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I just returned from the 9th International conference on Transformative Learning, held this year in Athens, Greece.  I was struck by the constructive engagement of different points of view expressed by the Americans and the Europeans.  The field of transformative learning grew out of Jack Mezirow’s work at Columbia University in adult education, and he and his many colleagues now around the globe seek to understand the form the transforms. Shortly after the conference I was talking with a student about critical thinking and...
In a recent column, Thomas Friedman proclaimed that “the Earth is full.” We’ve reached the point where we have too many people using too few resources, and trying to keep on keeping on this way will only lead to more trouble. The good news, he suggests, is that this makes fundamental transformation inevitable.  Friedman quotes environmentalist and entrepreneur Paul Gilding: “Our response will be proportionally dramatic, mobilizing as we do in war. We will change at a scale and speed we can barely imagine today,...
Collaboration has gone global and high tech. Businesses can now choose from 1D, 2D, and 3D collaborative tools.  But which is right for the project you have at hand?  Do you want a simple event scheduling resource—such as Meeting Wizard—or do you want employees to have 3D avatars who meet in a customized digital environment?  What spurs the innovation we need, as companies and as a global society?  I personally discovered Second Life in the fall of 2010 and thought I was really on top of things. In fact, IBM has...
During a Veterans’ commemoration ceremony at my daughter’s school, I sat amongst veterans, parents, teachers, students, school staff and others that attentively listened to the principal recite The Gettysburg Address. I found myself “hanging” onto every word. While I had read this speech before, I was struck by the last part of the address: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here...
According to William Isaacs, professor, author and co-founder of the Center for Organizational Learning at MIT alongside Peter Senge, dialogue is a vehicle for creative problem identification and solving. However, it is different than what is normally conceived as problem solving. The usual modality to tackle problems is discussion. We are used to expose our points of view, enter into a dialectic exchange and sometimes debate. In any of these cases, we are defending our ideas.  Resolution or problem solving emerges out of consensus or a...

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