book were done well before Ned Iceton died in mid-2015.
According to Ned Iceton, the social developer’s style is to offer support to anyone as we confront each other about reality. This involves honesty and trust. Personal development accompanies social development in order that both individuals and communities function effectively. Both cognitive and emotional aspects must be considered. Social development is about “re-ordering our individual and social culture as a prescription for our species’ ills”.