Page 1

Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation

by the Fall 2014 cohort, MFA in Design for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. See

Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation Ways of seeing, working, and being for the work of creating social health, presented as a set of mini-posters

Created by the Fall 2014 cohort of the MFA in Design for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts Marc Rettig and Hannah du Plessis, Professors New York, New York

Contents How can we advance the practice of creating resilient social health?

Our class pursued this question through two interconnected themes: system scale and personal scale.

The assignment: summarize a key topic in two pages


The pages in this book are student summaries of key topics, concepts, and ideas covered during the Fall 2013 conduct of the Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation course. Drawing from course slides, lecture notes, and assigned readings, each student summarized two topics in mini-posters, which were displayed during the program’s Fall Show, thenbecome aspread in this book.

The challenge of designing for social innovation

The landscape of DSI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Understanding Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Dynamics of living systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Some approaches to designing for social situations

Theory U . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Theory U in practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Positive Deviance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Positive Deviance: A Case Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Combining Complexity Theory and Narrative Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Transformative Scenario Planning. . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Power of Grassroots Efforts within Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Power & Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Social Labs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Conditions for Social Labs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Some essential skills

Active Listening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Iteration - The road of Understanding . . . . . . . 36 Layers of Attention, Levels of Dialogue. . . . . . . 38 Mutual Learning Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Facilitation: Ground Rules for Effective Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Facilitating dialog and co-creation

Building a Social Fabric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 The World Cafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Open Space Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Mutual Learning Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Action Replay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Theatre of the Oppressed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

Personal and interpersonal fundamentals

Creating in communities, organizations, and systems

Overview of the program and the course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv The SVA DSI class of 2015 . . . . . vi

Understanding Transformation

The Link Between Inner Shift and Outer Change. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 The Cycle of Change in Living Systems. . . . .62 The Difficulty of Transformation . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

What Informs Behavior?

Inner World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70 How Culture Shapes Us. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Forming Boundaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 How Habits Form, How Habits Change. . . . . . 76 Neurobiology of Transformation. . . . . . . . . . . . . .78

Barriers to Transformation

Fear: The Great Opportunity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82 Limiting Beliefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Past Pain and Trauma. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

Enabling Transformation

Our Innate Worth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Cultivating Awareness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 Cultivating Compassion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Cultivating Stillness & Openness. . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Leaning into the Unknown & Learning New Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Cultivating healthy relationships

The Importance of Self-acceptance & Self Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Healthy Relationship with our Emotions. . . . .104 Good Relationships with Others . . . . . . . . . . . .106 Vulnerability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108

Communication and Behavior that harms Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Good Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 Conflict, Conflict, Conflict. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114 How to set the Conditions to Bring out to the Best in Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116 Wholehearted Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118

Readings and Resources . . . . .122

The program

MFA in Design for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts Design for Social Innovation at SVA is the first MFA program in the rapidly growing field of social impact design. It was

created as a much-needed path for designers who want to work at a strategic level within business, government and the social sector to solve the major challenges humanity

faces, and to teach non-designers to use design to create positive impact.

The program is unique in a number of important ways: DSI is cross-disciplinary. We “blow up� and scale traditional

design to include invisible systems and mental models, mapping, visualization design, game design, communication and social movement design, metrics, leadership, entrepreneurship and ethics.

Students work from the beginning on important challenges with real clients and stakeholders. Our belief is

that learning in social design comes from experience, with

theory to inspire, support, guide and evaluate it. Stakeholder projects are built into the curriculum, as well as in the form

of sponsorships and collaboration on programs and events outside of classes.

Our faculty are all working professionals with deep experience in a wide variety of fields from healthcare, innovation, research, game design, venture philanthropy and entrepreneurship, corporate

leadership, non-profit leadership, entrepreneurship, academia and

philanthropy. We continue to offer new classes and workshops that bring the latest thinking and practice into the program.

We are diverse. Our 45 students come from 13 countries, range in age from 22 to 57, and have undergrad degrees

from design academies and ivy league schools. Our students’ experience and interests are as diverse as they are. The

cumulative effect of this is a cohort that learns from each


other as much as from our faculty.


MFA Design for Social Innovation School of Visual Arts 136 West 21st Street, 5th floor New York, New York 10011 212.592.2173 Professors Marc Rettig, Hannah du Plessis,

The course

Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation This book was produced by students in Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation, a

course taken by all students during their first semester in the DSI program. Design for Social

Innovation is a relatively new area of study and practice, and students come to the course from diverse backgrounds. The course covers material in three main areas: •

design fundamentals

the fundamentals of personal and interpersonal transformation

approaches to creating in communities, organizations and systems

The Fundamentals course is built on the following insights and principles, which provide a foundation for the course lectures, readings, and projects.

Design = creating with intention through iteration If you want to create

Tend conditions for wholeness to emerge Because of all this, “design

something good, but you can’t immediately see what it should be or what it

for social innovation” means we’re learning to help communities create

should be like, you can walk towards that something good with alternating

intentionally for themselves. That will happen one step at a time as they have

steps of “understand” and “try.” That’s called design.

purposeful experiences and open, purposeful conversations. In this way, we can nurture the conditions needed for lasting positive shifts in the living

“Social” is profoundly invisible The “social” in “social innovation” means

system to emerge.

that we are working with profound things we can’t see: the relationships between people and the depth of their inner life.

The tools are experience & dialog We can’t directly change people’s identity, beliefs, and relationships the way we can work directly with

Communities are living systems A group of people – a family, school,

physical or digital materials. But we can affect those things indirectly by

community, organization, and so on – is a thing with a life of its own. The

taking a design approach to people’s conversations and experiences.

dynamics of its conversations and relationships may change in response to what’s going on around it. And its essential structures and patterns tend to

New ways of seeing, working, and being Anyone who does this kind of

stay the same even though individual people come and go. This is called

work will need new ways of seeing human and social complexity, new ways

a “living system.” Living systems are too complex for any one person to

of working because this is more like gardening than manufacturing. And

comprehend. There are no experts.

they’ll need new ways of being because you can’t be successful at this work by being the “expert,” the “decider,” or the “creative one.” This work requires

No control: partner with life’s emergence You can’t just tell a family to

our whole being.

change. You can’t control an organizational culture. You can’t bring peace or compassion to a situation by deciding to do it, planning it all out, then

You can’t do this without cultivating your Self In order to work with

following that plan. They are living systems, they have a life of their own.

other people’s relationships and the depth of their inner life, we need

The “command and control” or “decide, plan, and execute” approach

to know how to work with our own inner life and how to cultivate great

is inadequate. But we can help better configurations of the system to

relationships ourselves

emerge from its own insides.


Class 2016 Sultana Abbar

Azmina Alimohd

Manolo Ampudia

Ivan Boscariol

Kyle Calian

Nazlı Cangönül

Hannah du Plessis

Barbara Fang

Lauren Gardner

Yinman Guo

Marc Rettig

Emily Herrick

Grace Hsieh

Kara Isabella

Saudi Arabia






United States

United States

United States

United States





United States

Amer Jandali

Maia Kaufman

Claire Kim

Margarita Korol

Caroline McAndrews

Rodrigo Mu帽oz-Valencia

Cy Nakpodia

Hannah Phang

David Rojas-Le贸n

Yena Seo-Lukac

Rinat Sherzer

Bruno Silva

Nelson Tseng

Alex Wu

United States

United States


South Korea


United States

United States




South Korea




The challenge of designing for social innovation “Most of the management approaches we have in place have evolved from order, not from complexity. But most human systems are complex. So we need to rethink the way we research and the way we do decision-making. ...A complex adaptive system is not causal, it’s dispositional. There are no foreseeable repeating relationships between cause and effect. You can however make out how the system is disposed to act. It may evolve in this way, it may evolve in that way, but it can’t evolve in that direction. So understanding they are dispositional systems, not causal systems, is key.” Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge

The Design for Social Innovation program sits on a frontier of design practice: it prepares

students to address social systems challenges, work which is fundamentally different from the design of physical or digital products.

Our course opened with a look at the complexity of working in social systems. Understanding the nature of this complexity helps us identify the kinds of approaches and methods we will require to succeed at our work. The key insight is that social situations are a special kind of complex adaptive system....

Social systems are in constant dancing change A human system is a dynamic system. Which is to say, each of its people and structures are constantly shifting and moving in a kind of

dance, as everyone reacts to one another and to the world outside the system. So we can’t tell what’s going on by looking at a snapshot, or by looking at just the parts. Any static description of the situation will be inadequate.

Social complexity is different than other complexity Social systems are mostly made of

people. Objects, software, laws, policies, processes and so on play roles, but they are not the heart of the system. And social systems are especially made of people in relationship to one another. So most of what makes a human system “social” is invisible: people’s inner lives, relationships, identities, beliefs, stories, conversations, and so on.

So-called “best practices” can’t be relied upon The nature of social complexity is such that

there is no way to predict the affect of an intervention (unlike say, a physical or digital system). And we can’t say ahead of time what a “desirable” configuration is going to be like. We can’t specify a “solution” ahead of time, and we can’t plan in detail beyond our next step.

But there’s hope While the study of complex human systems is relatively new, there is much we can learn from living systems theory, the practice of organizational learning, and many

other pioneers who have something to teach us about the daunting, but not inaccessible, complexity of the work we’ve chosen to do.

he Landscape of DSI maps the level of complexity of social prob-

(and outcome) must become. A single designer can conceivably solve for an

lems against the level of depth needed to generate (or stimu-

individual problem, but once the problem involves families, groups, or larger

late) resilience, so that systems develop the capacity to change

systems, designers become more of a catalyst in a larger team. Relationships

in positive ways, sense unhealthy behaviors, and adjust accordingly. De-

become important; the inner lives and drivers of individuals, families, and

sign is appropriate at every level, but the more complex the problem (i.e.

teams become important; the “solutions” become emergent – something

the larger the social scale), the deeper and more relational the process

unseen before an intervention happens that arises as a result of a process.





Caroline McAndrews | Landscape of Design for Social Innovation






























his model speaks to the nature of systemic issues and the ap-

than addressing their root cause; and we often work independently of

proaches needed to nurture resilience at that level. Deep in-

each other, rather than in a collaborative, co-creative way. It is impor-

equities continue to persist in our societies despite the best ef-

tant to understand the approaches needed to begin to address different

forts of NGO’s, governments, and business. One possible reason for that

problems and build systems that have the capacity to heal themselves.

is that we have been trying to treat the symptoms of problems, rather For more examples, see Social Design Pathways (


Emily Systems EmilyHerrick Herrick| Understanding | Understanding Systems

In linear systems effects are proportional to the causes. Think of Newton’s law of motion: object in motion stays in motion unless acted on by another force. It’s easy to predict the outcome of liner systems because there is a clear cause to every outcome.

NO N -L IN EA R L IN EA R S YS T EM S In non-linear systems the cause and effects become disproportionately connected. The whole or outcome of the system can no longer be predicted because the system is made of multiple and different interacting parts.

SO C IA L S YS T EM S Social systems are intricate non-linear systems that are so complex they become networks. These networks are made of a patterned series of relationships that are highly interconnected and capable of adaptation.


23 4

Complexity describes a measurement or parameter. Complexity is the measurement of two things: • the elements within a system • the relationships and degree of connectivity of those elements.

Relationships Systems are defined by the relationships of the actors within that system. When we understand that systems are defined by these relationships, we can understand that we cannot split the world into tiny parts because everything is truly interconnected.

PARTS A ND W H OL E S : A system is greater than the sum of all of it’s parts. Think of it this way; a pile of car parts is not a car, but by giving those parts a function and creating a relationship between them they work together to become a car.

BOUNDAR I E S: Where does a system come from? Systems cannot exist until boundaries are introduced. The slippery slope is that the observers choose the boundary of the system. The boundary changes how the viewer perceives the system, which changes how the relationships are understood. This is why we must understand systems at multiple scales.

S ELF REGU L AT I ON/ ORGA NI Z AT IO N Social systems are constantly adapting. They evolve over time in response to the actions of other and their changing environments. Systems are constantly moving towards equilibrium through the coordination of the local level interactions.

Unpacking Holarchy: Relationships & System Scale Holon: Simultaneously whole and part. A subwhole within an entire system: think of a car engine. It’s made of a ton of little parts but it’s whole is an engine. Holarchy: The relationship between holons at different levels of organization. A whole is composed of smaller wholes, whose relationships, organization, and processes give it its life. At every energy level of the holarchy there are different dynamics based on what makes up the holon, these characteristics emerge from the relationships between the deeper holons.

As humans: We are changed by our social system, but the social system also changes us.

EM ERGENC E : The process of larger entities, patterns, and regularities arising through interactions among smaller or simpler entities that themselves do not exhibit such properties.The relatively simple actions between parts gives rise to something surprising— the qualities and behaviors as a whole.

DIVERS ITY: The degree of diversity between parts determines the complexity of the system as a whole. The more diverse each part is the more complex the system.


Living Systems: are open self-organizing living things

Manolo Ampudia | Communities are Living Systems

that interact with their environment. These systems are maintained by flows of information, energy and matter.

Community: a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common having a feeling of fellowship, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

A group of people – a family, school, community, organization, and so on. It is something with a life of its own, the dynamics of its conversations and relationships may change in response to what’s going on around it and its essential structures and patterns tend to stay the same even though individual people come and go This is called a “living system” Living systems are too complex for any one person to comprehend There are no experts

Key Concepts:


The individuals or “parts” are the people that form the community. These individuals are unique and have different beliefs and pasions, living beings are autonomus systems.The growth of the individual is essential to the growth of the community; community development, in this sense, is a communication process involving relationships and flow between parts. There is a need to work from inside as part of a system.


In a living system, the relationships between parts are as much or more important than the parts themselves. To understand the life of a whole, look at its relationships: with other wholes at the same level, with the smaller wholes of which it is compose and with the larger whole of which it is a part.


A key to understanding relationships is to look at what flows across them. The flow determines the character of the relationship – content, frequency, longevity, authenticity, one-way or reciprocated, direct or indirect, power and control, and so on and on. In general, flow can consist of material, information, signals, etc. In social systems, flow is mostly made of some kind of conversation, each individual “tells” to the other how its “message” has been perceived.


When “parts” are in living relationship with one another, they make up a Whole that cannot be understood simply in terms of its parts. It has qualities and behaviors all its own, “greater than the sum of the parts.”


In life, almost everything is both a part and a whole at the same time. A whole is composed of smaller wholes, whose relationships, organization and processes give it its life. In turn, it is connected to many other wholes, participating in relationships, organizations and processes that make up something bigger than itself.


Emergence is when a system exhibits complexity of structure, process and behavior that cannot be explained only in terms of its parts. The relatively simple interactions between the parts gives rise to something surprising – the qualities and behaviors of the whole.


“SELF CREATION” It’s the name for the way living things contain all they need to maintain their own essential structure, processes and identity. The molecules change, but it’s the same cell. The cells change, but it’s the same person. The students and teachers change, but it’s the same school.



For more information: Living Systems: An introductory guide to the theories of Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela

CREATING IN COMPLEXITY: SYSTEMS THINKING Created orginally by: Edward Snowden

Emily in Complexity: Systems Thinking EmilyHerrick Herrick| Creating | Creating in Complexity: Systems Thinking

The world is a complex place. It is full of millions and millions of nonlinear systems all interconnected and influencing each other. Currently in design education, professors are teaching design as a final solution to one problem. “Design is not problem solving but a reflective conversation with the materials of the situation. We need to shift to teaching design within a system as it exists and as it might exist in the future.” —D.A. Schon

We must create an open-ended process of discovery yielded by assuming the educational process as a whole is a self-organizing system with creatively emergent potentialities. Design then becomes a system that has many possible relationships and meanings that could be defined as both rationally and creatively. To the right are two frameworks that can push us towards this emergent kind of design. Rather than planning where we want to go we must plan to move with the flow. The Cynefin Framework shows how designers approach different systems; Simple, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic, and Disorder. Under each of system titles are the three steps of each approach the designer should take. On the opposite page, the framework discusses how to approach the three different types of complexity; Social, Dynamic, and Generative.

24 8

From: “A New Paradigm for Design Studio Education” by Tsungjuang Wang









SIMPLE: The relationship between cause and effect is obvious to all. COMPLICATED: The relationship between cause and effect requires

analysis or some other form of investigation and/or the application of expert knowledge. COMPLEX: The relationship between cause and effect can only be

perceived in retrospect, but not in advance. CHAOTIC: There is no relationship between cause and effect at

systems level. DISORDER: The last domain lies in the center, which is the state of

not knowing what type of causality exists, where people will revert to their own comfort zone in making a decision.


• The people involved have different perspectives & interests. • Relationships affect behaviors






• Actors have diverse perspectives & interests.



• Cannot be addressed by experts or authorities, but only with the engagement of the people living in the situation. • Bring in all the stakeholders into the creative & decision-making process


DYNAMIC COMPLEXITY • To understand it, you must understand it through time.

• Future is fundamentally unfamiliar and undetermined

• Cause & effect are independent & far apart in space and time.

• System adapts to actors while



are fuzzy, hard to understand, and often have multiple kinds of complexity threaded through them.

actors are adapting to system.














• Cannot be addressed piece by piece, but only by seeing the system as a whole. • Address root causes of problems, & give innovations healthy roots

Tip o’ the hat to Adam Kahane and Zaid Hassan

• Cannot be addressed by applying “best practice” solutions, only by growing new “next practice” solutions. • Working with the constantlychanging reality as it unfolds.

