Thank you for your contributions!
The year 2010 has come to its end. A lot has happened in different fractals around Europe. I hope that batteries are reloaded as we will need a lot of energy and creative ideas during coming year! Why? Just scroll down a bit and you’ll find an action plan vol 1.0 for SoL Europe! It means that year 2011 will be full of co-creation!
So thank you for the year 2010 and Happy New Year 2011 for everybody!
Sanna Tossavainen, firstname.lastname@example.org Annika Bergenheim, email@example.com
The day before the 1st SoL Greece conference in Thessaloniki, SoL European Coordinators met for the yearly face to face meeting, in addition to the regular teleconferences.
At this meeting participated Anthi Theiopoulou SoL Greece, Arie de Geus SoL UK, Miljenko Cimesa SoL Croatia, Iréne Dupoux Couturier SoL France, Alain de Vulpian SoL France, Hanna Mandl, SoL Austria, Christoph Mandl, SoL Austria, and Annika Bergenheim, SoL Sweden.
After the check in and reports from the local SoL communities Alain de Vulpian presented the main issues from his paper "Smoothing the way for the sociocultural revolution in major longestablished companies”, which has following headlines.
A toxic form of capitalism
A new socioeconomy is emerging spontaneously The sociocultural revolution in Longestablished companies Facilitating the sociocultural revolution in business – Eight ways to offer assistance
"Starting at the end of the 80s, a very particular form of hyperfinancial short-termist capitalism took root in the West. Now that it has given rise to an extremely serious financial and economic crisis, our countries, and a good many of our political and business leaders have come to realise that it has had a profoundly toxic influence on big business, on the economy and on our society. Can another capitalism, more human and more harmonious, emerge from this experience?” (Alain de Vulpian)
You will find a summary of Alains paper in this Newsletter/SoL France News.
In preparation of this meeting the following topics were listed for our conversation:
The conversation was focused on the question "What can we do together in SoL Europe?”.
The participants felt exhausted after a long day’s work, but proud for finalizing the action plan, and happy and hopeful for the future SoL European cooperation.
Action plan SoL Europe – November 2010
|1st European Forum||In 2012?||Christophe, Anthi, Hanna, Irène, Annika|
|Open Space||Make SoL Europe visible, project forum|
|• European Web:||Anthi + student|
|Marketing papers||With academic cases||Arie and Alain|
|• Content||Irène + Béatrice + all|
|• Presentation||See European Web||Anthi|
|Sociocultural Revolution||Make it a SoL European experience/action||Alain|
|• DecisionMaking||SoL UK in cooperation with David Owen||Arie|
|Communication to SoL European communities|
|European Newsletter topics||Sanna + All|
|Paper on Sociocultural revolution||Irène + Alain |
In September SoL Austria initiated a new format of informal meetings for SoL members and friends called Pow Wows. Until now two PowWows were held at the Hub Vienna, http://vienna.thehub.net/public/, ”a place that inspires and supports new solutions for the world’s most pressing issues." It seems that SoL Austria and the Hub will continue their cooperation in the near future.
Our Learning Groups: Knowledge Work, Organizational Culture and Learning, and Systems Thinking are meeting regularly. A forth Learning Group has founded an association and are launching a Mentoring Project for young people who are without job.
Three big events took place this autumn among many lively projects launched this year.
12 October "the Human enterprise and the web 2.0”
50 people coming from various companies, universities, associations, launched a conversation on how to keep the human dimensions facing the technological issues of the social networks. With input from Danone, L’Oréal, Solvay. They decided to create together a specific project "How to facilitate social communities inside companies”.
16, 17, 18 november FOA: "Cornerstones of the learning Organization”
A group of 24 managers change agents met again for 3 days at the Moulin d'Andé for the now well established seminar: the fundamentals of learning organization.
A good representation of the SNCF was striking as SNCF is continuing the training of its internal consultants. Also to be noted the team of program coordinators of Hopital Suisse as well as representative from Société Générale, Orange and Bertrandt. The evenings with sociologist Alain de Vulpian and the humble and forceful testimony of Jean Pierre Hureau were high moments of the seminar.
This was our second workshop, following the April meeting "The tomorrow socioeconomy, new deal, new actors” towards a new type of contract between enterprises and society”. 30 people met to find out ways of facilitating the necessary social-cultural revolution in businesses.
