Holding a Safe Space of Dialogue among Young Leaders of a Company
“Zooming out on Zoom” is a 1-hour online meeting I facilitate for young leaders of my client company (a Philippine based software development, testing and solution company primarily providing both offshore and onsite services for foreign market.)
This session, as many online sessions are, started in response to Work From Home (WFH) in COVID-10 pandemic. The session offers a space for honest dialogue among people working in many different teams of one company from different locations, on topics that may not be discussed in any other meetings in the company. I consciously design the topics of dialogue to alternate between global issues and inner works.
Today, in our 7th session, I used one of the Theory U introduction videos in which Dr. Otto Scharmer from MIT discusses the iceberg model with three divides (ecological divide, social divide and spiritual divide) as symptoms manifesting on the surface level, the tip of the iceberg.
After watching this less than 6 minute video and spending 3 minutes in reflective silence, they did journaling on 2 questions.
Q1: What resonated most in the video?
Q2: What do you feel is ending and what do you feel is wanting to be born around us?
Do Such Sessions Make Any Impact?
It is so hard to measure in any quantitative manner to prove if something meaningful for my client company’s leadership development is happening, by running such session every other week. But I am hoping, as I continue such sessions, something in them is shifting.
Here are some of the output I harvested from the session, as they shared during the session.
U.S. as Super Power
Physical Dependency / Physical Collaboration
Selfishness / Ego
2 phases of major change (1 Poverty to a better life, 2 Electronics and technological)
Virtual World, Virtual Country
Looking after other people. Taking care of the weak.
Attention to the well-being of all
• Disconnect between current self and future self
More people die from suicide than war
A few people owning most of the resources.
We spend too much time creating unwanted results
We are collectively creating the end results that nobody wants — this is deep
Results nobody wants
And as we checked out today’s session they said the following as there feeling…
Now I have a lot of questions in my mind!
Relaxed to be able to express my thoughts
Relaxed and happy
Happy to see you all.
Happy to talk to someone else (being stuck at home and working 16 to 18 hours per day)
Feeling philosophical because of today’s discussion.
Trusting that continuing having such space could slowly cultivate the soil from where the future leaders of the company emerge.
SpiceWorx is one of the founding members of GAIA GAYA, a Philippine based initiative that raises awareness, triggers action and catalyzes collaboration for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). GAIA GAYA is a platform of making SDGs everybody’s business. SpiceWorx worked with other core members from TRAIL and Human Capital Asia to bring GAIA GAYA to presence in May 2020. As of now it is a biweekly online gathering of anybody interested in SDGs.
GAIA GAYA was born as a result of a project under U.Lab 2x by the Presencing Institute lead by Dr. Otto Scharmer and his colleagues. U.Lab 2x is a four month program for Theory U practitioners around the world to actually apply the Theory U (the U process) in real transformation projects, bringing the prototype stage initiative to the next level of making impacts.
GAIA GAYA was one of the 3 projects given an opportunity to present the Presencing Institute#GAIAjourney Week 13, the arrival session on June 19, 2020. We are truly honored to be able to introduce GAIA GAYA to the global community! I presented GAIA GAYA’s and it starts from around 1:19:00 as the host Antoinette Klatzky introduces the speaker.
The picture below presents our journey of ‘presencing’ GAIA GAYA. The points I would like to make by using this very crowded picture are only two.
First, our 4 months journey was cradled and empowered by U.Lab 2x program, GAIA journey and U. Academy.
U.Lab 2x was the platform which gave us process, tools, guidelines, practices and community as we applied Theory U in creating change we intended, which was to raise awareness and trigger action for SDGs in the Philippines.
GAIA journey gave as deep questions to contemplate, and the sense of connectedness with the global community.
A three day Digital Leadership Training by U.Academy enabled our 4 member core team to facilitate our journey digitally as in-person meetings became no longer possible during the project due to lockdown.
U process helped us let go of our pre-COVID original plan, although we invested significant amount of time and money to prepare ourselves.
My second point is that in hind-site, COVID-19 was positive contributor in ‘presencing’ GAIA GAYA. In the past 4 months, our core team members shared about 200 hours together, mostly online. It was possible largely because we were under lockdown, we were not going anywhere, our usual business was down and we had plenty of time to allocate on U.Lab 2x project.
Since May 20, 2020 to the date of the GAIA presentation, we had four GAIA GAYA sessions. Our first 4 sessions of GAIA GAYA invited speakers addressing Poverty & Education, Deforestation, Disaster relief and Saving children from online sexual abuse and exploitation. I am truly grateful to Mr. Arcie Mallari, the founder of Silid Aralan empowering academically underperforming students from marginalized community, Mr. Raf Dionicio, the co-founder of MAD Travel who is fighting against deforestation through sustainability conscious tourism, Ms. Sarah Queblatin, co-founder and executive director of Green Releaf Initiatives who is creating disaster resilient community with regenerative practices, and Ms. Chi-Chi Sangil, who is passionately fighting against online sexual exploitation of children.
And I would like to note that Sarah and Chi-Chi are also U.Lab 2x initiatives from the Philippines.
GAIA GAYA Booth at the Presencing Institute Global Forum on HOPIN
Three weeks after I presented GAIA GAYA to the global community for the first time, we had another big opportunity to let the world know what GAIA GAYA is doing, by joining the annual Global Forum of the Presencing Institute, organized online for the first time.
Originally, this Global Forum was scheduled to be held in Berlin, Germany. If it were not for COVID-19, GAIA GAYA would not have been born and our team would not have been able to join the Global Forum by flying all the way from Manila to Berlin. It was because the event was done online, GAIA GAYA team was able to be a part of the event and we presented our short introduction video at our virtual event booth on the platform of HOPIN.
At this Global Forum, GAIA GAYA even hosted a session for dialogue with the global community of Theory U practitioners. The theme of our session was “Dialogue on Measuring Indirect Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals”.
I will write about this bold attempt in another blog.