Awakin Calls » Otto Scharmer, Sanjay Sarma & Dacher Keltner » Transcript
Otto Scharmer, Sanjay Sarma & Dacher Keltner: Re-Imagining Higher Education
Guest: Otto Scharmer, Dacher Keltner & Sanjay Sarma
Hosts: Preeta Bansal & Nipun Mehta
Preeta: Welcome everyone, my name is Preeta Bansal and I am excited to be co-hosting this morning, along with Nipun Mehta, the conversation on re-imagining higher education. We like to begin each of our gatherings with a moment of silence to anchor ourselves into the present moment of this shared space. We invite you to join us in that.
Welcome again to our Awakin dialogue on re-imagining higher education with Otto Scharmer, Sanjay Sarma, and Dacher Keltner. My name is Preeta, and I am co-hosting this Awakin dialogue with Nipun Mehta, founder of Service Space. Awakin calls and dialogues are an initiative of Service Space, which is a global ecosystem run entirely by volunteers. Service Space catalyzes and connects individuals and communities rooted in inner work and outer compassionate action. Over the past 20 some years, this ecosystem has organically touched millions, drawn thousands of volunteers around the globe, and grown into an array of online and offline gatherings in hundreds of cities. Amplifying the voices and work of ordinary and extraordinary wisdom keepers in our world has always been an integral part of Service Space’s work. Today's call is just one expression of that central ethos.
This is how the call will work, Nipun will set an opening context for this conversation, and then we will invite each of our three speakers to share a few opening comments on what opportunities for re-imagining higher education the current pandemic has opened up, from their lens, and why this is the moment for innovation in education.
After the initial half hour or so of their opening thoughts, we will have a dialogue among the speakers. And then in the last half hour we will open up to your comments and questions. At any point in this call, if you would like to add a reflection or a question to our queue, you can do so via the live stream page, under the “ask a question” section. You can also send us an email at email@example.com. And so, with that, I am going to turn it over to Nipun, founder of Service Space, to frame the context of our conversation for just a bit.
Nipun: Thank you. Thank you Preeta and thank you all of you. I think it's very exciting that we are having this conversation. I want to give a shout out to Coleman Fung, who actually was the seed for this. And all of this has emerged at the speed of love. Probably less than two weeks ago, Coleman and I had a chat and Coleman is the founder of the Fung Institute that graduates 450 engineering students in California, at UC Berkeley. Coleman was feeling this sense that there is this tremendous opportunity right now that we have, to disrupt education, to re-imagine education, to bring in a lot of values into a traditional ecosystem, like, UC Berkeley. And so, he got really excited. We both got excited, and we said let’s invite people who are smarter than us to this conversation. And so, we had a follow-up conversation a few days later and, again, we were aware there's a lot of potential here. Everybody was resonating so we thought, let's just throw a party with everybody else on the call, invite others and publicly think about some of the opportunities here. Clearly these are very challenging times but because of those challenges, it also might open us up to radical new possibilities. So instead of returning to the old normal, perhaps we can recreate newer paradigms and we all felt this was the time. I am excited to hold this conversation and really grateful for Otto, Dacher and Sanjay to actually seed the ideas that we're going to be talking about here. Thank you. Thank you all for being part of it.
Preeta: Awesome. I'm going to introduce Otto now, who is going to start us off. Otto, in many ways, needs no introduction. He is very well known in the higher education space. He is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and co-founder of the Presencing Institute. He has done some of the most innovative and interesting work around in terms of preparing leaders for the future. He introduced the concept of Presencing, which is learning from the emerging future to bring about awareness-based systems change. So not only outside-in, but inside-out as well. He has a tremendously popular, massive open online course, called Ulab, which is about leading profound change, and has activated a global ecosystem of transformational change agents in 185 countries. Recently he is doing this ongoing work with his colleagues. They launched GAIA, which is the Global Activation of Intention and Action, a free online deep learning journey, that's geared toward truly profound personal, societal and planetary renewal. So. with that, Otto we would invite, from your lens, what opportunities you are seeing in terms of re-imagining higher education.
Otto: Thank you Preeta and Nipun for inviting me into this space, and it is a great privilege for me to be part of this conversation. To your question, I think the COVID-19 situation has taught us two things. One, we are all interconnected, right? We knew that before maybe in our head from hearing systems lectures, but now we felt it all. We are all interconnected. And two, a profound change is not only necessary but possible if we succeed in truly focusing our intention globally on one issue and align that shared attention with our intention then we bent the curve. We did it in a variety of places. And I think it is a wake-up moment for all of us that actually we as humans, we are the ones we can actually change the laws of our behavior. So, we can, once we put our mind on it, we can bend the curve. I think that is the big lesson of this moment and, on this day where the death count, from COVID-19 here in the United States will reach a hundred thousand or has already reached a hundred thousand, on that day this fact reminds us that bending the curve has a requirement and that is wakefulness, that we are all awake and that we all step into our leadership.
There are six countries in Asia Pacific: East Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam that have combined a population, almost the same, of the United States, 328, not 330, and that have a total death count of 1,200. So, you have the same population, 330 million, and in one place you have a hundred thousand death count. And that other place you have 1,200 so 1.2%. What accounts for the difference? Leadership, right? Awareness and leadership, awareness-based leadership. What does that mean? It means being in touch with reality. It basically means, what we learned, in a good school, what we learned in any kind of science training, let the data talk to you. And if we don't, then we see the difference in outcomes. A recent study suggested last week that if the lockdown and the social distancing procedure would have triggered two weeks earlier here in the United States, we would have saved 50,000 lives probably. So that is the assumption. It matters how we respond to a disruption.
And what I learned in walking in this area over the years, is that there are two fundamentally different ways of responding to disruption. One is by leaning in which requires us to open our mind, open our heart, open our will, AKA accessing our resources of curiosity, compassion, and courage, so that's one way.
The other way is not turning toward and leading in, but turning away and closing down: closing the mind, ignorance; closing the heart, hate and anger; closing the will, fear. Why is it that over the past few years, we have seen this phenomenon of Trumpism not only emerging and being amplified so strongly here in the United States and Brazil, but also in many other places? It's a global phenomenon. I believe that the phenomenon of Trumpism that has been so amplified is essentially the result of two factors.
