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Meeting Summaries

Pilot Study on Collective Emergence-Introductory Phone Call

Friday, January 8, 2016, 3-4:30 PM Eastern Time.

Able to call in: Alan, Becky, Denise, Donna, Fatma, Jon, Kylie, Lisa, Liz, Linda, Mike, Roger, Willie.  Longing for: Lawanda, Ryan, Trevor

Context: This 6-month pilot study is an inquiry in the connection between shared intent and practices of whole-body "intelligence" and the emergence of collective "innovation."  It is based on the implications of studies from an eclectic pool of "disciplines": neuroscience, organizational behavior, epigenomics, sociology, artificial intelligence, biology, mathematics, systems theory.

What do people hope from their participation in the pilot study?  Community, Revitalization, Personal Growth, Learning practical knowledge to apply locally.

How are we preparing for Feb. 5? We are each choosing a daily practice. Roger suggests something in the morning.  Examples of practices that people mentioned they would try: journaling, sitting meditation, tai chi, standing awareness, reading, running, doing the dishes...

Roger suggests that in these practices, we attend to our "state" [of being]:  What is our mood?  Where do we experience our attention?  Are their bodily sensations?  What are they?  What then happens to our state as we move from our morning practice to the activities of the day?

We will bring our experiences to Feb. 5 and in this practice, "failure" is a completely legitimate result.

Logistics: What to look for?  Look for an email from Linda or Liz in the next couple of days. We are needing information from you.


In this meeting, we confirmed our full-scale launch date (100-freshmen) for Winter 2012. We also let go of a 1-quarter partial scale trial for Fall 2011 because it requires us to have all the administrative work completed by 2/18/2011.

We named the pattern currently occurring: Only a subset of those faculty who are participating are actually physically present in the meetings. We acknowledged that that is simply the current state of things, rather than a "problem," but it is important to notice and to ask why.

The risks of our (faculty) focus on "getting ready," as seen by Linda, is that our group would become both closed and insular, cut off from those that we intended to engage at the outset (e.g., community partners).  All living systems are kept alive by their on-going exchange of nutrients with the surroundings. My feeling is that we must be engaged in a similar process, or we run the risk of becoming a kind of closed "in group" or "club."

We feel that in order to viably start in the 100-freshmen plan for Winter, we need a MATH person. In my view, we also need STAT and ENGL.  Pete volunteered to begin conversations with MATH folks and Lizza, who we hope will rejoin us.

We discussed our goals. A very important thing that was revealed as people spoke was that many of our goals are being accomplished in the process that we are now engaged in together.  With the exception of the last one, we are accomplishing the goals in our process of collaboration. They are:

  • engaging in a new way of learning together
  • breaking down silos
  • creating more holistic learning experiences for students, where they develop as human beings
  • experience personal change in the moment
  • participate and create social fabric with one another
  • benefit students' learning
  • try to 100-student freshman year focused on sustainability projects in the community
Action items:
Better communication on what we are doing (website?)
Looking into the possibility of TA funds for Dan in spring
Build relationships with tentative MATH (Pete) , ENGL, STAT (Liz/Linda?0 faculty 
Look into block scheduling for fall 2011 and see if we can "use" this in any way (Nina)
Set up time for spring on-going meeting times (Liz)
Enter experience in the blog (everyone)
Follow up with those who weren't present (Linda)

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