Meridian University’s President, Aftab Omer will be leading work on Social Healing this spring at Integral European Conference 2016 and also on May 21, 2016 in Berlin at a Symposium organized by Meridian’s Center for Transformative Learning.
– by Aftab Omer
Given the inherent multiplicity of Being, otherness presents an essential challenge to self-enclosed identity. This challenge calls us to deepen inclusive processes, both individually and collectively. Deep inclusion is necessary to actualize both an authentically Integral I and a generative globalization that could be compassionately responsive to the refugee crisis in Europe and beyond.
Entranced by the mystery of development, we often confuse integral mental models with an Integral I. While integral models strive for comprehensiveness, the community of discourse and practitioners has challenges to overcome in achieving sufficient inclusivity of consciousness structures, genders, cultures, theories, and models. Self-enclosed identity impoverishes our enactment of leadership roles and leader identities. Despite our focus on ego development and action-logics, an opportunism, untethered to the sacred, distorts our individual and collective lives.
The workshop at IEC will experientially explore the reactivity to otherness that arises out of magic, mythic, and even mental structures, in order to learn how these structures can be fully lived and their potentials actualized within a deeply relational and aware matrix. We will imaginatively practice enacting the conditions that optimally support the inquiry, humility, vulnerability, and mutuality required to realize and sustain an Integral I, and to discover the sacred otherness that presences an Integral We.”
Following the IEC conference, on May 21, 2016, Meridian’s Center for Transformative Learning will present a one-day symposium in Berlin, Germany on Imagination and Social Healing: Learning to Share Our Worlds. This one-day participatory symposium and inquiry will be guided by a team of 6 facilitators and 15 presenters, including Dennis Wittrock and Bence Ganti. The symposium will explore the following:
Imagination builds bridges.
As more and more fences and walls are built in Europe and beyond, we gather this Spring in the city that took down its wall in order to heal, to imagine, and to build a future without walls.
Depending on one’s circumstance and consciousness, we dwell in many distinct fragmented and compartmentalized worlds. We gather here not to condemn, but to build bridges of understanding across our distinct worlds.
Our inquiry asks: How do we shift from collective trauma to collective healing, from collective insanity to collective wisdom, and from the hate and shamefulness of exclusion to the beauty of belonging? How can the great divide of otherness be transformed into discovering the empathy of sacred otherness? In the words of Rilke, “The future must enter us, long before it happens.”
Symposium Intentions, Aspirations, Approaches:
- To be an occasion of social healing not just a time to reflect on it.
- To deepen our understanding of the hate and powerlessness that permeates a colonized world.
- To build bridges by exploring forgiveness, privilege, reconciliation, power, freedom, friendship and isolation.
- To presence collective wisdom.
- To share the many unique worlds we come from and bring with us to the symposium.
- To bring complexity capability to creating one world at the symposium that is coherent enough to hold many worlds.
“A world is made out of webs of stories that give coherence.
The good news is that worlds can be shared by sharing stories. The challenge comes in being able to receive the other’s stories which enables us to share our worlds.” -Aftab Omer
About the workshop
Title: Being I and Being We
Date: Saturday 7th of May
Aftab Omer, Ph.D. is a sociologist, psychologist, futurist and the president of Meridian University. 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, cultural leadership, generative entrepreneurship and the power of imagination. His work includes assisting organizations in tapping 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.
Martin Michaelis is a licensed Mediator and Leadership Coach who works and lives in Berlin, Germany. He creates and facilitates programs for cultural change and leadership in organizations and post-conflict societies. He graduated in law at the University of Freiburg and in political science at the University of Mainz. Martin has worked as a mediator and lecturer in post-conflict societies including the South Caucasus region, Bosnia and Herzegovina among others. In addition he has trained judges in mediation in Egypt.