4 themes were discussed: how to convince head managers, how to communicate on such subjects, how to gather companies to work together on these subjects, how to carry out inter
company research on the key points of the sociocultural revolution in companies.
In Thessaloniki, the European coordinators have decided to launch a conversation on the Alain de Vulpian paper "Smoothing the sociocultural revolution in longestablished companies.” The objective is to choose together some designed ways for SoL to offer assistance or any other way which would seem relevant.
This paper can be opened on http://solfrance.faciliweb.com/englishversion/
Hereby you will find a summary. Thank you to send your reactions to firstname.lastname@example.org and to email@example.com. The conversation could be the basis of the thematic issue of a next European Newsletter with input coming from the various fractals.
Starting at the end of the 80s, a very particular form of hyperfinancial shorttermist capitalism took root in the West. Now that it has given rise to an extremely serious financial and economic crisis, our countries, and a good many of our political and business leaders have come to realise that it has had a profoundly toxic influence on big business, on the economy and on our society. Can capitalism, more human and more harmonious, emerge from this experience?
What to do? The society of ordinary people can work on three roads:
We have chosen to put our emphasis on this last point because changing the way these companies live appears to us to be both urgent, within our grasp, and liable to have tangible effects within only a few years.
A toxic form of capitalism
Blinded by the fascination of shortterm financial profits, financially mesmerised companies lost their ability to anticipate, to foretell the weather in their own areas of expertise. They have become seriously dislocated from the process of continuing civilisation that has been transforming the society of ordinary people over the past fifty or sixty years. The companies, or their leaders, felt impelled to establish rationalised forms of organisation that neglected lived human and social experience and were based on the assumption that their employees were logical counters, economic pawns, whose paths could be dictated and predicted rationally. The result was discomfort at work, and loss of effective behaviour. Many companies also began to treat their subcontractors in the same way, leading them to adopt the same attitudes and apply the same pressures to their own personnel. As people become less involved, less committed to their work, the natural resilience and vitality of their company drains away, and the levels of stress mount.
All this adds up to a society that is suffering. Unlike the thirty postwar years when Europe was rebuilding itself, the last quartercentury, hyperfinancial and shorttermist, has constructed nothing but debts and disequilibria, profoundly damaging the economy, social cohesion and the health of society. The rhythm of economic development in the most industrialised countries was held back. Wealth was diverted from the household budgets of the middle and lowerpaid classes, from company and collective budgets and investments for the future, to be channelled into speculative financial structures. Organised greed encouraged unprecedented risktaking, finally leading to immense financial black holes that had to be filled by the State – which means ultimately by the taxpayer – in order to prevent the collapse of the complex interlocking structures that had developed. Productive work had lost its value: it is currently associated in the popular imagination with words like stress, dissatisfaction, insecurity, burnout, harassment, even suicide... The crisis we are suffering is not only economic and financial; it is a serious crisis for society as a whole, in which easy money is worth more than anything else.
Major companies that are blind to these developments because they are focused entirely on rational organisation, finance and shortterm profit are among the leading actors and principal victims of this drama.
A new socioeconomy is emerging spontaneously
But it isn't all black. Large middle classes have developed in the emerging market countries. Radically new forms of company have developed, a step at a time. They are in the process of outlining something that could become another form of socioeconomy, an economy in phase with the society of ordinary people. They were conceived during the past two or three decades, they explore new technologies, new markets and new forms of business. They tend to be flexible in their adaptation to our changing society.
Some of the proclaim themselves as "social businesses", less centred on profit than on the social usefulness of their actions, they are bathed in modernity and are spontaneously coherent with the new expectations and new mentalities of people, and the new pressures exerted in the name of ecology. These new companies are devising human and effective approaches to management both for their employees and in their relations with subcontractors. You could say that a socially oriented form of economy is beginning to grow. 0ver the past twenty years social entrepreneurs have multiplied and created associations and NGOs that, at local, national or global levels are focused on being beneficial to people and to society, seeking to relieve certain forms of suffering, or to redirect certain processes with pathological tendencies.
An even more recent phenomenon can be seen in the cooperations developing between very different forms of organisation, companies, associations, public authorities, which come together to create sources of vitality and social improvements.
