I have a recurring question lately… how can we both start where we are, rooted in current experience AND create conditions for imagining a new paradigm, open to a radically different vision?
I spend time in spaces that focus on current situations, and spaces that are imagining the new, and I often wonder where and how the two might meet, might influence each other. How do we imagine and create a new world beyond current structures and limitations, without disconnecting from the ground, seeming out of touch with people’s everyday reality?
A friend shared a practice with me from a Scottish innovation space that has something to offer this called ‘Standing in the land in between’* – spending time seeing where we really are, spending time imagining something new, and then standing in between and seeing what emerges. (*I think this is the right name – I’ve not yet managed to find a link.)
This leads me to reflect on how this happens inside of me – the past, present and imagination of future possibilities is all here now, in the present. Sometimes imagining a different future can be an inspiration and guide to new possibilities, and sometimes it is a way I avoid seeing reality, feeling the pain and mourning what’s not working.
I can imagine this mirrored in social change work too. How can we open to reimagine a world where all needs matter, where all life can thrive, without avoiding what’s here now, the suffering and the grief and the joy and the care?
I see what ULab/TheoryU can bring to this – seeing the present in ever expanding awareness, from other perspectives, inspired by what others are doing… and then pausing in all of that, feeling and sensing what is here, and listening for the new emerging. We are experimenting with this through GM Transformation Lab, and I’m longing to be in more diverse groups to explore.
Where do you see great work being done in the ‘what’s here now’ and deep imagining of ‘what could be’, and where and how do you see them coming together?
I sense new possibilities emerging from the space between, and would love to hear the questions stirring in you.