LILA ~ Learning Innovations Laboratory at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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Winter LILA Gathering February 5 -6 2019

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The Personal:  Understanding Identity and Micro-Narratives (February 5-6, 2019)

If we are to engage with collective mindfulness, an important area of inquiry might be to get a better understanding of how individual identity plays into both driving collective mindfulness and is influenced by the context in which the individuals find themselves.  Individuals and groups engage in sensemaking and sensegiving activities as a way of reinforcing, reinventing or renegotiating identities.  Narratives are a mechanism through which this identity shaping process is revealed and hold clues about what is going on within the organization as individuals construct, interpret, and act within their own narratives.  They also reveal what is happening outside of the organization – in the marketplace that might impact the life of the organization.  While stories have a beginning, middle and end, narratives are unfolding and implicate an evolving identity both at the individual and organizational level.

In this session, we will investigate the interplay between identity and narratives as a way to better understand how to engage in adaptive sensemaking that leads to collective mindfulness. We will look at questions such as how narratives are constructed?  How do they influence the system and are influenced by the system?  What are the identity related tensions that surface in narratives and how can one shape them?  How might we foster collective curiosity that engages individuals to question assumptions, learn and act mindfully?

Harvard Graduate School of Education