All of the above are contributing to the outlines for a new socioeconomy. The same can be said for a few longestablished large corporations that have managed to avoid financeinduced blindness and have retained and enriched their internal culture of forwardlooking human development. Over the past two or three decades, such companies have evolved hesitatingly along unknown paths, rather than adhering to preconceived blueprints. They have affirmed the preeminence of the sociohuman dimension and anticipatory sensitivity. The best act like living organisms operating within a complex ecosystem, whose constituent parts all interact at their own levels.
The sociocultural revolution in longestablished corporate bodies/companies
Since we cannot rely on the emergence any time soon of a world government with the wisdom to realign financial affairs with social needs and take care of the harmonious development of the planet, let us list the steps that could be taken by large corporate bodies in their efforts to cleanse themselves of the intoxications of the past.
They need in fact to rapidly carry out their own sociocultural revolutions from within. Many companies have in fact begun this process, either deliberately or through healthy reactions:
Sociocultural revolution within a large organisation or a major firm is a radical transformation but can be neither abrupt, nor planned.
It is a path that benefits from the support of a strong and constant determination; but it must at all time remain open to the hesitations and gropings of living organisations, and allow for rectifications as necessary.
Facilitating the sociocultural revolution within companies. Eight ways to offer assistance.
What can be done by networks, movements and thinktanks that have grown out of the reactions and perceptions of ordinary people (SoL or the Club des Vigilants, etc.)?
Adapted from Alain de Vulpian November 2010
Systemic Change during Crisis. Managing in Greece to Achieve what every European Citizen Aspires; from Linear to Systems Thinking.
On Sunday 28 November, the 1st Conference of the SoL Greece community took place within the Money Show Forum 2010, introducing the state of the art of Organizational Learning thinking to 150 participants in learning tables from all over Greece.
SoL Greece's president, Ms Anthi Theiopoulou, opened the session and facilitated the proceedings with the first section addressing the current socioeconomic reality in Greece and abroad. Mr. George Polenakis, Private Sector Development consultant to international institutions, presented how Greece was led to the financial support agreement with IMF. According to his sayings ‘‘The debt on its own, is not a problem. The issue is how you deal with it’’. Miss Xenia Kourtoglou, president of Focus Bari followed presenting the public aspect through her company’s latest research. The presentation included the new consumption habits of Greek citizens and their pessimistic point of view. Characteristically, it was reported that 3 out of 4 Greeks think that the situation is really bad, 1 out of 2 thinks that the situation will get worse, 1 out of 3 declare job insecurity and 4 out of 5 hold a "suspicious" attitude towards politics and politicians.
The exceptional sociologist from SoL France, Mr Alain de Vulpian open the second section of the event referring to the evolution patterns of society and pointing out that the crisis in the western societies in not only economic, but deeply societal as well. In line with this, he proposes a sociopolitical revolution within the organizations, as well as training and support of leaders under a societal scope, the empowerment of the collective thinking, and finally the creation of analysis and assessment centers, always according to the new humancentered rationale.
The next speaker was Prof. Cristoph Mandl from SoL Austria who referred to complexity that is not possible to be fully understood, or predicted. Since a "small change now can radically shift the future of complex systems", management of complexity does matter and he proposes trying to perceive the patterns we are living in, accept only the alwaystrue truths and make a conscious choice between inacting, reacting, proacting and interacting.
SoL's Founding Chair, Dr. Peter Senge through videoconference, presented the main principles of the systemic approach and Organizational Learning. He outlined that societies and organizations, in order to be viable, should be based on the 3 axes of Seeing systems, Cooperating across boundaries and Creating beyond reactive problem soling. In his speech, Dr. Senge also referred to the systems on a societal level, to the problems of the modern world, and to the onedimensional way that we judge and face those problems.
From theory to application, and more specifically to the example of the Turkish firm Cimsa S.A, whose CEO, Mr. Mehmet Hacikamiloglou, was the next speaker. As he mentioned, the company was based on specific managers and experts who managed the organization according to their knowledge and specialization. However, in that way the company was directly and completely depending on the efficacy of those individuals. Mr. Hacikamiloglou presented the company's exceptional journey of transformation during the last seven years, the results achieved and the difficulties faced as a committed learning organization practitioner. "Make sure that every step is to the future" was his inspiring closing comment.