Some approaches to designing for social innovation “The challenge is to think broadly enough to have a theory and methodology that have the power to make a difference, and yet be simple and clear enough to be accessible to anyone who wants to make that difference. We need ideas from a variety of places and disciplines to deal with the complexity of community. Then, acting as if these ideas are true, we must translate them into embarrassingly simple and concrete acts.� Peter Block, Community: the structure of belonging

We need new approaches

From expert to facilitator, from surface fix to underlying

methods developed for typical product and business

Most current design methods cast the designer in the role of

Given the complexity of social systems and situations, situations often are not adequate on their own. They work when the situation can be addressed through research or

expertise, but not when we are trying to foster a positive shift in something that is dynamically, socially complex.


an expert, who identifies a “problem” that part of society is

facing. The focus is then on fixing that problem, addressing that need. But this is inadequate for fostering resilient shifts in social systems, because…

In this course, we covered a number of approaches that

• the “problem” can only be identified by seeing the

a complex social situation. These approaches are:

system, not by a single expert or team

have the characteristics needed for having lasting impact in

situation from the many points of view that exist inside the

Participatory: These approaches help us work from inside

• there is unlikely to be a single problem; more likely there

This system’s future is going to be made of them, and so it

system, and it will not be clear how best to affect them

the situation, involving the people who are live it every day. must come from them.

Holistic: These approaches help us work with the situation as a whole, not just its parts.

Emergent: These approaches help us manage the

are a number of negative dynamics or tendencies in the

• any “fix” is more likely to affect the symptoms rather than the underlying dynamic that gives rise to the symptoms; design has a poor track record for addressing the roots of a situation

emergence of a healthier configuration of the system over

• improvements in the situation are less likely to involve

“decide, plan, and implement,” or “decree and comply”

relationships, conversations, identities, people’s inner lives.

time, as opposed to “best practice,” “specify and build,” approaches. We can’t tell what to do simply from past experience, smart planning, or good forecasting. Our approach must be emergent.

In next year’s course, we will drop Appreciative Inquiry from the list of approaches, as we do not find it to be a peer to

the other overall approaches we cover. In its place we will

add the work of Dave Snowden and his company, Cognitive

Edge – the Cynefin framework, distributed ethnography, and managed portfolios of safe-to-fail experiments.

things we can see and make, and more likely to involve

It is more likely to involve patterns and tendencies over time than behavior in the moment. A difficult shift

Most of us come to this work with a belief (either explicit

or tacit) that it is possible to understand a complex system,

and become expert in applying methods for intervening in

that system. It is a key tenet of the course that both of those things are impossible. That’s the point of talking about the sources of complexity. If it’s dynamically and socially

complex, it’s a complex adaptive system, and there’s no such thing as “cause,” “no such thing as “solution,” no such thing as “understand.” There’s only “tendency,” “emerging configuration,” and “sense of pattern.”

And that’s why we introduce approaches from people who have worked hard, sometimes at great cost, to develop

approaches for working with emergence in social systems.

The complex challenges of our time force all communities and institutions to create real shift and reinvent themselves.

Theory U is a process developed by Otto Scharmer and Joseph Jaworski and other co-workers at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), The Society for Organizational Learning and Generon Consulting. This process at its core makes a distinction between different levels of emergence, meaning different qualities on how action comes into the world. Theory U is grounded in the observation that any social entity or living system can operate from more than one inner place. The challenge lies in our not seeing and not activating the other places. We need to be able to observe the observer’s blind spot by taking observation back to its source: the self that is performing a scientific activity. In order to achieve this we will need not only an open mind, which is the normal mode of inquiry and investigation, but we also need an open heart and open will, which are more subtile aspects of observation. Theory U offers a language and a journey map for crossing the boundary to authentic change, shifting the place from which we and our systems operate. Leading this profound change can be done only in collaborative practice and is based on five major movements:


some common ground by listening to other core players involved (listening to others), by listening to what life calls you to do (listening to oneself), and by listening to what emerges from a forward-oriented constellation of core players in the large system (listening to the common ground).

Manolo Ampudia | Theory U

Attending - Connecting - Co-Initiating

More information:


Co-Initiate: Listen to others and to what life calls you to do, this first movement focuses on beginning from nothing and uncovering


Co-Sensing: Having initiated a common future intention with the core group, the next challenge is to put that intention onto its


Co-Presencing: After deeply immersing in the context and places of most potential the next movement focuses on accesing a


Co-Creating: This movement focuses on putting ideas onto their feet by prototyping microcosms of the future that you are seeking and


Co-Evolving: Grow innovation ecosystems by seeing and acting from the emerging whole. Oce the prototypes are reviewed and

feet by forminga prototyping actionteam that goes on a journey of sensing, discovering and learning by doing.

Clarifying - Deep-diving - OBSERVING - Deep listening and dialogue - Collective sensing

deeper source of knowing: connecting to the future that wants to emerge through you.

Letting go - Letting come - Intentional silence - Following your journey - Circles of presence

by fast-cycle learnig that constantly iterates the existing prototype based on the feedback from all key stakeholders.

Power of intention - From core to groups - Prototype strategic - integrate head, heart and mind - ITERATE

assessed this next movement focuses on evolving the new in the new in the right kind of institutional ecosystem and supporting infrastructure.

Co-evolve innovation ecosystems - Create innovation - Social presencing


Resource: Theory U, Leading from the Future as It Emerges, By C. Otto Scharmer



Attend: Listen to that which life calls you to do.

Connect: Listen and dialogue with the interesting players on the field.

Co-initiate: Diverse core group that inspires a common intention.

Deep listening and dialogue: Connect to others with your mind, heart and will wide open.


Co-evolve innovation systems: Co-evolve innovation systems that connect and renew by seeing from the emerging whole Create innovation: Create infrastructures by shaping rhythm and safe places for peer coaching Prototype strategic Microcosms as a landing strip for the emerging future

Clarify: Form a highly commited team and clarify essential questions.

Observe: Suspend your voice of judgement (VOJ) and connect with your sense of wonder.

Integrate head, heart and hand: seek it with your hands, don´t think about it, feel it.



Collective Sensing: Create collective sensing organs that allow the system to see itself.

Social Presencing: Evolve collective awareness

Dive-deep: Take deep-dive journeys to the places of most potential.

Circles of presence: Create circles in which you hold one another in the highest future intention Intentional silence: Pick a practice that helps you to connect with your source.

Who is myself?


Form core groups: 5 people can change the world Iterate: Create and adapt and always be in dialogue with the universe.

OPEN WILL Letting go: Let go of your old self and stuff that must die.


Power of intention: connect to the future that stays in need with you, crystallize vision, intent.

Letting come: Connect and surrender to the futurethat wants to emrge through you. Follow your journey: Do what you love, love what you do.

What is my work?


Amer Jandali | | Theory TheoryUUin inpractice practice

ELIAS: Creating a Global Innovation Ecosystem

ELIAS (Emerging Leaders for Innovation Across Sectors) is a network of twenty global business, government, and civic organizations dedicated to finding productive solutions to the most confounding dilemmas of our time. Each member is a powerhouse in its realm—BASF, BP, Oxfam, Nissan, the Society for Organizational Learning, Unilever, the UN Global Compact, UNICEF, the World Bank Institute, and the World Wildlife Fund, among others. Together ELIAS members are examining problems by combining systems thinking, deepened personal awareness, and listening skills with hands-on prototyping in order to develop and test new crosssector approaches to some of today’s most difficult challenges.

What started as an idea by a few people two years ago has turned into a vibrant and rapidly evolving global network of change-makers and prototyping projects. In addition to company, city and country specific projects and programs, ELIAS fellows have developed a global ecology of prototyping initiatives and an alumni network of high-potential leaders in some of the most innovative institutions in business, government, and the NGO sector. Together, this global network hopes to use a web of activities develop the capacity to respond to some of the key challenges of our time in truly innovative ways.

2 14

Excerpts from Otto Scharmer: Addressing the Blind Spot of Our Time

CO-INITIATING The ELIAS pilot program convened a group of 25 highpotential leaders from these organizations and sent them on an intensive learning journey that included training in leadership capacity building and hands-on systems innovation

Connect Attend


Co-evolve innovation systems

They shadowed each other in their work environments




Each fellow spent several days in the life of one or more peers in another business sector

Collective Sensing

ELIAS fellows have CO-EVOLVING developed an alumni network of high potential leaders in some of the most innovative Social Presencing institutions in business, government, and the NGO sector. Create innovation

Another team is testing alternative energy resources, such as the indigenous development of renewable and hybrid sources of power for the Chinese automotive industry.

One of the prototyping projects developed by the ELIAS pilot group is the Sunbelt team, which is exploring methods for bringing solar and wind generated power to marginalized communities, especially in the global South.


OPEN WILL Letting go

Circles of presence

Who is myself?

The group traveled to China in the fall of 2006, where they engaged in discussions with Chinese thought leaders, consulted with sustainability engineers, journeyed to rural China to observe emerging challenges, and capped the trip with a week of contemplative retreat


Form core groups

Prototype Power of intention Iterate

Letting come

What is my work?

positiVe deViance Positive Deviance is an approach to social change that finds the uncommon or outlying, but successful, behaviors and strategies within a community of affected people who have the same resources and challenges, and tries to replicate them to the group at large.

Maia Kaufman | Positive Deviance

The principle is that the community already has the solution, and the members of that community are the best ones to solve their own problems. The individual(s) demonstrating the successful behaviors are referred to as “positive deviants.� PD emphasizes collective intelligence- that the answers don’t just lie with leaders or experts, but every member could be of value to solving an issue. Lastly, PD is about sustainability. Finding a replicable approach that will continue after the experts move on to a new project, or new members enter the community. By seeing people already succeeding given the same limited resources, it shows the other members of that community that what they may have thought to be impossible is possible. Positive Deviance started with the nutrition movement in the 1970s, but has been used in many kinds of studies around the world. One example in healthcare has to do with MRSA, a bacterial infection that many patients develop in hospitals while they are sick from other maladies and is responsible for over 90,000 deaths per year. Because the bacteria are antibiotic resistant, doctors had to look at the problem from an angle other than finding a cure- mainly by focusing on prevention. The bacteria are spread by staff and patients in the hospital, so in order to solve the issue, the researchers had to look at the behaviors that enabled the bacteria to spread. Such behaviors such as culture tests for newly admitted patients and vigilant hand washing between all patients was observed in hospitals with lower MRSA rates. These are actions that may seem obvious, but what was needed was the medical community to come together to observe the correct protocols and actively enforce them.


Positive deviance incorporates many ideals of social innovation, such as emergence (letting the solution come about organically), participatory research (bringing the community members and experts together), and systemic thinking (finding ways to apply the knowledge on a larger scale).

The Positive Deviance Initiative: Wiki: Case Study:


Arriving in Vietnam in 1990, Jerry Sternin of Save the Children had six months to implement a large-scale program to combat childhood malnutrition that was rampant among two thrids of children under five. They had to find solutions that would surpass the results of traditional supplemental feeding programs, which were not sustainable. Sternin looked at the crisis as an opportunity to try something new in Vietnam. Trying a field-based nutritional intervention in a community setting was a new frontier, and it appeared that the fairly new field of Positive Deviance might hold the key. The Sternins headquartered around the Quang Xuong district near Hanoi, given the extreme circumstances of childhood malnutrition there. After the American interveners built trust within the community, they went to work. After plotting data on 2000 children under three years old in four villages, they found that 64% were malnourished. Then they asked the key question: “Are there any well-nourished children who come from very, very poor families?” The answer was yes. These families who managed to reach nutritional goals under severe circumstances became the project’s Positive Deviants, because they engaged in behaviors that others did not. The task now was to find what were these deviant, successful behaviors? Believing that if the villages self-discovered the solution, they were more likely to implement them, community members visited six families that fit the bill. There was indeed excitement throughout the communities as they discovered these behaviors to be game-changers: Caregivers fed their kids the greens of sweet potato plants, which provided rich amounts of beta-carotene and other essential micronutrients, as well as tiny protein and mineral-rich shrimps and crabs found in paddy fields. They fed children three to four times a day rather than the customary two meals, actively fed children to make sure ther was no food wasted, and washed their hands before and after they ate. Rather than taking the route of telling people about their findings, the Sternins found the more sustainable solution from a community elder: “A thousand hearings isn’t worth one seeing, and a thousand seeings isn’t worth one doing.” PD believes that people change when that change is distilled from concrete action steps.


Focusing on action, they designed a two-week nutrion program where caregivers were brought out to paddy fields to forage for shrimp. They learned recipes using the foraged ingredients. Before feeding, caregivers weighed children, washed their hands, plotted data points on a growth chart, and then sat down to actively feed the children. They were encouraged to feed their children three or four smaller portions. After two weeks, caregivers were seeing the children becoming healthier, and the scales were tipping. After two years of this pilot project, malnutrition decreased by 85% in the communities the PD approach was used. The pilot intervention was replicated nationwide, helping over 2.2 million people in Vietnam, including 50,000 children, improve their nutritional status.

20 2

Yinman Guo | Combining Complexity Theory and Narrative Research Yinman Guo | Combining complexity theory and narrative research

TRANSFORMATIVE SCENARIO PLANNING The future is coming. We have multiple possibilities for it. No news, right? What we do about it is what matters.

Ivan Boscariol | Transformative Scenario Planning

When we are in high levels of complexity, there is so much going on, so many intentions, directions and trends to consider. It’s too much for an individual or a team to handle. Transformative Scenario Planning is a methodology that enables a group of relevant actors to look at possible futures. It reduces communication barriers, creates agreements on what’s feasible and likely, and through shared understanding and personal bonding, develops scenarios that represent the future.

Possible Futures These Scenarios are possible futures (about at least 5 years ahead of present day) related to the stakeholders’ system. They represent what possible futures this area/system has if no interference is made, if actions continue to happen in the patterns that exist and are unfolding today. An important disclaimer: when doing Scenario Planning, it’s not about what we want to happen, but about what can happen. In the process, no actions are designed to make a scenario happen or not, the focus is on creating them so the actors can have more effective and efficient decision-making later.

A Brief History Scenario Planning became famous after Royal Dutch Shell survived the 70s Oil Crisis - and became the market leader - because they devised actions to a “Crisis Scenario”, something the competitors hadn’t been preparing for. Since then, different organizations started designing them as inputs for strategic plans.

2 22

During the apartheid transition, a new variation appeared to connect this business approach to more social and complex problems. Transformative Scenario Planning is when you gather the leaders, the decision makers and the influencers into the process.

This way, the stakeholders: • Develop a shared understanding of the problem. • Common terminologies and a better way to communicate among each other. • Get to know the real intentions of the actors in the field. To create Transformative Scenarios, you need people who are more than interested, people who have the power to make a difference, from all sides. In the OAS Scenarios for Drugs in America, there were governors, ambassadors, military chiefs, community leaders and guerrilla leaders (speaking from inside their cells or from secret locations). If you fail to bring all sides to the table, the scenarios will be biased and imprecise. If all sides are represented,

PROCESS First, we need to agree on the certainties. Things that, no matter what happens (or if you agree with them), will exist. Example, in the OAS Drug Scenario, one certainty was “Drugs will continue existing.” This means no scenario could include the eradication of illicit drugs, as the participants agreed it was not possible - and there were agencies believing in an illicit drug-free world by 2016.

Criteria The scenarios, to be valid, must be: Relevant - The changes in this scenario must be sensible and affect - in a way - most of the actors in the system. If nothing changes, there is nothing to prepare for. Challenging - To change a possible outcome, a lot of sensiblity, intelligence, partnerships and a lot of work must be demanded. Plausible - It has to make sense. Is it possible that in five years from now, all cars will be flying? But what about having 20% of the people under 30 using bikes to commute? This is what we aim for, something that can happen, but that might not. Clear - They have to be easily comprehensible for people who weren’t part of the scenario building process, otherwise they won’t gain outside interest. They also have to be distinguishably different among themselves, otherwise the whole feels weaker. Usually 3 to 4 scenarios are built. If it’s 2 or less, it risks becoming a false dichotomy. With more than 4, it starts getting hard to conceptualize it or to prepare for it, since actions might get too diffuse.

It’s common to build scenarios according to a Criteria Matrix, such as this one.


Together Stronger official institutions form effective alliances for security.

Pathways Community


Experimentation on drug regulations. Drugs are considered a health issue.

Reslience Communities and grassroot organizations lead the effort in making neighborhoods and societies safer.



In the most famous Transformative Scenarios so far, known as “Mont Fleur”, South African leaders agreed on what were the possible futures for their country post-apartheid. They devised 4 scenarios:

Countries where drugs are produced give up fighting against trafficking, as the financial and human costs get too high.

In the OAS Drug Scenarios, no scenario was picked, as no consensus was achieved. However, this is not a requirement for this process, the focus is in shared understanding and mutual recognition. Note: Scenario Planning is not futurism. If the time comes and no scenario came to fruition, it doesn’t mean it didn’t work since the future might change due to the actions executed related to the scenario or to unpredictable events.

