Time for change: This summer we're working on a brand new website for Scilla with lots of extra features

So please forgive us for not updating in the meantime... Curious to explore the changes and new features? Mark your calender and be sure to check in with us this September to find out what is new! Or receive a reminder by subscribing here.


Here's what I'm passionate about at the moment:


Leading with Grace & Resilience™
A Transformational 5-day Leadership Programme for Women

Leading with Grace & Resilience is a programme for women business leaders, change makers, senior executives and social entrepreneurs, who are committed to bringing about a new paradigm of leadership.

This will involve leaving behind out-moded business models and integrating the qualities of what we call the ‘deep feminine’ with
the’ deep masculine’ to create more humane corporate cultures and businesses that have a positive impact in the world. This whole person integral approach will support your flourishing in all areas of your life.

The residential retreats are led by Dr. Scilla Elworthy & Karen Downes. For questions please contact Karen. Read more about the upcoming retreats here. The brochure can be downloaded here.


Femme Q

Profound change arises when we are challenged to create entirely new ways of living and leading and are willing to take action.

To shape the future that is needed in our world today we must bring into balance the masculine and the feminine.  Indispensable feminine wisdom and qualities are needed now more than ever: the potency of compassion, the gift of deep listening,  the brilliance of intuition and the warmth of inclusivity.

We invite you to join women and men around the world who are awakening these qualities within and reclaiming their authority and power to serve the greater good, to protect and honour life and shape a world which serves human flourishing and planetary regeneration. All over the world, in all systems, we see the devastation caused by the old patriarchal system, and the global consequences that cut across societies, geographies and generations. The feminine intelligence that exists in both women and men is now needed to face the current crises and bring a radical shift in the way we live and lead.

We call this intelligence FemmeQ.

Through feminine intelligence, women and men cultivate the qualities that are essential to transform the patterns of behaviour that have brought about the current crises we face. Feminine intelligence reveals and expands the qualities of leadership that are often hidden - the potency of compassion, the power of listening, the brilliance of intuition and the warmth of inclusivity.

In 2016 we had the first wondrous FemmeQ summit in Berlin. This experience moved us deeply and inspired 140 people from 15 countries to attend. For all who couldn't participate we made an online summit too. You can watch the shortfilm, including the highlights of this summit here. Find out more about the online FemmeQ summit here.

The online FemmeQ summit has just become available for purchase. Included in the FemmeQ Online Package are the core messages of the 12 members of Rising Women Rising World, which have been edited from recordings of our speakers, the plenary panel discussions and selected workshops. As well as this, the package includes intimate interviews with some of our speakers and behind the scenes footage from our time in Berlin. Attend the online summit here.

Read more about upcoming FemmeQ events on the website.


Pioneering the Possible: Awakened Leadership for a World that Works

This is my latest book, which was published by North Atlantic Books on 7th October 2014, distributed by Random House.

I wrote this book because so few people have any vision of the kind of future they would like to live in, and yet I sense that huge changes are taking place worldwide, and in human evolution. I observe two phenomena happening simultaneously. On the one hand humans are stripping earth of its natural resources so fast that entire eco systems are collapsing… On the other, humans are waking up to an entirely new perception of how the universe functions… The most powerful forces in that direction are the empowerment of women to share with men the responsibilities of decision-making, and secondly the energy, alertness and skills of young social entrepreneurs the world over. These forces are gaining impetus, fast; when and how will they reach critical mass? The future really is in the balance.

More details and reviews are here.

Rising Women Rising World 

is a global enterprise supporting women’s collective leadership, life training processes, inspiration and collaboration between women towards creating a better world for everyone. I am one of the founders alongside Dr Rama Mani and Dr Jean Houston.

We are a growing, vibrant community of women on all continents who take responsibility for building a world that works for all. The custodians of this mission are a committed group of professionals, who, over the past 30 years have been shaping their respective fields: economics, business, governance, security, health, ecology, media, culture and the arts, education, spirituality and indigenous wisdom. Now, as Rising Women Rising World we come together to pioneer a possible future.

Our work is sourced from deep feminine wisdom and values that have been marginalised for centuries. Our global network, power of collaboration and strategic approach brings this work to fruition. We are all here at this critical moment to envision, evoke and enable the world that yearns to be.

  • Rising Women Rising World is committed to creating and enacting a positive vision of the future. 
  • Everything we do is based in the wisdom of the deep feminine, which has been abused and marginalized for centuries. 
  • We’re concerned with the global as with the local, with the planet as with the personal, with the inner as with the outer. 
  • We’d like to offer you the tools we’ve found useful for the development of inner power: education, training, connections, constellations, and circles of strategy with women around the world.

For more details and to register for one of our courses, please visit the website.