A review of the principles and history of Organizational Learning over the last 20 years followed, with the eyes of Mr. Arie de Geus from SoL UK who through his personal experience and contribution to the corporate world evolution, analyzed the traditional leadership and decisionmaking style in the business environment along with the problems they create. In order to overcome these problems, he proposed that the decisions should be made in teams, since the example of the traditional leader that knows better than everyone is a delusion and teams have the capability of dialogue enabling Organizational Learning. With institutional overpopulation, he pointed out, we have a real interest as human beings to find out ways to improve the decision making processes not aligned yet with organizational learning.
As a general impression, the Conference created the framework of a dialogue in the Greek business world where the answers are rather the product of the organizational learning process itself. The Conference ended with Göran Carstedt connecting this meeting with life's imperative of hope defined as "the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it might turn out"!
Visit our site to find soon on the Past Events section a video of the conference highlights, reports and much more.
15 October 2010: IFF World Game – Sustainable Athens with Tony Hodgson
SoL Greece played the IFF World Game on 15 October facilitated by Tony Hodgson of Decision Integrity Limited, the International Futures Forum and of SoL UK. The world game is designed to examine in depth a local concern – the sustainability of Athens as a City in the context of a rapidly changing world in which trends in many areas threaten to disrupt the future. This was done through role playing while experimenting with scenario planning and … thinking in systems!
This was a practical workshop that introduced the basics of the Viable System Model (VSM) developed by the systems thinker, Stafford Beer. This is a form of systems thinking in management and Organizational Learning, that can constitute a powerful diagnostic tool, a way for designing more adaptive organizations and monitoring their progress. The participants were excited by the beauty of seeing systems and working on the systemic structure level.
SOL in Hungary
Since 1998, when Göran Carsted visited us, we have been organizing programmes and events evoking the spirit of SOL. The Learning Organisations for Sustainability Foundation, SoL Hungary, is "an affiliated nonprofit member organisation of Global SoL whose aim is to contribute to regenerate sustainable societies based on systems thinking and ecoconscious principles and practice while supporting personal, organisational and community learning that opens the heart, stimulates the mind and uplifts the spirit of the people.”
In 2010 Göran visited us again on 1819th of November and we had a very rich programmes dedicated to leadership challenges at the 1st Sustainability Summit of Hungary, at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and also at a joint workshop of SOL and the Ombudsman Office for the Future generation.
Thus our core target projects:
We have the strategy to cooperate and partner with other interested partners so that we can enhance capacity and impact for transformation, thus already in the past since 2004, when we had our first and large conference with Peter Senge and Ervin Laszlo, we've been inviting Christoph Mandl to share his knowledge and experience in systems thinking and also Heidi, Rick and Steve from the Boston group to offer their knowledge in systems approach in coaching. We also initiated an EU Comenius school project with Guus Geisen and one of his schools in the Netherlands, incl. German and Spanish school where the teachers will learn together systems thinking and its application for school children from the age of 5 – to 18.
Since 2005 Agota Ruzsa has been offering a Systemic Dialogue facilitation programme also which includes processes of OPT, TWC, TS, AI with a theoretical background on the Field and living systems, Bohm and paradigm shift and core OL, and she also has been teaching it to students of communication at university. Thus we have a small group already using this approach in their practice both in consultancy, coaching, education and social change.
On other aspects of systems work we cooperate with the Hungarian Hellinger Institute as well as initiated cooperation with Process work centers in the region as well as the KM groups for the Academy of Science, and the Ombudsman Office For Future Generation. Some of our SoL Institute associates work and thus infilter their new awareness and understanding in their respective businesses, thus Zoltán Géczi combines systems thinking and outdoor development for young people, Nora Hegyi offers more and more course and consultancy and OD work, Tibor Kiss and Klara Hajnal, our trustees have been key in organizing a Sustainability Conference of their University with eg. Günter Pauli, Tibor is also in the process to develop a university course on systems thinking at his university, Ferenc Kiss has been opening up to integrate Sol processes in teacher training faculty at his university. Agota has been successfully working with one client for years, Tempus Foundation (LLL agency for EU) to master AoHDialogue processes in their internal and external conferences, meetings and workshops. Agota Ruzsa, Geza Banyay and Klara Hajnal with Ferenc Kiss and Katalin Czippan are dreaming to develop an ecospiritual summer academy as once we had such an experiment with great success.
