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  • well, a good critique.  at the same time, we can't just critique to move into integral space:  seems to me we have to link it to financial sustainability.  part of fearlessness is earning a living!  this is my edge....speaking for myself.

  • Oh, yeah, curiously enough Durwin, there is no mention of "fearlessness" or "fearless" as positive attributes or facilitative future resource attributes in this study, at least not in the colorful diagram collages that Scharmer included in the article. "Courage" was the boldest and most common positive attribute to transformation from this sample class size of 128,000 folks. I did post (see Photos) one of the collages from the article, on negative barriers... fear is the boldest and most commonly chosen one.

  • This is a worthy article alright; it fits my own experiences (on a smaller scale) of having multiple-referent attractors (at different levels of consciousness) to bring about restorative and transformative learning. I have extracted the last few paragraphs from Scharmer's short article celebrating the results of the pilot study he was involved in, part of the 'new' edge of higher education today... 

    "Love, listening, and trust. In that light, it appears that the collective wisdom of the Lab community perfectly responded to the question at the beginning of the course: What makes it possible to transform the three great inhibitors fear, greed, and ignorance? The answer outlines the deeper journey of level 4 learning: transforming fear to courage, greed to love, and ignorance to inquiry & listening.

    MOOCs as a Vehicle for Massive Societal Change

    After the MOOC, leaders from government, companies and NGOs have asked us to explore how to use the next delivery of the U.Lab (starting Sept. 10, 2015) as a vehicle for massive open civic engagement and cross-sectoral change in their countries, companies, or communities.

    I have been running and/or supporting profound change initiatives for the past two decades. But almost never do changes, even when successful, happen on the scale that is necessary today. MOOCs 4.0 put us on a new playing field, not only in education, but also in the business of leading profound innovation and large systems change. This new learning and innovation technology makes me enormously hopeful because it puts the learner into the driver's seat of innovation and change. U.Lab--as it evolves later this year and beyond--will continue to explore, co-pioneer and co-shape this path as it emerges."


    I can appreciate the effectiveness of such technologies and practices; I am in awe at the resources that make these mega projects happen... and, I am still, however, not impressed by the depth of understanding of discourses of fear (and its accompanying discourses) in such a large gathering of pretty high power people --collectively some 128,000 around the world... oh, well, there's so much more to learn, obviously... the journey from fear to fearlessness is so much more than what is talked about in Scharmer's article and work in general.  

    • From my own experience, particularly over the last year or so, and in serving as one of fifteen task-team members "test driving" MIT's U.Lab prior to its actual launch in January, I'd conclude that "fear", commonly expressed as a tendency to "absence" (not be fully "present"), is at the very heart of the global crisis we currently face. In an elemental way however (but to my thinking), first tier developmental experience as described in the Spiral Dynamic system is that of "subsistence" because of its "focus on having and doing" and its consequent susceptibility to "irrational fears". When Scharmer advocates a shift from "ego to eco" system economies, I understand it to be essentially one from first tier "subsistence" to that of second tier "being" (see: "What about First Tier and Second Tier - Subsistence and Being Levels").

    • Of course, I couldn't agree more with Brian on this note: "I'd conclude that 'fear', commonly expressed as a tendency to 'absence' (not be fully 'present'), is a the very heart of the global crisis we currently face." In my research, this is a rather higher level interpretation and discourse on fear, one I wish was more common and I don't think it is as common as Brian says (i.e., "commonly expressed"). He may be referring to a very specific and sophisticated context of folks who understand that tendency, which in my view is really about dissociation (via fear and trauma processes)... As to the connections of fear-based worldviews and Spiral Dynamics and integral theory (e.g., tiers)... that has long interested me and is a longer conversation, not the least of which I have devoted extensive coverage on in my book The World's Fearlessness Teachings-- yet, there is so much more to research on here. I have found Maslow's earlier work on developmental distinction from needs-hierarchies and values (across a big gap) to being-hierarchies and values quite consistent with Grave's--- in simple terms, by the opening of 2nd-tier v-memes (and deep consciousness structures, existential, integral, transpersonal) we are now in the territory of what I call "fearlessness" (to be exact, Fear Management System 7 and beyond)..., as Maslow found, as did Graves (independently?), that fear drops off as a major motivator of human perception, thinking and actions. We indeed require operations and designs for integral curriculum from this field of fearlessness (i.e., FMS-7 and beyond). Otherwise, "irrational fears" (and even what we call "rational fears" often) will continue to pollute our intelligence, individually and collectively, beyond what we can 'get outside of'--including our very self-identities (again, 1st-tier)... I will add, Scharmer (as Brian says) seems to want to advocate "a shift from 'ego to eco' system economies"-- and, I myself am less convinced than Brian that such is a 1st to 2nd tier shift per se--at least, I'm not convinced it is and more than that is the lack of coordinating language with Wilber's Ego Camp and Eco Camp integral theory--so, more critical thought and integration is required... I prefer Wilber's take on this in that Ego and Eco systems are not to be placed either against each other nor on such a continuum-- Wilber (1995) Sex, Ecology and Spirituality is a fairly sound understanding of these great archetypal forces and how they have to be integrated in a dialectic at all times, or else things really get pathological fast (i.e., love-based moves into fear-based operations).... a few thoughts for the stew! Thanks Brian for stirring it up, heating it up, and yeah, we have a lot of systematic work to do in working this stuff out more clearly, integrating Scharmer and Wilber and others' models, etc.

    • Thanks for taking the time Michael for such a masterful reflection on such an (otherwise) offhand comment. Although I concur with virtually everything you've shared, there are at least a couple of points that probably warrant some clarifying. While I must confess I've been relatively unfamiliar with your work until just recently, please be assured of my diligence and commitment to rectifying that inequity.

      Also, and to begin, in my own defense I feel it appropriate to re-phrase my view that Scharmer's advocacy of "a shift from 'ego to eco' system economies" is as simple as being a move from 1st tier structure-stage development to that of 2nd tier. Although the use of language in describing meta-integral theory does indeed get a little tricky between these respective systems, I'd defer to Terri O'Fallon's model (see: "StAGES: Growing up is Waking up--Interpenetrating Quadrants, States...") as better (e.g. more accurately) reflecting the vantage point I so ineptly sought to express. Along these same lines, and as I've shared with her, I have the distinct sense that Terri's understanding of the inter-relational working of structure-stages with state-stages is second to none.

      In regard to the respective vantage points of various thought leaders concerning the effects of a "dissociation" (Wilber), "disconnect" (Scharmer), or "separation" (Eisenstein) occurring in our conscious experience (please see: "Urban Practice, Mindfulness, Theory U, and the Emerging Future"), to my thinking, Scharmer and Senge's approach to learning is particularly noteworthy in aspiring to effect transformation through the prospect of collective practice involving shared consciousness (see our 'Case Clinic' series at SlideShare).

      umm . . . onward and upward??

    • v. interesting that you have been involved as a "test driver" Brian!

  • via Jeff Quintero, a visionary entrepreneur I am working with, who participated in this experiment.

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