Protect the Flame: But Where the Danger Is, the Saving Power Also Grows

April 28, 2023

Five Stories

(1) Colombia: Shifting Conversations from Debate to Dialogue through Deep Listening

Welcome on Wayuu territoryDialogue Circle
Dialogue Circle

“My arm is your arm. Your heart is my heart…”
Bogota, in front of the Foreign Ministry right before the meetingBogota, in front of the Foreign Ministry right before the meeting

  • The power of place: conducting the main event on Wayuu territory, not in the capital.
  • The power of intention: beginning with a clear articulation of the deeper intentions that each of the three groups (and each individual) brought to the gathering.
  • The power of personal storytelling: bringing each participant’s (and my own) deeper story on critical turning points in our own journey, into the conversation.
  • Deep listening: generative listening as a gateway for shifting conversations from debate to dialogue.
  • System mapping practicesusing hands-on “systems mapping” to help everyone talk about their view in a context of being listened to and seeing together.
  • Stillness. Allowing the deeper resonances and the inner knowing to emerge.
  • Generative dialogue. Evening campfire conversations held or co-held by the ancestral elders shifted the field of conversation to a deeper level.

(2) LatAm Ecosystem Leaders: Shared Seeing as a Gateway for Shifting Social Fields

Change makers and ecosystem leaders from across the Latin American continent

4D mapping: Making systems see, sense, and invert themselves

Healing ceremony led by Abuela Amalia, Abuela Alejandrina, and Coral Herencia

(3) “Uruguay Emerges”: Dialogue & Systems Mapping as a Gateway for Activating Agency

Montevideo: Uruguay Emerges 2023

Sharing experiences from the systems mapping

(4) Taiwan: Emergence — How to Lead in the Face of Disruption

Generative scribing video art by Jayce Lee

(5) u-lab 2x: Activating a Global Ecosystem of Planetary Healing and Regeneration

Picture: u-lab 2x: Creating from Stillness — Creating from Nothing (by Olaf Baldini)

Concluding Thoughts

  • An Open Mind: the capacity to access our not-knowing (deep listening)
  • An Open Heart: the capacity to be vulnerable, to be touched (co-sensing),
  • An Open Will: the capacity to act from stillness, to create from nothing (presencing).

Minimal Enabling Infrastructures for Societal Transformation

Thanks to my colleague Jayce Lee for her stunning generative scribing clip, and to Becky Buell, Eva Pomeroy, Laura Pastorini, Maria Daniel Bras, and Emma Paine for their helpful comments and edits on the draft.

For more resources, check out: u-school for Transformation

Otto Scharmer

Senior Lecturer, MIT. Co-founder, Presencing Institute.

Tags: building resilient societies, social change, social transformation