Conversations #6 - George Por

  
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A conversation with Founder & Academic Dean of Campus Co-Evolve, George Por—

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Hey Eclectic Spacewalkers!

In October (19’), after traveling to Copenhagen and then to London, we headed to Brighton, on the southern coast of the UK, to speak with George Por. (Our euro filming trip all started from a tweet when I started following George on Twitter.)

We finally reached Brighton, and were warmly welcomed by George & his wife Anne. They were the best of hosts! They showed us around the North Laine corridor of small shops and interesting boutiques. Later, Anne cooked us all a delicious meal, as we crammed in their small kitchen due to the house being in the middle of a renovation.

Good food and great conversation with the best humans. We were there to film a podcast and talk about possible collaborations but both Anne and George treated my photographer Christine and I like old friends. I will always remember their generosity, wisdom, and respect for our humanity.

George Por is the Founder & Academic Dean of Campus Co-Evolve, or “The Campus.” Campus Co-Evolve is a unique digital-higher education prototype. Their ambitions are of the highest order in pioneering learning techniques that can be used on three all-encompassing scales.

Our purpose is “to trigger viral waves of new capabilities for facilitating profound transformation on three scales — personal, organizational, and societal.”

To achieve its purpose, The Campus has developed a radically innovative educational framework.

Five principle pillars inform their approach:

·       Holistic

“We are committed to an education of the whole person. We operate from a holistic sense of wellbeing, which cares for the individual and collective dimensions of who we are, as well as, the invisible (e.g. consciousness and culture), and visible (e.g. behavior and systems). In fact, our “Four Rivers” course irrigates those four fields of the Integral Matrix.”

·       Experiential

“All our programs include an interwoven experiential stream (learning by doing) and a teaching stream (providing empowering distinctions, frameworks, and methodologies). Their experiential nature is emphasized by action-research, peer-to-peer learning, fieldwork, and other methods, the combination of which is to enable prototyping the future in the contexts relevant to our practitioner-participants.”

·       Praxis-driven

“Praxis is the dynamic interdependence of theory and practice. In our context, it refers to the unity of learning from action and action enriched by learning, in an iterative, never-ending spiral. It includes applying the insights, tools, and methods gained from our courses to projects aimed at meeting real-world challenges, and using the work on those challenges as drivers of learning.”

·       Transformative

“Our programs are designed to foster personal and collective transformation (vertical development). They are aimed at equipping their participants with the contemplative, relational, cultural, and systemic competencies needed for catalyzing profound transformation. Only by enabling a snowballing effect in the spread of such competences can Campus Co-Evolve pursue its vision and purpose.

·       Community-focused

“Our best chance to learn and blossom is in the context of caring, mutually supportive relationships. That’s why we inspire the cultivation of evolutionary friendships, learning teams and partnerships, and communities of practice. Enrolling in any of the courses, you are also getting the support of a facilitated learning community, and you are invited to contribute to it. That’s because “none of us is as smart as all of us.”

The Campus is the brainchild of George and other revolutionaries trying to take systems thinking approach in solving some of societies greatest problems through innovative education. One of the most daring aspects of the Campus is that it operates in the gift economy. What does that mean? That means it is donation based! Not free, but they work within your means to make sure that anyone who wants the knowledge will be able to partake in learning. Admirable stuff.

Campus Co-Evolve is still relatively new, as it has only been around for a year or so, but there is much promise. Given more capital with successful cohorts and committed teachers we could be hearing more about The Campus in the future of education.

George has a long track record of teaching, mentorship, and being a r.evolutionary (a revolutionary who basis their techniques on evolutionary principles) change agent. Our conversation was wide-ranging and thought-provoking. We talked about The Campus, but also got into civilization renewal, reinvigorating the commons, and the importance of adding evolutionary thinking into your repertoire of seeing reality.

I thank George for his time, and the expansive discussion we had. Check out his “Circle of LifeWork” below.

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Timestamps

  • What did you want to be when you grew up? (00:01:42)

  • George’s story about being being kicked out of university, spending 20 months in jail, and exiled from Hungary in the 1960s. (00:06:03)

  • George talks about his “Circle of Life” work, and it changing every year (00:13:14)

  • George started a magazine called “Enlivening Edge” (00:23:45)

BEGINNING OF PART TWO (00:29:12)

  • George founded a company called Community Intelligence which is “enabling the next stage of development and people and organizations” (00:29:12)

  • “Organizational theories interests me only if they can be tested and practice & are improving the lives of people while moving the organization that they work with to its next stage of capabilities. (00:35:30)

  • What are “The Commons?” (00:44:49)

  • How has mentor-ship & teaching changed you personally? (00:48:28)

BEGINNING OF PART THREE (00:52:54)

  • Why did you start Campus Co-Evolve? (00:52:54)

  • Five Pillars of Campus Co-Evolve (00:58:15)

  • Campus Co-Evolve is donation based instead of tuition (01:05:12)

  • If you were at the International Space Station or say the moon with a whole world looking up at you (Experiencing “The Overview Effect”), what would you say? (01:11:41)

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More on George Por:

Campus Co-Evolve Website: https://campus-coevolve.org/

Community Intelligence Website: https://community-intelligence.com/

EnLivening Edge Newsletter: https://www.enliveningedge.org/

George’s Twitter: @TechnoShaman

George’s Medium: https://medium.com/@technoshaman

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