Vertical Literacy, Innovative teaching and the 21st-Century University

This blog is to update the TrUST community about forthcoming actions, interesting publications about inter/trans-disciplinary research and education tools, connected blogs and ideas about the vision of the future university & the sustainability transition challenge. In the next week, three of the TrUST members (Giulia Sonetti, Isabella Lami and Sara Monaci) will be attending the Presencing Institute Foundation in Person Programme in Berlin. The Presencing Institute was founded in 2006 by MIT Sloan School of Management Senior Lecturer Otto Scharmer and colleagues in order to create an action research platform at the intersection of science, consciousness, and profound social and organizational change. Over the past two decades, they have developed Theory U as a change framework, led cross-sector leadership, change and innovation initiatives worldwide, and created an innovation platform called u.lab. In Berlin, we will be learning how to tackle the challenge of building the 21st-Century University. “The difficulties in implementing the Paris Agreement and the SDGs worldwide are not caused by a knowledge gap. The problem is lack of political will and a knowing-doing gap: a disconnect between our collective consciousness and our collective action. This gap leads us to collectively create results that nobody wants: massive environmental destruction, societies breaking apart, and social media-induced mass separation from our deeper sources of self.” TrUST shares the same starting point of Otto Scharmer when defining the lack of “vertical literacy” in the current university system. These 4 days of intensive introduction to concepts and practices of Theory U, a social technology for helping to bring about profound innovation and change, will bring in TrUST new capacities for generating breakthrough possibilities around innovative transdisciplinary strategies.