Sat down with collaborative learning specialist George Por, and a group from E4S, over delicious Thai food, on Thursday. It was a great session, yet suprisingly it became oriented around my experiential tool, Playing the Opposites, rather than George’s groundbreaking work in intelligent human networks and collabortive learning. This was a bit of a missed opportunity, because George travelled to Cleveland from Belgium, had a packed agenda, and this was our only encounter.
Still, the group rolled with the compelling and thoughtful flow, so we commenced an individual and collective reflection on a question, “What hints might we learn about advancing sustainability?” and used the card deck of opposites to inspire our conversation. As it turned out the experiential play teased out lots of insights. In the nosy, tiny and busy restaurant we could not afford ourselves a chance to document the proceeding. Nor could we take the process into a second 90 minutes, yet, in such a group of smart people, our moment was a fully engaged one.
By the time I parted with the group and George, George and me had decided our concerns and approaches were in so much affinity with one another that we were sort of like brothers!
George’s own work is all about actualizing the humane whole from human parts, using the power of relationship and the vehicle implicit in any and all kinds of networks to further the cause of collaborative work and collective enlightenment. Just a simple search on google showcases how many networks George is energizing.
It would be interesting to ‘square’ his and my ‘differentials,’ because its where we don’t overlap so much that possibly fruitful differences could be leveraged. George, during this session, was open to my emphasis on the (so-called) lower. Or, on what in other contexts is termed shadow, or the inferior, tacit, hidden, etc.. This comes out of the model for the Play of Opposites, and it reinforces learning from not only what is attractive but from what seems strange or repulsive.
One of the graces of having so much mindheart power around the table, was how far our interplay danced. It was cool and an honor to have such a moment with friends, and a long lost brother!