At IONS we like to say that true coincidences are rare. Rather, we experience meaningful — occasionally profound — synchronicities that emerge from information and energy beyond space or time. That is how I feel about the official launch of the Noetic Leadership Initiative this Fall — the synchronicity of its emergence at the end of the most challenging and evolutionary year in recent human history.
Not only has 2020 required humanity to confront the worst pandemic in 100 years, we have also faced the frightening effects of accelerating climate change, mobilization for racial justice not seen since the 1960s, and a polarized American political landscape that has not collectively risen to meet the challenges of these extraordinary times. I will humbly suggest that the Noetic Leadership Initiative chose the timing of its own birth to cultivate leaders of all kinds by nourishing their own inner wisdom and propensity to lead from an emerging knowledge of our interconnection with other human beings, nature, and the cosmos.
And the world is clearly ready. Over 1,000 people from around the world participated in our inaugural Noetic Leadership webinar series beginning in September and concluding on December 4th. I had the honor of convening intimate discussions with scholars and real-world practitioners to help us better understand what it means to lead from a place of interconnection and inner wisdom. What are the opportunities — and the challenges and vulnerabilities?
I am very grateful for the three special guests who contributed so generously to the conversation this Fall. Alan Briskin, PhD — scholar of spirituality in the workplace, author of five books, and hands-on advisor to leaders and organizations guiding important change initiatives — kicked off the series with me in September. Alan and I explored how IONS origins in epiphany and the etymological roots of “noetic” link very powerfully to leadership. In Alan’s words, we do not need to go to the moon to discover nous, but we do need to be reminded of its power to change our perception of this world. We need leaders who embody this curiosity about interconnectivity and who are also deeply operational in the sense of being capable of orchestrating our connectivity for good ends.
In October’s Noetic Leadership webinar, I engaged in a very personal conversation with acclaimed author and consultant Anita Sanchez, PhD. Anita led us in an inspiring, high-energy exploration of how indigenous wisdom can inform and inspire our ability to lead from a fundamental understanding that we are all precious relations — People, Spirit, and Earth. Honoring the strong link between indigenous wisdom and noetic science, we discussed many practices for today’s leaders — including viewing impact from a Seven Generations perspective and embracing the sacred power of The Hoop (the Circle) in all manner of management and convening.
And for the third and final installment of the Noetic Leadership Fall Series, I interviewed Sounds True Founder and CEO, Tami Simon, on December 4th. In this very spirited discussion, Tami and I candidly explored how a noetic approach to leadership holds enormous potential, not only for one’s organization, but for the world. We discussed the practical application of Noetic Leadership in our daily lives as leaders. How does the acknowledgement of our true interconnection impact the way in which we lead and the decisions we make? How can we cultivate our inner wisdom to be one of our most crucial and trusted tools?
The recordings of these three extraordinary programs can be seen here.
At IONS we see ourselves as stewards — not owners — of this crucial conversation. Our goal with the Noetic Leadership Initiative is to create a container for exploration, research, practice, community, and broad application. We intend Noetic Leadership to be additive to (rather than competitive with) other leadership models — past, present, and future. We are humbled to be in a position to bring this forth in the world as a very timely expression of our founder’s legacy. I find it remarkable that Edgar Mitchell’s words several years ago apply so pointedly to the times we are all navigating right now:
I developed an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it.Edgar Mitchell
Please join us as the Noetic Leadership conversation continues in the new year. We will soon announce the details of a comprehensive online workshop beginning in late February. I personally invite and encourage your active participation as this initiative unfolds and takes shape to be of greatest service to the world! It is indeed the right time.