( æthos ) institute

Master Class

On Guildcraft

Creative Coherence in an Age of Great Transition


in an age of great transition...

Our global civilization has created existential risks at a scale we've never seen before. To survive, let alone thrive, we must find new ways of organizing that are adequate to responding to the challenges we’re facing. These organizations will enable emergent potential and increase both our individual autonomy and the depth of our collaborative coherence.

( æthos ) is a multi-disciplinary creative guild of designers, strategists, researchers, educators, and storytellers exploring how to put wisdom and ethical skill development at the center of our crafts. We're growing an organization that's both a family and a highly effective team, simultaneously a monastery, creative studio, and ecosystem.

We're facilitating this masterclass to create a community of practice for organizing in new and more effective ways. If you hear the call, come learn with us and share what you've discovered in your own projects...

... because if we’re going to make it, we have to do it together.


What is Guildcraft?

'Guildcraft' is the art and science of cultivating co-developmental and co-creative communities of practice.

Guilds are communities of practice committed to developing their members' skills, protecting the integrity of their crafts, and cultivating the health of their economic/ecological niche. Guilds can emerge anywhere: among independent creative collectives, within startups, or across disciplines in large organizations.

Many other people are also working toward novel ways of organizing, using somewhat different language and structures. Holacracy, Enspiral, and the DAO are all instances of this movement. For us, guilding is a particular form of a more general function, focused on creative teams.

We consider open participatory organizations (OPO), pioneered by Bonnitta Roy, to be key 'source code' for cultivating organizations that are living, natural, and highly motivating. Bonnitta is an organizational wizard who draws inspiration from sources as diverse as management theory, complex systems science, neurophenomenology, and equine qi-gong. She has discovered fundamental protocols at the heart of human relating and has been a core mentor and collaborator of ours for many years.

about the master

Bonnitta Roy is an international award winning author, presenter, and trainer. She is the creator of the Open Participatory Organization and Founder of APP Associates International. Her upcoming book ‘Our Future at Work’ can be previewed at Medium.

"We are reinventing what it means to participate, by experimenting with self-organizing teams that continually renew their passion, ignite their enthusiasm, and activate their imagination in collaborative ways of working together."

our inquiry

In growing ( æthos ), we find ourselves asking many questions about culture, org structure, and strategy, all of which stem from one fundamental inquiry:

How might we do the best work we can do and become the best people we can be, working from the widest contexts and with the clearest sense of what matters, in communities we feel connected to with rituals and systems that keep it all thriving?
What insights can we gain from the popularity of guilds in the online gaming space? How can we create a culture that supports participants' 'up-leveling?'

Your inquiries will frame the masterclass, shaping our practices and discussions over the weekend. We will aim to collectively make practical progress on all of the questions you come with.

What questions are you asking?


  • Open Participatory Organizations
  • Releasing Complexity
  • Partners, crews, congregations


// daily, weekly and monthly practices
  • morning practice / sadhana
  • integration
  • year in review


// team habits to maintain consistent coherence.
  • center / ten deep breaths
  • connect / gut check
  • contextualize / spacetime

learning is a collective practice.

Over the course of two days, you will gain: 

- practices to take home that create more alive, adaptive structures for organizations
- guideposts for when your organization is moving in the right direction even if your goal is emergent
- insight from other practitioners' projects
- new and deeper connections

Sunday afternoon we will have space to share practices with each other in an open studio / unconference. We will also discuss ways of creating an ongoing local community of practice around guildcraft.

june 15


Core Practices

- rituals / (re)generating coherence
- practices / finding collective flow
- theory /
Open Participatory Organizations

  • 9 / Open
  • 9:30-11:30 / Theory
  • 11:30-12 / Dialogue + Q/A
  • 12-1 / Lunch
  • 1-3 / Practice
  • 3-4 / Nature
  • 4-5:30 / Dialogue
  • 5:30-6:30 / ( æthos) protocols
  • 6:30-8 / Dinner
  • 8-10 / grooveship / collaborative jam
june 16


Open Collaboration

- practicum / sponsors' session (private)1
- participatory open studio / unconference

1 Interested in becoming a sponsor?
  • 9-12 / practicum (private)
  • 12-1 / Lunch for Practicum participants
  • 1-6 / open studio - Bring a friend
  • 6 / Close

taohaus is a guildhall for the 21st century.

711 Scott Street / San Francisco

everything in its
right place.


Individuals, teams, and companies organizing in new ways for greater innovation, fluidity, and service.

group size

We have space for 30 participants.


Local, seasonal, responsibly sourced lunch and chef’s dinner on Saturday. Lunch for practicum participants Sunday, and snacks both days are all included.


Early bird pricing is $195 / person until June 5. Then tickets are $295.


Don't. Just Lyft, or carpool.


We'll be filming for a prototype micro-doc and magazine to share our learnings. You'll be on camera, but you're already beautiful.

read the  FAQ

we're all in this together.