Its 17 days since the start of the course and I have been waiting for emergence to happen. I am not disappointed as I have witnessed people sharing their experiences and perspectives in the community space and others have connected to them through their responses. The trigger in my small group was the three way skype conversation Roger, Nikos and I we had on Sunday evening through which we identified an interest we shared and were willing to commit time and energy to exploring together. We thought we might explore together the connected ideas ideas of emotion-creativity-visualisation-collaboration and contribute our ideas and experiences to the community. Nikos started the ball rolling with an insightful post based on his experiences of working with children in a school. As a direct result of sharing his thoughts two members of the community, Scott and Rafaela, expressed an interest in joining the group. I also invited my friend Jenny who has a long standing interest in creativity and wellbeing. So we have a small group of at least six people who are interested in exploring these ideas together.
As a facilitator in the process perhaps my most important role is to encourage emergence. From my current experience of emergence I can see that it is relational and emotional - without the formation of relationships it would not be happening. Relationships and the open honest conversations that emerge create feelings of trust and empathy, stimulate imagination and perspective change and motivate me to be more involved. The interesting thing is its happening in virtual communication spaces rather than face to face spaces.
In writing this I remembered and re-read an article written by my friend Richard Seel. He identified 10 conditions for emergence
This list of conditions provides a cognitive tool for evaluating the way emergence happens in any cultural space including our community space.
2 diversity of agents
3 rate of information flow
4 anxiety containment
5 proportionate power
6 identity maintenance
7 good boundaries
9 positive emotional space
10 watchful anticipation
I include a link to Richards excellent article: http://www.new-paradigm.co.uk/emergence-2.htm
Emergence is a key property of complex systems. It is also, many believe, the key to fundamental change in human organisations. In this article I will propose that while emergence is neither predictable nor controllable there are some factors which predispose an organisation towards emergent change. I will also argue that these factors can be ‘tuned’ in such a way that not only is the emergence of new patterns made more likely but also that these patterns will be similar to the patterns which are desired by the members of the organisation.
I also include this wonderful drawing by the talented graphic facilitator Julian Burton 'Emergence in Organisations' and his article on Facilitating Emergence in Organisations.