A portion of sketch notes from the call by Yvonne Hollandy. To see the full rendering click here.

Axiom Field of Generative Journalism Being Born in the Moment
Dialogic co-learning draws on gifts, energies in the room to shape the practice

A sense that the field of Generative Journalism is being born in the moment emanated from last week’s MaestroConference call engaging people from five countries.

Host of the call Peter Pula started things off by relating a shift in the practice he’s currently most alive to.

“We’re now experimenting with questions that are really edgy and get to what we don’t know we know and to what is about to happen,” Peter said.

“Can we actually make questions into something that are an act of prophetic imagination… . So we’re not repeating and growing out of an old story and we’re not blinded by our preconceived notions about what an idealized future could look like.

  What’s coming up for you or what’s alive for you now?

“But what if we were asking those questions that cause us to be in that liminal space, that space where something is being born in the moment?”

An example of such a question might be an evolution of these — What’s coming up for you or what’s alive for you now?

“Can we change it into, what’s about to come up for you? What are you about to be on the cusp of learning? So now we’re asking each person to project into their next step very very quickly,” Peter said.

Through a dialogic, co-learning exercise, the 20-plus people on the call added their gifts and energies to shaping the practice.

In imagining their experiences with “the most generative question of my life,” some rich insights on other possible elements of generative practice emerged.

“My expectation is that the most generative question of my life will be asked by someone completely unexpected. It’s out of an exploration of something that matters to me, but it could be anywhere, anytime,” one of the participants noted.

A generative question may also be a transitional question, it was suggested, in that it brings elements that have been floating together in a coherent way and in the process opens doors to something quite new.

  “My head is spinning a bit from how quickly we’ve gotten here.”

In other words, the question does more than identify or illuminate the terrain between two existing realities, or even how they intersect, but rather, it brings to consciousness a doorway into a new world. “And so it’s question that helps to catalyze that third place, that third way.”

Useful and energizing insights on the parts of generative practice such as narrating what’s alive in the moment, being present to generative connection, invitation and transformational purpose also came alive through an experimental dialogic process.

These will continue to be explored as the group meets again in the coming weeks.

It was stunning to experience the depth of the dialogue — not only in terms of the brilliance of thinking and insight, but also the engagement of people’s whole beings and what they put into the room as a result. This was surprising given not only that it was a digital call and most of us are separated by thousands of miles, but also in contrast to many in-person gatherings.

One participant highlighted this as well — “My head is spinning a bit from how quickly we’ve gotten here,” he said, referring specifically to how people “connected at points where we can all speak the same language and then really get into what we’re trying to get at quickly because a lot of us have been thinking about this for a long time.”

Clearly a nice cultivating has happened for the work to move to even greater levels of understanding and possibility.

Till next time!

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