Integral Voices

Convening The Dialogic Commons

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Freedom is a Simple Word: Allowing Another to be a Legitimate Other

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.

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Peter Senge thumbnail

Meet the Speakers

Peter Senge

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 thumbnail

Meet the Speakers

Aftab Omer

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.

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