Learn to sail skilfully through uncertain times

In May 2022 a group of Aaltonians participated in a workshop to increase capacity for change, learn to rely on intuition and challenge the current perceptions of learning and problem-solving
Three people in a calm environment on their knees with different distance to camera, all facing right.
Social Presencing Theater practices can help to embrace the change and challenge the current ways of thinking and doing. Photo: Presencing Institute

The times we live in are stressful and burdening in several ways. Life might feel more uncertain than it has been ever before, and the pace of change shows no signs of slowing down – instead, it seems only to be accelerating.

To equip its staff with competencies to address constant change Aalto University initiated the experimental project called Capacity Building for Creative Radicals (CBCR). It draws from Otto Scharmer’s Theory U and Social Presencing Theater, developed through collaboration between Otto Scharmer and Arawana Hayashi. The aim is to increase community’s capacity for change and collective understanding using embodied intelligence: listening the wisdom of the heart and body instead of only the head, thus relying also on the intuition and emotion rather than pure rational thinking.

These methods have a connection to transformative learning and can be beneficial within the work context, but they can also – and especially – help us in these uncertain times in every aspect of our lives.

Methods offer tools to embrace the change, but also to enhance collaboration and taking care of your own wellbeing in general. Social Presencing Theater’s concrete tools help in grounding, regaining peace and finding means to bring mind and body together. It also demonstrates the idea of radical creativity well, drawing from different disciplines and art forms, bringing them to new context and harnessing their power in a novel way.

The practises of performing arts, as well as meditation, writing and other ways of self-expression, are utilised in a new way, to help drive change in the way people think, act, and react. Listening to the body and its messages enhances intuition that can bring surprising wisdom to different contexts and help to connect with others.

CBCR begun with Otto Scharmer’s lecture about Theory U and the first workshop that was held online. 

The second workshop took take place on Wednesday May 18, 2022 at 9-17 in Design Factory, and it was facilitated byArawana Hayashiand Ricardo Dutra.

More information: Kirsi Hakio [email protected] 

Kick-off lecture held by Otto Scharmer
Lecture recording

The lecture recording is only accessible for the Aalto Community, so please remember to log in using your Aalto account to see it.

Embodied practices for teams

Encourage your team to let go of routines that prevent creativity. Radical Creativity piloted with Social Presencing Theater’s methods.

Explore the practices and pilot's outcomes
Abstract illustration for embodied intelligence toolbox by Anna Muchenikova.

More readings related to the topic

Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer in the MIT Sloan School of Management and Tuomas Auvinen, Champion of Radical Creativity at Aalto University.

How to lead and educate for the future?

Aalto's capacity building project experiments with methods, which may help us become more capable of implementing systemic changes

Social Presencing Theater UN Cambodia

Learning for the future: systemic solutions require new ways of learning and collaborating

Aalto offers its staff a chance to experiment with transformative learning method, that can initiate changes in mindsets and remove invisible barriers to creativity

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Theory U - How to lead from the future while it emerges?

Creative people, like artists and scientists, invent and create the new by stepping from the visible world into the invisible world of imagination, and then returning back into the visible. We all can develop our sensitivity, intuition and leadership capabilities to increase creativity.

Radical creativity illustration: Anna Muchenikova

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