This was the basic premise for this past Monday's Minnesota Presencing Forum as stated by Otto Scharmer, a Senior Lecturer at MIT and founding chair of the Presencing Institute.
The goal of over 100 people gathered at the beautiful Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was to "strengthen the Minnesota hub of people practicing awareness-based collective change methods in pioneering a more sustainable, inclusive, and aware society."
Minnesota participants joined hundreds of other from 26 countries across the globe who webcast in for this event. The growth of "presencing" across country and sector boundaries testifies to a collective sense that how we structure our institutions and movements is fundamentally flawed. Otto Scharmer lays out the "cracks" in our global society through the use of three numbers:
- Ecological Divide - 1.5: the number of planets humans use annually to support our activities
- Social Divide - 2.5: billion people living below the poverty line
- Spiritual Divide - 3: times as many people die of suicide than homicide a year
What we find particularly compelling about the Presencing movement is the kinds of cross-sector, global collaborations that are emerging from it.
- ELIAS (Emerging Leaders for Innovation Across Sectors) is a network of 20 global business, government, and civic organizations dedicated to finding productive solutions to today's most difficult challenges. Through their pilot program, this group has protyped new solutions around solar- and wind-generated power in the Global South, alternative energy resources in China, HIV/AIDS in Africa, and sugar production in Indonesia, organic agriculture in Brazil, and female micro-entrepreneurs in the Philippines.
- The Sustainable Food Lab is comprised of more than 100 stakeholders in food delivery systems seeking to make them more sustainable.
- The African Public Health Leadership and Systems Innovation Initiative is seeking to improve public health leadership in Africa through cross-sectoral leadership teams. This is just a few of the collaborations globally taking an integrative approach to innovation through presencing.
If you're curious to learn more, there's lots of great resources out there:
You can follow the twitter recap of Monday's Presencing Forum at #pgf2011
Presencing Institute: http://www.presencing.com/
Minnesota Presencing Forum: http://www.incommons.org/presencing