Series 9: Sense – and-Respond – Introduction

Life is not about “predict-and-control” but rather about “sense-and-respond”. Of course, every kind of living being has its own patterns of actions that follows some specific patterns of its environment – so, conscious or unconscious, every living being has some kind of expectations and “predictions” about what the environment can offer. But there is no “control”. We can ask ourselves: is it good to have control over events, over other living beings, over some outcomes? In my perspective, the answer is rather a “No”.

In this series of seminars, I will show that, although “predict-and control” strategies could play an important role in achieving what we want, their use puts us in conflict with others, because most of what we succeed to obtain is not in mutual-consistent collaboration with others, but in competition with them. Predict-and-control strategies are the definition of life as a “struggle”. They are the logical consequence of a metaphysics of separation, conflict, competition and struggle. Such strategies make our world a constant struggle for power over others; a world of inequity and exploitation, where everyone tries to impose his will on others. Where everyone tries to control a result favorable to him, most often to the detriment of others.

But Life is about sense-and-respond. It is a dance in which everyone participates, where no one is imposing its will, but is listening, is sensing and responding accordingly.

How about us? Are we acting as living beings part of the Great Circle Dance of Life or rather as cogs in the capitalist machine?

Let us stop for a moment and be honest with ourselves: trapped in a mechanical society, we are acting more like clock-machines. We are afraid to act otherwise. We don’t know to act otherwise. Our intentionality and creativity have been diverted to work for this capitalist machine. That is why we are not feeling at home in this world. Moreover, we feel disoriented because we are misoriented.

In the last hundreds of years, we evolved a specific set of emotions, values and strategies to cope with a mechanism-like society. Unwillingly, we became domestic animals, who forgot for what high purpose are we blessed with freedom and consciousness. We forgot to trust Life. We forgot to engage Life as a Dance, as a Journey of discovery! We forgot something very important: to lead our lives as autonomous, unpredictable, playful, creative subjects living in a social world aligned with our nature. We forgot how to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty. We forgot how to embrace the unknown. We mistook the real purpose of our liberty for something else and missed the meaning and wonder of life. The purpose of our liberty is to find our authenticity and to fulfill our inner calling. Simple as that! We have a functional role – a responsibility – to fulfill in the Great Circle of Life.

We have to sense what is needed from us and respond accordingly. This is what “sense-and respond” way of life is all about! It is about perceiving yourself as a part of something greater than you that is powerful enough to guide you! It is about perceiving yourself here to serve a “greater than you” Life that is powerful enough to inspire you and to take care of you.

Paraphrasing Margaret Wheatley: This sense-and-respond way to organize human endeavor requires a belief that the world is inherently orderly. The world seeks organization by its nature. It does not need humans to organize it.”

Each life strategy – be it “control-and predict” or “sense-and respond” – is informed by a specific metaphysics and way of thinking. To lay a correct foundation for an efficient and healthy”sense-and-respond” life strategy, we will present 4 types of thinking: systems thinking (seminar 1), holarchic thinking (seminar 2), biological thinking (seminar 3) and lateral thinking (seminar 4) + two methods of communication: Non-violent Communication (Seminar 5) and Stigmergic Correlation (seminar 6).

If you want to know more about how to reinvent yourself and how to inter-relate with others in mutually-consistent ways, just engage this series of seminars. I said “engage” because it will be as interactive as possible for a seminar. I would like that each seminar and each series of seminars to be engaged as a journey of discovery. Everyone of them was thought of as a puzzle of a map. Connecting these puzzle pieces in your own way, you can craft your own map that could help you better orient in our changing world.

Each seminar will have 2 parts. In the first part we will talk – around only 25 minutes – about 4 ideas. I do not want to make it complicated. I will make it so you to have time to take some notes. In the second part – around two hours – each of you could come with its question and I will answer. Hence, the discussion will be always oriented to your interest. Anyway, I will be glad a third part to follow – free discussion between audience triggered by the presentation. I will happily join this dialogue, ready to listen to your points of view and to improve mine.



Seminar 9.1: Systems Thinking

1. A new understanding of the reality

2. Open-processes and open-systems

3. Holons and Holachies

4. Why System Thinking?


Seminar 9.2: Holarchic Thinking

1. Relational thinking

2. Holons, holarchies and mutual-consistency

3. Holarchic attitude/ consciousness

4. Why Holarchic Thinking?

Seminar 9.3: Biological Thinking

1. Resilience and Creativity in a VUCA world

2. How Nature builds resilience?

3. How Nature creates?

4. The 6 characteristics of Life organization

5. Why Biological Thinking?


Seminar 9.4: Lateral Thinking

1. How to get out of the box?

2. The 8 techniques of Lateral Thinking

3. Why Lateral Thinking?


Seminar 9.5: Nonviolent Communication

1. A world of aggression – a language of aggression

2. How to read the aggressive language as a expression of an unfulfilled  need ?

3. How to communicate peacefully?

4. Why Nonviolent Communication?


Seminar 9.6: Stigmergic Correlation

1. What is Stigmergy?

2. What would a world of human stigmergic correlation look like?

3. What is the metaphysics that informs the stigmergic correlation or nonviolent communication?


Seminar 9.7: Sense-and-Respond

1. From “predict-and-control” to “sense-and-respond”

2. A world of clouds or clocks?

3. Embracing the Uncertainty (the metaphysics beyond sense-and respond)

4. Why Sense-and-Respond way of life?


What we will learn?

This series of seminars aims to open for you a door through which you to be able to see another possible way of life, one informed by the metaphysics of the Living Universe. As all the other courses and seminars, it aims to help you to develop a Universe-centered consciousness, that connects you with something greater than you – the great Circle of Life.

Be a Collaborator!

Anyone can become our collaborator!

We are searching for artists, trainers, film-makers, web-designers and for everyone that is inspired by the same vision as us.

Whatever the challenges of the future, cooperators will have a clear evolutionary advantage compared to non-cooperators.

In the new VUCA world, we will have to survive and thrive in new ways, different from those that have been successful so far. As a multicellular organism is smarter and has better capacities to deal with its environment than a cell alone, as an ant-hill is smarter and has better capacities to deal with its environment than an ant alone, the cooperative groups will be smarter and better equipped to deal with future challenges than single individuals.

Educators, trainers or artists – those who aim to have a social impact, to spread an idea – have to cooperate, if they want to succeed. However, the evolution of Life has a clear direction: towards ever-increasing scales of cooperation.

Those who want to move forward must learn to cooperate in mutually enhancing ways.

The open project “Butterfly Communities” is an emerging community that is searching for young artists, trainers, filmmakers, etc. that have understood that we have to help each other to have a stronger social impact.