Learning from the Peruvian Amazon

By: Paul Roberts and Laura Dev

This research report investigates how a group of highly accomplished indigenous Shipibo healers, based in the Peruvian Amazon, learned to become skilled healers.

Although the Shipibo healers are from a very different cultural paradigm and context to Western organisational life, this report aims to bring the two worlds into conversation with one another. By investigating processes of learning and healing for these Shipibo healers, we attempt to shed light on the question: What can managers and developers in Western organisations learn from the Peruvian Amazon?

The research was carried out through in-depth interviews with thirteen healers. Of the thirteen, ten were interviewed in pairs, representing an older healer, often with more than fifty years of experience, and their next-generation apprentice. All the healers were recognized as leading practitioners both within their own communities and by the growing number of Westerners drawn to the Peruvian Amazon to work with them.