ISTA’s 2023 Changes & Initiatives

As of January 2024, ISTA has made and initiated the following changes:

  1. ISTA created and implemented a new Accountability Process, an overview of which is available on their website here. ISTA is also making Quarterly updates to the site. 

  2. 3 ISTA facilitators, Ohad Pele Ezrahi, Eugene Heglund and Buddhi Dana, have been on pause from their roles at ISTA and agreed to an accountability process as of July 2023.
  1. According to ISTA, Baba Dez no longer holds any leadership role (as of 2015), neither as facilitator nor as part of the ISTA Council (as of 2018).
  1. ISTA created separate forms for general feedback and reports of incidents of harm. The Incident Report form is linked on the main menu of their homepage under About and on the Accountability page
  1. ISTA is supporting the mediation process of participants who request it.  ISTA is offering refunds in some situations, to be decided by ISTA. They are using the support of Safe Mediation and other third-parties to determine where the responsibilities lie in each individual incident.
  1. ISTA hired outside third party consultants: Lars Borgmann, Safe Mediation; & Mischa Byruck.
  1. At it’s Core Gathering in March 2023, ISTA created a new Sexual Protocols document which is currently in effect. Regarding sexual interactions between teachers and students, in Level 1, there is a collective agreement that facilitators may not engage sexually with participants unless there is a previous relationship.
  1. The creation of ISTA’s Core Values document was begun at the Core Gathering in March 2023 and is currently in an editing process. 
  1. ISTA has paused taking on new Apprentices during its restructuring.
  1. ISTA created stable paid governance roles, such that Council is now being paid and can hire support if needed.
  1. The ISTA Lead Circle will be auditing the curriculum with an eye on trauma and the need for down regulation. The size of trainings is being reviewed. Better resourcing and self-regulating techniques are being taught.  
  1. Regarding Bruce Lyon, Bruce is a member of ISTA’s Lead Circle and is actively engaged in the ISTA community. Regarding Highden: “We are in deep conversation with Bruce about the changes that we are making at ISTA, however we maintain that Highden is a separate entity and has a separate code of conduct and value system.”