SHARING A COMMON VISION IS STRENGTHENING THE PRESENT Through Transformative Scenario planning, the future possibilities become clearer, and better strategies to push tendencies to a favorable place become easier to create. More than a construction itself, the process to build the scenarios is intensively bonding. If the actors don’t trust each other but nonetheless interact and affect each other in a system, putting them together to create shared understandings of tomorrow can be a very powerful way to shape a better future. In this case, they chose the Flight of the Flamingos as the best scenario for all actors, and evaluated their future actions and decisions in relation to it.

To know more: Transformative Scenario Planning, Adam Kahane, Berrett-Koehler, 2012 “Transformative Scenario Planning”, Adam Kahane at Ci2012 - (Youtube) Reos Partners’ Workshops OAS report on Drugs in America

Kara Isabella Kara Isabella || The ThePower Powerof ofGrassroots GrassrootsEfforts Efforts within within Communities Communities 2 24


How do you re-imagine communities for the 21st century? What do they look like? How can you design for social innovation? Can design be used as an active tool within communities? Two grassroots efforts working today, Better Block and Project H, are imagining and doing just that. They are prime examples of social prototypes that focus on working from the inside out, and on the power of individual lives in local communities. Their work is relatable and can be replicated anywhere. After checking out their work, ask yourself, “What am I waiting for?” and reply with, “I can go and do it too!”

BETTER BLOCK Better Block was founded in Oak Cliff, Texas by Jason Roberts. Better Block is an open source tool for community members to actively engage with their community. One of Jason’s gifts is he involves many members of the community. How did Jason get here? Let’s take a step back. Jason was inspired by his European escapades and on his return to Texas, he asked what our legacy is going to be? At this point, he decided to get involved with the local community. One key trait of Jason is the importance of just getting started, so for his first project, he decided to vamp up the Texas Theater. He hosted an art show, and 700 people showed up and loved it! This gave him an itch to do more. Jason realized he wanted to bring back casual bicycling to his city, so he created Bike Friendly Oak Cliff. He started this without even owning a bike! He became a leader of a bicycle movement. There are now Bike Friendly groups everywhere, including New Zealand, and a yearly bike festival too! Jason realized that if you’re passionate about something,

you’re going to be a leader, and that passion will get your community behind you, so you need to take that charge and run with it. Lastly, Jason realized his city used to have a streetcar, and decided he wanted to bring it back, so he created the Oak Cliff Transit Authority by himself. He created a website that got buzz from the local newspaper. He decided to apply for a grant and won $23 million to bring back the streetcar, and all he did was create a website. Jason realized you don’t have to have everything worked out, you just need to go out and do it. So you want to do this in your community? Well, Jason has three rules for making this happen, 1. SHOW UP, 2. GIVE IT A NAME, and 3. SET A DATE AND PUBLISH IT (blackmail yourself ).

PROJECT H Project H is a nonprofit design firm founded by Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller. In February 2009, Dr. Zullinger invited Project H to come to Bertie County, North Carolina and partner with him on the repair of the school district. He invited Project H because their approach is to create appropriate design solutions in places that don’t have access to design or creative capital. Project H’s approach features six design directives, 1. Design through action, 2. Design with, not for, 3. Design systems, not stuff, 4. Document, share, and measure, 5. Start locally and scale globally, 6. Build. Bertie County is the poorest county in the state, it’s referred to as a rural ghetto, and there is no shared investment in these rural communities. Project H saw design as this untapped resource for Bertie County. Their goal became “to apply design within education but then to figure out how to make education a great vehicle for community development.” In order to do this, Project H took three different approaches, 1. Design For Education, 2. Redesign Education, 3. Design as Education. Project H decided to teach design in the public school where “design thinking is coupled with real construction and fabrication skills put towards a local community purpose.” This is now making the students the largest resource in creating the future of Bertie County. Project H is a prime example of working small and locally to create positive change from within a community. For further reading: and

How to Work Inside a Community Examples of Grassroots Efforts Designed by Better Block and Project H

BIKE FRIENDLY OAK CLIFF Creation of a bicycle scene in Oak Cliff and a worldwide Bike Friendly movement.


CITY HALL PLAZA Jason found 30-year-old facelift plans for the plaza and decided to implement them in 30 days.


OAK CLIFF TRANSIT AUTHORITY Won a $23 million grant to bring back the streetcar to Oak Cliff, Texas.

POP-UP BUSINESSES Pop-up shops allow businesses to test out their idea on a weekend without long-term commitment.


Changed the way students interact with technology, and created a space that was more engaging.

Opened the eyes of the city to install a dog park permanently in the community.



Allows elementary students to learn core subjects through game play and activities.

Boarded up for 10 years, Jason decided to do an art show inside and 700 people showed up!


Kyle Calian | Power & Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change

Social Labs Riders

We are aware of our own problems. Our family’s, relationships’ , society’s. And we have a sense of what can be done about them.

Nazlı Cangönül | Social Labs

Nazlı Cangönül | Social Labs

However, there comes a time when you realize those issues are too complex, that they link to several different institutions. Nazlı Cangönül | Social Labs

Robert Frost

Social Lab is a relatively new methodology that has been evolving for the last 20 years. It brings together the new generation of problem solvers, a diverse group of stakeholders in the system; NGOs, community members, producers and consumers in the system, government officials, company representatives.

15 28

The surest thing there is is we are riders, And though none too successful at it, guiders, Through everything presented, land and tide And now the very air, of what we ride. ... There is our wildest mount-a headless horse. But though it runs unbridled off its course, And all our blandishments would seem defied, We have ideas yet that we haven't tried.

Social Labs’ Characteristics Social labs have three core characteristics to address complex social challenges:

Social Experimental Systemic

Social Social Labs brings together a diverse group, the multi-stakeholders of particular issue. Those essential people may include; leaders from ma jor corporations, local producers, NGO representatives, key professionals, government advisories, individual thinkers. Basically, key actors of the system who are committed to change it.

Experimental It consists several hands-on journeys. So that participants learn from field, and from each others’ experiences during these processes. However, no solution is precise. Trials keep the process dynamic and moving forward. Lessons are there to be learned and to be improved from.

Systemic Complex social problems need consistent and interactive practices. Systemic approach goes deeper into problems in order to clarify the roots.

To learn more: Hassan, Zaid, The Social Labs Revolution,

Conditions for Social Labs

Nazlı Cangönül | Conditions Social Labs

Social Labs started action initially with Sustainable Food Lab collaboration in 2004. The professionals with learning history, system thinkers, consultants and key players of food system, started building a core team with the potential of collective learning and through time, from ma jor food companies come together around how to make food systems more sustainable.


Nazlı Cangönül | Conditions for Social Labs

Convening Strategy Expanding Worldwide A variety of professionals addressing the issues around food - supply chains, local producers, the key players in the system, including consumersand how those issues can be addressed in terms of sustainability.


Credibility of Individuals The Platform for Diversity

These four strategies, are the essential facts for building Social Labs successfully, in order to prevent the collapse of key systems.

Convening Strategy


Determination for change, leads to the large scale interventions, considering all the actors in food system. Influencers keep iterating with their heads, hearts and hands.

Expanding Worldwide


According to system’s stakeholders and projects emerged from Social Labs, collaborations include international components.

Credibility of Individuals


The successful actions of social labs are closely related to the effective functions of individuals in teams, spaces, grants. Physically and creatively. Collective leadership in solving complex food systems emerge with their essential responsibility to plan and take actions together.

The Platform for Diversity


Widening the definitions about social labs, helps attracting a variety of players in the system. Sustainable Food Lab attendees are as diverse as the food’s nature itself. Sources: Hassan, Zaid, The Social Labs Revolution,

Some essential skills

“[The] future is not just about fi refi ghting and tinkering with the surface of structural change. It’s not just about replacing one mind set that no longer serves us with another. It’s a future that requires us to tap into a deeper level of our humanity, of who we really are and who we want to be as a society. ...This inner shift, from fi ghting the old to sensing and presencing an emerging future possibility, is at the core of all deep leadership work today. It’s a shift that requires us to expand our thinking from the head to the heart. It is a shift from an ego-system awareness that cares about the well-being of oneself to an eco-system awareness that cares about the well-being of all, including oneself.” Otto Scharmer

All of the approaches we covered in class require us to

Design fundamentals

learned in few hours, but many involve a career’s worth of

prior to joining the DSI program. Knowing they are getting

develop a common set of skills. Some of those skills can be developing mastery.

We divided skill development into the following rough categories.

Understanding: seeing and sense-making • Seeing and listening without the filters and bias of

judgement and interpretation. Helping others do the same. • Seeing the dynamics of a human system from many points

Many students in the class had no formal education in design more of this in other courses, we limited our attention in this

class to the most fundamental: “The heart of design is intention, and the engine of design is iteration.” Facilitation and social prototyping

Design for social innovation often involves helping groups

of people see, converse, and create together. We need tools that people can use to move forward through differing view-

points, conflict, unequal power dynamics, and old stories that get in the way of the new.

of view.

Students learned a number of common methods for facilitat-

• Making sense of large collections of stories and story

of the key fundamentals of becoming a good facilitator.


• Connecting a team personally to a situation: the difference between being able to explain something as an outsider, and having an insider’s gut-felt understanding for it.

• What to do in the case of dynamically complex human

systems, which can’t be genuinely “understood”: engage the whole system in collective understanding

ing dialog and co-creation, and had an introduction to some

An important question for this course, one which we are still learning how to experiment with, is this: we know what

prototypes are and how to use them when our materials are physical or digital; but how can we get the same benefit of iterative insight when we need to prototype new ways of

relating to one another, new ways of holding conversation,

new stances toward one another, power dynamics, senses of personal identity and place in the larger system?

We are finding clues about answers both in the emerging area of service design, and in the time-tested techniques of theater.

ACTIVE LISTENING Active Listening vs. Listening


Maia Kaufman | Active Listening

We have all heard that listening is different from hearing. The next iteration is that active listening is different than listening. Active Listening is a technique used in conflict resolution or facilitation that helps participants to understand each other better. Instead of waiting for your turn to talk, you are asked to put all of your focus onto the words of another person. When they are done, you are asked to respond by repeating what you heard that person say. Much can be revealed by this process; perhaps there’s a tone someone didn’t know they were articulating, or what is a small detail to one person is a major element of a story to a listener. This process allows one to hear themself the way another person does, which is a rare gift.

Steps 1.

Mentally Prepare You have to clear your mind and make yourself focus


Pay Attention Focus not only on verbal discourse, but on body language and

where you know there will be no distractions.

mannerisms. Keep good eye contact. Focus on the message- not just the words. Practice empathy. Avoid thinking of a response until the other person is done speaking.


Allow the speaker to communicate without interruption.


Provide Feedback Give only honest and respectful insights. Provide


Repeat Continue to rehash the feedback process until you and the speaker are

non-verbal feedback (head nods, smiles, etc. when appropriate). When the speaker is finished, respond with a concise paraphrasing to let the person know you understood them. “This is what I heard…” is a good place to start. Ask questions if anything needs clarification. in agreement that the message was properly conveyed.


Iteration - The road of

UNDERSTANDING Nelson Hong-Ming Tseng | Iteration - The road of understanding

Step 1: share stories Telling stories is about transforming the stories we heard during research into data and information that we can use to inspire opportunities, ideas and solutions. Stories are framed around real people and their lives, not summaries of information. Stories are useful because they are accounts of specific events, not general statements. They provide us with concrete details that help us imagine solutions to particular problems.

Step 2: Identify patterns Method: Extract key Insights


TIPS Be Specific Talk about what actually happened. It helps to begin stories with “One time...” or “After such and such happened...” Be Descriptive Use your physical senses to give texture to your description.


Follow Reporting Rules Cover the following topics: who, what, when, where, why, and how.

» Insights make you sit up and pay attention. » Insights dig out the truths that covered by individual stories. » Insights allow us to see our design challenge in a new light. » Take several related pieces of information and re-write them as one big Insight » If you find some lower level insights, they might be reframed at a higher level.

Step 3: Create Framework Frameworks allow you to begin putting the specific information from stories into a larger system context

What is a framework?

A framework is a visual representation of a system. It shows the different elements or actors at play and highlights the relationships between them.

Using your framework

Iteration - The road of Understanding Prototype > Try > Feedback> Revise Iterative design is a way of confronting unpredictable user needs and behaviors. User testing will often show that even evaluated ideas will be inadequate when confronted with a user test. Feedback will make team more understand the needs. Thus, it is important that the flexibility of the iterative design’s implementation approach extends as far into the system as possible.

A good framework will help you see the issues and relationships in a clearer way. Use the framework to develop or build upon key insights. Resource: The HCD Toolkit at The Wikipedia article, 'Iterative Design'

Caroline McAndrews | Layers of Attention, Levels of Dialogue



tto Scharmer and his colleagues Joseph Jaworski and Peter Senge, at the MIT Center for Organizational Learning spent ten years developing a framework for leadership and change based on consciousness, or awareness. The framework,

called Theory U, states that the quality a system and the results it can produce depend mainly on the level of awareness from which the participants in that system operate. Out of this work, the colleagues developed four “levels of awareness” to serve as a basis for the U-process of Theory U, and to capture where actions originate. In other words, the more aware people are of others around them, the better the outputs of a system will be – moving from “ego-centric” leadership to “eco-centric” leadership. They applied these levels to several types of interactions, including listening and how that affects communication. As designers, we often listen through the filter of solving problems. We imagine we are the user and design a solution based on the tools and constraints we have developed so far. While this can be useful, it does not take us far enough to co-create with a wider group of individuals. Understanding how to listen, and how to grow in our awareness as a group of individuals in a system is key to developing processes and emergent solutions that can begin to address the deep-rooted problems we face together. Furthermore, facilitating co-creation means learning to facilitate groups of people moving into deeper


dialogue. This skill is essential to becoming a “catalyst,” and not an “expert.”

For more information: Presencing Website: Theory U ( Theory U, Otto Scharmer (



Leads to a Self-Reflective System


l Behavior, a u C







e re

e re

otypes , H a







l Behavior, a u C





n c e ,

, Persona e r l ltu


e re

otypes , H a

Leads to an Adaptive System








Factual listening that results in noticing differences in opinion and approach. This type of listening allows us to open our minds to other points of view and either confirm or dis-confirm new data; however, we are still operating from our own point of view.


, Persona e r l ltu



, Persona e r l ltu


Habitual behavior and thought that results in “same old, same old” behaviors and outcomes. This type of listening originates from what we already know from personal past experience. It often involves saying what we assume other people want to hear.

l Behavior, a u C

Leads to a Fragmented System

Empathic listening that allows us to see through another person‘s eyes and establish an emotional connection. This type of listening leads to reflective inquiry in which we begin to see ourselves as part of a whole with an individual role to play.

PRIMACY OF THE WHOLE A state in which the circle of attention widens beyond all individual participants and a new reality emerges. This type of listening requires an identity shift that connects us to a widening surrounding sphere, and allows us to operate from a place of future possibility outside of any individual point of view.

Leads to a Generative System


MUTUAL LEARNING MODEL Every other week, in the covers of management magazines you’ll see such headlines ”Be the leader that drives your team forward,” “Learn how to make every team member a valuable one.” Then when you open it, it’s full of tips and techniques. If those were enough, these articles wouldn’t be necessary anymore. Effective leadership is way more than just tools. Leaders lead teams and organizations according to their own mental models, and if they don’t believe they can learn from their team members, they’ll continue managing the same

way and having the same results. Roger Schwartz consolidated a new model of leadership that is emerging - the Mutual Learning Model - based on trust, communication, and shared growth rather than command and control, as the Unilateral Control Mindset is. Most of the leadership in place today is working with the latter. Below are the chacracteristics of both Unilateral Control and Mutual Learning models:

Ivan Boscariol || Mutual Mutual Learning Learning Model Model

VALUES Unilateral Control

Mutual Learning

Win, don’t lose - Whether inside your team or in the market, success implies the destruction of competitors.

Transparency - Enable the members of the team to be on the same page. In addition to sharing information, we have to share our honest thoughts, our feelings towards our work and each other. It requires intelligence and sensitivity to know when to share and when to act.

Be right - Only the leader can be right. Others are right when they agree with the leader, otherwise they need convincing. Minimize expression of negative feelings - “Why talk about feelings that don’t exist or that just drag us down?” To negate these feelings is to negate the truth, and this denial might be the key factor blocking success. Act rational - Again, denying the role of emotions in our decision making is more than impossible, it’s irrational in itself.

Curiosity - If you don’t know, ask. If the question is relevant, the team shall seek the answer - with one team member being responsible for it. Curiosity is not only about information on the project, but also what’s in others’ minds and hearts. Informed Choice - With transparency and curiosity, the decision-making process is fueled by important information and happens in a committed environment.Whatever decision is made, the team abides by it, even if its results are unexpected. It’ll be easier later to pinpoint success factors and areas to improve. Accountability - Since they made an Informed Choice, leaders are willingly held responsible for the outcomes of their decisions. When decisions are communicated, the whole thought process is publicized as well. This way, others can take part in what happened and understand deeply what guided the process, and if necessary, intervene in the most appropriate way.


Compassion - You are aware and you connect with the pain in yourself and in others. The response to this pain is responsible and considerate. It’s subtlety different from empathy. Transparency can generate empathy. Compassion brings awareness to outcomes and prevents us from causing unnecessary pain, as well as centering us to remedy whatever inevitable pain was caused.

ASSUMPTIONS Unilateral Control

Mutual Learning

I understand the situation; those who disagree don’t - “Again, why bother discussing or constructing a shared view? I can see it all, you are just dragging the process.”

I have information and so do other people - It might be the same, it might be different, but all actors in the team know something - and this must be shared.

My motives are pure; those who disagree have questionable motives - “Are you sure you want what we want? Or do you just want to derail the whole thing?” I am not contributing to the problem - “I am the fixer, the manager. All bad things that happened only happened because I wasn’t the one doing it, otherwise…” I am right; those who disagree are wrong - “If I was hired to be the leader, this means you have to follow me.” My feelings and behaviors are justified - “I did what had to be done, you shouldn’t even be questioning it.”

People may disagree with me and still have pure motives - If I am in peace that multiple views of a situation exist, and that my opinion is not perfect, disagreements can be helpful to problem-solving. Besides, disagreeing with an idea must have nothing to do with disliking someone. I may be contributing to the problem - If you are part of the solution, you are part of the problem as well. Relationships are complex, making the way others behave be - in some way - reactions to the manner we behave. It’s crucial to understand what can “I” do to help all of us have the favorable behaviors and actions towards our goal. Each of us sees things others don’t - The same fact can be seen, understood and interpreted in different ways. Multiple points of view - when shared can generate collective understandings that address complexity more precisely than the single view of the leader. Differences are opportunities for learning - You engage with what is different from you not to prove your superiority or to point out what’s wrong, but to see how can one teach the other.

This model only works if you truly want it, believe and invest time to it. Only through openness to yourself and others, practice and giving yourself the right to fail, you are able shift towards a more inclusive and compassionate model of leading.

To learn more: Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook and Getting Unstuck to Get Results: The Mutual Learning Approach, Roger Schwartz, The Art of Facilitation, Dale Hunter Unlocking Organizational Routines that Prevent Learning, Robert Putnam


Yinman Guo | Facilitation: Ground Rules for Effective Groups

Facilitating dialog and co-creation “Conversations are very powerful tools of action and change... Conversation as an approach to work is also merciful, as it does not ask us to take on more weight or responsibility; it simply asks us to stay involved, to keep the conversation going. ...Trying to get people engaged in a particular task is often impossible through coercion or legislation. Human beings do not often change gladly to do others’ bidding— whether it’s to change their behavior or to increase their productivity or to pursue the many goals of the organization. What we can do, however, is to create a conversation that is invitational to our own and other people’s best powers, that releases imagination, creativity and energy.” David Whyte, Five Conversations on the Frontiers of Leadership

Conversations are THE fundamental

There are many ways we could have chosen to spend our limited class time, with many

new ideas and skills to learn and practice. From the long list of skills that will be useful to

students in their future, we chose to invest heavily in introducing approaches and points of

view for facilitating groups of people. as they come to see through one another’s eyes, see

the whole system of which they are each a part, find words for possibility and purpose, and explore what something new might look like as they create it together.

“First, conversations reveal what we see in the world and themeaning we attach to what we see. Second, as Autry says, we name things and create reality. Third, we invite others to see what we see, the way we see it. And fourth, through conversations we either sustain or change the meaning of what we see. All these things play a commanding role in creating and defining an organization’s culture.” “The first, most critical step to creating a healthier, more productive culture is to change the conversations. Changing a conversation in the moment can change the culture in the room…. Changing the culture in the room in any given moment is the best any of us can do. If new conversations change the culture in the room enough times and in enough rooms, the organizations culture will change.” “Change will not survive or thrive if we continue having the same conversations.” Jamie & Maren Showkeir, Authentic Conversations


Azmina Alimohd | Building a Social Fabric

Building a Social Fabric “When citizens care for each other, they become accountable for each other. Care and accountability creates a healthy community.� Peter Block talks about civic engagement in a new light. He says, the systems in place are able to serve but not care. He provides us with a tool to ask ourselves, how can we better the conversations in our communities? All transformation is linguistic, which means we can think of community as essentially a conversation. If you are a leader wanting to create communities that operate in a new context, change the conversation! A new conversation can allow a community to act in unison and create the conditions for a new context. A shift in a community benefits from the shifts in individuals but when belonging in a whole system the transformation can be greater.

The change in context from retributive community to a restorative community can be achieved by using questions and dialogues that move in the following directions:

Transformation 1. From conversations about problems to ones about possibilities

4. From seeing the corporation and systems as central to seeing associated life as central. 5. From a focus on leaders to a focus on citizens.

ASK: what do we want to create together that would make a difference? 2. From conversations about fear and fault to ones about gifts, generosity, and abundance. 3. From dependence on law and oversight to a preference for building the social fabric and choosing accountability.

ASK: what measures have meaning to me? What commitment or deicision have you changed your mind about?

For More Information Read: Community by Peter Block

The World Cafe dialogue method

Azmina Alimohd | The World Cafe

The World Cafe is a creative process for facilitating a collaborative dialogue and the sharing of knowledge and ideas to create a network of conversations and action. At regular intervals, the participants discuss a question or issue in small groups around the cafe tables. One participant remains at the table to summarize the previous conversations to the new guests, in order to create conversations that are cross fertilized. At the end of the process the main ideas are summarized in the larger group and future possibilities are discussed.

o How

it works:



Participants explore an issue by drawing and discussing in small groups or ‘tables' for multiple,consecutive sessions.

Participants change tables after each session in order to cross pollinate their discussions with the ideas generated at the other tables. After several rounds, initiate a period of sharing discoveries and insights in a large group. In this style of conversation, patterns can be identified, collective knowledge grows, and possibilities for action emerge.

o When

to use:

To engage large groups (of 12 or more) in an authentic dialogue process. Generate input, share knowledge, stimulate innovative thinking, and explore action possibilities around real life issues and questions. Deepen relationships and mutual ownership of outcomes in an existing group. Create meaningful action between speaker and audience.

for more information: Visit:

7 Design Principles 1. Set the context 2. Create a hospitable space 3. Explore the questions 4. Encourage everyone’s contribution 5. Cross pollinate 6. Connect diverse perspectives 7. Listen together

Collective Story Harvest storytelling group 1





50 2

Hannah Phang | Collective Story Harvest

storytelling group 2

theme 1

theme & general listeners 1. Framing and Introduction • welcome everyone to the session and briefly explain process • introduce the storytellers • explain theme/arcs

storytelling group 3

2. Storytelling • ask the storytellers to tell their story and the group to harvest 3. Collective Harvest • ask each of the harvesters to report what they heard 4. Response from storyteller • ask the storytellers what they got out of the experience 5. Response from group • ask the storytellers what they got out of the experience

theme 3

theme 2


6. Collective Harvest • return to the full group and ask like arc or theme listeners to sit together and discuss their findings. 7. Closing the session • thank the storytellers and listeners • share any final remarks

What is ColleCtive story harvest Collective Story Harvest is a facilitation method

can include pivotal moments or hurdles. Once the

involving storytelling that allows us to connect

storytellers finishes their story, the listeners share back

with and learn from the experience of others. The

what they heard to the storyteller and the small group.

storytellers share a story, usually about a change

Often multiple storytelling groups are happening

process, with small groups and the listeners work with

simultaneously and once each group is finished, the

a set of specific themes/story arcs to “harvest� from

listeners from each theme will share their findings with

the story. Each of the participants in the group will

the same theme group of another storyteller. Finally,

be listening to the story through the lens of a specific

everyone comes together to combine learnings

theme that they are be given. Examples of themes

across all the stories.

Why is ColleCtive story harvest important Collective Story Harvesting is an important tool to

that we currently feel and how they got from where

have as it can help participants to improve their

we are to where they are now. This experience has

active listening skills, they can learn to listen for

helped us to build a capacity for targeted listening

specific themes, they can learn directly from others,

and group learning. We hope for storytellers it is an

and the storytellers can learn themes and points of

opportunity to take stock of your learnings, perhaps

their stories that they may not have realized. It is a

notice things they may not have realized and pass

chance for uninterrupted listening and storytelling,

them on.

which unfortunately today is rare.

Where you can Learn More About As students of DSI, we are each going through personal journeys but it is helpful to hear from others about the journeys they have experienced. It is inspiring to hear that others felt similar to the ways

Collective Story Harvest

OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY (OST) The approach is characterized by a few basic mechanisms: 1. a broad, open invitation which articulates the purpose of the meeting. 2. participants’ chairs arranged in a circle. 3. a bulletin board of issues and opportunities posted by participants. 4. a marketplace with many break-out spaces that participants move freely between, learning and contributing as they shop for information and ideas.


Rodrigo Muñoz-Valencia | Open Space Technology

5. a breathing or pulsation pattern of flow, between plenary and small-group breakout sessions.

There Space

are several desired outcomes from an event.


1. The issues that are most important to people will get discussed. 2. The issues raised will be addressed by the participants best capable of getting something done about them. 3. All of the most important ideas, recommendations, discussions, and next steps will be documented in a report. 4. When sufficient time is allowed, the report contents will be prioritized by the group.


5. Participants will feel engaged and energized by the process.

Open Space Technology works best when these conditions are present: 1. A real business issue that people care about, that it is something worth talking about.


2. Mind numbing complexity, such that no single person or small group fully understands or can solve the issue. 3. High levels of or lots of diversity, in terms of the skills and people required for a successful resolution. 4. Much passion and real or potential conflict, which implies that people genuinely care about the issue. 5. Real sense of urgency, meaning the time for decisions and action was “yesterday”.

52 62



OST is an approach to purpose-driven leadership, focused on a specific and important purpose or task, but beginning without any formal agenda, beyond the overall purpose or theme.

It sets the stage for the meeting's participants to create the agenda for themselves, in the first 30–90 minutes of the meeting or event.

5 to 2,100 people He/she is described as being "fully present and totally invisible", "holding a space" for participants to self-organize, rather than managing or directing the conversations.

If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.

● A closing question or reflection that invites every person to speak to their experience and transition back to social interaction.

A gesture of welcome that shifts people’s attention from social space to circle space: a poem, silence, a chime.

● What did you learn today?


circle princ way iples

r nt e ce

tion inten

2. We listen with attention



ay w le ces c r ci acti pr 1. We speak with intention



● Works with the host to guide group process through attention to timeline, energy, focus, and intention. Signals the pause, holds the pause, and release the pause. (checking energy, make sound to control the process of council)

ch e go ckod ou by t e

start point

● What inspired you?

Creates a focal point that symbolizes the intention for calling the circle and reflects the nature of the group.

s agreement

che gre ck-in eti ng

3. We contribute to the well being of the group

1. What we say in circle is held in confidence 2. We ask for what we need and offer what we can. 3. We listen with compassion and curiosity. 4. We agree to pause to regather our thoughts or focus.

1. Describe what we have to offer 2. Share feeling and anticipation, giving every voice a room. 3. If you want, you can slow down and ask profound question and give people longer time to answer.

1. Leadership rotates among all circle participants

The shared purpose for calling

2. Responsibility is shared to insure quality of the experience.

symbolically in the center and

3. Reliance is on wholeness rather than on personal agenda.

the circle: intention resides provides focus for speaking from the rim. More info? ● ●

O app pur focu purp any ove the

ACTION REPLAY Methods & Values Action replays are the basis of many active reviewing techniques. The purposes and variations of action replays are endless. Purposes include clarifying what happened, celebrating what happened, and investigating what happened; Keeping everyone in the group informed about what others were doing especially where a group has split into smaller units during an activity

Informing others outside the group about a group event or possibly just to update the trainer following an independent exercise

Reconstructing a distant or complex event to help people recall and relive the facts and feelings of an event

Celebrating a success and appreciating more about what contributed to the success

Helping people to see the serious side of a humorous incident Cy Nakpodia | Action Replay

or vice-versa

using an action replay as a sweep search for issues to review

Awareness-raising bringing out different points of view and disagreements

Focusing on issues which participants have found difficult to recognise or confront during the activity

Analysing a problem similar to reconstructing the scene of a crime

Active Reviewing Guide Active Reviewing ~ article by Roger Greenaway by Roger Greenaway


ACTION PREPLAY: Acting out alternative courses of action is more committing than talk, but is less committing than the real thing.


Using a dummy remote control and a dummy microphone as communications aids and tools to help bring out more information, or to ask challenging questions of participants (each other).

THE BENEFITS OF ACTION REPLAY ACTION REPLAY has many advantages including:

PAUSE / PLAY Helps create quick and convenient opportunities for senarios and second attempts

Pause & Play REWIND / FAST FORWARD Helps create opportunities for recalling or reliving an experience

Rewind & Fast Forward

it is more fun it is cheaper it keeps involvement and energy high it is more convenient and saves time you can do it almost anywhere you need no equipment (although some 'props' might be useful) it is an exercise in memory, creativity, and teamwork it can provide everyone with a chance of leadership (as director) it can be used as a search technique to find incidents or issues to review more thoroughly


Stop & Review

Helps creates opportunities to freeze a frane and analyses to be able to draw out new findingds

individuals can swap roles with each other, leading towards criticism becoming more constructive.

This graphic illustrates how to keep participants motivated and involved when you are facilitating active learning. As you read each funchin you will learn how to join in making or moving the various communication aids. The aids are tools for participants to use - once its demonstrated how they work.

Participants become an open box, open to sharing and recieveing new ideads

INTERVIEWS Helps creates opportunities to find out what people where feeling and thinking and help bring about new information and ideas



Rodrigo Mu単oz-Valencia | Theatre of the Oppressed


The Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) uses theatre as means of promoting social and political change. In the Theatre of the Oppressed, the audience becomes active, such that as "spect-actors" they explore, show, analyse and transform the reality in which they are living.

Joker/Facilitator/Difficultator This person takes responsibility for the logistics of the process and ensures a fair proceeding, but must never comment upon or intervene in the content of the performance, as that is the province of the "spect-actors".

Spect-actor It refers to the dual role of those involved in the process as both spectator and actor, as they both observe and create dramatic meaning and action in any performance.

Major branches of Theatre of the Oppressed


During the development of TO is necessary to apply different theatrical styles, each using a different process to achieve a different result. They are organized as a theatrical systems as a tree, with images, sounds and words as the roots, games, Image Theatre and Forum Theatre ascending up the trunk, and then other techniques represented as limbs stemming from these. As more T.O. systems evolved,you have made slight modifications to which techniques appear on various limbs, but the Tree of Theatre of the Oppressed has mostly remained consistent:

The objective is to open up a dialogue between citizens and institutional entities so that there is a flow of power between both groups. This type of legislative process is called a "transitive democracy," which lies in between direct democracy (practiced in ancient Greece) and delegate democracy.

Theatricalisation of protest demonstrations...marches, secular processions, parades, meetings of workers...using all available theatrical elements, such as masks, songs, dances. choreography, etc. A system of techniques devised to give the audience a way to transform daily news articles or any non-dramatic pieces to theatrical scene.

A form of theatrical performance that is enacted in a place where people would not normally expect to see one, for example in the street or in a shopping centre. The performers attempt to disguise the fact that it is a performance from those who observe and who may choose to participate in it, encouraging the spectators to view it as a real event.

legislative theatre direct actions

invisible theatre forum

newspaper theatre

This form of theatre is one of the most stimulating because of its ease of enactment and its remarkable capacity of portraying thought in a concrete form due to the absence of language idiom. Each word has a denotation common for all as well as a connotation that is unique for each individual. Each will have his own interpretation of "revolution", and to demonstrate such idea provides a clearer understanding of their intention in definition when shown rather than told.

rainbow of desire

image theatre

Rainbow techniques stem from Image theatre and tend to focus on forms of internalized oppression played out by a protagonist in relation to an antagonist.

In this process, the actors or audience members could stop a performance, often a short scene in which a character was being oppressed in some way. The audience could propose any solution, so long as they conveyed it on stage, working, acting, and directing not from the comfort of their seat. This was an attempt to undo the traditional audience/actor partition and bring audience members into the performance, to have an input into the dramatic action they were watching.


All kinds of Games must have Discipline - clear rules that we must follow. At the same time, Games have absolute need of creativity and Freedom. TO is the perfect synthesis between the antithetic Discipline and Freedom. Without Discipline, there is no Social Life; without Freedom, there is no Life. The Tree of the TO is nurtured by ideas and is rooted by:






economy philosophy



politics More info? â—? â—?

Understanding transformation “What counts, in making art, is the actual fit between the contents of your head and the qualities of your materials. The knowledge you need to make that fit comes from noticing what really happens as you work – the way the materials respond, and the way that response (and resistance) suggest new ideas to you. It’s those real and ordinary changes that matter.” David Bayles & Ted Orland

No designer or artist can create something meaningful without an intimate and empathetic understsanding of the material they work with. The same applies to us as social innovators. For us to design interventions that will help our systems shift towards a life-affirming state, we need to know how to work with our material.

All social systems – communities, organizations, families – are made of humans. It is

peoples’ habit of thinking, behaving and conversing that enables the current system to

replicate itself. For the system to change, the people inside the system must change too. As we have learned, working with products is very different than working with social

systems. Yet we tend to bring a mechanistic view to our work with human behavior. We

believe that “change” can be engineered. We believe that if we can paint the picture of a better future, then we can motivate, incentivize or will people (and ourselves) into becoming the change we seek.

Everyone who has crumpled up their new years’ resolution in March or read in the Harvard Business review that 70% of change iniatives fail will know this is not so. When we turn to research, we see that an individual’s change in behavior is the outcome of engaging in a process of transformation.

