Learning Circles

In each of the Learning Circles stories are shared - powerful stories of organizational learning, of successes and failures, and of what we have learned from these experiences. Your story too – how do you learn when you are trying to accommodate to a new reality? How does your system learn as it needs to change?

You find yourself amongst other stories – they resonate with you in all sorts of ways. Some leave you somewhat indifferent; others engage you so much that you would want to go out and do something – become an agent of change in your own life and of the system of which you are a part.

The Learning Circle has a facilitator who helps the group achieve their learning objectives. The facilitator will encourage active listening and participation of each person present. He or she will support the storyteller, so the story comes naturally and becomes a part of one fabric.

Our Learning stories relate to the four main themes for the Learning Plaza:
  • Regenerative food systems in action
  • Business as Unusual: the new living and learning organizational paradigm
  • Human wellbeing in systems - Living and working well together in turbulent times
  • Social coherence and Community - How we make sense of our challenges: stories of culture and language.
The different Learning Circles bring their learning into an even larger canvas of the whole participant group.
This is when we will see larger narratives in action.

Happy learning journey!

Learning Circles 1: Regenerative food systems in action.

The food we eat every day is a key factor for our wellbeing and sustainability. Food regimes are important to almost all of the UN sustainable development goals.

There are good practice examples which demonstrate the win-win-win-win - for the individual, society, future generations and the planet - in micro scale, small scale and even in regional scale all over the world. However, these local good practices - everywhere - face a myriad of obstacles because of rules and agreements formed without a real understanding of such grass-root initiatives. We need to focus our efforts on both empowering such practices AND creating conditions for them at the level of policy and agreements.

We would like to make the global network of local practitioners in regenerative food systems visible and find ways to strengthen its voice in global policy creation - a learning field network based on the whole aqua-agri value chain.

This network is for;
  • Sharing of proven concepts and approaches
  • Regular generative dialogue sessions that also expand the network
  • New windows to other farming cultures and climates, new loops reinforcing positive change
  • Supporting educational networks together with farmers and other actors in the food system.
These are powerful ongoing conversations, and you can join them at any time – please follow our event calendar/presentations on our Homepage, Facebook and LinkedIn.

After the SoL Learning Plaza 2022, these conversations will continue – this time, with those who we want to influence – policy makers, media and international academia.

Welcome to join the emerging international network!

Learning Circles 2: Business as Unusual: the new living and learning organisational paradigm.

In today’s post-industrial world, profit and competition are no longer the only guiding stars. What we also seek is human values and evolutionary purpose. So why are we still building and running our companies as if they were machines and we were their bolts and nuts?

Machines are built for their specific purposes while today’s world wants us to re-invent ourselves in complexity and rapid change. We need to make our organisations living and learning, and our leadership able to facilitate the transformation towards a paradigm shift. Based on what we now know about life and living systems, we need to start building regenerative organisations which have a cognitive ability to interpret their environment, create a good relationship with it and support its people in uncertain times.

Can we build organisational structures and cultures in which humans thrive and prosper while honouring the higher purpose, values, and desired outcomes of their company?

Welcome to a conversation in which we explore the challenging landscape and the leadership that it calls for. We explore the experience of companies that have succeeded in laying a solid organisational foundation and adaptive leadership throughout their whole eco-system. We also offer a set of foundational principles that will help you build such structures and leadership culture in your organisation.

We invite you to explore and practice together!

Learning Circles 3: Living and working well together in turbulent times.

Grand challenges (economic upheaval, greed, political instability, climate change, and other crises) produce new realities that question our personal wellbeing and the coherence of our organisations. We believe the way forward is through organizational learning by accommodation. In turbulent and brutal environment, we humans try to keep living - and learning - and accomodating together. When we succeed, we emerge – together - to maintain and develop our individual and collective wellbeing.

“How do you do what you do when you are living and working well together?” is a question that is guiding Dennis Sandow in his social action research mission. Together with dedicated "apprentices" now inquiring into the inner life of organisations in different parts of the world - e.g the US, South America and Sweden.
  • What exactly is happening within the fabric of the organisation as its members are learning that our human nature is to collaborate, care for each other and reach new levels of high performance?
  • How can we hear this collective ‘biology of cognition and connection’?
  • How does a new whole emerge in this learning process?
This discovery research was pacticed as part of the SoL Learning Plaza process and those findings were presented at the Plaza as well as the methodology, in order to spread this way of working and thinking of how change is happening in organizations.

Learning Circles 4: Grand challenges: Are our stories our friends?

In this Circle we explored how our culture and language could be "a part of the problem" when we are trying to find solutions to our systemic challenges. It seems they might contribute to leading us away from ‘the whole and human’ and somehow prevent us from experiencing the unity consciousness inherent to humanity.

We also talked about how culture and language might be a part of a solution - if we are prepared to get out of our comfort zone which our ‘habitual’ ways of living, thinking and speaking provide for us.

Our guides were people whose ways are radically different from ours - indigenous people of the world. We tried to think and feel like they do, and learn some of their language. We also tried to see what this changed ‘vantage point’ will do with the stories we are telling ourselves everyday - about us, our relationships and our ambitions in the world.

Our guiding questions:
  • How does our culture (‘way of living’) colour the stories we tell? Do the stories hinder or enable our efforts to find solutions?
  • How might language be limiting (keeps us stuck) or liberating (help us shift) when we look for solutions?
  • How can we learn from those ‘different’ societies in natural and human ways?
  • How can we cultivate unity awareness - while we keep living in our societies?
As SoL people, we know our ‘Five disciplines’ - what happens if we view them from an indigenous vantage point? How can we enlive their values by using a different language altogether?