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Empathy as a Facilitator of Cognitive Emergence in Complex Social Systems

November 20, 2011

Now, I would certainly not place my work on a global scale, yet along with tremendous gratitude for the opportunity, I do see a small bit of irony. On the one hand, disruptive change is afoot in almost any direction you look, however my own work–by which I mean the development of the theory and research I am using to inform my doctoral dissertation–is unfolding in a creative direction at breakneck speed. In one sense, I hope this turn opens up opportunities for more conversations along with the chance to develop the theory and processes further as to support organizations and other social groupings to align with these disruptive times rather than fight against them.

I’ll be sharing more about this in the weeks and months to come. At the moment, I’m in the thick of end-of-term papers (some of which I will probably post later on as well). For now I wanted to post a link to the presentation I recently had the privilege of sharing at the recent convening of the International Leadership Association in London. THAT was a liminal experience to be sure–in all the right ways! This gives a good summary of where my work was up until about a month ago. (As I said, things are unfolding quickly–more has developed since.)



I also want to share the photo below. These are the super-smart folks who made up the panel I presented with. I am deeply indebted to all the folks–especially Heather Davis (center) for pulling me into the fold and coordinating the whole adventure. The story of how we all came together is itself an uncanny example of the power of emergence during complex times. Right now the four of us–the four panelists on the left–are planning a joint paper on that process in order to explore complexity dynamics in pedagogical settings.


From One Complex Planet, Many Emerging Worlds: Remapping the Purposes of Leadership in the 21st Century at ILA 2011, October 2011 in London, U.K. The inverted map behind us is from Heather's great presentation of literacies for leadership.

Lastly,  a link to Heather’s presentation.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 16, 2012 9:43 am

    Hi David!
    I’ve seen the video, and I guess you’re into a pretty intense research. Good luck, hope to hear more answers anytime soon.

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