One, disruption happens. Two, given the disruption that's coming my way, I cannot access my open mind, open heart, open will; I cannot access my curiosity, compassion, and courage to the degree that will be required by that situation. These two factors coming together throws me into a freeze reaction of the human mind, which means a closing down, which means ignorance, hate and fear. When you look at it from that angle, the COVID-19 situation and the catastrophic response we have had here so far, is a direct result of a massive educational failure. Because educational institutions are to develop and activate the capacity to rise to the occasion when disruption happens, and not to turn away and close down.
So how might we rethink our current educational system, particularly in Higher Ed? Five quick points. One, I think we need to start with reimagining and updating not only the structure of universities, but the very idea of university. The classical idea of university has been grounded in the unity of research and teaching. Then in the 20th century, the core idea of university was the unity of research, teaching and application. But in this century, I believe we have to reframe the idea of the university [as being] about unity of research, teaching and the praxis of transforming society and self. Because that's the very process we are already in the midst of.
Second, the problem with higher education institutions in general today, I believe, is the absence of transformational literacy. We live in a decade not only of disruption - we all know that - but also a decade of profound societal transformation. Consider the 2030 agenda, the climate challenges, the social justice issues - profound societal transformation is no longer a question. Where we lack is the capacity to actually lead, activate and hold the spaces for these transformation processes that are already underway. There's the distinction in development between horizontal development and vertical development. Horizontal development is basically adding new skills. Vertical development is really the development of the self, the person who is holding and applying these skills; it's the development of our awareness and consciousness from an ego perspective, that is only looking at the system from one single angle. So, [we need] an ego perspective and an ecosystem awareness that takes into account all the different stakeholders' views in a situation. That's the challenge we have in many institutional change processes right now. But when you look at higher education institutions, often the way we think about development is mainly horizontal. Take the analogy of the smartphone; horizontal development is like loading a new app while vertical development is updating the entire operating system. That's the challenge I believe we have developmentally, to add this vertical spine, vertical literacy, into the curriculum.
Third, how do we do that? I think about the current transformation in terms of learning environments, that many of us are already pioneering, co-pioneering and prototyping in a variety of ways, in terms of two main dimensions. One is the deepening of the learning process. That's basically moving from head-centric to integrating all three: head, heart and hand. The other dimension is really the systems view, [which means] not only focusing on the individual, but also on teams, organizations, and multi-stakeholder systems, focusing on the whole ecosystem that we are dealing with. If you put these two axes together in a matrix, [we see] that, right now, we are stuck in one corner. We are mainly training individuals, being head-centric, maybe head and hand, but often not more. What we need to do is to create learning environments for the entire matrix, particularly transformational learning - head, heart and hand - across the entire spectrum, engaging the whole system. This means moving the place of learning out of the classroom and into the real world, into the hotspots of societal transformation where it happens, right now.
Fourth, is that even possible? Maybe there are examples, but is that even possible at the level of scale that is necessary today? Has it ever been tried? The answer is yes, it has been tried; it was successful; and continues to have a profound impact even today. Anyone who has looked at statistics of health outcomes, learning outcomes, and well-being, rankings globally will notice that the same countries are always at the top. Among the top 10 countries, half of them are the Scandinavian, the Nordic countries. Why is that? Were they always there? No, they were not. 150 years ago, they were at the bottom of everything in Europe. There is this interesting book, The Nordic Secret, and the two authors, that follows the trail, double click on this phenomenon and ask why is it they are always on the top? They break down the phenomenon and their main finding is this: it's the result of an educational intervention that focused on the whole person-whole systems learning, the entire matrix I just described. It began in the form of the Danish folk high school in the 1860s and 1870s, which then got replicated in the other countries. Statistics clearly show how not only the economy is taking off, but also societal cohesion is taking off. They took the learning model from the small university of Yana in Germany, and made it available to the entire population: for the farmers and [everyone] And that was a whole person and whole systems learning approach. That intervention created the social soil that allowed all this growth and cohesion to happen. So, has that been done? Yes. And was it successful, it is, until today. (The Nordic Secret: A European Story of beauty and freedom by Lene Rachel Anderson and Tomas Bjorkman).
So, what are we called to do now? I believe, [we need to do] exactly what the Danish folk high school did back then in Scandinavia, which remains the foundation of their societal success. We need to do that this time globally, and in a way that's accessible to all students, across all campuses, and also to young people outside of campuses. I am thinking communities, and organizations, municipalities. We need to create a platform that would allow all the methods and tools, the science and social art practices, the places, the faculty members, all the stuff we mostly already have (for example, Dacher and the exploration into the science of happiness work you do and what we prototype with U-Lab). So many components are already there, but it's not put together in a way that makes it truly accessible to those people in the young generation that are actually looking for stuff like that, because they want to create a future that's different from the past.
Nipun: Great thoughts. Thank you, Otto. We already have a bunch of comments from the younger people. If you have questions or comments that you want to presence, we can't get to all of them, but we will try to curate some of them and bring them into the conversation later. We'll also, even post conversation, try to build some of that dialogue. So, do share. Next up is Dacher, somebody that many of us just admire, not just for the remarkable work that he does, but who he is. Dacher is a professor at UC Berkeley; is a founding director of Greater Good Science Center. He has this amazing podcast and classes around happiness; science of happiness, that have reached millions of people. He's the author of many books. I love Compassionate Instinct the most. He's the man. I mean, you can go on. He's the chief scientist behind the Disney movie or Pixar movie, Inside Out. And, this little tidbit which we won't find anywhere on Dacher and I think it should be; I'm totally advocating it and we shouldn't put it on there: when he met the Dalai Lama for the first time, the Dalai Lama was tickling him. There you go. So, that's an accomplishment. You know, the rest of it, you know, is good, but this is fantastic. So, Dacher is just a gem of a human being. Dacher, it's a real honor to know you; to call you a friend; and to have this very important conversation.
Dacher: Thank you, Nipun and Preeta. Great to be here with Sanjay and Otto and what wonderful reflections Otto offered. What I'd like to talk about is how Covid-19 is affecting students in higher education, higher educational settings, and presenting opportunities. I think the first thing that is just by way of thinking about this current pandemic is something that I was just interviewing on my podcast Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general who had a background in public health and working with the poor in India and a really radical new view of the health of societies. He used the phrase 'social recession'. The pandemic is killing lives. We have levels of unemployment in California that are on par with the level in Depression. So, we're in for economic trouble. And then there's the social disruption and social recession.
