Co-learning and emergence for the future of science

A foundational aspect of our approach to change in science is the concept of Network of Networks, articulated by Mei Lin Fung, who helped formulate the world of Customer Relations Management during her work at Oracle.  Mei Lin’s kitchen has been described as a place for sharing of ideas in an informal setting.

Emergence is the arising of new levels of capability at the meta-level, where the sum is greater than its constituent parts (an interesting mathematical description can be found here in the Santa Fe Institute offering from Nils A. Baas and Claus Emmeche).  Emergence, and evolution of the current constructs of science, are what ReImagine Science is designed for.  We are currently stepping up our capability in accelerating the discovery of prototypes that work in the technological and scientific sectors.

Our survey on who would be the best target group for training in ‘the science of team science,’ and what the content of such training might entail was described here.  We did our own prototyping of this in a retreat July 28-31st, 2016 in Estes Park.  Our facilitators were Lisa Chacon, co-founder of the Oakland Impact Hub, and Mery Miguez, a social presencing theater facilitator.

ReImagine Science Estes Park 2016 Retreat.jpg

ReImagine Science Retreat/Workshop
Estes Park July 29-31, 2016 ~ double rainbow over the Estes Park Conference site at the conclusion of our three day workshop.

We are currently hosting a ReImagine Science ULab, with Mery Miguez and Peter Wolff facilitating our group.  Our intention is to engage the tools created at MIT by Otto Scharmer and his colleagues at the Presencing Institute in the field of science, to experiment our way into new ideas and higher levels of clarity in a shared vision for the future of science.  We will be prototyping together, trying small experiments in what sort of training is called for to engage and shape the future leadership and collaboration skills that will have science find its place on the world stage for the future of the planet.

Theory U is a social technology for helping to bring about profound innovation and change. The focus of this method is on sensing and actualizing emerging future opportunities, both individually and collectively. In this program you will learn how to sense and seize future opportunities and how to connect to the deeper journey of your professional and personal life in order to become a more effective leader and change-maker at the level of systems of science and engineering.

Since it emerged around 2006, Theory U has come to be understood in three primary ways: first as a framework; second, as a method for leading profound change; and third, as a way of being – who we are in the matter, how we look at the systems we are part of, how we look at others, and how we engage ourselves.

Course particulars:

This is a working group/co-learning cohort lead by Mery Miguez, Peter Wolff and Kennan Salinero as part of the larger Presencing Institute Theory U Edx course out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  There are currently around 20,000 registered participants worldwide in the massively open online course you will be joining.  This is the third iteration of the ULab as a virtual MOOC; our focus, and theirs, is to move from the learning phase into the realm of action and projects, producing results we wish to see in the world.

It is an asynchronous, virtual course.  Stay tuned, as we will be looking for partners to prototype training and skills aimed at developing the capabilities and attributes leading to highly collaborative, creative work in the scientific fields of study.  If you are interested in discussing being a test site, please email us at

The course syllabus is accessible here.

Systems Thinking (and Wicked Messes) with Robert Horn

The 2015 Donald N. Michael award

Robert Horn receiving the 2015 Donald N. Michael award

We made sure to attend Robert E Horn’s Don N. Michael Award (a brief write-up can be found here). Bob lead the audience of visionary culture change agents through an overview of wicked problems and tools to address them.

Our work with Robert (Bob) Horn began after seeing him present his visual mapping of artificial intelligence as part of Piero Scaruffi’s LASER talks.

LASER is a series of fascinating presentations from the domains of science, art, and the intersection between.  Upcoming talks in the San Francisco bay area are listed here.  These thought-provoking, evocative talk series have been spreading around the globe, and are now in  Washington DC (NAS) – National Academy of Sciences, Los Angeles (UCLA): – UCLA Art Science Lab, Sacramento (UC Davis) – UC Davis Fusion, UC Santa Cruz, Kansas State Univ, and London (University of Westminster).

We were lucky to entice Robert Horn to join ReImagine Science (then known as Yámana Science and Technology) when we hosted ‘Mapping the Systems of Science and Technology‘ at the Presidio in San Francisco in 2013.

Oct 2013 at the foot of the golden gate bridge - the Presidio - doing systems mapping

Oct 2013 at the foot of the golden gate bridge – the Presidio – doing systems mapping

That event was an experiment in bringing ‘tools for teamwork’ to the scientific and technology community that is our bailiwick.  The teamwork series was a success.  We were happily surprised to learn we were launching our experiment in the very same room that Genentech-Roche had used to launch their mindfulness program, which was part of our own suite of tools to showcase.



Rescuing Biomedical Science: ASBMB hosts stakeholder meeting at annual conference

ASBMB HeaderAgenda ASBMB

“Rescuing Biomedical Science from its Systemic Flaws”  by Bruce Alberts, Marc Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman and Harold Varmus noted the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology would be hosting a panel discussion of key stakeholder representatives on April 27, 2014 at the 2014 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, so we got ourselves invited.

The room at the San Diego Conference center reserved for this panel presentation was fairly well populated, but certainly not packed.

Attendees showed a great deal of interest in the material presented by the panelists, particularly those of Paula Stephan, who authored the book “How Economics Shapes Science,” which she writes about here.

As people stepped up to the microphone, they suggested solutions – ones that would solve a particular facet of this multi-faceted issue.

We feel there is a place for a bigger umbrella to envelope not only issues of workforce employment and grant levels, but to connect to the larger picture of society, as well as societal hopes and dreams for what science can bring to the table.  The large, complex, and accelerating number of global challenges bespeak a seemingly bottomless set of problems for our next generation(s) of scientists – scientists that would be well served by unfettered creativity and problem-based collaborative approaches.