Archive for October, 2011

Entering the Field of the Future

Saturday, October 29th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Five years ago a dozen or so people met in Cambridge, Mass., at Kendall Square to walk to a meeting. The city was wrapped in deep snow after being hit by a blizzard, and since no car was moving, in stillness. As we walked, our steps sinking into the snow, our minds slowed down and our conversations went quiet. Later that morning, the blizzard was joined by lightning and thunder. And sometime during that two-day meeting something was born.

The intention that crystallized during that meeting was to form an initiative called the Presencing Institute, which would function as a global holding space for people engaging in presencing-inspired work for change. We didn’t want to start by talking about change—but by doing it. We would leave the talking to a second phase.

This week, with the opening of the 1st Presencing Global Forum, we have entered that second phase. What has emerged since our first walk in the snow is a rather amazing global ecology of people, initiatives, programs, and projects—an intentional global community. This Monday and Tuesday in Cambridge, 250 members of that community from all continents and sectors, and from a multitude of cultures, came together in person to talk about what we have created and how to move forward. Another 380 people joined us from 38 countries from around the world via live-streamed parallel events. While participating remotely in our live-streamed event in Cambridge they also created their own local content and breakout sessions.

In opening the meeting I said that this event and our presencing-inspired movement would integrate three streams and traditions that historically have often been separate. One stream is civic engagement in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Henry David Thoreau. The second stream is action science, action research. and systems thinking in the tradition of Peter Senge, Ed Schein, and Kurt Lewin. The third is mindfulness and consciousness; it is linked to all of mankind’s wisdom traditions and is represented Buddhism, particularly the Shambala tradition; Confucianism, particularly the Confucian essay on The Great Learning that says a good leader must know and cultivate his self; and the Western tradition of mindfulness as represented by the work of Rudolf Steiner, who blended mindfulness with a Goethean phenomenology as a science that is performed with the mind of wisdom, that is, with a mind that can see itself.

On the second day of the Forum, the whole group went through a mini U experience. We began with participants telling fascinating frontline stories about profound systems change; then, using Social Presencing Theatre (in 25 groups of 10), we acted out the emerging transformation of capitalism; next we transitioned into a moment of stillness; and then we moved on to crystallizing and prototyping new ideas. When all these ideas were prototyped and many had been presented, we reconvened as a community, where we felt as if a new field of collective possibility was emerging among us. An incredible precious, powerful, and delicate field connected all of us—inside the room and beyond—in a new way.

After the Forum concluded, 72 of us embarked on a Presencing Masterclass and 4-day presencing retreat. Interestingly, after returning from our solo experience in nature and sharing our individual experiences in our circle of 72, we again felt that same field experience of profound openness and future possibility.
As I write this at my computer, just after the Masterclass meeting, I have only two more minutes of battery power. (Another) blizzard has just hit the Boston area; a power outage has switched off all the lights in the region and my computer will die in just a few moments. I am thankful to be sitting here in the darkness and reporting on these moments of grace to all of you who feel connected to the deeper movement of awareness-based change that our crisis-filled world is now calling for.

My opening remarks to the Forum are posted at this link. I hope that you will be able to attend the next Forum in June 2012 in Berlin, either in person or via a live-streamed parallel session in your own community.



99% going global: 1000 cities, 82 countries

Saturday, October 15th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

join the conversation in your city now:



Steve. 99%. American Spring?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Steve passed on. He leaves a big gap. A gap in our soul. He wasn’t just the most successful entrepreneur on this planet. What set him apart is that he knew us. he knew how we felt. what we couldn’t say. but maybe what we would like to sense. He knew us. and he turned that knowing into products that keep pleasing us and our creative senses. he shifted the old system centric technology paradigm to a new one that is (more) human-centric. One, that puts us into the driver seat of creating a new world.

its that capacity that we need more than anything else to meet the biggest challenges of our time. its that capacity that we need to develop as a whole generation of change makers at the begin of this century. Its that capacity that people miss in our institutions today — particularly in Wall Street — and that keeps fueling the quickly growing Occupy Wall Street Movement. That movement, in spite of an incredibly condescending treatment by the US media at first, has swept the spirit of the Arab Spring to this side of the pond.

Wall Street top executives managed to destroy through their actions $34 trillion of assets and to eradicate about 30 million jobs–and yet, they got a full bailout without any conditions attached (which in any other industry is unheard of–ask the executives of GM who got fired after government went in). OK, so we are not taking on the big guys. So what do we do instead? We turn against the weakest members in our community by criminalizing illegal immigrants and their children–an act of shame that is currently going on in Alabama…

So what is needed? the youthful spirit and entrepreneurship of Steve Jobs applied to the big collective issues that we face as a society. First step? Visit the site that sparks the Occupy Wall Street movement by making us aware of the first person experience of our economy today (link below):

what do you think? what do you see going on?

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