This Is Our Time

Friday, August 29th, 2008 | Uncategorized

This is our moment. This is our time.

i just got back to the US after two months of Europe and Africa. in Europe i could watch the impact of Obama’s speech in front of the 200 000 in Berlin, particularly on young people (German politicians are happy when they would draw 2000). at the time Obama was giving his speech in Berlin i was running a leadership workshop for 24 younger leaders of a global company in Southern Germany. i showed them the speech the next morning. they reacted just as thoughtful as the Berlin crowd did the night before. I am now 47 and for the first time in my life i am listening to a politician and i go: yes, i agree, its basically true what this guy says…

why would young people in Germany, who have never listened to any politician, show up to Obamas speech? Why would young people in the US, who never engaged in any political movement, turn into activists? Why would middle aged people like me stop and turn on the TV and soak in that historical moment (the nomination of Obama as presidential candidate) last night?

we all do it for the very same reason: because we are longing for something way different, we are longing for some profound renewal and change in our collective structures. we have been waiting, consciously or not, all our lives. and now, it feels, a window is beginning to open up.

all evolution works in stages: longer stages of gradual change; followed by shorter windows of potential disruptive change. these windows are the moments when the real change, the presencing of the future can happen, when the major leaps forward can occur. it feels like our current period is one in which that window of opportunity just begins to opening. we can feel the wind of change arising from within. it feels as if now is the time to rise to the occasion. to make a bold move. to do…. what?


10 Comments to This Is Our Time

Dave Ebenhoh
August 31, 2008

I am relatively new to your work, but it occurs to me that the cycle you describe in Theory U – the opening of the mind, the opening of the heart, the opening of the will to something greater and beyond ourselves, the prototyping, and the embodying – is one way of articulating the natural cycle of transformation which happens at all levels: individual, community, organization, corporation, nation, planet, etc.
For example, in my own individual life, I am deep in the open-will-into-prototyping stage as I try to discern and step into a new role in the world. At the same time, I look at the people around me in this nation (and I, too, am watching a political race for the first time in my life at age 38) and see something happening – from my perspective, as a nation, we are just beginning to know the past/present ways aren’t working – just beginning to turn off the “downloading of past patterns”. I don’t think most people have any conscious idea what comes next, and I believe it is our role – those of us who see from a deeper/wider perspective to step in as this opening begins – to show people the next step of opening the mind. I think Obama is pushing people towards this.
With my background as a spiritual director (helping people move forward in their spiritual lives), I have learned that often I can only show the one next step – trying to show the next three steps or some goal down the road doesn’t “stick”. As a wise man once said to me, “A snake can only shed the most outer layer of skin.” This can be frustrating and the temptation for me is to push it in the direction I think it should go – it is a fine line between creating and co-creating.
So what is our role? I don’t know the concrete actions that I am (and we are) called to this moment, but I continue to listen that my will might be directed. And that as this process of transformation works on the largest scales – with a power beyond our own – I might be ready to step through the door before me when it opens.

Peace, Dave

Emil Möller
August 31, 2008

As I write here, I’m overwhelmend by the perspective / feeling that we’re privileged to be imaginal cells of Being.

Tomorrow I’ll deliver a speech where will be center stage.

As you can see there on the last slide, Presencing is positioned as key to the succes of the next UN-climate summit ( We are working deligently towards realizing this.

Together with 1st steps in a large scale factual retooling of the ways we meet all of our energy needs, this has the best chances of making this world a better place. Allow our planet to heal itself. Here also we are making significant progress.

I am deeply grateful for the fact that you Otto endorse this.

Emil Möller
PhD-researcher ‘Decision making processes in a transition towwards a sustainable energy regime’
U Maastricht

Chris Landry
September 2, 2008

My sense is that we’re each being asked to respond to the call of source, that awareness that exists beyond our own, individual selves.

For me, it means answering a call to make a documentary film that helps people get a sense of the future that we can create together. Of course, I created several excuses (I’m not a film maker, etc) before answering the call — and when I’ve shown small excerpts of what we’ve filmed so far to people, they are powerfully moved, so I am convinced it will be useful to others.

Those 200,000 mostly young people in Germany are, I believe, hearing the call of the future and responding to it. Obama feels and channels this energy. He talks about the “we” instead of the “me” — which I think is one of the most powerful paradigm shifts of our time. Because from a “me” perspective the future means giving up, the loss of some of our own stuff. From the “we” perspective we have a tremendous amount to gain, as we rediscover the power of community.

charles holsopple
September 9, 2008

Thoughtful analysis is growing. Intentional acts with compasion and timing beyond our balance sheets as seen by stockholders hopeful of a magical return on blind investment is resulting.

do as you know, not as you have learned.

charles holsopple
September 9, 2008

I am interested in learning more of how my limiting boundries are defined by my perception. involement in community can not be overstressed as essential in change. Addressing the Blind Spot is only possible by involving others in the vested useage of common resources.
Your clarity inspires as does Barak Obama’s as you also mention.

I would be delighted to share my attempt to describe my vision for a powerful vehicle of change.
I have had the privelege to discuss various aspects of the feasabilty of the project numerous potential collaborators. Many are leaders in their fields.

marco valente
September 11, 2008

Nice to meet you on the blogosphere. It is good to join your blog!

I appreciated your analysis and literally loved Obama’s speech in Denver. I did read your book on the U-theory, very fascinating indeed. The trick -and the main barrier, i would add- is that people are reluctant to change because the unknown is a hard path to walk through. And yet, when you have a clear understanding of the challenges that you tirelessly have to deal with, is so fascinating and inspiring to have a clear vision to follow and get people together.
Marco, from Italy.

September 12, 2008

hey guys–this is great–i love reading these posts–thank you all for joining in here! i guess this is the only way how we can address the question on the call of our time–that we each add the element of the whole that we are holding and that is shining through us. by doing so, we become aware that we are already part of an awakening global awareness (or something).
chris, i look forward to talking to you more about your film project soon.

Dave Ebenhoh
September 16, 2008

I think your comment here goes back to your post about attentional violence. You say, “We each add the element of the whole that we are holding and that is shining through us” – and it is in giving another person that gift of encouraging attention that invites them to add their piece of the whole. If the person (their gift, their wholeness) is not seen, it seems doubtful they will offer their piece – and the collective step forward will not be the same without even that one.
Peace, Dave

Frederic B. Girard
September 28, 2008

My sense is that we are called to open our minds to a new perception of the wolrd by immersing ourselves into new spaces that are not dictated be linear thinkings.
Recently, I’ve experienced that a multitude of different datas from ‘at first sight’ uncomplementary academic disciplines can build new knowledges, and most importantly,a new perception of the world. It creates new structures that open windows and link different communities.
I think we are called to change education by creating spaces of sharing between disciplines. I think that’ll lead to new questionings, new knowledges, new solutions to complex problems.
I think Obama gives hope to young people like me that we can live in a world where we can develop full potential of new ideas.

Helen Titchen Beeth
October 1, 2008

Catching up with my reading backlog recently on the train from Brussels to Amsterdam, I read the Evolutionary Manifesto – penned by John Stewart ( It struck me as one of the most important documents I have ever read. The reason I mention it here is that your work, Otto, has absolute relevance to the next step that humanity must make in its evolutionary trajectory, which has to do also with increasing our “evolvability” as a species by learning how to adapt and align with the natural call of our highest future potential, both individually and collectively. I strongly recommend people read this document (34 page pdf), because it sets the U in such a spendidly meaningful context and brings us to the core question: If not now, when? If not us, who? If not evolving into our highest potential together, then what?

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