All human transformation cycles have two distincts arcs: dying – letting go of the old,

and emergence – the unfolding of the new. The same applies to living systems; they too change by going through cycles of death and re-birth.

Understanding change from a theoretical perspecive is helpful, but not sufficient if one

plans to accompany communities on their journey of transformation. In this class, we invite students to engage in their own journey of becoming the change they wish to see in the

world. When we can work with the aspects of ourselves that are deeply human – fear, angst, frustration, disillusionment, loss, sorrow, insecurity, hopefulnes, vulnearbility and victories – we can then help others move through the passage of transfomation.

THE LINK BETWEEN INNER What drives change? There are many forms of change. Understanding the different change contexts is important to understand individuals’ responses to the changes around them.

Sultana Abbar | The Link Between Inner Shift and Outer Change

External change and internal transition are two parallel dynamics. External change has direct implications on individual development, yet without individuals moving through the transition, organizational change inevitably fails. Environmental Change Given a choice, most organizations prefer stability to change, because the more predictable activities are, the higher the level of efficiency acheived. But the world around us is not static. It is continuously changing as a response to various forces, both internal and external. The challenge is to anticipate and direct change towards improvement and growth. Individual Transition Individual transition is the internal re-orientation, re-definition, and re-learning that we go through to incorporate change into our lives. Without this transition, we would continue to face the same problems over and over again. Experiencing fundamental change impacts us and the way in which we perceive our environment, which is then reflected in the behavior we adopt in responding to the environment. Research has found that individuals transition in predictable patterns and follow cyclical stages.

OLD SYSTEM Disintegration Environmental perception Self-perception

Increasing instability and rigidity of system

Expectation of total change

Lack of power to initiate change

Belief in ability to achieve rapid and fundamental change

Request for change





Support of change and development Hyperactive & erratic

SHIFT AND OUTER CHANGE Transformation is a process. Transformative transition model The transfomative change model explains how individuals move through their personal and fundamental transformation experience when occuring in an environment of radical systemic change. This model was developed by studying the transformation of managers in East Germany within the context of the transition from a socialist to a capitalist economic model. Vertically, the model shows three levels of perception: perception of the external environment, perception of self, and the effect this change has on personal behavior. Horizontally, it moves chronologically through the stages of transformation, namely disentegration, euphoria, crisis, development, and redefinition. Source: Modelling individual transition in the context of organisational transformation, Karin Breu & Mary Benwell

NEW SYSTEM Redefinition


Crisis Deconstruction of the total change myth

Recognition of incremental realization of change

Belief in continuity of change

Incapacity to effect change due to loss of faith in value of old skills and past experiences

Learning of new concepts and building up of judgment of new environment

Recovery of self-confidence and trust in own capabilities

Support of change and development

Support of change and development

Support of change and development

Insecure & hesitant



The Cycle of Change in Living Systems This model, developed by the Berkana Institute, demonstrates the natural cycle of change from a dominant system to an emergent one. Social issues are all part of complex doing? Can we connect to each other? Can we nourish their networks so that they can grow? Can we illuminate society by sharing their stories?


Lauren Gardner | The Cycle of Change in Living Systems

the dominant system and jump out of it. Once they do, they become pioneers who start to explore possible innovations without being sure of exactly what they are working towards.

Networks Pioneers connect to each other through social networks. These networks are selforganized by likeminded individuals. They membership.

community of practice Networks of pioneers begin to build on their work together to form communities of practice. They share their knowledge and support one another. Individuals are motivated to participate by a commitment to the whole.

stabilizers People who resist change stay in the old system and try to defend it against decay and emergence of alternatives. They keep the old intact until it dies, and create a space for pioneers to do their work.


62 32

Champions share the story of the emergent system with society and build bridges to bring them into the new system without having to become new pioneers.

THE STORY OF EMERGENCE A dominant system rises and peaks. Individuals working towards alternate systems are recognized and NAMED as pioneers. stabilizers try to provide hospice to the old system, resisting change as it declines. Pioneers CONNECT to one another to form networks. These networks are NOURISHED to build a community of practice. A new system emerges from the process - unpredictable and stronger than expected. Once the emergent system comes into dominance, champions illuminate the new system to transition society from old to new.

for example... We have seen society’s transition from oil towards renewable energy go through this cycle. The oil economy rose into dominance and has peaked. Individuals who started experimenting with alternative energy forms, like solar and wind, were pioneers. As these pioneers found each other, they started working together through research and innovation. Now, alternative energy scientists have established of knowledge on sustainable energy sources. There are still stabilizers in the oil economy and continue its dominance. Meanwhile, developed the electric car are leaders of a new system. Champions are providing information and resources to ease members of society into renewable energy.

Resources Berkana Institute’s Theory of Change ( “Lifecycle of Emergence”, by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze, 2006 ( berkana_articles/lifecycle-of-emergenceusing-emergence-to-take-social-innovation-toscale/) “Dynamics of Complex Living Systems”, by Chris Corrigan ( watch?v=u1_tpzZVWTY)



system of influence

PIONEERS champions illuminate







networks community of practice

Grace Hsieh HSIEH | The Necessary Transformation WAN-CHUN, | The Necessary Transformation

Ecological Divide Infinite growth bubble

Finite resources

Income bubble

Human Right

State-centric / Traditional awareness

Social Divide

Financial bubble

Real economy

Technology bubble

Real needs

Free market / Ego-system awareness

Leadership bubble

Collective paralysis

Spiritual-Cultural Divide

Consumerism bubble

GDP ≠ happiness

Social market / Stakeholder awareness

Governance bubble


Ownership bubble

Best societal use

Co-creative / Eco-system awareness

Resource: C. Otto Scharmer,Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies

64 33

Today’s transformation of economic structures requires that we move away from an obsolete “ego-system” awareness focusing entirely on the well-being of the individual - be it a single person, group, organization, or country - to an eco-system awareness emphasizing the well-being of the whole. Being a student in DSI (design for social innovation), I am looking forward to become a facilitator, dedicated to a ego-to-eco society transformation .



Pathological view of humanity: Assume people are broken, defective, bad, unable and motivated by selfishness, greed or fear.

Possibility view of humanity: Assume people are good, worthy, whole, capable and motivated by purpose, meaning and care.

Power-over paradigm: Suppress, negate, separate from or eradicate that which is contradictory or uncomfortable (in the self – memories, emotions, moods; in others – behavior, beliefs, different race/income/class)

Power through paradigm: Accepting and open to what is contradictory and uncomfortable; engage in a process of inclusion and finding a better way together (in the self and others)

Ego-view or small self world view: Suffers from the problems of separation and competition Driven to survive Scarcity mentality Constant striving – driven by the need to protect itself and fulfill one’s own desires Feels rushed

Eco-view or expanded self: Realizes the interconnectedness of life Open to become Abundant mentality State of rest and wellbeing, able to care for the whole

Relationships of inequality: Distrust and disdain of self / other; take power over or being over taken

Relationships of equality and wholeness: Trust and respect self/other; co-create a way of living together

Communication that alienates and dominates: Conflict – Try to exert the self over the other using shame and blame Avoidance – unable to address matters, uses silence & cutting off of others Compliance – giving up what is true to keep the peace Triangulation – Speak behind other’s back Real issues are unresolved under a surface of compliance

Honest communication: Direct – speak to each other about each other

Mind set of control over groups : Use primitive emotions - fear, scarcity, self-interest Values includes obedience, conformity, homogeneity, compliance Expect perfection, distrust the other, need to control, demand and supervise. Inhibit, motivate, incentivize, manipulate, repress.

Create the conditions for growth in groups: Call on noble traits - cooperation, caring and generosity Embraces different opinions, values uniqueness, diversity, creativity, passion, independence, honesty Support and believe in the inherent wisdom of the group, create conditions for growth: Nurture, guide, nourish, support, cultivate.

Moves with ease

Open – speak about everything that is necessary Timely – speak about matters when they arise Non-violent – use communication to convey “my needs” not judge another Resolve matters

2 66

Rinat The Difficulty Difficulty of of Transformation Transformation RinatSherzer Sherzer || The

When the wind of change starts blowing a personal or social change immerges. A will arises to seek a better destination than B and paving paths to the unknown location of C.


Habits are created in the first place to fill a need. These habits create neurological paths in our brains. The more a habit is executed the faster the neurons travel and a highway between A to B is created.

INTERNAL RESISTANCE Neurobiological Perspective Old habits do not disappear from the wiring of our brains. Creating a new habit is a process and in the mean time - The fast way is the highway. What can help us build a new path? • Awareness of the old behaviour • When it comes up, laugh at it • Trust the process • Be patient

Internal Criticism During the enculturation process, we internalize beliefs about who we should be, what is acceptable behavior and what is not. When we start to change, we might feel guilty, judged or criticized by our own psychological immune system designed to keep us acceptable. The change threatens our sense of belonging. What can help when the internal criticism attacks? • Question your beliefs • Practice compassion • Step back, look at the bigger picture. Be an observer of your experience Internal Emptiness A place of deep discomfort with our internal world might stem from unmet developmental needs where we have never learned how valuable and loved we are. It can also come from running away from unresolved grief, loss or trauma. As a result we usually distruct or numb ourselves How can we deal with the discomfort of our internal world? • Go into it • Experience the discomfort • Embrace it Uncertainty “I didn’t want to move out of hell. I knew the names of all the streets!” - Cloud & Townsend When we step away from the known patterns in our lives, we enter a fearful in-between of having left what we know and not knowing what will come. How do we ease that fear? • Focus on all the wonderful things in your life right now • Take your demons out for a fun day CULTURAL RESISTANCE When you change, the society around you is effected. As change is difficult society will try to return the system to its former equilibrium by trying to show you that you are wrong. Stay strong, by doing that you allow for them to step up to your level and be part of that change.

“People do not resist change, per se. People resist loss….. the hope of leadership lies in the capacity to deliver disturbing news and raise difficult questions in a way that people can absorb, prodding them to take up the message rather than ignore it or kill the messenger. - Ronald A. Heifetz, Martin Linsky, Leadership on the Line: staying alive through the dangers of leading

What informs behavior?

“Behavior is a function of experience. We act according to the way we see things. If our experience is destroyed, our behavior will be destructive.� R.D. Laing

Imagine yourself in a room, together with people from all

how comfortable we are with ourselves and how we bond

and slowly. You notice another person leaving the room.

the unconscious operating system from which we run our

across your local food system. One person is talking softly Another pages through a magazine without looking up

while someone else stares at the window. A woman named Jill keeps raising her hand to ask questions right in the middle of a sentence. The person in the corner yawns.

We can notice people’s behavior, but we are completely blind as to the experience that underlies and animates their action. Our interior worlds are rich, complicated,

ever-shifting landscapes where much is experienced and

with others. These habits of thought and relation become

life. Unless we become aware of and shift these patterns, we will continue to repeat the patterns of past generations. This includes unhelpful patterns such as oppression.

The good news is that, just as we have learned to be who

we are now, we can also learn a new way of being. Through attention and practice we can become aware of our habits of thought, and slowly shift them.

much lies hidden even from ourselves. Our inner world is a

During this class we studied how our early years informed

stories, memories, images, and moods all parade, with and

culture has influenced our beliefs and attitudes. We

theatre where thoughts, emotions, feelings, beliefs, voices, without our volition.

Most of our inner world is built, not inherited. Though this

process never really stops, most of our patterns are formed in the early years of our development. For example, the neural

pathways laid down in our first two years shape how we trust,

how we relate to other people. We mapped how our investigated how beliefs are passed down through

generations. Students were also encouraged to become aware of how different inner-states created different

interactions. We encouraged the skills of mindfulness and emotional awareness.

Claire Kim Kim || Inner Inner World Claire World


2 70





Belief: Belief hold the way of people view the world.

Emotion: Emotion is an outcome of our thoughts and perceptions, and a link to the world.

Mental representation of the world around us and become the foundation from which we take action. And belief is a product of the social experience that is usually shape up by the share knowledge and idea through the use of common sense to interpret the basic social facts in certain ethnic group.

Emotion refers to a feeling state involving thoughts, physiological changes, and an outward expression or behavior. Our emotions influence our behavior and these are outcome of how we perceive the world or a situation. Emotions allow us to have empathy, which is an important attribute for any social innovator.

3 Trauma: Trauma is from deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. Also, it creates a loss of faith that there is any safety, predictability, or meaning in the world, or any safe place in which to retreat.

4 Internal Voices: The voice within us. Once we learn how to operate conscious awareness through our body and brain, this consciousness is realized from our inner desire, then the “inner speech” is created. This voice gradually developed and reproduced from our auditory memory. The more we reproduce what another has said, eventually, we learn to speak internally using the same neuron when we speak out loud. As we develop this, we incorporate other’s voice within us. We begin to speak their speech and hear them without verbalizing. This is the beginning of the inner mind, the inner world, or the private world, as it has variously been described. Source: Lewis Mehl-Madrona

how culture shapes us

reaction&creation between

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.�


David Rojas LeĂłn | How Culture Shapes Us

{ r e a c t i o n } Marshall McLuhan

(Re)action The foundation of evolution remains in the functions of the reptilian brain. Within this core are located some of the most primitive features of living beings needed in order to survive, also some of the most aggressive and instinctive responses, even overriding logical processes and reasons. Reaction, as a natural response to external stimulation and internal processes are expressed in a wide range of actions and emotions, with different levels of conscience. Reactions, as part of a set of behaviors intended to preserve survival, shape individual Enculturation is understood as the process that shapes every person in order to belong to a social models which might create group or community. In this process the nuclear tensions within social family is the basic emotional unit in which values scenarios. and behaviors are acquired by processed information within a system. Becoming aware of the relationship system and the functional position of each member allows the understanding of individual and social roles within cultures.



oberta M. Gilbert presents her reflections on the work of

Murray Bowen who postulates a system understanding of human

ea rn

mo re: s Ro tion c a r ber ta M Inte n a . Gilb um ert. E ut H o b A xtraordi inking nary Relations hips, A New Way of Th

relationships, creating constellations of functional roles and logical bonds. The author offers a dichotomous view of the theory of relationships, stating the dynamics and tensions between the indivi-


duality and the togetherness as the foundation of familiar and cultural processes. Gilbert and Bowen support their postulates on neuroanatomical studies based on the triune brain model, which claims the existence of three brains within the human brain: the reptile brain, the mammalian brain and the human cerebral cortex, locating human functions in every level of evolution compared to other animal species. This comparison allows them to illustrate how social dynamics are tied to natural mechanisms and evolutionary development.

{ c r e a t i o n }

(C)reation Evolutionary development of the species established the basis for the sense of community by introducing functions that display a new range of relationship, based on the care of the other and the progressive unfolding of communication as the basic device for cultures. Thus, the principle of conservation not only relied on the primacy of self-satisfaction, but the joint working and the distribution of functions which gave a new perspective to the idea of individualism. Creation emerges as a result of the necessity of uniting forces to promote life as a common goal.


Boundaries define us. They define what is me

ous, but the most crucial stages are in our very

and what is not me. A boundary shows me where

early years, when our character is being formed.

I end and someone else begins, leading me to a

Infants develop an emotional inventory of experi-

sense of ownership. They are built starting during

ences through their first months. The very first

Bruno Silva | Forming Boundaries

childhood and are

4 74



step in boundary forma-

stantly evolving during

tion is when an infant

our lifetime. An easy way

bonds with their mom and

to understand boundaries

dad. During this period

is to literally visualize an

the newborn needs to feel

imaginary line that sepa-

safe and secure. Bonding

rates us from the outside.

happens when the mother

They are rules and prin-

respond to the needs of

ciples we live by daily,

the child. Humans have a

which sets what we will

need to be connected and

or won’t do or allow. This

is through these connec-

invisible wall determines

tions that we learn to feel

where one ends and the other begins. It functions

safe and at home. Things that are inside of our

as a fence helping us keep ”the good in and the

boundaries are feelings, attitudes, beliefs, behav-

bad out”. Occasionally, we have more bad inside

iors, choices, values, desires, thoughts and love.

than good, at these moments we need to open

We can’t develop or set boundaries apart from

our “fences in order to let the good in”.

supportive relationships. Love can’t exist without

The process of boundary formation is continu-

boundaries, even with our children.

In order for children to develop healthy boundaries it is important that they have the power to say things like no, I disagree, I will not, I choose not to, stop that, it hurts, It’s wrong, that’s bad. Block-

may impact our boundary development process and carry much consequences through our adult life. Unhealthy boundaries are a rooted consequence of being raised in dysfunctional families where

ing a child’s ability to say no

the child was not respected as

handicaps that child for life.

an individual and the action

The inability to say no to

of individuation was not

the bad is pervasive. Not


only does it keep us from

by the child. “Generally,

refusing evil in our lives, it

the earlier and more se-

often keeps us from recog-

vere the injury, the deeper

nizing evil. A very important


phase of a child boundary

settling for second best, over-

ing” or what child researchers “differentiation”.



