Gathering 2021

Why are we gathering? What are our hopes and aspirations for this meeting in dark pandemic times, in which the realization of the severity of the climate crisis overshadows all our other pressing problems? 

We wish to explore the ‘we’-question. For there is no more urgent inquiry in this post-tragic age of ours. A bigger we is regularly called upon to arise and to address our burning global action problems. And yet even the climate crisis has not brought us closer together. If anything, we are more fractured and polarized than ever before. This is also true of the social change space. In spite of the fact that we share many hopes, we, too, have not yet managed to establish scalable protocols and platforms and projects. We, too, mainly move in our own filter bubbles, married quite firmly to our own theories of change, to our brands, niches and communities. 

Is this dream of a ‘we’ capable of cohering at scale just that – a dream? Can it even exist? Why doesn’t it exist already? Which psychological, economic, structural and political dynamics keep us from forming it? How can we catalyse its emergence, sow the seeds for new imaginaries and the kind of hyper-agency that our times call for? How can we form a ‘we’ that is capable of cohesive action but that not only respects but thrives on difference? 

We are gathering to explore answers to these questions. But they can’t just remain abstract inquiries. We need to be able to imagine, be, presence, visualize this bigger we. We also need to do something concrete as a we, with the we, for the we. Or else we must grapple more courageously with the shadows that keep us from letting it emerge. Perhaps this is even all we can do for now. For these shadows are very real and powerful. The ‘we’ in the room, moreover, isn’t our ultimate concern. There are many ‘we’s beyond it.

Our programme will cover approaches to we-building that focus on the imagination, on presencing and intersubjective field-work, and on practical innovations and initiatives. We believe that imagining, being and doing we, head, heart, hand-centred inquiries, are all vital parts of our exploration. 

Emerge’s aspiration has always been to be a broad church to many different kinds of social visionaries. A meta-network that brings together diverse tribes, offering a platform to exchange insights, knowledge and share practices. On our website, we wish to make you and what you do visible to each other and to the outside world. 

And this is also what this Gathering is about. Offering a space, literal and metaphorical, in which we can connect, hold diversity without fragmenting, and seed the field for something – whatever shape it may take – to emerge. The perhaps even more important task will be to ensure its afterlife beyond the Gathering. 

GATHERING 2021

“Token Engineering is a very powerful tool, and an exciting challenge.”

Angela Kreitenweis is a co-founder of Token Engineering, a global community and ecosystem of people exploring the building blocks of future “token economies”.

GATHERING 2021

Deliberately Developmental Spaces: A Key to Addressing the MetaCrisis?

Rufus Pollock and Theo Cox

In this time of pressing global action problems, development in individual and collective “being” is a top priority. One promising approach is the creation of deliberately developmental spaces. We outline the key features of these spaces as well as some principles for their design and operation.

GATHERING 2021

Moral Imaginations

Phoebe Tickell

We need a new rigour - a rigour of feeling. To change systems and culture we must feel differently, and not just change the map of where we want to go. If the ways of thinking with which we are familiar are leading us to dead ends, we must go via a different route.

Gathering 2021

Elizabeth Debold and Thomas Steininger in Dialogue with John Vervaeke

Thomas Steininger and Elizabeth Debold are the originators of Evolve magazine and emergent dialogues. Here they talk to John Vervaeke on his series Voices with Vervaeke: Science, Spirituality, and the Meaning Crisis.

GATHERING 2021

The Impossible We?

Jonathan Rowson

A bigger 'we' is often called upon to take collective action to address our burning global emergencies. But 'we' is the most problematic pronoun of them all: The We that wants to say there is an emergency is not the same We as the We that needs to hear it, and the We that needs to hear it has several different ideas about the nature of the We that should do something about it.

GATHERING 2021

Why we Need to Democratise Imagination //Moral Imaginations

Phoebe Tickell on Rigorous Imagining for Moral Futures.

GATHERING 2021

“We are suffering from a wisdom famine in the West.”

John Vervaeke, professor of cognitive science at the University of Toronto, is the prophet of the "meaning crisis." The crisis of wisdom, he holds, is the defining crisis of our times. To overcome it, we must learn to steal the culture.

Gathering 2021

Sustainability Concept

Klaudia Shevelyuk

Our Sustainability Concept and Pledge for the Emerge Gathering 2021

GATHERING 2021

Sacrificing the Gods

Elizabeth Debold

We urgently need new myths to ground us in this time between worlds and stories. What may take the place of our current myths - the myths of rationality and science, materialism, capitalism, meritocracy and democracy, justice and equality? May Eros hold the key to our future social imaginaries?

GATHERING 2021

What is Emerging? A Conversation with Indra Adnan and Anthea Lawson

Indra Adnan and Anthea Lawson talk about the politics of waking up, entangled activism, agency and the importance of inner work for outer change.

GATHERING 2021

Can Emergence Be Our Saving Grace?

Anna Katharina Schaffner

Why does the concept of emergence resonate with so many of us, at this particular historical moment, and in so many different spheres of activity? And is it really wise to put our collective faith in its transformative powers?

Gathering 2021

How Deep Is The Shift We Are Facing? Transforming Our Collective Imaginary

Tomas Björkman

This article is an edited version of the conversation between David Fuller and Tomas Björkman on the Rebel Wisdom media platform in July 2020.

GATHERING 2021

The Politics of Waking Up 15: The Future Arising

Indra Adnan

Only 9% of people want life to ‘return to normal’ after coronavirus. This moment could bring about the convergence of a number of conditions that seemed impossible to orchestrate before.

GATHERING 2021

“What Are Governments For If Not To Preserve Human Life?”

Scientist and social entrepreneur Phoebe Tickell is part of a new wave of climate activists applying a natural systems perspective to social change work.

GATHERING 2021

“Pleasure is Connected to Creativity and Life Force Energy.”

Facilitator and author Pamela Von Sabljar is empowering global change makers and business leaders to live a life of pleasure and radical responsibility.