Generative Social Fields Initiative

The Generative Social Fields Initiative is a collective effort to deepen our understanding of the relational spaces in which we all live and how shifts in these spaces can lead to the transformation of individuals, families, and organizations.

 

While the attempts to understand generative social fields have a long history, a more recent effort began with the publication of  School Climate and Social Fields: An Initial Exploration by Dr. Mette Boell and Dr. Peter Senge in Spring 2016. Subsequently, a group of fifteen researchers and practitioners came together at the Garrison Institute to plan initial prototypes and have been working for some time in small teams to investigate different entry points into recognizing, understanding and shaping more generative social fields.

To ensure a diverse sample, the prototype sites included projects at the classroom, school, and organizational levels, including the International School of Indiana, the California Department of Education’s Expanded Learning Division and AtentaMente, a Mexican nonprofit working to bring cognitive, affective and behavioral skills to foster well-being amongst teachers.

These efforts culminated in a gathering co-convened by Peter Senge, Diana Chapman Walsh, Mette Boell, Otto Scharmer and Dan Siegel in October 2018. More than 80 participants from more than 15 different countries working in diverse spaces such as academia, philanthropy, non-profits, and education came together to collectively begin a larger conversation on how and what research and practice in generative social fields can look like.

The next steps for this work are emerging as researchers and practitioners from the gathering are now launching new efforts around the world to deepen our understanding of generative social fields.

Two such events held in 2019 include the Social Field Research Summer School hosted by the Presencing Institute and the “Cultivating Generative Social Fields and Systems Change” workshop by the Lifespan Learning Institute.

PROJECTS

AtentaMente

Atenta Mente – Mexico City, Mexico

Atenta Mente is a group of multidisciplinary professionals specialized in mental and socio-emotional training, with extensive experience in working with groups of children, adolescents, teachers, parents, workers, professionals and the general public. See website

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System of Support for Expanded Learning (SSEL) – California, USA

State-wide network for “expanded learning” outside schools and working with youth at risk Since mid-2017, Dr. Mette M. Boell, Dr. Peter Senge, and Robert Hanig, with support from the Stuart Foundation, have been partnering with the California Department of Education (CDE) to help transform California’s System of Support for Expanded Learning (SSEL). SSEL is a…

International School of Indiana, USA

International School of Indiana – Indianapolis, USA

The International School of Indiana started working with the Compassionate Systems Framework with 175 children and 15 classrooms in grades 1-5. Over the course of two years (February 2017- February 2019) we introduced the following system tools in the curriculum of six Primary Years Program (PYP) transdisciplinary themes: Behavior Over Time Graphs Ladder of Inference…

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Generative Social Fields Initiative

The Generative Social Fields project is a collective effort to deepen our understanding of the relational spaces in which we all live and how shifts in these spaces can lead to the transformation of individuals, families, and organizations. While the attempts to understand generative social fields have a long history, a more recent effort began…