We may well need to reflect on our purpose and function, role and responsibility collectively in our rapidly changing world that is needing competence and open heart and open mind and open will for transformation to manifest with the least pain and injury, and the most inclusion and acknowledgement.
We need to state the truth and clear the entire emotional and deeply contaminated mental field in our collective, but at least in SoL fractals before action is decided on. We need to work in the area of our Personal Mastery, Fractal Mastery.
I think Europe in the past 500 years, esp. West Europe has contributed to the outcome that we ALL are reaping now. It is a fact that needs to be stated and acknowledged before we try others in the world to lead into responsible actions. Europe (and more specifically West and North Europe with the USA joining them in the past 100 years) are still living in a world of illusion and a false sense of intellectual pride and superiority and with a misunderstood intention of "partnership”. We, SoL members, also tend to talk about sustainability in high energy use hotels with extreme prices and access to knowledge and competences is largely dependent on your financial capacity... yet we talk about collaboration and still foster competition in the depth of our heart.
I feel, SOL Europe has been suffering from similar traits in our collective psyche and since the first time in 1999? in Bordeaux we got together, we have NOT faced some of our shadows that lie behind our incompetence in cooperation across borders and fractals with our diversity and differences to create and innovate, to contribute to social transformation at the scale we at times seem to claim to have competence to. IT is the TIME for us to do so.
Our recommendation for cooperation and possible joint initiatives to enhance the sociopsychological revolution for a sustainable shift to manifest is the following.
January 12th, Graphic Facilitation
Basics to the art of visual facilitation to enhance multiple intelligence in coaching and facilitation, run by Regina Rowland
January 28th , Systems Thinking Learning Lab A yearlong process guided by Christoph Mandl to generate a selflearning, self organizing group to master the theory and practice of systems thinking.
Core training by Toke P. Möller, Agota Ruzsa, Jasmina Lukacevic, and others AOH is a growing learning community of practitioners who dedicate their wide scale of competencies in large group processes to enhance collective intelligence, organisational effectiveness, stakeholder dialogues, etc.
SoL Course in Europe, run by Heidi Spakes Guber and collegues from SOL Boston. This course in 2010 was a great success with people from Sweden, Singapore, Greece, the Ukraine and Hungary...
Ecospiritual dialogue, learning and action summer course to create social impact that needs be part of meaningful learning and the contribution to the place and environment and community. Hosted by SoL Hu (Tibor Kiss, Ferenc Kiss, Klara Hajnal, Agota Ruzsa, Geza Banyay etc together with Hungarian Youth Learning Team and all SoL Europe friends)
September 14-15th, Systems Thinking in Business and Education, a learning conference Day I. Seminar with Dennis Meadows and Linda Booth Sweeney of the Balaton group Day II. Sharing and developing best practices applying Systems Thinking... It is a book launch event of Systems Thinking Playbook and Connected Wisdom in Hungarian.
November 4-6th, Journey to the heart of Europe, Deep Dialogue on the Shadow of Europe Systemic approaches in deep inquiry large scale change and deep democracy. It is a process we may want to include for our self reflection by using large group dialogues, Hellinger Systems constellation and Mindell Process work to look into our deeper inner dimensions and to face our hidden mental models that might hinder our passion for change. Facilitated by Agota Ruzsa and Elke Heyer.
"It takes a village to raise a child" – Hillary Clinton
This is an era of globalization and technological revolution; both transform and influence children's lives and personalities. In the past few years, technology has had a significant effect on the way we attain and spread knowledge between adults, professionals and especially to and among children and youth.
Knowledge is a resource based on the past and used to create a better future. Today in the 21st
Century, more than ever, Cities around the world are relying on the exciting knowledge owned by their residents, local organizations and their initiatives.
The Knowledge, the capabilities and local cooperation are the factors that define the city's nature. This nature is the one that attracts investments, highly skilled working force, students and researchers into the City, and creates a sustainable and enriching the urban living environment.
Edna Pasher Ph.D & Associates together with the municipality of Holon and "MIGAL" – the Galilee Technology Center are bringing the 4th Knowledge Cities World summit to Israel!
