Amelia Terrapin, Mobius Method
Amelia Terrapin is an educator and entrepreneur, committed to creating participatory learning environments in the fields of education, business, and social change. After a career as a professional dancer and educator, she developed an approach that uses movement to enhance learning in all different kinds of environments.
Where – in what community – do you primarily do your work?
I founded Mobius Method to foster a culture shift towards an equitable world that works for everyone, so my work serves groups of people gathered in any kind of learning environment: social change organizations, corporate and public sector teams, and K-12 science classrooms. Mobius Method uses a mashup of movement, systems thinking, relationship building and culture change as a powerful learning tool for groups that range from schoolchildren and at-risk teens to engineers and business executives.
What gets you going each day and inspires your current work?
I am inspired by the connection and creativity that are unleashed when we interact as whole beings, bringing all parts of ourselves into our relationships and our work. When we disrupt the status quo of what’s acceptable or appropriate and invite vulnerable, authentic interactions, a new field of possibility becomes available! I see that the solutions to most of the world’s problems are already here; the main ingredients missing are the trusting and vision-oriented relationships within organizations and networks crucial to implementing the solutions, along with a culture that values diversity and continuous learning. I see groups of people as treasure chests waiting to be opened by a different kind of culture that invites vulnerability, trust, and creativity. I know in my bones that all of our world’s complex problems are creatively solved when we tap the vast amounts of human potential that lies dormant within cultures of apathy, disempowerment, and distrust.
When you work in your community, what are the most valuable assets of the community that you experience aside from real estate and money?
Whether I’m working with engineers, 5th graders or corporate executives the assets remain constant:
...which all lead to the most valuable asset: TRUST
How does your artistic practice inform and/or is integrated into your enterprise?
My experience as a modern dancer and choreographer is the basis for my professional development trainings, K-12 science curriculum and culture change workshops.
What is the impact of your work on your community? Today? Over a long period of time?
The most valuable impact my work has on my community is the creativity and trust that are generated in the moment, that carry over into other relationships and communities beyond the experience. Getting a taste of a more soulful way of interacting ignites a hunger to be more authentic, more whole, more human together. When the method is embraced and used as an ongoing group practice it fosters deeper trust, a culture of contributing your whole self and greater alignment with a group’s purpose.
In my work, innovative movement-based learning experiences are followed by shared reflective practice, creating space for relationships to form and for the wisdom of the group to be surfaced. Then, by exploring these experiences together through a systems thinking lens, individuals become more aware of themselves as part of a system while the group’s collaborative awareness is elevated by the wisdom of nature.
When used regularly as a tool to learn science in K-12 classrooms it makes learning more fun and physically active, reaches a wide range of students with diverse learning styles, increases academic content retention, encourages a culture of play and develops leadership capacity. Ten years from now I imagine classrooms, meetings, and conferences brimming with movement, connection, and creativity! Movement will be a mainstream source of connection and sense-making. Trusting relationships will be treated as our greatest natural resource.
The Nitty Gritty
When was your organization or project founded?
I started using movement to teach science and leadership development in 2004. Mobius Method was incorporated as an LC3 in 2010.
What is your staffing situation like?
It's just me and Laura, a spreadsheet and strategy superhuman.
What is your annual budget?
How does your revenue break down?
We are in the process of putting together a strategy for greater impact...at the moment we take whatever floats into our net: teaching residencies in schools, corporate team building events, professional development trainings, special event design and facilitation.
Find out more about Amelia and Mobius Method
TEDx talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACbmMm7St54