And I think that for those of us in the happiness literature, we've really been grappling with this phenomenon for the past 10 to 15 years -- of loneliness, isolation, the loss of friendship, face to face contact and the like, which ServiceSpace does such a good job of reworking. So, I think on a broad scale, that's what we're facing -- in universities and in our society at large. It is going to be 18 months to two years of very serious effects of these social problems that the pandemic is causing. Out of that, though, I think are enormous opportunities and transformations that are slowly underway. I just want to talk about a few of them with respect to higher education.
The first is, and Otto hinted at this, with the use of the word 'interconnected'. We are not separate selves. We are interconnected down to the microbiome, down to the vagus nerve --which I studied, down to our brains which start to synchronize with other people around us (recent studies show). A student comes to an institution of higher education and they get one model of human beings which you might think of as homo economicus. I'm selfish. I'm competitive. I'm separate. I'm an individualist -- Ralph Waldo Emerson is kind of one expression of that; although a spiritual expression. This pandemic is uncovering a much different model of who we are, right? We are interconnected, and compassionate, and service oriented. There's a rich science behind that that's been brewing for 20 years. And so I think the pandemic is going to necessitate that we teach, push, institutionalize that knowledge on a broad basis.
Fifty years ago, universities had what was called a western civilization requirement. That was rightfully abandoned because of its sort of sexist, cultural, ethnic biases. And I think that universities will move to, a kind of a sort of a, here's how we think about “the meaningful life”. It's already happening. It's happening at Yale and MIT and Harvard and Stanford, Berkeley, Virginia, Wisconsin, etc. So, I think that should be a core course of our offerings to undergraduates. I think that the pandemic has laid bare -- and Otto's data are so revealing of how five or six countries with the same population have thousand deaths and in the United States where we spend more money on medicine per capita than any country in the world, we have one of the highest levels of mortality; why is that? What we're going to start to see as an educational transformation is a different model of what a healthy human being is. This is going to be proven causally and who dies from the pandemic. A healthy human being has access to good food. They don't live in polluted neighborhoods. They're not treated differently as a function of the color of their skin. That is just being laid bare in the pandemic. We need a different model of human health.
In my own experience, and that's part of what we try to promote at the Greater Good Science Center, is to take the knowledge of compassion and gratitude and getting outdoors and yoga and meditation and mindfulness cooperation; translate it in an accessible way; get it outside of the university walls -- these are scientific findings now hitting a broader public and getting it to teachers and educators and nurses and doctors and the like. One of the profound opportunities here, one of the lessons from the pandemic is to develop an intervention approach to why are people dying? And they're dying because of loneliness and they're dying because of racism. They're dying because of economic inequality. And there are things that undergrads can learn, that citizens can learn, that healthcare providers can learn.
At the Greater Good Science Center, we have been hosting institutes for health care providers: doctors, nurses, nurses' assistants, physicians assistants who are on the front lines, who are now doing what we did at the start of this call, which is, take a moment, be mindful, your neurophysiology changes, your patients will feel that and respond more effectively. I think it's a massive opportunity.
The second thing that I think we will...and there are already good examples of this. So, point 1 is to transform our understanding of what human health is; building upon Otto's ideas of interconnectivity and then scaling that --going to the right educational institutions. Medical professionals do not learn about happiness in their training; in Med school. [chuckles] You know, they are at the most profound moments of human suffering and happiness that they exist outside of first responders and the like. And so, that's a tremendous opportunity. I think the second thing, you know, Otto used the term 'practice'. I think with the new advances in education that I see -- you know, 600 Berkeley undergrads taking my happiness class this past semester. Thanks to online education, it's just more efficient: the knowledge base.
They can get it more quickly. They can watch my lectures in double speed while they're exercising. So, my 50-minute curated lecture becomes 22 minutes, and they're getting the same stuff. But what they hunger for is getting out in the community and they hunger for service, and we need to be thinking of a Peace-Corps type extension of education that gets out into the world. And there are really good examples of that at UC Berkeley. Stiles Hall (http://www.stileshall.org) does a lot of that, service-learning approaches. So, praxis is service in my view.
Point three is, I think we have an explosion of bi-directionality and the creation of knowledge through the kind of stuff that Sanjay works on of online courses, Wikipedia being kind of a profound example of how knowledge has to move to a more bi-directional, horizontal model of citizen participation. And there are astounding models and examples of citizen-driven science. The science of what we understand about clouds has transformed dramatically due to citizen scientists who are out documenting clouds and the like. And, and so I think I would make a call for that.
And then finally, I think that just to return to the Greater Good Science Center which has been astonishing to watch. And there's a lot of this happening, and it's the question of accessibility that Otto mentioned of how do we take a scientific paper or an engineering paper, whatever the case, an intervention paper that may have statistics and math and all the things that graduate students learn and the like and then get that knowledge out to the world for action. I think that, slowly, universities are starting to recognize that if you write an essay for the New York Times, that counts. It doesn't have to be academic scholarship. If you have a regular way of speaking to teachers and disseminating knowledge, that counts and being part of those conversations and working groups. And I think that we have to embrace that. It seems kind of trivial to probably many people in this audience, but in the big machinery of universities, you have one part of your resume which is like academic publications and then the rest is hidden, and I think that that's slowly changing and in dire need of changing. So, I think there are enormous opportunities coming out of this pandemic. I think the basic ways that we think about teaching individuals, about human beings, about gathering knowledge from citizen scholars around the world and integrating that and pushing accessibility are giving me optimism and hope.
Preeta: Thank you so much, Dacher. Now we get to hear from someone who's very much on the front lines of the administration of higher education but on the innovative edges. Sanjay is one of the world's leaders on the cutting edge of online education and obviously that's a big deal right now in this time of pandemic. He's the vice president for Oakland Learning at MIT which includes the Office of Digital Learning. He serves on the board of edX which is the not-for-profit company founded by MIT and Harvard to create an open-source platform for the distribution of free education worldwide. And I know he's been very much concerned and focused on how to reduce the costs of higher education for a mass of people around the world. He's a professor of engineering himself at MIT and a very successful innovator and entrepreneur in his own right, and he's been very much on the leading edge of the global conversation about the future of education, including online learning. So, Sanjay, excited to hear from you.
Sanjay: Thank you, Preeta. Nice to meet you, Nipun. Dacher and Otto are a hard act to follow. I'll try. By the way, I should say that my wife and I are UC Berkeley grads, so I love them. Go Bears! I'm the vice president for open learning at MIT, as Preeta said, and we produced a couple of hundred MOOCs. One of our stars, of course, is Otto whose extraordinary innovation of the space really tells us where online education ought to go. I'm supposed to sing the praises of open learning and online learning, and I will to some extent, but I would also make the claim that the success of online learning is actually an indicator of the failure of higher ed. Let me explain what I mean.
Over the course of the last 20 years, MIT has been at the forefront. We've done a lot of good stuff. We created OpenCourseWare at MITx, edX, as Preeta mentioned. We've had more than 300 million people come to OpenCourseWare and download material on things like quantum mechanics and linguistics and Japanese culture. That's really tremendous. It reassures one that there's such a great thirst out there and we set out to do our little bit in meeting that need. But the fact of the matter is, around the world, education is exams. Education is passing the test. And what's happened over the years is that all the other things that we ought to take seriously about education have fallen by the wayside, have taken the back seat. They've been neglected.
Engagement, human development, the sort of stuff that both Otto and Dacher talked about. Discussion. Critical thinking. Working with your hands. MIT's central tenant is "Mind and hand." Now it's "Mind, heart, and hand." But as we started going online, it was a struggle for us because we missed the in-person stuff. Now COVID-19 has put 1.6 billion students in some form of distress or the other, but people have been talking about the success of online education. That's not a success. That's a failure. If you separated a couple and put them across Zoom and say everything was hunky dory, that wasn't a great relationship to begin with. Or a parent and a child and said, "Oh you can talk by Zoom," and they said, "Oh that's great," and they say "It's 80 percent as good as it used to be," well, that's pretty bad.
The fact of the matter is that a lot of the education in the world is extremely antiseptic. It's very clinical. It is about checking those boxes, passing exams. And all the stuff about human development, critical thinking, discussions, the Harkness Table, the disagreements, the debates, the late-night chats between students where they discover something interesting and strange about each other but also expand their horizons, that, we've never counted. And we, of course, romanticize it. We do nothing to help it.
If anything, to your point, Dacher because we're all such scientific, mathematical sort of business types that go out of our way to discount it. And so, I think education absolutely desperately needs a new normal. Maybe, for God's sake, stop taking us seriously. We have taken co-presence, what I call proximity, for granted and nature is doing this incredible experiment where it's confiscated it from us. It's sort of like the first time I saw the Freedom Trail was when my mother visited me and she was like, "Take me to the Freedom Trail." And I was like, "Oh wow. There is a Freedom Trail in Boston." We take all the local sites for granted. Well, we took co-presence or proximity for granted, and in the new normal, we better take it seriously because, if universities started to be utilitarian, I assure you, online education would kill them. If they take engagement seriously online education cannot touch them. And that is the trap they're caught in.
So, what's this new normal? Well, I think universities have many things to fix. I think the most important is pedagogy and pedagogy means fundamentally spending time looking over each other's shoulders, educating, coaching. There's a great book called Peak by Anders Ericsson. It's about deliberate practice, making sure that we get the best out of our students and really, truly taking coaching seriously. We don't, but I hope they do. And all the science backs it up. We know that curiosity releases dopamine and that dopamine promotes engagement.
And instead, we're going to go back and all that will vanish is the Zoom window. Well, we might just as well have been on Zoom. Social distancing is working because education was socially distanced to begin with. So that's my first thing, which is pedagogy. Now the second thing is content. Universities are so hidebound in their traditions. Those traditions didn't come down from some higher authority. We made them up. They're human failings to some extent. Now we need to rethink our content. I know your course, Dacher, but we need to give people who have been students, spent four years in college, did we ever teach them how to learn? How to live? Even very mundane things.
When they go to work at the company, they'll spend half the time in meetings. Do we teach them what a meeting is or what the purpose is? What action items are? How do you set up a meeting? How to cancel a meeting? How to run a meeting? What's an agenda? We don't teach them some stuff they need to know. That's at a very utilitarian level. That you could do online. There are all these other things. Reading the other person, negotiating, discovering shades of gray, and finding agreement. Critical thinking. We need to rethink our content from that perspective. It's also other stuff, practical stuff. For example, in a data-rich world, for a student to enter the world without knowing statistics and probability is very limiting. But yet we don't because we come from a continuum world where we teach differential equations. So that's a little esoteric than specific, but even there, we need to rethink our content.
The third is modality. We need to make room for discussions, all this other stuff. And it cannot be the professor standing on a stage and, as I like to do, sort of yammering on, which I'm doing right now, right? We've got to create room for this engagement. And the whole point of online is to create room for the in-person. And that's one of the things Otto did. He managed to create in-person in a remote, distributed way. It's pretty tremendous, actually. It's amazing. I hope that when we go back, we never have the case of these Zoom windows, except in a real classroom. That students can do stuff online and then come back and then they're on campus. It's great. And for people who don't have access to good education online, it's going to be a great, great, great solution. But for those who can, let's make it worth it.
And my final comment is about structure. I think that we're also boxed in and self-righteous about structures we've created. The bachelor's degree, again, was not in some religious texts that we need to follow nor is it proven by some mathematical formula. I'm not suggesting breaking down the bachelor's degree. I actually think it's a great thing. I think people incubate, marinate if you give them the chance, which we don't, and they grow. But I do think we need to think of other things. Certificates systems. Let's say you're getting a bachelor's in a liberal arts college. By the way, a number of liberal arts colleges are going to die as a result of this. It's such a tragedy because they actually get pedagogy right. They may have other issues like economics, but they get pedagogy right.
But, if doing a course in art, it doesn't hurt for you to take an online certificate in the computer science behind art or the AI in art, which is an increasingly important field. We need to be able to mix it up and give students more options. We needed a different structure. But I think, in summary, this drive to utilitarianism has driven universities into a very black and white mode, and when they go black and white, online will win. I think they need to live in the gray zone. That's the one place online, that's very hard, where we’re struggling. I'll stop there.
Nipun: Beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for these wonderful reflections. I feel like there are so many strands across all three of you that are very common. And also knowing all three of you and your work, I sense that there's even more. Otto didn't harp on this as much here, but the hands-head-heart alignment, I think, is what Sanjay was also talking about. And I think that's actually what Dacher's science has been pointing at for a long time. Preeta it would be great for both of us to reflect on what stood out.
What stood out for me is this idea of a social risk session and the idea of transformational literacy. A question that hardly ever gets asked is, “What is transformational literacy?” Like Sonjay is also saying, “How can we innovate ways to engage?” How do we flip from “one to many” model of education, not just at the level of content, but at the level of practices, to engagement? To the Nordic point, that Otto started us off with, it is really to drive civic engagement to rediscover our agency.
There's also so many questions people have been sending in. One that stands out which I thought was interesting and thoughtful is from someone named George. It says, “We have specialization for the different fingers in our hands. So how can we focus on generalization?” This is really about the whole person and also connected to the specialization. It's not an either/or kind of a thing, and this is to Sanjay's point of gray area, right?
You can become very fundamentalist and say, the whole thing is broken, and that's it - this is right and that's wrong. How do we learn to hold a spectrum, to think about generalization and specialization as these two forces that need to be balanced? Right now, they're totally misaligned. Preeta, what stands out for you before we go into conversation?
Preeta: Powerful reflections by each of them. I was really struck with Sanjay's remarks when he said the reason online education has been successful and why we've been successful with education in a socially distanced world is because education was socially distanced to begin with. It points up what was already broken. Dacher talking about praxis and engagement and the need for service really connected to what Sanjay was saying about engagement. Otto’s comments about the vertical and horizontal axis: How do we build this capacity for engagement of students and individuals to go deeper and go vertical? Otto, I loved the analogy you talked about of the operating system versus the apps. Do we keep adding new apps or do we change the operating system?
For me, this raises the question for all of you. We can have these conversations endlessly but how do we change the operating system now of higher education? Do we work within? I don't want to make this an either/or; obviously we work within the institutions. I'm just wondering and I'm leery. Large institutions are very hard to shift and you're each within them. What would be the ideal institution you would set up right now if you could, and then how do we go about doing that right now?
Nipun: There's an easy question. Let’s see if you guys can solve that.
Sanjay: I think every field is a liberal art. As an engineer, I have several patents. Everything I invented came out of some unexplainable process that involved sleep and dreaming and some weird connections. But every time I explain it to someone, I make it seem like some mathematical thing, some logical thing that came out of a mathematical proof, which is utter nonsense. I think we need to fundamentally rethink. Every engineer wants to be a physicist, and every physicist wants to be a mathematician because we think there’s something very pure about that cold, hard logic. I love math, but that's not the point, right? My view is we need to start thinking of everything as if it's the liberal arts, as if you're studying philosophy - why did this happen? What's the history behind this physics principle? Where is it used? What are the implications socially?
Dacher: Building on that, I think some of this is happening within education. E.O. Wilson talks about the great traditions of the humanities and the sciences, and we need both - every class should have both. This is in the spirit of Coleman Fung’s work, at UC Berkeley, getting engineers out into the world and doing things that change the world, and make that a requirement in a class.
In my science of happiness class, I teach them how to meditate. I teach them how to go out and teach their friends how to engage in grateful conversations, whatever the case may be. I want to express gratitude to Sanjay's work, that certificates in some sense, are revolutionary. I know as a professor at Berkeley through edX. We have certificates and my students are all over the world, right? I don't see them, but they get part of that education in a very nicely distributed way for a modest price. So, I think we need to be building beyond the kind of university credit, university degree model, which edX has done and applaud that in our pedagogical careers.
Otto: Yeah. That's definitely a big game changer. Particularly important for and not only, but particularly all, it's a non-Western context where this plays such a big role to get any kind of opportunity. And, the two things that come to my mind are the social arts and also the crisis of the humanities. When I look at the practical work around building collective leadership capacity and so on, with not just systems, we make a lot of use. You need practice fields, right? You can't just throw people into nursing. You need practice fields. One of the most effective practice fields come from the social arts, from embodied learning on where you have and where you can engage in total new patterns of behavior with each other. So, one way of thinking about the new university, in terms of integrating science, social arts, and then the third 'S' would be self. Which is kind of what, Dacher, you talked about, about awareness and paying attention to our attention, and so on.
And then the fourth one, of course, where everything is embedded is societal transformation. But often, social arts is forgotten. And I think without them, and I don't mean theory; I mean the practices, I mean the experience of engaging. That's where I think we have a crisis of the humanities and there's a hidden goal there that we haven't truly leveraged. It's not just a separate department, it would apply for everything. It's kind of at the foundation of the basic skills. So that's one thought that's coming to me.
And the other one, when you were talking about, 'how is it'. Other than the two of you, I'm really more at the margin of the academic system. What I'm realizing is people, including university presidents, university leadership are now more interested in that conversation, across cultures; reinventing the university. So, there's a feeling something may be going on, but is it going beyond a conversation? Not clear. The other day I was on a panel with somebody from the leadership of the Michigan State University. They looked at where to put the leverage. They looked to younger faculty and realized it’s impossible because you need to get on the tenure track. But senior faculty?
They changed the evaluation to impact on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. That's the new metrics. So how effective are you in your world, and having impact on the real world, helping us, as a global community accomplish the 17 SDGs? That is in fact a more radical idea that is shifting some of these, deeper mechanics that keep, in spite of all the good conversations, much of the old system on the old tracks. It's very hard. You all know much more about that, but I thought that was an interesting experiment; what they do. And it is interesting to see that a lot more people are talking about that. So that there is a transformation necessary is more apparent, at least.
Preeta: Great, I think Nipun and I both have a question, so we'll, maybe we'll both throw them out and then you can answer them as you choose. The question I have is, if you're a high school student, let's say a high school senior graduating right now, and how would you go about designing your own higher ed. at this moment? I know you are part of institutions, so it's a little hard to say, 'don't go to my university', but how would you go about designing it right now if you had the ability and the access to all the online and offline tools right now? So that's one question. Nipun?
Nipun: Yeah, Dacher's got a response and I would say even to frame it as a parent, right? If you're a parent -- Dacher's got a daughter that's actually going to Cal. So let's, let's lead with that and then I'll follow up with another one.
Dacher: Yeah. What comes to mind first is, they're just basic tools for the 21st century that's what Sanjay alluded to. Statistics, et cetera. Not to forget the social that is foundational to education, the late-night conversations, cafes, et cetera. But I want to describe an exercise that I do with my 600 Berkeley undergrads. In Berkeley, it's illustrative in some sense because it's a big university, with pretty diverse people from all kinds of backgrounds and heavy on the science/engineering side of things, although strong humanities. But 600 students. There's this really interesting exercise that I did. My answer is, think about what you care about and think about your passion independent of the salary you make will make work meaningful for you in the world. There's a framework that I led students through that's come out of the science of happiness of do you care about justice, or reducing suffering, or beauty, or pleasure, or transcendent knowledge. It's a pretty sensible frame that moves you toward a career in medicine, or engineering, or school teaching, or working in a bakery, whatever it is. It's just an exercise where you say, "Hey, which of these concepts really moves you?" Is it justice? Inequality? Or is it physical suffering, and reducing that.
I was struck over how new this was to students who are far along in their education. They think about a degree and the utilitarian side to it, and they hadn't thought, "What makes me tear up about the work that I might do?" "What gives me goosebumps?" "What is this integration that Otto talked about between self in society?" Students don't do that early in the game. I've taught a lot of students at Berkeley, over 25 years of big classes. Right about at their senior year, they're like, "I don't know what I care about. I have a 3.6 GPA and I can do fancy calculus but I just don't know what I care about." And that's a grave mistake. There are ways that high school students should be thinking about right now.
Nipun: Just to double down on that question, we're seeing a lot of comments around this particular idea. What would be your advice, to a high school senior right now graduating, and entering the real world, in the times of the pandemic? And to build on that, not just from the parent lens, but also from the student lens. As Dacher said, find out, what motivates you. Like the Howard Thurman quote, "It's not so much what the world needs, but, find out what actually is making you come alive." because what the world needs most are people who have come alive. So, Otto or Sanjay do you have any reflections on that?
Sanjay: I am such a parent. I haven an 18-year-old going off to college next year. And I would be remiss if I recommended to a young person graduating high school. If I said, oh, don't go to college. you just take online courses, take X courses...I am not there yet. If you have no choice, you could do worse than taking X courses. If you have a choice, I would say go to college. If you are a parent, lay off the kid and let them find their own path. That’s what I’d do. Stop micromanaging because 2021 should really be the new century. The beginning of the new century is 2021. It wasn't 2000, right? What you've learned may or may not apply. They'll find their way, so give them the power to sort of figure it out. But to the student, I would say go to college and if you can take a gap year, take it. Try to figure out life before you educate yourself.
Otto: Following that model, maybe because we are also in that situation. In our case, obviously it's a conversation not only giving advice, but it resulted in a gap year where you do some service, right? So not just traveling, but going to villages with handicapped children, just to move out of the American education bubble, where everything is organized around you. Try to feel out what it is like when you are there for someone else. Then the other element, start your college experience in a different culture. So, in this case, it's Europe, and it's an American college, a liberal arts college, but the Berlin campus. So that has been working very well because it's small group, so listening and discussion and the face-to-face, all of that which we have been talking about. I would say the most important advice is probably follow your heart and expose yourself to different contexts, particularly now. Because when you look at the global landscape, we are, except Latin America and Africa, we are kind of the last ones with the current response that will take the longest here. You don't want to sit in an online experience. Use the opportunity to go to a different culture where a) education is less expensive, and b) you can have an in-person experience more likely. Then come back here, for the master program or halfway. I think when you look at how it's playing out globally, you cannot not think that, right? What is the call of the time, 2020/21? That's certainly something that will cross my mind. In Europe, most education is free. Financials are important, right? You don't want to get out of your college experience with a lot of debt. That's just insane. Now, sometimes it's necessary, but there are other vehicles, right? But if there's something similar in terms of quality and one is for free, well that's worth considering as an option. And there are a bunch of these opportunities out there in Europe, for example.
Sanjay: One of the quick things I'll say is that, when I say to a young person today, don't do only online courses, go to college if you can, if you can't then do online courses. What I mean by that is I'm sensitive about asking young people to pay the penalty for our ills. In other words, we need to fix the system first. We can't march these kids in like goats into a minefield. In the part of the world where I grew up, there's a minefield you send the goats in, and worst case, you eat some shish-kabobs for dinner, right? It's a crude analogy, but I feel like that's what people are doing when they tell kids don't go to college. I don't think that we're there yet. We have to do a lot of work and fix a lot of systems before we get there.
Preeta: So related to that, what's one small step -- this can become a very big conversation, but just to kind of break it down -- what's one step you would take right now to reform higher education as it exists now, and maybe one step you would take to set up an alternative to current institutions?
Sanjay: Flip every classroom.
Nipun: Can you elaborate? What do you mean by flipping their classroom?
Sanjay: What I mean by that is, no lectures. My 17-year-old says to me, "daddy don't lecture me." And I go, "darling, that's my job. That's what I do for a living." Just imagine if you said every classroom, we will -- and actually the humanities do this today, right? If you don't walk in and read the history book or the philosophy book in the classroom, you come in and prepare for a discussion. We been talking about this for 20 years, but just flipping every classroom, even that's difficult, but that's what I would do.
Otto: So just following Dacher's example of a concrete example, so one concrete example that is very easy to do and to replicate, is what I learned from Ed Schein, who is now emeritus, but who taught here at MIT Sloan for many years and the father of process consultation, really. And he had a wonderful exercise in his Managing Change class that I have been using since, a version of, and that is empathy walk, right? Students pick a partner. So as a student pair you talk about a person that has maximum difference from you in our community here, so greater Cambridge, say. Then make arrangements that you can spend a couple of hours and respectfully, be a guest in that person's life. Deep listening, empathize with that person. It's not telling you who, and it's just kind of a be a guest in that person's life. So that's what you do. Then you write a reflection paper on that.
And I can't tell you how transformative that is. In fact, if I had to put probably one item on the agenda that will be most transformative, not only on the management school side of things, but any kind of school, it's listening. Because if you're not a good listener, you're not in touch with reality. And really what has shocked me is to realize how systematic and how fast you can actually, when you apply practices and supervision and small group work, how profoundly you can change your mode of listening in just six weeks. If you change the way you listen, you change the way you experience reality. And if you change the way you experience reality, you change everything. It looks like something really small, but it's profound. And that would be bringing in listening, the most underrated leadership skill of all time, making that a more important curriculum piece and the empathy walk as one of the practices there.
Dacher: I've been roped into a lot of conversations about the mental health crisis in universities and in high schools and in middle schools. It's real, anxiety and depression are rising. Self-harm is more common than we might imagine, etcetera. I would make all universities teach and in high schools a one unit "come to know yourself" course, that would be discussion oriented, as Sanjay is saying, and we now have enough knowledge that is multicultural, represents the humanities, represents the sciences, has practice in it, and some service that could be delivered. It would be a kind of a common platform or touchstone or discourse for our young minds that is sorely needed today.
Nipun: That's beautiful. Dacher, we should do that at UC Berkeley. That just sounds like it's precisely that Howard Thurman quote, "go out and do what makes you come alive." But we need to have spaces that support people in discovering what makes them come alive. There were a whole bunch of comments, people are all lit up and just a lot of gratitude for the themes that we're alluding to. I'll skip those. And we also have a lot of questions that we won't get to but we will post this. Support peer-driven circles and also ask specific questions to Sanjay, Dacher, and Otto.
Sanjay, one question is you talk about flipping the classroom. What's keeping universities, say at MIT, from doing that? What are the bottlenecks? How do we address those bottlenecks? This is not just a MIT question, it's a question everywhere and people are asking this, as well. Eduardo in particular says, "What are the innovative and transformative financial models that are being discussed to address some of the challenges, including the high cost of college tuition that increases educational inequality, which then probably doesn't support your Vagus nerve or your wellbeing and mental health?" You know, it's like all these downstream issues. So, A) what's stopping traditional institutions from embracing this one-unit idea or flipping the classroom or transformational literacy? And B) Any reflections on economics and perhaps they are interrelated?
Sanjay : Maybe I'll address the flipping the classroom thing at MIT. We're very blessed. It's been relatively easy, but I have to say that, as a professor, I'm a creature of habit. I have my course notes, I go give my lecture, I grade, I go home, and if I'm doing three courses and I am pretty loaded as it is, what does flipping the classroom mean? I need to record videos. I need to get students to watch the video. So, students have to be complicit in this, right? And then we both have to sort of agree that what we're going to do is a discussion. And students have been trained just as much as professors to expect learning to work one way. There's some science that shows that there's the illusion of learning. You can walk away thinking you learned something. And that illusion can be more powerful than actually learning it better because when you learn something better you actually know what you don't know. Right? There is a lot of research on the illusion of learning. We're all trapped a little bit in that trap where the professors are busy and they're doing what they are used to. The students think that's what learning is, and they have the illusion of learning. It's quite a conundrum actually to break that. But you know, if you have a gig economy where it's not your grades that once you graduate that matter, but whether you're going to get called back in your freelance job. It doesn't matter whether your GPA was good, all that matters is if the marketing consulting you did resulted in better marketing outcomes.
We are all going to have to become more authentic. This authenticity in learning is sometimes hard to do, right? I mean, how do you really grade someone and say, yeah, you mentioned spelling mistakes, but in fact your output is better. It's subjective. And we shy away from the subjective. And that comes back to my earlier point about being utilitarian, exams, testing, et cetera, et cetera. I'm bundling a bunch of things into my hands, but I think that's the trap.
Nipun: It's a hard problem. You can say it sounds great on paper that let's have more discussion, but anyone who has held a circle knows that learning how to hold a circle is not easy. I mean, Preeta and I talk about this all the time. It's not as simple as "hey, I read a book on learning how to hold a circle!" Math may be simple like that, but learning how to hold a circle is not, and so that's where you run into these very complex issues where you want to change, but you don't have the competency, because of the systems to facilitate that change.
Sanjay: I'm reminded of a couple sitting at a restaurant, you know, both sort of staring at each other. You know when you have engagement. Something is going to happen and that takes practice.
Preeta: I think Otto uses this quote a lot, about how the state of an intervention is as good as the internal state of the intervener. We can talk about these transformations that need to happen in higher education, but these systems are populated by people that have been educated in the old ways. How can we really flip the paradigm by operating within it? It's a big question and obviously we need to keep trying and put the right people within it. Let's just assume there are limits to that, either because of the financial models or because of the education of the people within the system. What do we do to set up the alternatives?
If you're a kid coming out of high school and you're really quite innovative and interesting and willing to be proactive to form your own education what do you do? I'm not suggesting just doing EdX courses online. Let's assume there is a service component like a gap year. Do you think someone can go about doing that? We hear so much about lifelong learning and the changing nature of work and that the half-life of a higher education degree is not that long because there are constantly new skills to be learned. I wonder if the four-year university makes a lot of sense at this point in time. That's my question.
Related to that is the bifurcation of elite institutions from more accessible colleges. We talked about how difficult it is to flip the classroom even where there are lots of resources. How do we do this when we're talking about community colleges or where you have a whole different type of instructors, capacities and financial support?
Dacher: I just want to say a couple of things. One is that Sanjay is urging us to reconceptualize teaching and pedagogy. That was his first word, and it gives me goosebumps! Professors need to be given credit. I was thinking about the long-term care facilities, which are at the heart of the pandemic crisis. 40% of the deaths in California are in long-term care facilities. These are elderly people who are dying to learn, hungry to learn, and we should be reaching them. And we should get credit for that. We have the tools to do it, with online learning. And we need to reconceptualize teaching, how we get credit for it and the norms around it that Sanjay pointed out. I hope anybody who is going into teaching keeps the word "discussion" in mind that is foundational and it’s old. You have to talk about economics when we talk about higher education. When I went to the UC as an undergrad, it costs me 700 dollars a semester, (laughs) and it has been gutted beginning with Ronald Reagan. As Otto suggested this is a political issue and we need to change those deeper structural models of education. A lot will follow from that: the emotional tone of the classes, the competitive nature, the utilitarian nature. I am listening very carefully to what Joe Biden says about education, because if we change how much it costs the average citizen to go, it becomes a different experience. We know economically, there are tons of data that that the more education, the four-year model works in many ways. It produces better citizens. They are physically healthier and they are happier. They do a lot for the world. So, we just need to, in some sense, return to some older principles of pedagogy and affordability.
Otto: Maybe just to add a footnote to that, Dacher. On the economics side, if you look at learning outcomes globally, one of the shining lights has always been Finland for many years. They have a very inclusive model and it's very high performing even on the conventional stuff, but also in some other dimensions.
In talking and walking with their architects, their national agency who is driving that-they were asked what is their own account for why they are more successful than others? Their account is a quality education for everyone. So, it's really the democratization of quality education. They say that the key ingredient is trust. Trust is only possible if you loosen up. You can only lose control mechanisms. You need competent people on the ground that are empowering, but this competence requires the democratization of a quality education for all. That squarely refers to our situation here. That's the challenge, right? To make quality education funded in a different way. The same, of course, applies to the health care system, as we have been learning recently, because that's the foundation from which the new economy and the new society will be emerging from. In terms of how it applies, what can we do, inside existing institutions? I think we talked about one of the bottlenecks, which is existing faculty.
In part it's also architecture. Architecture includes the lecture hall, lecture rooms, and so on. But it is also habitual ways of operating. And if you want to move from a more lecture-centric to a student-centric or even ecosystem-centric way of organizing learning, you need new capacities. You need to provide these capacities. I refer to them as awareness-based social technologies. They are technologies, but they are social technologies that allow you to hold the space for deeper social processes and for an activation of generative social fields to happen. I would say that is the most important missing piece in the curriculum today: access and also practice fields for these technologies. That's why ServiceSpace is so important. I would say in the university of the future, you need a new group of faculty there, like the ServiceSpace type of people who are practitioners in the front lines of societal and personal transformation.
That is as important as the other one. I'm not saying one versus the other, but as the university opens up more to an ecosystemic way of operating embedded in societal transformation, we need to open up the definition of how we assess faculty, and in what capacity we bring in faculty and some of them will be more embedded in these living examples of societal trends and transformation, and their coaching or input will come more from the field than from being on campus.
Nipun: Really inspiring ideas here. I think there's something here that I feel needs to be expanded, bringing more people and different voices around the same themes that all three of you have so beautifully articulated and I think stand for, just knowing all of you at a personal level. I don't think these are just intellectual ideas for you, which for me, by my metric, actually makes it come alive in a very different way.
The last question here before we close is twofold. One is, what has inspired you the most during these pandemic times from the lens that you have? What is something that you're doing, because all of you are responding in so many ways, a lot of which are radical and revolutionary as well. What is something you're doing that has gotten you most excited. It would be great for others to learn about it as well, so they can participate. What's inspired you, just at large, and what's inspired you about responses coming from your local ecosystems?
Sanjay: Well, you know what they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. What's inspiring me the most is this socially unstoppable human desire to be social that's been confiscated from us. I've been spending some time thinking about it, reading about it, and thinking about education in this context and that’s kept me occupied.
Nipun: Are there experiments that edX is doing, for example, are you piloting some experiments in this direction?
Sanjay: I'll give you an example from MIT. Our students now are all over the world and we have graduation coming up. We decided that there's going to be a song sung by a thousand students. They're all contributing notes, and our music department put together the software, they all contribute sounds, and it turns into a song. We're doing a VR graduation to recreate [the in-person experience]. It's the desire to come together and make things real without the core missing, and is strengthening a muscle that we didn't activate very much when we could coast.
Dacher: I could not agree more with what Sanjay said. I've been astonished in terms of being inspired by local contact: walking around and making eye contact with people. The pandemic is giving us this opportunity to return to the deep wisdom of local: community, small groups, local food systems, gardens, et cetera. That's a huge opportunity that has a lot of extensions and, as Sanjay said, I'm thinking about it and thinking about ways to work with it. What I'm experimenting with is in part what we've been talking about, and we're hopefully going to launch this experimental one-unit class, a thousand students at Berkeley. Get them out in the world, applying knowledge, making the world better. Put that to them. Build out discussion. And I hope that we can use Ulab and the wisdom of online social connection that Sanjay alluded to, and ServiceSpace to build out an experiment in the fall, where it'll be disrupted still, and see where we can take that.
Otto: Something that inspires me is the GAIA project, Global Activation of Intention Action, an idea I put out in a blog. Twelve days later, more than 10,000 people had signed up for it. There's an active core group of 130 volunteers around eight different language tracks, creating a deep learning journey environment in a variety of ways, and really leaning into the current moment, not only from the window of our individual agency -- what's essential for my own life and how do I want to move forward -- but also applying that to the collective, to our community, to our society. It makes me aware of how many people on earth are really actively looking, that they are part of a story and they know it's not exactly going in the right direction. “I want to have more positive impact with my own life. I want to be part of a different story, but I don't know how”.
I think it's that kind of place where we can provide, if we just connect everything that was mentioned in this call, if we would put that together in a platform, with a headline of “School for Transformation.” As something that could be pulled and plucked into any kind of institution of education, but also otherwise for people who want access to these methods and tools and networks. I feel that the crisis of the current moment that we talked about in this call is calling for us to step up for a bolder move, something where we pull together all this stuff that we already have, which is basically already a lot of what's being called for, but democratize the access to that and link it in a more coherent ecosystem. It's an intention that I have been following my whole life, but it now has begun to be crystallized within myself, and that's probably the number one project I'm going to focus on, for what's left.
Preeta: That's wonderful. It's such a hopeful project, Otto that you've outlined - school for transformation like that. I think about Sanjay’s comment that the beginning of the 21st century is going to be 2021 not 2000. I totally agree that we can't just encourage students to go completely online. On the other hand, we have all the content out there. It exists, for the school transformation. It's not clear to me that existing professors are best equipped to flip the classroom as much as they would like to do. How can we create that hybrid model of online content with engagement that we're talking about: the in-person engagement in local communities in a distributed way throughout the world? I think Otto, your course, and I know Dacher's course, you've both done great work in that regard of giving content, but then creating an offline in-person engagement spectrum. And I think that's what ServiceSpace does so beautifully as well. I'm really excited for what might come from this. So true to so many of these kinds of dialogues we have at ServiceSpace, this is the beginning of an engagement spectrum. This was just a kickoff of a conversation that we will now continue online and offline. Hopefully all the questions that we received there, believe me, we will get to them in due course, in our fashion of engagement. So, let this be the beginning of much more to come.
Nipun: I have a lot of gratitude. There was just one comment, the most recent one that I'm looking at my screen from Barbara. It says, “we need these speakers to get into politics and transform society”. Please go change the world. I think it's an open question of whether you work within the system as a Trojan horse or work outside, and I think you guys are there in the systems as these remarkable beacons of love and light. Thank you for who you are, for holding this conversation. I know that this is just a seed for many more things to come. We really look forward to it. We end with a minute of silence and the spirit of gratitude for all the good things that as Sanjay alluded to, most amazing things in life are accidents, and so that is certainly why you can say this certainly was an accident, how this kind of emerged. We’re grateful for all the conditions that made this possible and all the future ripples. Thank you so very much. You will hear from us after the call in terms of different ways to engage.
About Awakin Calls
Awakin Call is a weekly global series of deep conversations with inspiring changemakers. It is an all-volunteer offering and is completely free, without any ads or solicitation. Read more ...
Subscribe To Newsletter
To stay updated about guest announcements, fresh content, and other inspiring tidbits, subscribe below and we'll send you a weekly email.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a note.