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Awakening Faith in an Alternative Future. A Consideration of Present: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future

Author(s): Senge, P.M., Scharmer, C.O.,  Jaworski, J., & Flowers, B.S. (in The SoL Journal on Knowledge, Learning, and Change)
Publication Date: 2004

This article is based on the first chapters of the new book Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future. It deals with the issue of how change occurs in living systems. It claims that with so many social systems failing and the need to “create the world anew”, citizens will be called to participate in changes that are both “deeply personal and inherently systemic.” The book and article are based on extensive research, first-hand experience, and a multi-year dialogue by the authors.

In this article, the authors stress our connection to the larger whole of social systems as well as our ability to make choices and to influence the future. Unlike machines, living systems namely create themselves and are continually changing.

The authors state that when the individual and collective awareness of people increases about the larger realities they operate in, the source and effectiveness of their actions can change dramatically. History has already shown extraordinary moments of collective presence of awakening and shifts of large social systems like the apartheid. Since nowadays, the emergence of global institutions represents a dramatic shift in the conditions for life on the planet, this process of deeper learning can have strong implications for the preservation of the earth and human life.