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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vandenburg

GAIA: Global Activation of Intention and Action

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

During my MBA program, I wrote my final paper on C. Otto Scharmer's Theory U. I used to it as a model for my own authentic leadership development and documented my own journey of it which resulted in the creation of my very first course (launching this August with Intention Inspired) called 30 Days of Authenticity.

I have long been inspired by Scharmer's work, so I was beyond delighted to come across an interview with him and Thomas Hubl in which he announced the development of this particular program GAIA: Global Activation of Intention and Action.

This was the chance to go through the U process collectively, to level up on my own personal experience of the transformative nature of this particular model, but do it with a group of people all over the world, lead by Scharmer himself. I jumped at the chance.

So what has this journey looked like? It means that I have collectively "inhaled" and "exhaled" with Scharmer and his team for the last 6 weeks.

We started with Deep Listening, have moved into Deep Resonance, and will emerge with Social Prototyping. For our "inhale" weeks, we gather as a collective with inspiration speakers from all over the world. We literally move into the collective space together and co-create as we speak, it's a generative practice and field that is hard to put into words. For our "exhale" weeks we move into smaller social solidarity circles where we gather in groups of up to 6 and discuss what is going on with us, within our community, what we are being asked to let go of, and what's to come. I have been so inspired by this particular practice that I am planning on bringing some of the tools created for it to my professional life from here on out.

The experience has been incredibly powerful for me so far and one that I am finding hard to put into words. But I can start by sharing two different things that have come up for me as I have been an active participant.

1. My listening skills have deepened. Scharmer talks of four different levels of listening and I found that I am moving into a space of empathetic listening with nearly every conversation I find myself in. How cool would it be to get to the space of generative?

2. My willingness to surrender and let go has increased. I am still very much navigating through these waters, BUT I have been such a planner in the past. I was having a conversation with a good friend the other day and I said "I've realized I can't even really plan for the next hour" and that is so true in my own life right now. What I feel strongly like I am being called to do is just let go. I can feel the pull and connection to my emergent future that wants to rise. I am realizing however that the only way I can create the space for it to do so is if I fully release and let go of my expectation of exactly it looks like, to learn to live from the level of consciousness for it to appear.

For more details on GAIA click here:


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