Peace Direct

Peace Direct wants to change the balance of power and resources between local people and outsiders so that local peace building is central to all strategies for managing conflict. We believe local individuals and organisations have knowledge and social capital that outsiders can't access, and which are essential to achieving lasting peace. We believe if local initiatives were adequately funded, prospects for peace would increase and peace building could be done more cost effectively. So Peace Direct works with others to:

  • Fund local peace building
  • Demonstrate the effectiveness of local peace building
  • Make it easy for people to find out what local peace building initiatives exist
  • Increase our knowledge about how 'outsiders' can work effectively with 'locally-led’Get the public on boardBuild coalitions of local peace builders in conflict areas to have greater strategic impact.


Peace Direct grew out of work at the Oxford Research Group (ORG) on the effectiveness of civil society peace building, published as War Prevention Works. It was clear to me that local peace building could be highly cost-effective, and yet was starved of funding. From 2001, I started developing the idea of 'Give Peace a Bank' – aiming to raise an endowment fund, the interest on which would be used to fund local peace building initiatives. Through a number of public events I started raising awareness about the importance of local peace building, and in 2003 joined forces with Carolyn Hayman. She had concluded that what was needed was a trusted conduit that people could use to channel funds to local peace building in conflict areas. In 2005, Peace Direct was named Best New Charity at the prestigious UK Charity Awards. Carolyn became Executive Director and I remained as chair and then a member of the board until 2013, and now act as Ambassador for Peace Direct.

The Do School

The DO School offers training, mentoring, and education for outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs to kickstart their own ventures all around the world.  They offer a unique one-year educational program that enables talented young adults to launch their own innovative and sustainable social ventures. The program allows their Fellows to learn from passionate peers, engage with current leaders and experts, and create change by implementing their social ventures in their home countries. They have created a one-of-a-kind platform where experienced individuals can share their knowledge in a fun and effective way, helping to inspire positive change through teaching. During the summer of 2013 I taught at The DO School and am now an adviser to their idea-focused, results-driven, hands-on curriculum.

The DO School Start-Up Lab is tailored to deliver the DO School Method online. The course is aimed at those who already have an idea for a not-for-profit or for-profit business. 

The Bee School

"No problem can be solved from the consciousness that created it."Well and good, but how do we move to - and use - a new level of consciousness? Bees work co-operatively for the good of the planet. Without them there would be no fruit or vegetables. At this time the planet needs human bees, able to work holistically in tune with a greater intelligence, and to make the nectar needed to heal the planet's immune system. We are therefore offering a year-long course, one day per month, to equip women and men with the skills, insight and knowledge to understand the challenges facing us and act effectively to address them, using 21st century consciousness. I originally designed and co-ordinated the course, which includes:

  • An introductory 'taster' day when you can learn what the course involves and asks of you
  • Training in Nonviolent Communication™
  • Group process and inter-personal skills 
  • Implementing key 21st century values in the way you lead
  • Increasing your energy from within, and your joy
  • Conflict transformation: exploring a range of conflict-handling skills
  • Collaborative problem-solving: engaging all stake-holders to produce durable agreement
  • Spiritual path: identifying and working with a spiritual practice
  • Thinking systemically: daily use of a holistic approach
  • Soul power: healing ourselves and our world
  • Bringing about actual changes in policy, or in a specific situation.
  • The practicalities: organisational set-up, mentoring, support networks.

UPDATE: Bee School has now spread to Germany and takes place in Berlin on an annual basis. For more information, please contact Dolores.

 The World Future Council

is an international forum made up of 50 eminent personalities from around the world. We come from governments, parliaments, academia, civil society, the arts and business.  Together we form a voice for the rights of future generations. We make politicians aware that they have an ethical responsibility to assess every decision-making process on the basis of how it will affect future generations. In close collaboration with civil society groups, members of parliament, governments, businesses and international organisations we research future just policies and legislation. We then advise political decision-makers, offer them tried and tested courses of action and support them in the concrete implementation of new policies. As an independent non-profit organisation with no interest in short-term profit or prestige, autonomous from governmental and institutional interests, our organisation enjoys the highest level of credibility in its political advocacy. For example:

The Global Policy Action Plan provides the policy parameters needed for a grown-up humanity so we can address the world emergency we are currently living.  The breakthrough policies described within the action plan represent a combination of tried and tested policies that have been successful in one or more countries, and optimal policy solutions we have identified through extensive research.  Interlinked policy reform will enable us progressively to change direction, preserve a habitable planet, build a shared human future and enable us to create a better world for future generations 

The Future Justice Commission Decisions taken by politicians today will have a major influence on the world of tomorrow. But our offspring and the generations yet to be born cannot stand up for their rights. It is therefore our duty and responsibility to ensure the survival of both present and future generations.The WFC has set up this Commission with the goal of analyzing and exposing the long-term effects of our decisions today and connecting current problem-solving with a long term perspective. For this, we work from an integrated perspective, highlighting the connections between human rights and security, ecological integrity, social equity and peaceful relations. As a councilor of the World Future Council, I am a member of the The Future Justice Commission and the Commission on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls.