When Nadia and I, Valentina, volunteered to host the four live U.Lab sessions we didn’t know each other and we had very little idea of what to expect. All we knew was that these sessions were part of an online course whose title sounded challenging and promising. Both curious and willing to engage in something new, we decided to go for it.
The Presencing Institute team, co-founded by Otto Scharmer, lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offers this 8 weeks U.Lab course on “Transforming Business, Society and Self” through the Edx.org platform. The course provides tools and materials for personal development and for creating innovation that generates wellbeing in the society. A topic that is definitively a great fit with Impact Hub.
These are the 3 things that I found particularly inspiring so far:
The four live sessions are streamed live from the MIT, where the PI team facilitates the global discussion. Thousands of people in more than 180 countries were watching it simultaneously, sharing ideas and thoughts on the PI website and on Twitter just because they wanted to be part of this discussion. This way of experiencing something together through technology truly empowered a global community to share and co-create.
This is a “tool” provided during the course. A group of 6 people meet virtually on a regular basis. A member introduces a “case” and all discuss it using the guideline provided online. As these guidelines focus on listening rather than on problem solving and you share the images, feelings and gestures the presented case evoked, the result is a very open and generative dialogue which brings a lot of insight to all participants. It has been an amazing experience, which gave me the chance to learn from my peers and to support each other on different topics such as leadership challenges at work or building resilience to promote your project.
Diversity and openness
The people who joined the U.Lab live session fascinated me! There was such diversity in a relatively small group (around 15 people); very different backgrounds and experiences: a minister and a corporate manager, a student and a journalist, young end elderly people all sitting together to discuss passionately about the future of society and business. They all bring their own perspective in the discussions and by sharing their point of view allow us all to step into a different and relevant perspective and experience.
Besides some good tools like the coaching guide, it is this co-creating and sharing experience, which I found amazing and I enjoyed the most.
The Future of U.Lab
There are over 120 Swiss based participants on the Presencing Institute Website! So, in the spirit of the U.Lab we are happy to invite you to a Swiss U.Lab closing 17 December 2015. In participating, we will be contributing to U.Lab Switzerland and prototyping for the future. Are you interested? More info here.
Another opportunity to get a taste of U.Lab spirit is on December 10th, 6pm. You are invited to join a 2-hour-long workshop where you can experience Theory U with the method Social Presencing Theater. Impact Hub member Regina Schlager and Melanie Kaech will guide you through embodied processes that allow you to learn more about yourself, your current leadership challenge, and the systems in which you work. More info here.