Dancing With Uncertainty
With all our systems – economic, political, healthcare, and more – crashing all around us, how do we even begin to imagine change? Where is the change? How do we think about it; talk about it; take part in it? Is there such a thing as systems change anymore? Or are we kidding ourselves with abstract formulas that cannot possibly keep up with the changes happening all around us?
Right now, everyone is trying to figure out how to live in a worldwide pandemic. We have been in pandemics before, but never in such a radically interconnected world—with high-speed air travel and even faster electronic communication, rampant environmental pollution, nuclear weapons, and emerging autocracies, among other complicating factors. What have we learned? Do we know how to deal with uncertainty in a productive way? Or are we on a downward spiral due to humankind’s inability to create balance among other humans and the more-than-human world?
We all want to rebuild a more coherent and beautiful world. But we cannot move too fast. We must first learn to dance with trickster energies. It may be preemptive to propose replacement forms of order in the midst of such chaos – instead, we might need to learn a new language, a new mode of being in the world that is more creative and flexible. What stance and mindset will help us adapt to the rapid and radical changes of the present?
With our systems unraveling, this is our opportunity to go beyond symptoms to root causes that unite seemingly different events. What are the openings that Trickster is making known to us? What are the resources, stories, lessons, opportunities, and wisdom we can draw from uncertain times? Join us as we delve into Dancing with Uncertainty.
Alfonso Montuori has been a long-time professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He has also been Distinguished Professor in the School of Fine Arts at Miami University, in Oxford Ohio and at the University of Rome, and in 1985-1986 he taught at the Central South University in Hunan, China. Alfonso was born in Holland, and lived in Lebanon, Greece, England, and China before coming to the United States in 1986. His father was Italian and his mother Dutch, and he grew up speaking several languages. An active musician and producer, Alfonso has performed with or recorded artists such Joe Henderson, Roy Hargrove, Aztec Camera and his wife, noted jazz singer Kitty Margolis. His research has focused on creativity, transdisciplinarity, complexity, leadership, education, and social change, and has been translated into Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish. Alfonso is also a consultant in the areas of creativity, innovation and leadership development whose clients have included Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and artists.
Nora Bateson, is an award-winning filmmaker, research designer, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute based in Sweden where she has put together a team that works on an innovative form of inquiry Nora calls Transcontextual research and a corresponding new form of information she calls “Warm Data.” An international lecturer, researcher and writer, Nora wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary, An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems. Recipient of the 2019 Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity. Her book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles released by Triarchy Press, UK, 2016 is a revolutionary personal approach to the study of systems and complexity, and the core text of the Harvard University LILA program 2017-18. Her next book, Warm Data, also will be published by Triarchy Press with a publication date that is still to be determined.