The Conference will be structured in an innovative way, paying attention to discussions and visits, In addition to lectures and presentations. Examples from the changes that were introduced in Holon and the Galilee, and visits at some special sites there, could raise ideas for other Knowledge Cites and regions.
For your consideration we would love to have a Special Session with the European SOL and would like to invite you all to become active partners in the creation of this exciting conference, and to send us your ideas, thoughts and of course… your knowledge.
Looking forward to meeting you here Warm Regards Edna 4th KCWS 2011 Conference Chair
The Israeli SOL Sustainability Forum, Invited the representative of the Israeli Biomimicry organization to participate in an exiting and innovative learning session on the link between Biomimcry and Sustainability. Biomimcry (Bio=Life, Mimesis=imitate) is an interdisciplinary concept that deals with studying and mimicking nature in order to provide solutions for various challenges.
The biomimetic assumption is that most of the challenges that we are facing today, were already solved in a sustainable way by nature, thus, by combining the "human" knowledge with the "natural" knowledge would lead to creating both exciting and innovative solutions. The session included an introductory presentation on Biomimcry as a source of technological and social sustainable innovation. We discussed the "Life Principles" in relation with current Biomimetic developments for various aspects.
Communication on European level will change with the appointment of two of our members Ana Arrabe and Fernanda Maio to be in contact with SoL Europe in 2011... a short introduction by them will follow in January.
We just had our annual strategic meeting and for 2011 we have lots of good news to share:
We currently have 36 active members in our community that in total represent 25 organizations. More than 150 SoL España "amigos" follow our activities.
Dialogue Sessions The SoL Spain way to meet, dialgoue and discover new perspectives.
"The Power of Mindfulness: a tool to improve your personal effectivity" facilitated by Andrés Martin, www.andresmartin.org
"Theory U process and the way to leadership” facilitated by Javier Ruiz, Tecnalia, www.theoryu.com
"Story telling and knowledge transfer” facilitated by Josu Saseta, www.hominex.com
"Social wellbeing and social innovation" facilitated by The Hub Madrid, www.hubmadrid.com
Learning Forums A new initiative successfully launched in 2010 full of learning based on free flowing dialogue, real projects and exchanging ideas and methodologies.
4 Forums (5 hours each) on "System Disciplines” facilitated by the SoL Spain community and coled by Antonio Linares www.evocalia.com
Training A 3 day training retreat offered by SoL Spain for the first (but not last ;) time to deepen our knowledge on transformational processes.
"Leadership foundations and transformational presence” facilitated by Andrés Martín www.andresmartin.org, Javier Ruiz www.tecnalia.info, Anita Seidler www.creativesociety.org
We have appointed new roles and responsibilities in SoL Spain for 2011 to create more value for our community and generate more impact together.
Presidency: Anita Seidler Vicepresidency: Javier Ruiz Secretary General and Community Leader: Ana Arrabe Vocals: Antonio Linares, Jose Ignacio Villadóniga and Josu Saseta Treasury: Jose María Zamarrón Knowledge Management and Sharing: Guadalupe de la Mata and Almudena de la Mata SoL Europe Networking: Ana Arrabe, Fernanda Maio (Portugal)
Soon we will share with you our program for 2011!
Well 2010 has been quite a year, with a large turnout for our last members meeting as well as the informal Pub Evening, which is open for nonmembers and takes place every month. We have restructured our pricing for members and now have a SoL Sweden Facebook Page as well as one on LinkedIn, which is giving us a better profile, making SoL more visible and breathing new life into our fractal. It seems there are a lot of people out there keen to connect and dip into the wisdom pool of the SoL community.
We are currently collecting ideas for themes for a proposed SoL Sweden Conference for 2012. So far we have fifteen terrific suggestions. Subjects range from Schools that learn through Managing chaos and complexity, Ecosystems in business, the new Socioeconomy, Leadership issues, Improving decisionmaking processes and Entrepreneurship. Plenty of food for thought, there!
At our Annual Meeting on January 18th, Katarina Chowra, entrepreneur and company owner, will be talking to us about 'Economic Shift for a Better World business models for a new economy based on trust and values'. See her website here: http://economicshift.org.
Judging by the interest in this theme, we look forward to starting the New Year with a bang! Happy New Year to you all, from all of us in SoL Sweden. See you in 2011!