Theory U & Biomimicry

“What you will come out with is a sense of self and a sense of capability, and an understanding of the system that you could have never reached by any other means. And this I really know from my own personal experience. I owe this to my children and my children’s children. Because I cannot be found one thing when they turn to me and they say: Why didn’t you do something when it was at your fingertips to be able to do?” – - Marian Goodman

Spinwaves Lab uses Theory U as its pathway. This is a model that helps to solve complex issues by breaking away from traditional thinking patterns. It's a practical framework with techniques that together create systemic change. What distinguishes Theory U from other change models is the 'awareness' component. The difference is not so much made by 'what' you do but by 'how' you do it, the source from which you act and the awareness of intention. We literally follow the movement of the letter U. First you go into depth and embark on an inner journey, and then you use the insights you have gained to take specific actions, step by step. This process has five movements that form the structure of the programme in Spinwaves Lab: Co-initiation, Co-sensing, Co-presencing, Co-creation and finally, Co-evolving.  

Participants in the lab first explore what is going on in the system by slowing down. Together, we go on learning journeys, do workshops and engage in in-depth conversations with many different people. Only then do we get to work, focusing on what is really needed. Together, we come up with realistic ideas and solutions, which participants then test and develop in the field. We call these concepts prototypes. Prototypes that are 100% sustainable and contribute to life on earth.

Biomimicry provides the right tools for these designs and is therefore the second pillar of Spinwaves Lab. Biomimicry is the art and science of studying, drawing inspiration from and following nature's strategies in order to solve problems in our human society. Over 3.8 billion years, nature has built up a rich database of sustainable systems and concepts. Where Theory U is used as a process, we work with nature as a 'mentor'.

This video with Otto Scharmer gives you more information about the background and application of Theory U.

This video with the founding mother Janine Benuys gives more information about the backgrounds and application of Biomimicry.