What is the true nature of inner freedom? How do we recognize the legitimacy of the other? How do destiny and humility relate to leadership?
In this touching and emergent Integral Voices conversation between Peter Senge and Aftab Omer, they draw on ideas expressed by Martin Buber, Humberto Maturana and Peter‘s work in South Africa to explore these questions.
Peter Senge has been at the forefront of organizational learning since publishing his classic text The Fifth Discipline in 1990, which provided theories and methods to foster aspiration, develop reflective conversation, and understand complexity in service of shaping learning-oriented organization cultures. In 1997, Harvard Business Review named the learning organization as one of “the seminal business ideas of the prior 75 years.”
Throughout his career, Peter has been asking, “how do we create the conditions for people to work together at their best, cultivating the innate systems intelligence that is our birthright but is all but lost in modern culture?” As an engineer by training, his work has always emphasized tools and methods, not for their own sake but as vehicles for building individual and collective capacities.
Starting with the creation of SoL (the Society of Organizational Learning) in 1997, he has focused on developing learning communities within and especially among organizations, as a way to bring about deep change that individual organizations are unable to achieve working alone. This resulted in the SoL Sustainability Consortium in 1998, pioneer businesses who saw social and ecological imbalances shaping the future, the Sustainable Food Lab in 2002, many of the world’s largest food companies and NGOs working together to make sustainable agriculture the mainstream system, and numerous learning communities in primary and secondary education, leading up to the present global Compassionate Systems community.
Peter graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in engineering. He holds an M.S. in social systems modeling and a Ph.D. in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. His publications include The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990), The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (1994), The Dance of Change (1999), Schools that Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares about Education (2000, 2010), Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future (2004, 2008), and The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World (2008).
Aftab Omer, Ph.D. is the president of Meridian University which offers degree and professional programs globally, emphasizing the power of transformative learning.
He is a sociologist, psychologist, developmentalist, and futurist. Raised in Pakistan, India, Hawaii, and Turkey, he was educated at the universities of M.I.T, Harvard and Brandeis. His publications have addressed the topics of transformative learning, dialogic capability, developmental power, cultural leadership, civil society, generative entrepreneurship, and the power of imagination.
Aftab’s advising work focuses on team development and on leveraging the creative potentials of conflict, diversity, and complexity. Formerly the president of the Council for Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychologies, he is a Fellow of the International Futures Forum and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Another World is Possible: Unlearning and the World We CreateHanno Burmester's soon-to-be-published book by Perspectiva Press, Unlearn: A Compass for Radical Transformation, offers a doorway into understanding the role of 'unlearning' in transformative change and transformative leadership.Learn More
Thomas Steininger and Aftab Omer
It is Our Care that Creates New Worlds: Dialogic Capability Amidst Cultural CrisisCan we respond to the multi-dimensional crises of our time with a different kind of speaking and listening? Can we protect and preserve the great storehouse of ideas, stories and practices embedded in human cultures?Learn More
Peter Senge and Aftab Omer
Freedom is a Simple Word: Allowing Another to be a Legitimate OtherWhat is the true nature of inner freedom? How do we recognize the legitimacy of the other? How do destiny and humility relate to leadership?Learn More
Nurturing Our Humanity: Reuniting Care and EconomicsWhat are the enabling conditions for reuniting care and economics? Are these also the conditions for the birth of an ecological civilization? Can we get real about markets and what the social wealth economic indicators are that promote real thinking about the human future?Learn More
Nina Simons and Aftab Omer
Revisioning Entrepreneurship: Generativity, Indigeneity and the FeminineIn this expansive and heartful conversation, Nina Simons and Aftab Omer explore the shadows and possibilities of entrepreneurship. Holding a vision of local interdependence and generative globalization, they discuss how transformative innovation gathers social, technological and cultural dimensions in ways that regenerate the commons.Learn More
Thomas Hubl and Aftab Omer
Listening to the Voice of the Field: The Great Conductor and the Black HoleIn this wide-ranging and emergent conversation, Thomas Hubl and Aftab Omer explore collective trauma, social healing, and the ways in which scientific inquiry and mystical understanding inform the challenging work of collective trauma practitioners. Aftab and Thomas share their reflections on related themes including the COVID-19 pandemic, collective presencing, the intimate internet, and the power of creative surrender.Learn More
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