Lack of sense of Identity,

development is called “hatch-





period that child starts exploring the world, touching, tasting and feelings things. The child feels safe enough to start taking risks. During the process of boundary formation we may also be emotionally injured through our experiences, these

responsibility and guilt are just a few examples of how unhealthy boundaries can affect a person emotional development and affect their hability to carry healthy and meaningful relationships. — B R U N O S I LVA Re fe re n c e : C l o u d & To w n Ro b e r t a M . G i l b e r t

Claire Kim Kim || How Habits Claire habits form, how habits change



6 76


4 stages of awareness 1. Unaware of habit ignorance is bliss

2. Mindful mindfulness aware but unable to change, just watch the process 3. Awareness of impulses sometimes able to pause between impulse and action – small opening where wisdom may arise and you can change the trajectory 4. Knowing the trigger creates the opportunity to make better choice in advance

Source: Kelly McGonigal

NEUROBIOLOGY OF TRANSFORMATION Understanding how our brains work is essential to understanding human behaviors. Our two brain states--mammalian and reptilian--and the neural circuits in our brains determine how we think, what we do, and how we feel. When our brain functions as an integrated whole, we thrive. But sometimes we “lose our minds” and in ways we do not choose.

THE BRAINSTEM The brainstem, also known as our “reptilian brain”, regulates basic body functions, like our heartbeat or breathing. It is also in charge of controlling our states of arousal, like whether or not we are hungry.

Sultana Abbar | Neurobiology of Transformation

THE LIMBIC REGION Also known as our “old mammalian brain”, the limbic region of our brain works closely with our brainstem, and is the part of our brain that creates our emotions. This part of the brain is also crucial to emotional attachment and forming relationships. The limbic region also plays an important role in helping our endocrine system regulate hormone levels. For example, when we are stressed, it sends signals to secrete cortisol, which jumpstarts our metabolism and gives us an energy boost.

THE CORTEX Often refered to as our “new mammalian brain” or neocortex, the cortex is how we connect to our world. The frontal part of the cortex is where our thoughts and ideas come from. The posterior cortex, on the other hand, controls how we percieve the world around us--our physical experience of the world.

THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX This is where all the magic happens. Concepts such as time, sense of self and moral judgements are born here. This part of the brain is how we focus our attention, form insights, empathize, and enact moral judgements.


Our prefrontal cortex also acts as a link between between the cortex, the limbic area, and the brainstem.

“The power to direct our attention has within it the power to shape our brain’s firing patterns.” - Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. Our brains are a work in progress. We have the ability to constantly reorganize and adapt by creating new neural pathways. This is called Neuroplasticity. Think of how we learn something new… As we learn, new neural pathways are formed to acquire and store the new skills. These new pathways become stronger the more they are used, creating new long-term connections and memories. The more we repeat something and use that portion of the brain, the more likely it is for new neural pathways to develop. wEven though the paths never become as ingrained as our original paths, they are still distinct.

For more information on our brain and the neurobiology of transformation, check out these sources: Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transfornation, by Daniel J. Seigel MD. Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny, by Martha Beck

Barriers to transformation

“It’s harder to make peace than to make war… If we keep telling the same stories and keep doing the same things, we will stay where we are. We are addicted to our old stories. We need new stories.” Adam Kahane

It is easy to shift around the things we can access on the

In our class we look at David Bohm’s notion of “thought

new motto, spouse or job, you have had a change of heart.

discover that many of our shared beliefs run across cul-

surface. It is easy to believe that because you now have a

It is easy to believe that racial oppression is a thing of the past because slavery is abolished.

Unfortunately, it is the deeper and more difficult to access elements of our humanity that shape and replicate our

as a system.” We touch on Bohm’s work on dialogue, and tures, races, genders. We encouraged students to become observers of their own thoughts. To be mindful. To notice their thoughts, catch them like butterflies, examine them and hold onto only the beliefs that are life-affirming.

reality. In this section of the course we touched on three

3) Past pain and trauma. When interactions or relation-

unable to create a different world together.

heard and being respected, we can experience pain or

interior elements that keep us tethered to our old stories,

1) Fear. It has been said that it is not change we fear, but

loss. Even though our current way of life, our current habits, or our current economic system is not life-giving, we often

ships contradict our basic values of being seen, being

trauma. The scale of such events varies from misunder-

standings that cause pain trauma-inducing terror, helplessness or loss of control.

choose the comfort of the old over the uncertainty of the

These things wound the psyche of both the individual and

tude of fears for any human being. “Am I going to end up

people and groups. In response we wisely develop de-

new. Risking a step into the unknown can trigger a multi-

on the street, begging? Will I still belong? What will so-andso think of me? Am I doing the right thing? How can I be certain?”

Unless we learn to work with our fear, it cripples us. It keeps

community. They breaks trust within individuals and among fence mechanisms. These defences are helpful in the moment, but they can remain in action years after the events occur, prohibiting us from standing in authentic relationships and building a better future together.

us small. During this course we made a list of the top ten

No real change can happen unless people are change-

surprising). Becoming aware and recognizing the voice of

individual or community reaching this point. Since our

fears we share together as a class (the commonalities were our “inner lizard,” as life coach Martha Beck calls it, is the

first step towards becoming free from it. We also practiced working in the moment with strong emotions such as

anxiety. We learned to stay present to our strong emotions without tipping into freeze, flight or fight mode.

2) Beliefs. We have all assimilated norms, values and beliefs

from our culture and, no matter how well intentioned we are, we unconsciously perpetuate them over generations.

ready. Working through our pain and trauma is key to any current world is colored by so much oppression, domination and discrimination, healing is integral to the work of

the social innovator. As we create the space for the healing process to happen, people can develop a different rela-

tionship to their painful past. They can regain a willingness to engage and trust again.

FEAR: THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY “Heroism does not consist in the lack of fear, but to overcome it.”

David Rojas León | Fear: The Great Opportunity

Roberto Gómez Bolaños «Chespirito»

Fear is a mechanism of

survival that dwells in the reptilian brain. The animal species experience fear as a basic emotion, due to their conservation instinct, as a natural response to external stimulation that could threat the wellness or survival of the individual who face it. Nevertheless, human beings have been exposed to fear triggers due to cultural circumstances, leading to a complex landscape of social frictions, personal conditions and even mental pathologies. For Martha Beck it is impossible to avoid fear impulses, given its primitive nature condition of survival and evolution factors. In spite of this, she

Where is fear located in the brain?


According to the triunan brain model, fear in humans and its neurobiological activity is located between the basic complex, also known as reptilian complex or reptilian brain, and the paleomammalian complex or limbic system, specifically in the amygdala.

presents a set of practices for manage fear impulses in benefit of whoever experiences it. In the other hand, Eckardt Tolle explains his vision of fear as cultural phenomenon produce by the anxiety gap caused by losing touch with Now, anticipating something that might happen or imagining something which could already happened. Fear is the response of human mind to its inability of controlling its own projections. For both authors, human being as modelers of behaviors, within an exercise of awareness, can undertake some practices that allow us to visualize fear and overcome it.



Lack and Attack Brain is convinced of lacking


Find the ridiculous


everything, and also being constantly threatened by everything. Realizing this factor helps to avoid lack-attack triggers, and focus in the now.


Humor sense is vital for survival. Laugh at the absurdity of your fears as an action intended to humanize your emotions and make them part of your own control.

your lizard’s top 10 tunes Write down all those statements


The “Shackles” Test


that you constantly repeat to yourself which deteriorate your self-confidence. Rank them and identify patterns in order to overcome them.

Shackle off! Your inner lizard constantly shackles you on by giving you reasons to remain in undesirable conditions. Make a list of those circumstances that shackle you on and set goals to overcome them being kind and patient. Set each milestone by shackling off your life.

The name game Give a name to your lizard, draw it, model it,

do whatever it takes in order to visualize it and taking care of it. This is a meaningful exercise aimed to face your own fears instead of avoiding them.

Steering into peace Taking decisions and making choices are part of your freedom. Give yourself some credit by listing all those good actions you have done lately. By visualizing your performance you can give direction to your

LIZARD OR WIZARD? Beck uses the metaphor of the inner lizard and the inner wizard to explain her perspective for the management of fear. The inner lizard, as a representation of the reptile brain, embodies the set of fear factors and triggers that every individual deals with. The lizard is a dark part of our human nature that has a resounding voice and exerts great power in our behaviors and decisions. In contrast the wizard counteracts the negative force of the lizard as a set of possibilities and capacities that allows taking actions and be accountable of their own existences. Both figures share spots in the mind-set of people, struggling to find balance. The aim is to identify and visualize the material of which they are made, their forms, sizes and even names.

hOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR FEAR? Performers are used to experience stage fright episodes when they are a few steps away of hitting the stage. Is a very brief moment that defines their success or failure, only decided by stepping forward or leave the scene before trying. During this period the performer experiences a shot of adrenaline, which, in terms of survival, is the same event experienced by a threatened being. The body faces the “fight of flight” syndrome, as a quick response to fear in which either fighting or escaping the muscles and organs undergo modifications that are sufficient to the required physical efforts. As stepping forward the performers decide to cope their anxiety and perform taking advantage of this particular body state, which helps them to achieve better performances. Many of us face stage fright in our everyday lives, by having to take decisions or undertaking actions, which produce anxiety and other related emotions. By fighting before flying we empower our inner wizard and overcome fear as a statement of freedom.

Learn more: Martha Beck, Steering by Starlight Eckhart Tolle, Practising the power of Now

Limiting Beliefs When the Dungeons Show up Realizing that most of the pain we experience is of our own thinking out, that we trust our way into self-created dungeons and can distrust our way out, was an important change for me as a person. Looking directly at belief systems and fading away the cause of suffering make it relatively unimportant to talk about how the wound occurred. Many people have spent years discussing their passive stories without completely freeing themselves from the emotional wounds of their stories.

Nelson Hong-Ming Tseng | Limiting beliefs

Dreadful Daily Dungeons Transporting yourself forward in time and learning to manage your inner lizard are essential for getting in touch with your Stargazer, but it probably not enough to take you out of your dungeon. Some people feel more directionless, stuck, and trapped. For example, we trapped in financial difficulties. “Steering by starlight” sound like cruel mockery in this situation.

Step1. Your “To Do” List

Multi-Story Prisons

To start digging out of the dungeon, make a list of 10 things you have to do this week. This list can include anything that occurs to you.

The bricks and bars of his dungeon were made of stories he told himself, stories he trusted without doubt. We feel unable to move in your present life or they feel no enthusiasm for anything, they are living in a dungeon made of stories.

Digging out of the Dungeon We can free ourselves from we choose to believe in our felt experiences our self-created stories. Seeing the inaccuracy of you own limiting ideas and thoughts is the only way to real freedom. While still captive in your life’s dungeons, you must stop trusting anything made of language. Otherwise, the suffering that drives you, limits you, shapes your word—is probably ruled by pain.


Resources: Martha Beck, Steering by starlight, Chaprt 3 & 4

Step.5 Act as You Would If you Had No Language Getting rid of them was more important than discussing exactly how they got there. The final step in leaving the dungeon of wrong thoughts is to see what action would arise happening if you had no words in your mind. Finally, you leave the dungeon you built.

Step3. Ask yourself Why If you got any ”shackles on” reactions, focus on the most painful item and answer this question: Why are you planning to do this thing that makes you feel trapped and chained? Why in the world would you undertake such an unpleasant task? One is a statement of power and choice, the other of helplessness. When the mind labels itself helpless, it stops seeking options. To liberate our minds enough to begin seeing alternatives, we must realize that we are physically capable of not doing almost everything we think we have to do.

Step4. Figur Out Which story Is False In this step, you need to notice how your body and mood react to the stories that drive your “shackled” actions. Below, I’ve listed a few casual but extremely confining assumptions—mind stores—that are so common in our culture you may hear them go by a thousand times a day without ever questioning their veracity.

Common Shackling Beliefs I have to do things that make me feel trapped and lifeless, because… *That’s just what a good person does. *It’s bad to be a quitter. *Everyone would be mad at me if I broke the rules. *I have to please my customers.

Step2. Spot your Shackle Now, look over this list and recall ”shackles on, shackles off” sensations. As you imagine doing the mission you’ve listed, focus on your body has a “shackles on” reaction to any one of them.

*I must protect my reputation. When the mind turns its energy to distrusting a painful thought, rather than proving it over and over again, the wiggling becomes more pronounced. You feel freer and freer, until one day you forget you ever trusted something that is how totally untrue.

PAST PAIN AND TRAUMA Trauma is an intensely painful emotional experience

healing process is feeling and accepting the emotions that

causing major stress. Anything from, unemployment, to

come as a result of the trauma. During the healing process

wartime combat, from natural disaster to rape. This kind

people may experience some or all of the following, Denial,

of stress, develops negative emotions in people and can

Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

Bruno Silva | Past Pain and Trauma

manifest itself in the physical form of anxiety, sleeplessness In order for whole communities to heal and accept change and emotional development. Traumas can also impact

it is important for them to go through the grieving process

other areas of one’s wellbeing. A person who have

to make peace with the past. The people of South Africa in

experienced trauma will be impacted for the rest of their

order to become a more equal community were aided by


the Truth and Reconciliation Comission, The TRC was set

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” —Nelson Mandela

person gets help.

up by the Government of National Unity to help deal with Trauma generates a loss of faith that there is any safety, uniformity or meaning in the world, or any safe place

period resulted in violence and human rights abuses from

in which to retreat. It involves utter disillusionment.

all sides. No section of society escaped these abuses.

Because traumatic events are often unable to be processed by the mind and body as other experiences are, due

rights violations were invited to give statements about their

to their overwhelming and shocking nature, they are not

experiences, and some were selected for public hearings.

integrated or digested. The trauma then takes on a life of

Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and

i t s o w n a n d , t h ro u g h i t s c o n t i n u e d e f f e c t s , h a u n t s t h e

request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution.

survivor and prevents normal life from continuing until the stage public hearings, was seen by many as a crucial component of the transition to full and free democracy in In order for us to become better human beings and live a healthy emotional life, it is important that we face the

not universally) thought to have been successful.

traumas we have experinced in the past in order to be able to move on with our lives. An important part of the

86 2

Resources: Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood, Wayne Muller Truth and Reconciliation Commission:

This can’t be happening? A gloom that comes from having to adjust to so much so quickly.





BARGAINING Why did this have to happen?

I promise I’ll never ask for another thing if only you will …


*One may experience all of the feelings described above or just a few of them.

Enabling transformation

“Enabling change has always been the Holy Grail of environmentalists, but it has largely remained frustratingly elusive. ‌It could be argued that one of the reasons for this is that we have never really understood change, how it happens and what it entails.â€? Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook, p.84

To enable the emerging life of a person of community to find its new form,

develop self-compassion for the shadow-side of ourselves, we can extend

one needs a strong stance and skillset. This chapter collects student work

compassion to everyone we work with.

on five things that will help us participate effectively in the transformation of ourselves and others.

4. Openness and Stillness Where does one look for guidance if you are stepping out of the cultural

1. Appreciation of worth

script? We all know our place in the current scripts, whether positive or

No individual, no community, no nation is a blank slate. We all come with

negative, grand scale or micro-scale. Society’s repeating patterns are

vast gifts, resources, and potential. When one enters a conversation about

dependent on these scripts. And if we are going to foster new, more

transformation, it is important to hold a sense of possibility, of awe and

positive patterns, we need new scripts.

wonder for this being one is engaging with. As a social innovator one can choose to engage with a piece of the world because one sees it as

What is the source from which a better world is born? Where do we go

broken, sad, in need of being rescued or corrected. But in this course we

if we don’t know what to do next? Inside each person is a vast reservoir

advocate a move away from a problem mind-set, towards a possibility

of peace and wisdom. Inside each social system lives an inherent intel-

mind-set. As a first step, we open ourselves to see and appreciate the vast

ligence. This is not something we can access through our reasoning. We

presence and potential that stands before us as individuals or communities.

need to become present, access the stillness inside us, open to hear the voice of the unborn future. We practice this in class. We tell stories of how

2. Awareness

to facilitate such openness in larger groups.

Have you ever wondered how why you say or do something that goes against your values? Our brain saves energy by converting our repetitious

5. Courage & Creativity

thoughts and actions into habits that we do automatically. As humans we

The poet Machado begins his poem, XXIX, by saying, “Traveller, there is

live out subconscious scripts. Our behavioral habits are triggered by cues

no path, the road is made by walking.” When we work with the emerg-

or events – unconsciously, not by our choice. No amount of will power will

ing intelligence of a person or system, we find the form of the emerging

transform us. The key to transformation is awareness. When we become

shape by creating within it moment by moment. There is no script to

aware of our habits in the moment they arise, whether as individuals or

follow, no plan to execute. We are present to the possibility around

as communities, we can choose to shift them. In our class we practice

oneself. We listen, we risk, we trust and take action. We observe and

becoming compassionate observers of our interior processes, as a first

learn from it all and then try again. We improvise.

step to transformation. Working in such uncertainty is not easy. It beckons us to refrain from 3. Compassion

figuring it all out, planning too far ahead and insisting on control. Instead

The most difficult stage in building a new habit is when you notice that your

we develop the courage to step into the unknown. Creating in social

old habit is no longer serving you, but since you have not yet built a new

complexity asks us to trust ourselves, the people around us, and the

habit, you still find yourself doing that thing you don’t intend or like. Our

process. It asks that we cultivate our creative spirit so that we can bring our

natural reaction is to criticize, blame ourselves, or blame others. Which is not

gifts to the world and accept what those around us offer.

a great option, because criticism is often seen as an attack, so we tend to snap into self-protection. When we are closed in fear, we can’t change.

