U Lab – learning together

joiningthedots is excited to have hosted a “Hub” for the EdX U Lab, from September-November 2015 at our office space in Newtown (Sydney). We experienced an incredible time of learning and co-creating with other Sydney-siders taking part in the U-Lab course. We felt like each week was one big dot joining session and we are so grateful to everyone who took part. Our networks and circle of learning and support has grown exponentially!

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What is Theory U?

Theory U is an approach to leading profound change that has been developed by action researchers at MIT, and practiced by leaders around the world, for over 20 years. The idea is one that is gathering over 50,000 people worldwide who are interested in creating more aware, inclusive, sustainable societies. Theory U can be summarised as a framework for creating a transformative change through moving a group from an open mind to an open heart to an open will (a will to change something and co-evolve in new ways). It provides a guide to co-sense and co-shape the future that you feel is wanting to emerge in your work, and life, right now.

What has The Welcome Dinner Project got to Do with a U-Lab?

The U-Lab develops our capacities of deep listening, precise observation, and dialogue and helps ensure that the change we are creating is the one that the world needs most, while being developed in a mutual way with those whom we are working alongside. During each Welcome Dinner the facilitators are actually guiding the group on a U-shaped journey, helping us get past our differences and focusing on being present to our common humanity, through sharing of story and food and co-creating new ways of being together.

A physical space where U.Lab participants come together to learn and co-create using the frameworks and methods offered through the U.Lab Massive Online Course. Hubs enhance the typical student experience by serving as self-organized, decentralized, democratically run learning and doing environments. Since everyone in your Hub will be applying the same practices – though not necessarily on the same challenge, issue, or system – the hub can be a place for people to make sense of what they have experienced with others who will not judge them about it, but will support and inquire into their observations.
In the latter parts of the course, the U.Lab introduces a variety of prototyping methods that require a physical space and are helpful to do with other people. In these (and possibly many other) ways, hubs are essential supportive infrastructures for helping people develop insights into action co-creating with others.

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