Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2010, Waterloo, Canada, Proceedings of the 54th Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

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Enacting Wholeness-Praxis Communities for Transforming Global Unsustainability with Collective Wholeness Consciousness

Ming-Fen Li, kingkong Lin


I. Background-The Planet as a generative network
In the past decade, more and more organizations across the governmental and nongovernmental sectors come to realize that they must come together to face the imminent challenges-crises in order to maintain a livable and sustainable earth. This global consciousness, once being well recognized, could guide organizations to find new approaches to organizational transformation. In the past few years, Senge and his colleagues (Scharmer, Sue & Jaworski, 2004) have been working to cultivate a collective consciousness of global sustainability, aiming at fostering a new social technology of ‘presencing.’ Indeed, organizations across the 3 sectors have to collaborate with one another in order to create possibilities in the complicated ‘problem maze’ for resolving unending problems and emerging crisis. Organizational leaders’ wholeness awareness and awakened global consciousness undoubtedly would help nurture the public’s collective consciousness of human’s shared wholeness. Moreover, it is encouraging to observe that not only do more organizations across the 3 sectors endeavor in building sustainable culture with wholeness perspectives, innumerous divergent learning communities are also undertaking the grass-root movement of wholeness praxis. Therefore, in this paper, the authors will highlight the emerging wholeness spirit embodied in the practice of many small but rigorous learning communities, and explicate how the wholeness praxis communities might interact and evolve with other communities.

II. Research Questions and Methodology
It is revealing that the learning communities taking the holistic approach tend to embrace wholeness paradigm of organizational learning and transformation. Such a new paradigm of wholeness praxis is grounded in the community leaders’ perspectives of wholeness wellness. It is essential to explore how the community leaders’ lives are transformed with their wholeness praxis. The research aims at exploring the community leaders’ professional practice and life transformation, and how such transformation guides them to create new possibilities and opportunities. It is expected that with more and more learning communities transcending from their bounded world view and being transformed into wholeness praxis communities, it is more likely that we might create a positive and negentropic global force to prevent our environment and ecology from being further exploited. There are three main research questions to be inquired in depth, which are listed below:

1. How might learning communities transform into wholeness praxis communities and how the community leaders’ lives are transformed?
2. How do the wholeness praxis communities interact with other communities to realize their vision and mission, and become self-generative and self-organized communities?
3. How do such self-generative, self-organized communities cultivate the public’s wholeness consciousness for global sustainability?

In this study, the authors integrate three approaches for research design and data collection. They are whole systems design and wholeness dialogue design of the world café, models integration and application, and textual analysis, which serve for wholeness praxis theory construction and revision. They also designed two tools for guiding the collective dialogue in the world café and in-depth interviews. One is the life transformation model and the other is holistic dialogue model. The participants of this research are community leaders and their learners from 12 divergent learning communities with various practice of wholeness.

III. Research findings and results
The results of this study reveal that leaders of the emerging “wholeness praxis communities” not only experience deep life transformation, but also wholeheartedly committee themselves to creating supporting and regenerative network for their wholeness practice and their learners’ wholeness experiential learning. With the cultivation of wholeness spirit, they could relate to as many organizations as possible in order to co-create collective transformation for realizing a sustainability world.
Moreover, such wholeness praxis communities are generative and regenerative in nature, which emerge from the spirit of co-relating, co-suffering, co-sensing, co-presencing and co-creating. In brief, the primary findings of this study include:

1. The wholeness images, wholeness mindfulness, wholeness enlightenment and
wholeness praxis (e.g. learning design) of the community leaders.
2. The essence of the emerging wholeness praxis communities and their critical roles in building a global sustainable culture.
3. The levels of wholeness consciousness cultivated in the wholeness praxis communities in this study.
4. The wholeness dynamics to be enacted among the wholeness praxis communities and other communities, such as communities of practice, communities of meaning construction, and communities of spiritual awakening for building a global sustainable culture.

It is expected that this contemplative and philosophical reconceptualization of organizational transformation and community praxis would bring forth more inspiring and intellectual discussions about the emerging wholeness-praxis organizations and communities in the contemporary age. If more and more communities or organizations could transform from knowledge learning and skill development to wholeness learning and praxis, the many ecological, global, technological, and ethical challenges we are facing would serve to illuminate our reflective dialogue and enlighten our collective thinking. Moreover, collaboration within the wholeness praxis communities and with other generative communities would be likely to shape a new culture for global sustainability.

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