This section focuses on an individual scale. When it comes to larger groups, we use theatre, dialogue and facilitation methods to engender

An antidote to this pattern is to practice is self-compassion. Through letter

these qualities on a larger scale and in a co-creative setting. As we nur-

writing, theatre, self-care and mindfulness we develop a stance of the kind

tures our capacity to be aware, compassionate, creative and so on, we can

and caring observer, cheering our small self on its brave journey. As we

help people in communities access those same qualities for themselves.

once we see

our own

innate worth, innate worth rediscover of others; we can promote the


the love in your world

unveil Lauren Gardner | Our Innate Worth

your inherent goodness


the love in OUR world


in everyone’s inherent goodness

your benefactors

accept give mercy

who you are


a benefactor for others

cherish the gifts of others

for who you have been


who you will become

show mercy

for who we have been


90 41

who we can become

Understanding our innate worth is essential. Are we inherently good? We can’t be sure that humans are. But holding positive assumptions of people can be transformative. Nancy Kline outlines the debate around this point in More Time to Think. Psychologists continue to debate about inherent nature, and we won’t find a definite answer any time soon. So either we can remain indecisive, or we can choose to believe the best in people. Kline calls this The Positive Philosophical Choice.

“But if you want to get on with your life and work, and make a huge difference in a short time, choose the assumption about human nature that gets the best results.” - Nancy Kline

and we can do more genuine, sustainable and better work.

To see this goodness in others, we must first see it in ourselves. If we release ourselves from judgment and find self-compassion, we will find ways to accept our own human nature. We can believe in our intelligence, our imagination, our goodness, that we deserve love, and that we are capable of choice. These are all parts of recognizing our innate worth. Our inner points of view are projected outwards on others in our work. Self-compassion can build compassion towards others.

“How can we make the world safer if we ourselves are not stable ports of safety?” - John Makransky As social innovators working in human systems, it is important to frame our understanding of ourselves, and therefore humans in

general, to improve our impact. Once we can see the good in ourselves, we can transform our perceptions of how we do our work. If you see the bad in people, you will believe that they are defective and broken. You will focus on fixing them - creating dependency. If you are able to instead nourish their innate worth, you can empower them to use their own gifts to better their environment. We all have gifts that we bring into society. These gifts need to be recognized, empahsized, and utilized in order to create sustainable change.

“If we focus instead on our essential wholeness, [...] our innate natural perfection, with soft eyes and a merciful, loving heart, those are the qualities that will flourish within us?” - Wayne Muller Innate worth does not only grow the impact of our work, but also makes doing it more sustainable. John Makransky, in Awakening Through Love, says that love is the motive force for genuine help. Tying our work to love - and a desire for caring for all - can be a detterent to burnout. Makran“The antidote to sky says that this motivation exhaustion is wholecan help those in the social sector work without becoming heartedness” discouraged by the short-term - David Whyte outcomes. Klein argues that viewing innate worth in these ways can build a positive framework in which to think for ourselves. She calls this the Thinking Environment - an open, safe, authentic, and encouraging space to generate good thinking in people. The Positive Deviance approach recognizes the innate worth in people by searching for individuals’ whose gifts can help their neighbors overcome similar problems. These individuals are Positive Deviants who use uncommon strategies as better solutions to the problems their neighbors with the same resources face as well. Positive deviant behavior is sought out, recognized, studied, and replicated to create a societal change.

“Goodness changes the way we see the world, the way we see others, and most importantly, the way we see ourselves. The way we see others matters. It affects how we treat people. It affects the quality of life for each and all of us.” - Desmond Tutu


A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough by Wayne Muller More Time to Think by Nancy Kline

Awakening Through Love by John Makransky Made for Goodness by Desmond Tutu

CULTIVATING AWARENESS Who are you? We can all answer this fairly easily, right? “I’m Richard Thomas, a 39 year old engineer living in New York. I have a son, and I love taking him fishing.” Great! These would be fantastic ways to describe yourself if I wanted to know the name that people call you, or for how many years you’ve been alive, or what you do as a profession, or what your favorite hobby is. These are all things that you think define you. Things about you. Things that you do. But who or what is you? Maybe you isn’t something extrinsic but intrinsic.

Amer Jandali | Cultivating Awareness

Are you your ideas? Your beliefs? Are you your thoughts? We hear our thoughts firing off in our mind’s ear at every moment. “This is a nice day”, “I’m getting hungry”, “I love this song!” Imagine if your thoughts were outsourced, spoken to your mind’s ear not by your mind itself, but by your friend Sam. Sam would be constantly following you at every moment of every day and night. Sam would whisper some things and shout others. Except for a few brief moments to yourself when you’re in the zone, he would never stop talking… Wouldn’t you want Sam to chill out a bit? “Quiet down man, let’s just enjoy some calm silence.”

So why does this matter? Well, if you previously defined yourself by your name, career, or your love for fishing, it matters because your true identity is at stake. Your true self is an essence that knows no limits or boundaries. Your awareness is present within you and connected to every other living thing on earth. The more self-aware you are, the more you can suspend and manage your reactions to stimuli. When something angers you, you can observe, suspend, and manage this anger in your mind. From this vantage point you can begin to operate through a heightened level of awareness and a deeper sense of future possibilies that can emerge.

The power of self-awareness comes to fruition in organizational dynamics. No matter the organization’s mission, the quality of the results of a system depends on the quality of the relationships between the players in that system, and the quality of the relationships depends on the quality of awareness these players are operating from. Through conversation, we as human beings create our shared reality. The different field states of conversation determine the possible pathways of thinking, collaborating, and innovating in teams and organizations.

Structure of Attention I-in-me habitual awareness

Attending (individual listening) Downloading habits of thought (hearing what you already know)

Conversing (group) Talking nice, politeness, rule-reenacting, conforming

Debating, confronting, talking tough, rulerevealing

Organizing (institiutions)

Coordinating (global systems)

Centralized: Machine bureaucracy

Hierarchy: Central plan, regulation

Decentralized: Disvisionalized

Market: Competition

I-in-it ego-systems awareness

Factual, object-focused - recognizing something new

I-in-you stakeholder awareness

Empathetic listening Dialogue, inquiry, ruleseeing through the eyes of reflecting, seeing yourself another as part of the whole

Networked: Relational

Negotiation + Dialogue: Mutual adjustment

I-in-now eco-system awareness

Generative listening sense the highest future potential of another person or situation

Eco-System: Context, field-based

Awareness-Based Collective Action: Acting from the whole

The Matrix of Social Evolution, Otto Scharmer, 2010.

2 92

Are you Sam? No. You are the one observing Sam. You are your awareness. Awareness is the deepest part of your existence. It’s the third part of the mind, body, soul unity that makes a person whole. Just as you sit in the theater watching the drama unfold on the screen before you, awareness sits inside your mind, within your body, behind your thoughts, observing them as they pop up across your mind’s eye. It even sits behind your emotions, judgments, perceptions, beliefs, biases, feelings, and all the subtleties of the subconscious. It’s where your intuition and inspiration come from. Some call it the super-conscious.

Collective creativity and flow


Alex Wu | Cultivating Compassion Alex WU | Cultivating Compassion

Understanding Compassion & Self Compassion : Science is increasingly telling us that while the pursuit of selfinterest is a powerful drive, the instinct for nurturing, caring, and connection is equally powerful.― - Thupten Jinpa, How to train the heart From Jinpa's point of view, the first step of understanding our compassion is to acknowledge and embrace this part of our nature and to celebrate it. By cultivating and connecting compassion in our life, we could learn to relate to ourselves, others and the world. Self-compassion effects us both internally and externally. People who are selfcompassionate about their imperfections have a greater well-being than people who

Stop the constant self-judgment and disparaging internal commentary that most of us have come to see as normal as self-criticism damages our understand the mistake of the cause.

judge themselves. According to psychologist Kristin Neff, being self-compassionate


means that whether you win or lose, surpass your sky-high expectations or fall

This might seem silly or strange at first, but when

short, you still possess the same kindness and sympathy towards yourself, just like

you’re upset, give yourself a hug or gently rock

you would to a good friend. Self-compassion consists of three components: self-

your body. Your body will respond to the physical

kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. Most of us have experience difficulty

warmth and care.

with simple exercises from the book.




well-being. Instead of criticizing ourselves, try to

cultivating these three qualities so I want to share how to cultivate the qualities along


Developing Self Compassion :


Common Humanity Common humanity is to recognizing common human experience. As Neff mentioned, it’s different from self-acceptance or self-love, and both also are incomplete. Being human is not about being any particular way; it is about being as life creates you—with your own


Mindfulness Mindfulness is clearly seeing and accepting what’s happening right now—without judgment, to see things as they are, no more, no less, in order to respond to our current situation in the most compassionate manner.

particular strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges, quirks and oddities. By accepting and embracing the human condition, we

Mindfulness gives us perspective. Most of us, though, are used

could better accept and embrace ourselves.

to focusing on our flaws, which easily distorts our view and saps self-compassion. As Neff says, we can “become completely


absorbed by our perceived flaws.” This means that we miss

Think about a trait that you often criticize yourself for and “is an

our suffering altogether. “In that moment, we don’t have the

important part of your self-definition,” such as being a shy or lazy

perspective needed to recognize the suffering caused by our

person. Then answer these questions:

feelings of imperfection, let alone to respond to them with compassion.”

1. How often do you show this trait? Who are you when you don’t show it? “Are you still you?”


2. Do certain circumstances bring out this trait? Does this trait really

One helpful way to promote mindfulness is a practice called

define you if particular circumstances must be present in order for

noting. That is, you note everything you think, feel, hear, smell

the trait to emerge?

and sense. To do this, picking a comfortable spot and sitting

3. What circumstances have led to you having this trait, such as

down for 10 to 20 minutes. Acknowledge each thought, feeling

childhood experiences or genetics? “If these ‘outside’ forces were

or sensation and just go on to the next one. For examples: “itch in

partly responsible for you having this trait, is it accurate to think of

left foot,” “excitement,” “plane flying overhead.”

the trait as reflecting the inner you?” 4. Do you have a choice in showing this trait? Did you choose to have

If you get lost in thought, like if you start planning tomorrow’s

this trait in the first place?

breakfast, simply say “lost in thought” to yourself. According

5. What if you “reframe your self-description”? Neff uses the example

to Neff, “This skill offers a big payoff in terms of allowing us to

of reframing “I am an angry person” to “Sometimes, in certain

be more fully engaged in the present, and it also provides us

circumstances, I get angry.” Neff asks: “By not identifying so strongly

with the mental perspective needed to deal with challenging

with this trait, does anything change? Can you sense any more

situations effectively.”

space, freedom, peace of mind?”


Cultivating self-compassion may not be easy, but it’s no doubt a worthwhile, empowering and liberating way to live your life.


Kyle Calian | Cultivating Stillness & Openness

Alex Wu | Learning into the Unknown & Learning New Skills Alex WU | Learning into the unknown & learning new skills

LEARNING INTO THE UNKNOWN & LEARNING NEW SKILLS We need to set aside our cynicism, our belief that the world is out to harm us. We need to learn to see, to experience that awe is available to us in every moment. We need to learn how to set aside our capacity to judge and learn how to appreciate the unknown. We need to learn to have courage, the courage to be open to the new, the courage to be wrong, the courage to act to correct the wrongs we have made.



- Jon C. Jenkins, The 9 disciplines of a facilitatorÂ

Creating in uncertainty :

In social innovation, we will often come across the information gap as with a practical decision. This is the gap between the solid information that is at hand and the information that we feel we need in order to act. “The art of leadership rest, in part, on the ability to bridge that gap by intuition, that is a judgement from the unconscious process.” (Robert K. Greenleaf) “Intuition is a feel for patterns, the ability to generalize based on what has happened previously.” (Robert K. Greenleaf) Information has to be bridged by cultivating intuition. I believe that intuition does not occur suddenly but is cultivated and formed gradually from the inside of our heart.

Source: The Servant as Leader by Robert K. Greenleaf

Unlearning to innovate :

Bruce Lee once said, “Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.” By emptying the cup, we make a new experiences instead of repeat past patterns. We need to unlearn in order to innovate and improvise. Unlearning is about letting go. Unlearning can be a way that help us become open to new skills, experiences, behaviors, and knowledge. Try to stay open to different ways of doing things. Improvisation derives from a word meaning unforeseen. To improvise is to invent, compose, or perform with little or no preparation. By facing the significant social changes and challenges, we require more creative ways of engagement, we need the ability to transform and improvise society.

Source: improvising-a-new-world

Cultivating healthy relationships

“She realized that she couldn’t create peace in the world if her inner life was a place of hatred and war. On the other hand, by healing herself, she would become a source of peace in the world.” Martha Beck

One part of the work of healing this world is to heal the internalized power-over paradigm that we have inherited. It is common practice for us to stand in an adversarial relationship with reality. We suppress our appetites and emotions, we avoid our past pain and honest

dialogue. We protect ourselves from other people by keeping them at a distance from our

true experience. We are constantly striving to change — ourselves, other people or our environment — to fit our picture of ideal reality.

This is not only exhausting, it is also dangerous. By placing ourselves at the center of the

universe and adopting tactics to maintain that position, we alienate ourselves from reality. We participate in creating a fragmented world characterized by oppression, repression, domination, and submission.

This section of the course was an invitation to stop striving, to become still and open our-

selves to the possibility withinmand around us. At the heart of this section is the question,

how can we stand in a caring relationship towards ourselves and others? How can we embody and create the thrivingmand healthy world that we want to see as social innovators? As we begin to see life as our partner, here to create wonderful futures with us, we open

ourselves to sources of wisdom and inspiration beyond what we can imagine. Our emo-

tions become guides, telling us about our inner experience. Our bodies become our allies, supporting and leading us. Our souls awaken us to our hearts desires. Our teams become a force for good, collaborating to bring wonderful things into the world. And we become enablers and catalysts bringing out the best in ourselves and in our world.

Fangfei Barbara Fang | The Importance of Self-acceptance & Self Care 102

Fangfei Barbara Fang | The importance of self-acceptance & self care


A person with high self-esteem accepts herself as she is and can let others know how she thinks and feels. A person with low self-esteem fears others will “find her out� and dislike or reject her. she has a difficult time letting people know what she is thinking or feeling. When a person with low self-esteem reveals exactly how he feels about himself, he has taken the first step toward selfacceptance and growth. If the listener is helpful and trustworthy, the person sharing his feelings may gain courage and start sharing with others. As others accept him, he accepts himself and growth continues. Without self-acceptance, a person can make little or no progress in effective relationships. Noted psychologist Carl Rogers observed that, normally, those feel that they are liked, wanted, accepted, capable, or worthy who are found in prisons or mental hospitals. Those who are confined in such institutions often feel deeply inadequate, unliked, unwanted, unacceptable, or unable. A self-rejecting person is usually unhappy and unable to form and maintain good relationships. -"Acceptance of Self And Others" D. Wayne Matthews

The importance of self-acceptance & self care

Five Suggestions

Help You


Give yourself a letter grade with regard to the degree to which you live by the principle of unconditional self-acceptance. Are you satisfied with your grade? What grade would you prefer?

2. 3.

Name two situations in which you tend to judge

your whole self. What could you tell yourself in these two situations to help you unconditionally accept yourself, despite any mistakes you may make or flaws you may possess?would you prefer?

Make a commitment to spend two minutes six times a day (breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon, supper, and bedtime) drawing the distinction between your self and your performances. Remind yourself at these times to not judge yourself – as either all good or all bad – from that time till the next rehearsal.

4. 5.


Practice applying unconditional self-acceptance to others. That is, practice only rating their behaviors and traits as good or bad, but never them as a whole person. This is Unconditional Other Acceptance.

Identify one person you know that could benefit from learning about unconditional self-acceptance. Plan where and when you could meet this person to explain it. Teaching others a truth helps us to learn it ourselves.

WAN-CHUN, Grace Hsieh HSIEH | Healthy | Healthy Relationship Relationship with our with Emotions Our Emotions


WHAT ARE EMOTIONS? Thoughts that trigger emotional responses in the body may sometimes come so fast that before the mind has had time to voice them, the body has already responded with an emotion, and the emotion has turned into a reaction. People express their emotion indirectly in two ways: verbally or nonverbally. Indirect verbal expression can take many forms, among them raising or lowering the voice, focusing repeatedly on a particular point or raising unrelated points, immediately changing an opinion when pressured, and verbally attacking someone or denying their actions. Nonverbal example includes glaring at other group member, slouching in or perching on the chair, tightening facial muscles.

WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT? Emotions are important because it has huge impact on body’s natural state of well-being, both positive and negative. Negative emotions arise from the ego attached to the body which respond to all the dysfunctional though patterns that make up the ego and accompanies the stream of incessant and compulsive thinking that could further lead to a great deal of strain and stress. On the other hand, positive emotions, if treated well, can generate a flow of energy that can motivate a person to do something positive. Good relationships within a group with emotions working together can enhance group’s ability because every member in the group can respond more effectively to a range of situations. As a facilitator, it is important to help a group shift from being afraid of dealing with their emotions to helping them use emotion to improve the quality of their work and their relationship.

47 104

Resource: Eckhart Tolle; Everything is Workable / Diane Musho Hamilton; Dealing with Emotion/ Roger Schwarz

HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR EMOTION? Name your emotion and allow them to be.


Transform the emotion into energy to do something positive

Watch your energy field.



1. 3. 5. 7.

The next time you find yourself in a negative emotional state, take time to explore it.


Suspend the story about what happened, giving your attention directly to the feelings themselves.


