Societal Transformation Lab

Co-creating Learning Communities for Wellbeing of All

SoulCo has been accepted to participate in the Societal Transformation Lab (STL) of the Presencing Institute. STL will convene over 300 teams around the world. Here in the Boston area, we’re looking for extended team members to join us from February through May — exploring what could be possible for co-creating learning communities of local entrepreneurs.

Where are we now?

Our current hypotheses are:

  1. How entrepreneurs respond to their business and relationship challenges impacts their success — to reach their goals and make a difference that matters to them and the people they serve in and around their businesses.
  2. Entrepreneurs with emotional intelligence skills (including self-awareness and empathy) respond to those challenges more effectively and in ways that support the wellbeing of all stakeholders involved in their businesses.
  3. Learning these skills is like learning a new language — it’s much more effective to learn, practice, and master them in community than individually on our own.

Where are we going?

SoulCo’s intention is to co-create learning communities to support and encourage local entrepreneurs as they develop and grow their ventures. We envision communities whose members benefit from sharing their knowledge and entrepreneurial experience with each other while learning and practicing emotional intelligence skills together.

Why does this matter?

A survey by the World Economic Forum shows emotional intelligence will become one of the top skills needed by all in 2020. However, our school system prioritizes cognitive learning over everything else, and does not teach emotional intelligence skills. Here’s the good news: it’s never too late to learn. We have the social technology — methods, tools, and practices — to develop these capacities based on scientific research and organizational learnings from neuroscience, social science, and related fields.

Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that anyone can learn to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship, leadership, and relationships. They are foundational to growing leadership capacity for peak performance, strong collaboration, and desired outcomes. They are not “soft” or “squishy” skills, but core business skills for responding to invisible yet powerful forces such as fear, anxiety, self-doubt and criticism, that can get us stuck or thrown off course.

How do we get there?

As part of STL, we plan to test the three hypotheses above, and develop a prototype learning community that supports entrepreneurs as intended above. With the support of the STL global community we will work with awareness-based tools and methods from Presencing Institute. They will guide the journey with a systematic process and approach to prototyping.

There will be monthly half-day meetings starting from February through May and some wrap-up sessions in June. We anticipate an average of 2-3 hours per week time commitment from the extended team members. Weeks in which teams are engaged in applying methodologies will require more time, while other weeks will require less. The overall commitment will likely be slightly less from March to May. There is no financial cost to participate in STL.

We’re looking to have 4 to 7 extended team members in addition to the three core members: the two of us at SoulCo (Charles and Jung) and Paula Cohen at Knowledge for Impact.  

If you’re interested in joining this project, contact Jung Starrett: