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Presencing Institute

Social Field Research Summer School

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Description

The Presencing Institute was founded in 2006 in order to create an action research platform at the intersection of science, consciousness, and profound social change. The foundational assumptions of this work can be summarized in three sentences:

  • You cannot understand a system unless you change it (Kurt Lewin).
  • You cannot change a system unless you transform consciousness.
  • You cannot transform consciousness unless you make the system sense and see itself

An integral part of our u.school vision, the inaugural Social Field Research Summer School brings together leading awareness-based action researchers from around the globe and across generations to explore the role of research in ecosystem transformation as a powerful tool to help a system to see and sense itself.

Our intention is to initiate a global network of researchers who, over the next decade, will advance the field of awareness-based action research by co-developing the concepts, methods, tools and frames needed to illuminate and catalyze the evolution of social fields. We are looking for partners to join us in bringing this intention to reality.

While a considerable body of knowledge has emerged around group, organizational and system change, little of that work addresses the deepest dimension of social change – our collective awareness. Likewise, while we have developed a great deal of understanding about individual change, there remains a relative void in the research methodology for understanding collective experience at its deepest level. We aim to make visible the invisible by developing the methodologies needed to see, articulate and shift the deep structure of social fields. Our explicit emphasis is on research that has immediate, practical application for those working to effect social change.

We seek to bring together 1st, 2nd and 3rd person perspectives on social field evolution that include, but are not limited to, these fields of practice:

  • 1st person – microphenomonology, qualitative and/or grounded theory interviews, autoethnography
  • 2nd person –Social Presencing Theatre, Generative Scribing and other social arts, Participative Action Research
  • 3rd person – quantitative approaches, standardized instruments, physiological measurement
  • The format of the summer school allows participants to share their work and also to engage in a process that deepens that work and connects projects and participants.

We aim to integrate communities not presently connected, linking researchers to practitioners and projects, and newer research practitioners to more seasoned ones. In doing so, our intention is to not only amplify individual projects, but also our collective capacity to bring into being the field of awareness-based social field research.

Who should attend

We invite applications from:

  • researchers leading and co-shaping significant projects in awareness-based action research. We encourage graduate and post-doctoral students with such projects to apply.
  • reflective practitioners currently engaged in awareness-based systems change.
  • individuals who bring unique methodologies to the study of social field change.
  • To apply please read the above carefully and then click "Register" on the top right of this page.

Experts

He is founding chair of the Presencing Institute, and chairs the MIT IDEAS program. Scharmer helps groups of diverse stakeholders from business, government and civil society to innovate at the level of the whole system. He co-founded the Global Wellbeing and Gross National Happiness (GNH) Lab, w...
Kelvy Bird has been working in the field of human development within organizational contexts since 1995, with a focus on collaboration, innovation, leadership, and collective intelligence. Her joy is in harnessing group creativity for projects that cultivate learning and connectivity. She’s been ...
Arawana’s pioneering work as a choreographer, performer and educator is deeply sourced in collaborative improvisation. She currently heads the creation of Social Presencing Theater (SPT) for the Presencing Institute. Working with Otto Scharmer and colleagues at the Presencing Institute, she bring...
Megan’s career as an academic and as a social process and development professional began in South Africa at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal where she was involved in long-term work on curriculum transformation in the transition to post-Apartheid South Africa. Megan was lead designer and Founding...
Ricardo is a social systems designer and action researcher working in diverse global contexts, including Brazil, Australia, India, Mexico and the United States. In his work at the Presencing Institute, he leads the SPT research initiative, developing action research protocols and tools, to invest...
Ursula Versteegen is a co-founder of the Institute of Mindful Agriculture, Presencing Institute and the Society for Organizational Learning. She is an action researcher and social activist with an aspiration to bringing forth profound societal change that allows all of us to re-connect to ourselv...
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