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SOU SOU Workshop: Supporting rituals through ritual, friendship, and play

Format: Workshops, RSD11, RSD11: Methods and the worlds they make, Topic: Health & Well-being

Cheryl Hsu, Adrienne Pacini, Kimberley Peter, and Michael Schaus

Systemic Design Researcher & Strategist, Consultant | Principal, Strategic Design, SHS Consulting | Director, Design for AI, RBC | Principal, Strategic Foresight, Scotiabank

This workshop explores how we might support ourselves and others in transitions through ritual, friendship, and play, where relationships are the essential elements in any system change and the pleasure they provide in sustaining energy for ongoing transitions. Building on the concept of a “Sou Sou” – a group savings club – the presenters share their perspectives and journey through a workshop designed to be an immersive experience. Participants are invited into the world of the Sou Sou through a prototype experience of ritual design based on the presenters’ example as a case study. In keeping with the spirit of the ritual, the workshop will rely on storytelling as a key vehicle for communication and change.


Share the Sou Sou ritual design process with systemic designers looking to embark on a transition design journey with their team or a community of practice

  • Provide an opportunity for workshop participants to jointly reflect and build on the process with the presenters
  • Prototype elements of the Sou Sou ritual in real time with participants

Expected outcomes

Ritual design steps crafted by the presenters and what worked and what didn’t work over three iterative cycles to-date

A pattern of a ritual designed with the purpose of centring friendship, play and pleasure into a transition process

A sense of how they might create their own ritual that can create or amplify the conditions for easeful flow in the context of intentional change by ritualizing pleasure and friendship into the process


We use a ritual-based scaffolding to guide this 90-minute session.

  • Welcome and check-in
  • Understand the context
  • Prepare for immersion
  • Orient to group interaction
  • Move into and through interaction
  • Release and reorient
  • Return to the group
  • Reflect and renew
  • Wrap




Citation Data

Author(s): Michael Schaus, Adrienne Pacini, Cheryl Hsu, and Kimberley Peter
Year: 2022
Title: SOU SOU Workshop: Supporting rituals through ritual, friendship, and play
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 058
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 30 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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