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"The current crisis in higher education has three characteristics: it’s overpriced, out of touch (with society’s real needs), and outdated (in its method and purpose)." Otto Scharmer, U.Lab: Seven Principles for Revolutionizing Higher Ed.
Our Oakland focused Ulab at Impact HUB Oakland is wrapping up in the coming weeks. In many ways, the ULab is already prototyping a new method of education with a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC), "a true 21st-century model of higher education, is already emerging: it’s free (or accessible to everyone), it’s empowering (putting the learner into the driver’s seat of profound personal, professional, and societal renewal), and it’s transformational (providing new learning environments that activate the deepest human capacities to create — both individually and collectively)." In Seven Principles for Revolutionizing Higher Ed, Otto Scharmer outlines how our work in this global community is already transforming these outdated systems.
Otto writes: "The U.Lab is a small first step into this new global territory. We don’t know how big the opportunity is to reimagine education by engaging the global social field more intentionally. But it does feel like a significant beginning. Most of the coaching circles, Hubs, and learners are now organizing around countless prototyping initiatives that they will pursue going forward—way beyond the formal end of the class."
In the U.Lab, the learning isn't in the classroom. It is decentralized, and most of the learning is outsider of the classroom altogether. Some powerful principles and actions are emerging "that have the potential to revolutionize higher education. Here are seven of them:
(1) Streets: Move learning from the classroom (or computer) to the street.
(2) Head, Heart & Hand: Link the power of entrepreneurship with passion and compassion.
(3) Stillness: The new axis of learning & leadership requires us to connect to our sources of self-knowledge.
(4) Holding Space: Activate the self-organizing potential of networks to generate transformative “deep learning” experiences.
(5) Tools: Provide methods and tools for co-sensing and co-shaping the emerging future.
6) Deep Data: Move from big data to “deep data.”
(7) Social Fields: Closing the feedback loop between collective awareness and collective action. "
Several new prototype opportunities have emerged for me personally from these very principles in the MIT U.Lab course. I wrote about one of opportunity here, sharing my participation in the Rauschenberg Residency where we launched our year long group pilot by exploring the question: "What would creative leadership education look like to create the outcomes we want for our future?" This article provides a great framework for this question and I will be mapping the U.lab process and principles onto the Rauschenberg Residency prototype as teh year unfolds. I will share more about emerging prototypes here in the next few posts.
-Sarah R. Filley