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Hearing the call and choosing to act – a collective story of systemic shifts

Alice Howard-Vyse hosts Tim Collings sharing part of his transformational story

In this episode we have created a slight shift in the experience, reversing the role Tim plays as host and putting him behind the guest microphone, whilst the conversational space is held by Alice Howard-Vyse.

The story shared and examined in this dialogue is that of one of the transformative experiences, or rather a combination of experiences, that have drawn Tim into being and doing different things – he would hope better things. This is a story of learning to tune into what you are called to do, of observing self and the affect of lived experience, of listening to the calls we receive through our lives and the choices we can make once we hear them. Tim’s story he does not consider to be his, it is the story of all those who shared in the experiences the story draws upon – ecological traumas of flood and fire – and as Alice reflects, of a collective story of systemic shifts which are impacting increasingly across our planet and our shared systems of life, community, work and economic contribution.

Tim is extremely grateful to and honoured by Alice’s acceptance of his invitation to host her first podcast by holding space for this story to be told, and for her own interpretation and reflection on the experiences Tim shares. Alice had not heard Tim’s story before the recording of this conversation, her responses are raw, meaningful, impactful and deeply insightful and inspiring.

Alice is a champion of progressive systemic change. Her business, Humanise This, is a strategic innovation consultancy that supports sustainability leaders and their teams to address complex challenges, navigate uncertainty and lead with the best of their humanity. Alice’s integrative practice draws from Human-centred Design, Systems Thinking & Transformative Change. Her work – as a strategist, coach and facilitator – is dedicated to building adaptive capacity of communities and enabling initiatives that catalyse transition to a low-carbon future. She is an Active Hope facilitator and one of the founding convenors of RegenSydney.

Alice and I really looking forward to sharing this conversation with you – we hope you receive an invitation for deep reflection, listening and tuning into yourself, and to explore the calls from your own experience and the choices you have to act having heard them.

Key out-takes from this episode;


  • I watched people die, and I did nothing. I did not hear this call, and I chose not to act. I went back to my life and I carried on.
  • How do we choose to act, appreciate the longer narrative and choose when to act based on capacity
  • What motivates us to act and change our behaviour?

Collective narrative

  • There is a collective task to be done. This is done individually, cojoined with many others
  • This is a bigger story to be pulled into, a collective story of systemic shifts
  • When we hear each others stories we are sharing in each others emotions, which is the connecting force between us
  • We are so often busy in the doing that we drop the stories that we are part of

Transformative narrative

  • As storytellers we can engage ourselves to make change from ourselves first, then transmit and enable transformational change in others
  • Transformative experiences are not about the event itself, but about the story we form around it, and that we live through it
  • The role of storytelling can be allied to any of the arenas of change that are needed to embrace our better world


  • How do you become attuned to the work you feel you need to do?
  • Showing up in a new direction, in a different way, being more explicit about what is within
  • Try to tune into the affect you are having on others, what that is and what that says about what you’re doing
  • How many of us can see the fullness of ourselves?

Influence & Change

  • Add quotes here

Additional links to resources mentioned in this episode

Australian Government site detailing scale and impact of the 2019/20 bushfires

Rebecca Huntley’s book – How to talk about Climate Change in a Way that makes a difference

Dr Miriam Rose’s site for more about Deep Listening – Dadirri

Tim’s article – What if your Monday morning anxiety could mean this, on Medium

BWL Episode page for the conversation with Laura Hamilton-O’Hara

Site for Active Hope

Follow Tim and Alice as well as the Better World Leaders community group via the links below

Tim Linkedin –

Alice Linkedin –

Tim’s company – 4iLeadership –

Alice’s company – Humanize This –

Better World Leaders Group –

As always, great thanks and appreciation to the team who contributed to bringing Better World Leaders to you;

To Brendan Ward for mastering, final production, composition and performance of original music throughout each episode.

To Cooper, Pat and the team at RadioHub studios for audio editing, technical support and creative guidance during the episodes that are recorded face-to-face. You can find out about Radio Hub’s services here –

To NokNok Studios for website design, hosting and advice. Find out about NokNok’s awesome services here

To Cirasa Design for logo and site graphics – Find our about Cirasa’s inspiring work here