Over 1200 participants from 38 countries visited the International Whitsun Conference of the Christian Community 2nd to 6th of June 2017 in the Netherlands.

In the afternoon on Saturday, Sunday and Monday I took care of a workshop called “Presence”. For the design of my workshop I was inspired by one of the keynote speakers at the conference: Otto Scharmer. He is author of Theory U and co-author of Presence and Leading from the Emerging Future. In my workshop the participants experienced a ‘small’ U process by doing an exercise that was developed by my Brazilian IMO colleagues.

The participants modelled individually with clay a human figure, three-dimensional, in any position, reflecting a personal or professional question. After modeling the figure, the participants worked in groups of three. Two people observed, characterized and described what they were observing in the human figure. After that, all three had a dialogue about it. The owner of the question explained what he tried to express in the human figure. Finally he told what he would do differently about the figure and what is the next step regarding his question.

For some participants it was a big step to bring a question forward to people they had never met. But once they got started, they were surprised how complete ‘strangers’ – not knowing anything about the question of the other person – could get to the heart of it just by observing and describing. Beautiful to notice then is the excited laughter and the appreciative mood that arises between the participants. At the end they were refreshed by the insights the exercise gave them.

In these three days there were in total 36 participants in my workshop. It was a joy to contribute to this conference!
Lisanne Eblé-Bekman

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