The most innovative people are creative people who understand the limitations of existing paradigms. They are able to break free from the cultural and societal constraints which can limit our thinking, resulting in an ability to conceive of new ideas, new services, whole new ways of being for their organisations.
They have a high degree of empathy, they have an ability to understand the views and perspectives of other people from radically different backgrounds to their own, and can naturally develop customer experiences with soul. So the question is how can we too break free from existing paradigms to become more innovative and creative?
The Deep Science Walk is a new concept in experiential learning created by Simon Robinson and Maria Moraes Robinson. Introduced for the first time in Customer Experiences with Soul, it takes participants through the history of science, starting with the Ancient Greeks. We introduce the Deep Science Walk in the following manner:
The Deep Science Walk is an experiential learning concept that we created and which weaves together those elements relating to the history of science which run throughout Holonomics, structured to imbue within people a deeply intuitive sense of what a paradigm shift really entails, and how they too can develop ‘metaphoric perception’ and creative insights. The experience is one of authentic co-creation. Science is not taught as dogma; rather, participants are encouraged to explore together the underlying meaning of the topics introduced.
The Holonomics Approach
Our first book Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter describes a new way of thinking that teaches business leaders how to adapt in innovative ways. To fully know the world, nature, people and phenomena, the book argues, we need to use four ways of knowing – thinking, feeling, sensing and intuition. We also have to ensure that the five universal human values of peace, love, truth, right-action and non-violence are genuinely present in each part of our organizations, ecosystems, and most of all, ourselves.
In order to fully comprehend the nature of holonomic thinking, we have to make a number of shifts in our thinking:
- From mechanistic thinking to systems thinking
- From systems thinking to holonomic thinking
- From downstream to upstream
- From finished objects to the coming-into-being of phenomena
- From mechanical systems to living systems
- From conceptual thinking to sensory perception
- From sensing to scientific intuition
- From linear thinking to non-linear thinking
- From quantitative to qualitative
The four components of holonomic thinking are mental models, systems models, business models and human values. We do not describe our Holonomics approach as a ‘paradigm shift’. We describe it as an expansion of consciousness. This expansion of consciousness comes in part by studying the history of science, and the manner in which scientists, over many centuries, managed to collectively expand their levels of awareness, enabling creative insights resulting in radically new ways of comprehending nature, the universe and reality.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
Thomas Kuhn argued that the prevailing activity of science takes place during long periods of “normal science”. This “normal science” gives way to a “scientific revolution” in which theories and ideas change in radical ways as whole new systems of concepts are created. These overall systems of concepts are called paradigms.
David Bohm and David Peat argue that during periods of “normal science” quite significant changes do in fact take place. True creativity, they argue, cannot be bounded to periods of revolution alone. For Bohm and Peat, new ideas arise due to changes in metaphor. Metaphoric perception is, indeed fundamental to all science and involves bringing together previously incompatible ideas in radically new ways.
The Deep Science Walk weaves together those elements which run throughout Holonomics which will develop within participants a deeply intuitive sense of what a paradigm shift really entails, and how they too can develop metaphoric perception and creative insights.
Impact and Outcomes
The participants who take part in the Deep Science Walk are given space to contemplate how their own mental models and metaphors currently impact on their own world views, and how new creative insights could be gained. They are also able to develop insights in relation to how other people construct reality, and learn to better empathise with those who have different world views and life experiences from their own.
By inserting exercises, such as playing with prisms (an exercise we describe in detail in Holonomics), they have an opportunity to contemplate the differences between Newton and Goethe and therefore begin to understand how they can expand their awareness from thinking into to the four ways of knowing the world, as explain in both Holonomics and Customer Experiences with Soul. This expansion and transition of consciousness enables creative insights, resulting in radically new ways of comprehending nature, the universe and reality.
For further information about the Deep Science Walk please see our new book Customer Experiences with Soul: A New Era in Design. If you would like to speak to us to find our more and explore the possibility of running a deep science walk inside your organisation, please do get in touch with us via our contact form.