How Did SDN Begin?
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.
From the SDN website:
"Our purpose is to be creative and action-oriented: we constantly seek explanations which emerge from action in the world. We are equally interested both in individual people and in the wider social and ecological systems on which our collective wellbeing depends."
How Did the NED Foundation Begin?
The NED Foundation is the Will-project of Ned Iceton. Ned has spent the last 23 years making connections with, and and fostering connections between, people who, like him, believe that we humans will have to speedily undergo our next cultural-evolutionary steps if we are to survive as a species. He has built a network of mutual support, to link individuals who seek to make personal and socially developmental change for either specific or general purposes. Ned works in a process-oriented way, i.e. he does not himself have a particular personal content-field of interest, but is keenly aware that the necessary evolution of humanity will have to embrace interconnected change in all areas and subjects. His interest is in that general process.
Ned wants his Will to enable at least one person to continue working full time along similar change-fostering lines after his death. For this purpose he is now designing his estate in such a way that it will permanently support the employment of a professional 'social developer', who will be helped in the task by a network of volunteers.
NED is a group of interested people who are currently supporting Ned in devising the practical and philosophical basis for such a foundation. Seven people, including Ned, formed an Interim Board in 1997, with this specific purpose in mind. Others are playing the role of consultants and are invited to lend their practical, inspirational or financial support.
The Interim Board's first activity was to create a draft job description for the future professional social developer, because ensuring the employment of such a person is seen as the initiating task of the foundation. The IB meets at least once a year to discuss the current state of development and to consider the next necessary steps.