Most important, feel the surge of energy as it courses through you, including anything chaotic or unpleasant in your body.


What information are the feelings conveying to you? For example, a strong dose of anger may alert you to an issue you really care about or a boundary that has been crossed.


See if you can include the wisdom you received in your communications with others.

Explore the sensations. Where are they located? What are their texture and tone? How are they changing?

Breathe evenly and gently to help maintain your attention and keep your brain from shutting down.

The next time you find yourself in a negative emotional state, take time to explore it.

What do healthy boundaries & relationships look like? What does it mean to be emotionally mature?

4 106

Rinat Good Relationships Relationships with with Others Others Rinat Sherzer Sherzer || Good


WHAT DOES A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH PAST PAIN LOOK LIKE? Healthy relationship are interwoven from these materials: • Wholeness • Equality • Openness

To maintain healthy and mature relationship one needs to find the very delicate balance between Individuality and Togetherness.

“The theory postulates basic life forces. One is a built in life growth force towards individuality and the differentiation of a separate “self” and the other intense emotional closeness” - As Murray Bowen, 1973

UNDERSTANDING THE TWO FORCES: Individuality: This force urges us towards defining one’s self as separate from others. One develops individual beliefs, reasoning our choices, and personal autonomy. This work of building a self with beliefs, goals and boundaries begins in early life and ideally continues throughout. The individuality force is ever-present in human beings. It reminds one constantly of boundaries that are non-negotiable in personal relationships Togetherness: This force urges us towards others, for attachment, for affirmation and for approval. It is sometimes called fusio. This refers to the taking on or giving up of self in a relationship. Fusion is automatic at low levels of emotional maturity or at any level of maturity when anxiety is running high.


The ideal balance: People with high level of emotional maturity differentiation, enjoy relationships and yet, find little need to complete themselves through another person The Basic Self: The more emotionally mature a person is, the more connected he is basic self and can create healthier relationships. The basic self needs no support. It is sure, unshakable and non-negotiable




Margarita Korol | Vulnerability

YenaSeo SeoLukac Lukac | | Communication Communication Behavior that harms Relationships Yena andand behavior that harms relationships

COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOR THAT HARMS RELATIONSHIPS LIFE-ALIENATING COMMUNICATION Social innovation is all about humans and the community. And the wellbeing of each individual and society is highly dependent on the ability to have healthy relationships. We use all forms of communication to build and nurture relationships — we talk, hear, write, create and see. Without good communication there can’t be good relationships. However, not all forms of communication are good. There are ones that destroy relationships. In his book Nonviolent Communication, Marshall B. Rosenberg calls these forms “communication that blocks compassion”.

Communication that blocks compassion moralistic judgments. Examples are blaming, insulting and labeling, such as “You are a bad girl”, or “That was a stupid idea”. Comparisons, like “He’s better than me”, are especially harmful, not only for others but also for yourself. These moralistic judgments are dangerous because classifying and judging people promotes violence. Also, communication that denies responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings and actions is harmful for building healthy relationships. Unconsciously, we often do that by citing external causes — “I have to cook because that’s what is expected”, “He hit her because she was acting crazy”. Lastly, making a demand is another form of life-alienating communication. We should clearly communicate our desires, but not demand things from others, because it threatens them with consequences that will come when “You’re supposed to clean this up”.


poorly about others when they are not meeting them. Also, we can use language that acknowledges choice instead of implying lack of choice.

Source: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg, p.15-23.

“Changing the way I communicate not only improved my relationships but also shifted my thoughts, beliefs and emotions.” - Yena S. Lukac


embedded in our habits.

Disconfirmation behaviors It is a kind of behavior that ignores the other person or the point that they are making — for example by simply being silent or refusing to respond. Another form is being impervious to others. It’s when we deny the feelings of others, or deny what they perceive to be true. It can also happen when we try to speak on behalf of others, which implies that we are downplaying their ability to speak for themselves.

actually shows that you are avoiding a response. Examples are framing our words as if they are someone else’s, or addressing that person as a group that they belong to. intentional confusion — being unclear and contradictory on purpose. We do that by responding interpret our behavior and react.

acknowledging and endorsing others. For example, we could make eye contact, or touch the other person when they are


by Tricia S. Jones & Jessica Jameson.

GOOD COMMUNICATION In the previous spread, we explored communication and behavior that harms relationships. Then how can we have good communication that builds and enhances relationships? What does good communication look like, and why is it important? In system thinking, each person is a “stock” and communications between people are “feedback”. In this framework, when the feedback improves, the system starts to change even with the same stocks. That means

YenaSeo SeoLukac Lukac | |Good Good Communication Yena communication

having good communication!



Communicate with compassion


There is a communication approach that was introduced by Marshall B. Rosenberg, called “Nonviolent Communication (NVC)”. His approach is to reframe the way we express ourselves and listen to others by focusing our consciousness on four areas: observations, feelings, needs and requests. To practice NVC, we need to express ourselves honestly through the four areas and receive empathy from others through the four areas. By doing so, we foster deep listening, respect, and compassion, and engender a mutual desire to “give from the heart”.


Source: Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Center for Nonviolent Communication. []

us to express our needs and wants clearly. When we speak consciously with “I”, we become honest, awake and clear about our motivation. It also shows that we take responsibility, for example by saying, “I am sorry”. And when we reveal our own vulnerability with phrases like “I don’t know” or “I am confused”, we open up the conversation and allow it to be wider. In her book Everything is Workable, Diane M. Hamilton disagree with how we see things; we are not claiming the truth for anyone but ourselves.”

Source: by Diane Musho Hamilton, p.71-83.

“As an artist and designer, I have a great responsibility to shape a visual communication that deeply connects to the heart.” - Yena S. Lukac


Minimize misunderstandings Let’s walk through the process of how we understand other people’s messages. As shown in this diagram, we make assumptions and inferences at every step while we’re having a conversation. An inference is when we make a conclusion about something that we don’t know based on the things that we do know. However, the problem occurs when we are unaware of the inferences that we are making and treat them as if they are facts or true. In order to have good communication, we need to be aware of our inferences

Internal Questions

What should I do?


What is leading the person to say or do this? How is this positive or negative?

What does it mean when the person says or does this?

He’s already made up his mind, but I still need to let him know it’s not fair



What data am I paying attention to? What data am I excluding?

What data are available to me?



He thinks I can’t handle the sales analyses because we were late the last four weeks. It’s not my fault that Donna’s unit has been giving us data sets full of errors that take two days to clean up. Jim is doing this because he doesn’t want to confront Donna with the problem. I’m angry. We get the blame for her group’s mistakes. He’s saying that I haven’t done the job well and that we’re not going to be responsible for the sales analysis anymore. He is taking away part of my job.

Jim said, “The analyses have been slowing your group down. I’m going to give Donna’s group

Jim says, “Hank, your group’s been working really hard and doing good work, but the analyses have been slowing your group down. I’m going to give Donna’s group the weekly

Source: The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches by Roger Schwarz, p62-64.

CONFLICT, CONFLICT, CONFLICT There are three conflict styles that make up a person: avoidance, accommodation, and competition. It’s important to note that we mostly have a mixture of these styles in each of us. Understanding your conflict style allows you to see your true self, and helps you to grasp why you react the way you do. By starting to understand and being curious about your conflict style, you can learn to be present and act thoughtfully instead of emotionally. In knowing yourself, it allows you to see how you interact and debate with others, realize what is positive and negative about your conflict style, and provides you with tips to improve yourself. These three conflict styles are based on the Thomas-Kilmann inventory.


2 114

Kara Isabella Kara Isabella || Conflict, Conflict,Conflict, Conflict,Conflict Conflict

Our impulse to withdraw, walk away, or disappear rather than face a conflict. Positive • Some issues may not concern us. • Some conflicts may dissipate on their own if we allow them to. • Sometimes walking away from conflict is skillful. Negative • We feel lonely or invisible. • Suppression leads to depression, isolation, and feelings of helplessness. • Takes a toll on our self-esteem, effectiveness, and relationships.


Being cooperative and attentive, but we have a hard time valuing our own point of view and standing up for our ideas and ourselves. Positive • In a work setting, being agreeable is an excellent trait. • Responding promptly and positively to a superior’s requests, helping to implement other’s initiatives, taking direction when it is given, and listening to the opinions of others are effective and necessary skills. • We all enjoy the company of someone who looks out for us, who is flexible and willing to adapt, and who privileges the well-being of others.

Negative • We can lose a sense of our own self-worth. • Depression and helplessness often overcome those of us who accommodate too frequently. • We may feel resentful when our contribution fails to be acknowledged or someone else receives credit for the work we do. • While we are pleasant to work with, we can lose credibility with our friends and colleagues because we won’t risk giving our opinions or standing up for our views.


When your first instinctive response to a challenge is to push back. When the ego is confronted, competitors don’t walk away, don’t try to please; they respond by asserting themselves. Positive • Assertiveness is catalyzing, life giving, and energizing. • It gives us the boost to express ourselves, and the courage to try out ideas and take risks in the world. • It is necessary for leadership and essential for drawing boundaries in relationships, for setting limits in our life, and for preserving a sense of our own integrity. Negative • Others often dislike highly competitive people. • Habitual aggression is the most destructive strategy for protecting our ego and securing our place in the world. • Those with an aggressive style put everyone else in a state of unease. • Creates a sense of separation, and the individual suffers from their own angry outbursts and lack of kindness.


Become conscious of your conflict style. Be curious Be present Search for opportunities to grow. Switch perspectives during conflict. Meditation Exercise




COMPETING Focus on relationship:



Focus on relationship:




Focus on own agenda:

For further reading: “Everything is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution,” by Diane Musho Hamilton


2 116

Fangfei Barbara Fang | How to set the conditions to bring out to the best in others Fangfei Barbara Fang | How to set the Conditions to Bring out to the Best in Others

Ease creates; urgency destroys, offering freedom from internal rush or urgency

How to set tHe conditions to bring out to tHe best in otHers

Ease, particularly in organisations and through the ‘push’ aspect of social networking, is being systematically bred out of our lives. We need to face the fact that if we want people to think well under impossible deadlines and inside the injunctions of ‘faster, better, cheaper, more,’ we must cultivate internal ease.


Ten components of a good thinking environment -Kline ATT ENT ION Attention is an act of creation.Listening with respect, interest and fascination In almost any setting the best help we can be is to create the conditions for people to generate their own finest thinking. And when someone is thinking around us, much of the quality of what we are hearing is our effect on them.

The human mind works best in the presence of appreciation, practicing a 5:1 ratio of appreciation to challenge. Society teaches us that to be appreciative is to be naïve, whereas to be critical is to be astute. And so, in discussions we are asked to focus first, and sometimes only, on the things that are not working. The consequence is that our thinking is often specious.

INCISIVE QUESTIONS A wellspring of good ideas lies just beneath an untrue limiting assumption. An Incisive Question will remove it, freeing the mind to think afresh, removing assumptions that limit our ability to think for ourselves clearly and creatively. Everything human beings do is driven by assumptions. We need to become aware of them, and by asking Incisive Questions, replace the untrue limiting ones with true, liberating ones. The building of Incisive Questions is at the very heart of generating fine independent thinking.


INFORMATION Withholding or denying information results in intellectual vandalism. Facing what you have been denying leads to better thinking, supplying the facts; dismantling denial.


We base our decisions on information, accurate or not, all of the time. When the information is incorrect, the quality of our decisions suffers. Starting with accurate information is essential, therefore, if good independent thinking is our aim.

When the physical environment affirms our importance, we think more clearly and boldly When our bodies are cared for and respected, our thinking improves, creating a physical environment that says back to people, ‘You matter’. We have found consistently that Thinking Environments are places that say back to people, ‘You matter.’ People think better when they can arrive and notice that the place reflects their value - to the people there and to the event.

Unexpressed feelings can inhibit good thinking, allowing sufficient emotional release to restore thinking. Thinking stops when we are upset. But if we express feelings just enough, thinking re-starts. Unfortunately, we have this backwards in our society. We think that when feelings start, thinking stops. When we assume this, we interfere with exactly the process that helps a person to think clearly again.

ENCOURAGMENT To be ‘better than’ is not necessarily to be ‘good’, giving courage to go to the cutting edge of ideas by moving beyond internal competition. Competition between people ensures only one thing: if you win, you will have done a better job than the other person did. That does not mean, however, that you will have done anything good. To compete does not ensure certain excellence. It merely ensures comparative success.

DIVERSITY The greater the diversity of the group, and the greater the welcoming of diverse points of view, the greater the chance of accurate, cutting-edge thinking, welcoming diverse group identities and diversity of thinking. Reality is diverse. Therefore, to think well we need to be in as real, as diverse, a setting as possible.

TY I L A EQU Even in a hierarchy people can be equal as thinkers. Treating each other as thinking peers; giving equal turns and attention; keeping boundaries and agreements Equality keeps the talkative people from silencing the quiet ones. But it also requires the quiet ones to contribute their own thinking. The result is high quality ideas and decisions.

“Wholehearted living

is about engaging in our lives from a place of


It means cultivating the

4 118

Hannah Phang | Wholehearted Living

courage, compassion, and connection

to wake up in the morning and think, ‘no matter what gets done and how much is left undone,

I am enough.’

It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that

I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.’”

Wholehearted Living

& why it’s important From The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

TO LIVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY YOU MUST GET: 1. Deliberate in your thoughts and behaviors through prayer, meditation, or simply setting your intentions 2. Inspired to make new and different choices 3. Going. Take action.

let Go of


what people think




numbing and powerlessness

resilient spirit

scarcity and fear of the dark

gratitude and joy

need for certainty

intuition and trusting faith



exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self worth

play and rest

anxiety as a lifestyle

calm and stillness

self doubt and “supposed to”

meaningful work

being cool and “always in control”

laughter, song, and dance

“If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage with the world from a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way - especially shame, fear, and vulnerability.”

We must cultivate the conditions for wholehearted living in ourselves and our team.

If we want to change the world, we must believe we are worthy enough to do so.

Readings and resources

Readings and Resocurces

Creating in communities, organizations, and systems Community, complexity, living systems

Approaches to facilitating shifts in human systems

Peter Block, Community: the Structure of Belonging

Zaid Hassan, The Social Labs Revolution

Fritjof Capra, A Systems View of Life

Adam Kahane, Transformative Scenario Planning

John Gall, The Systems Bible

C. Otto Scharmer, Theory U: Leading From the Future as it Emerges

Adam Kahane, Power and Love, Introduction David Snowden and Mary Boone, “A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making.” Harvard Business Review, November 2007. Creative process and design fundamentals Bill Buxton, Sketching User Experiences Hugh Dubberly, The Creative Process (poster) Vijay Kumar, 101 Design methods Bella Martin & Bruce Hanington, Universal Methods of Design Steve Portigal, Interviewing Users Facilitation Art of Hosting web site: Augusto Boal, Games for actors and non-actors Chris Corrigan’s list: facilitation-resources William Isaacs, Dialogue: the art of thinking together Adam Kahane, Power and Love Harrison Owen, Open space technology: a user’s guide Roger Schwarz et al, The Skilled Facilitator and The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook


Jamie & Maren Showkeir, Authentic Conversations

Pascal, Sternin & Sternin, The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems The Positive Deviance Initiative: The Presencing Institute, Reos Partners case studies: Jason Roberts, How to Build a Better Block Dave Snowden, How to Organize a Children’s Party Dave Snowden, Combining Complexity with Narrative Research

Personal and interpersonal fundamentals Human nature and our innate worth

Creating new habits & becoming still

John Makransky, Awakening Through Love

Martha Beck, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World

Wayne Muller, A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough

Carlo C. DiClemente, Addiction and Change: How Addictions Develop and Addicted People Recover

Desmond Tutu & Mpho Tutu, Made for Goodness Befriending our complexity and becoming ourselves Martha Beck, Steering by Starlight Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection Brene Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead Brene Brown on vulnerability Brene Brown on shame Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Healing the Mind through the Power of Story:The Promise of Narrative Psychiatry Kristen Neff’s web site: Jon Welwood, Towards a psychology of awakening: Buddhism, psychotherapy, and the path of personal and spiritual transformation. James Hollis, The Middle Passage: From misery to Meaning, studies in Jungian Psychology Philippa Perry, How to stay sane Beliefs, past pain and trauma Steven C. Hayes, Get out of your mind and into your life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Byron Katie, The Work Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others Wayne Mulller, Legacy of the Heart: the Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood Charles Villa-Vicencio, Walk with us and listen: Political Reconciliation in Africa

Kelly McGonigal, The neuroscience of Change, A CompassionBased Guide to Personal Transformation (audio book) Daniel J. Siegel, MD, Mindsight: the new science of personal transformation Louis C.K. on cell phones and sitting with what is: Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey (watch her TED talk too) Eckhart Tolle, Practicing the power of now Living a soulful life John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A book of Celitc Wisdom Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft David Whyte, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America Learning to stand in healthy relationships with others Cloud & Townsend, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No Roberta M. Gilbert, Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions Nancy Kline, More Time to Think Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Diane Musho Hamilton, Everything is workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution

Profile for Fit Associates LLC

SVA Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation 2014  

Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation 2014 Created by the Fall 2014 cohort of the Fundamentals class in the MFA in Design for Social...

SVA Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation 2014  

Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation 2014 Created by the Fall 2014 cohort of the Fundamentals class in the MFA in Design for Social...