Last week, U.Lab started again, and after a few years of our first and transformative U.Lab experience, we are participating again to refresh our experience in order to further progress on our own leadership journeys.
The u.lab: Leading From the Emerging Future is the most powerful online course I have yet experienced. Its rich programme brings together three strands: Purpose, community building, and a powerful method for systemic change.
The purpose is in the course’s subtitle: Transforming Business, Society and Self. The U-Lab teaches thousands of partcipants around the globe how to tap into their unique contribution to changing their societies, businesses, and self for the benefit of the greater good and their own fulfillment.
Community building is facilitated on three levels through the Presencing Institute’s online platform which:
enables communities to form and create local hubs,
provides a simple way of forming peer-to peer coaching circles,
flagships transformative change projects so that changemakers across the world can learn from each other.
The “How To” of creating transformation is supported throughout the course by guiding the participants through the experience of the social technology of “Presencing”, accompanied by readings and explanatory videos. Presencing enables everyone to lead in times of disruptive change; in other words, in times when past experience does not show us the path into the future. In times, when small experiments are able to generate the feedback that helps us in creating the future we want, experiment by experiment.
Why does our past experience not serve us to create the future?
The reason is momentous: We are stepping into a new era which calls us to dramatically change our current collective patterns of thinking and acting. That’s why the past can no longer be our reference point. Take the global climate crisis: We cannot solve it by collectively going back to how we have lived before the Industrial Revolution. Nor can we solve it by technological innovation alone. We need to find new ways of healing our depleted planet, and new ways of interacting with it so that it can continue to give us food and shelter.
What got us here, won’t get us there:
Our distruptive time calls for a new leadership paradigm.
So what does leading from the emerging future mean?
It stands for opening up ourselves to the future opportunities around us, in other words, for what wants to be born. A good metaphor for this is found in art:
The artist is standing in front of a white canvas, sinking into her inner source of knowing and creativity, open to letting come what wants to emerge during the very act of painting.
This form of creating `that which has yet to emerge from our inner source` might be the key leadership skill for transforming business, society, and self into a humanity that re-discovers the inter-connectedness of all human beings and with nature. It is leading from the emerging future which might allow us to help our planet to continue helping us to survive and thrive in the future.
Our future as a species is at stake.
We need to hone our listening skills to go beyond change and create transformation on a systems level. Listening is the key skill of the social technology of Presencing. We collectively need to learn and practice sensing into our local and global environment for the sake of recognising the future opportunities as they emerge.
There are seeds of change all around us.
We need to tune in with deep listening in order to spot the places of greatest potential and to courageously create a future for all to thrive.