Avatar of Marilyn Darling

Topic Description

This topic will be jointly presented by Marilyn Darling, Heidi Sparkes Guber and Jillaine Smith.

This showcase presentation will introduce Emergent Learning. It will call on John Holland’s work on Complex Adaptive Systems to help answer the question: “What does it really take to continually expand our capacity to create the future? (from Peter Senge’s original definition of a “Learning Organization.”) Holland’s research will demonstrate the importance of fast cycles of on-the-ground experimentation around many, often competing hypotheses in order to speed up the path to adaptive capacity — to creating our collective futures. It will illustrate the difference between, and the impact of, top-down outside-in design versus bottom-up inside-out emergent learning. The session will draw on examples from everyday life, from science, from our own practice and from participants to illustrate what adaptive knowledge actually looks like, how it gets created, and how the adaptive process can speed up.

What is the format of this topic?

This will be a showcase presentation, with pauses for interaction with the audience.

Where have you brought this to life before?

This line of thinking has been a thread of our conversation for years. This particular presentation is completely new.

Do you have the presentation on slideshare, haikudeck or prezi?

No. We are sending a PowerPoint to you by e-mail.

Any chance you have this on youtube or vimeo?


What do you feel is the heartbeat of your topic?

The Emergent Learning community tends to attract kindred spirits. Who that might be is difficult to identify in advance. We are continually surprised by who shows up. The heartbeat is just that -- a recognition that a learning “organization” cannot be designed from above or outside. It grows because there is a heartbeat coming from within. Learning and knowledge emerges from that heartbeat of practice.

How could the community collaborate with you to build your vision?

Emergent Learning is by definition emergent. We love to participate in communities that come together in humility and curiosity around a shared “What will it take to…?” question.

Are you looking for sponsors, funding, grants?

Not at the moment, though we would welcome the opportunity to do more research around the ideas we will be talking about at STIA.