Global Coherence Initiative


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“An individual endowed with planetary consciousness recognizes his or her role in the evolutionary process and acts responsibly in light of this perception. Each of us must start with ourselves to evolve our consciousness to this planetary dimension; only then can we become responsible and effective members of society’s change and transformation. Planetary consciousness is the knowing as well as the feeling of the vital interdependence and essential oneness of humankind and the conscious adoption of the ethics and ethos that this entails. Its evolution is the basic imperative of human survival on this planet.” – Ervin Laszlo and H.H. the Dalai Lama

It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.

NextNow Collaboratory is collaborating with the Global Coherence Initiative (GCI), a science-based initiative dedicated to shifting global consciousness from instability to coherence, and observing changes in Earth’s magnetic field using advanced sensing technologies to test the hypothesis that shifts in global consciousness will also shift the geo-magnetic field to benefit the planet and all life.

GCI is built on decades of scientific research conducted by the Institute of Heartmath (IHM) on the importance of heart coherence to the health of living systems.  IHM is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and a recognized global leader in researching emotional physiology, heart-brain interactions and the physiology of optimal health and performance—the result of which has been to enable people to measurably increase their levels of systemic coherence.  GCI—the initiative that aims to scale these benefits—is a proactive consciousness platform, an online science-based initiative to measurably lift systems from stress and discord to higher-order functioning.  The change theory of GCI is that shifting humans into more coherent states will lead to more coherent social systems and more coherent global systems, benefiting all life.

Global Coherence Initiative is part of NextNow Collaboratory‘s dedication to projects combining collaboration and information visualization technologies to consciously evolve our selves and our world. By installing and monitoring a global network of sensitive magnetic field detectors, GCI endeavors to demonstrate the relationship between human-Earth energetics.

NextNowNetwork co-founder Bonnie DeVarco recently wrote a blog post that beautifully illustrates this convergence, and gives context to the Global Coherence Initiative:

“Taking this back to Earth, I love to combine James Lovelock’s Gaia (Earth as a single organism) meme with those discussed above, while at the same time embracing Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose’s quantum physics model for the invisible interactions that happen in the microtubules of the brain – quantum consciousness. I suggest this is the perspective of EcoSentience – a return to seeing Earth as a quantum organism. We will soon be able to envision the pulsations of the organism and the global mind through visualization convergence in the birth to the geospatial, semantic web. Over a decade ago, visionary Barbara Marx Hubbard pointed out that our generation’s zeitgeist and potential is an era of “conscious evolution” or the “evolution of evolution.” And in recent years we have begun to use technology to aid spiritual transformation with programs that have attempt to track and ground the presence of the collective human mind in science and practice – with programs such as the Global Consciousness Project (started at Princeton and Edinburgh Universities) and HeartMath’s Global Coherence Initiative. Many more of us are beginning to coalesce our shared intention and to heed Marx Hubbard’s call. As we become more comfortable embracing transformation as a modus operandi, and global consciousness as a compelling way to perceive our world, we will find that Collective Visioning is our key to collaborative transformation and the rise of the self aware superorganism.  Now is the time to collectively look into the mirror of EcoSentience and see our conscious reflection.”

I was interviewed by Marty Wasserman of A Deeper Look at the Program for the Future at the Tech Museum in San Jose on the Global Coherence Initiative:

Please visit the website, or check back here for more detailed information.  For updates and an idea of how the Global Coherence Initiative integrates with other NextNow Collab initiatives, read on:

Second Global Coherence Initiative Sensor Site Installed in Saudi Arabia

Posted by NextNow Collaboratory on October 16, 2010

Global Coherence Initiative is a NextNowCollab collaboration.  The news about the Saudi Arabia site is a major development for the project, and we’re excited to reprint it here.  For more information, contact Claudia Welss, GCI Steering Committee and Director of Strategic Partnerships: claudia(at)glcoherence.org.

This past week marked an important milestone for the Global Coherence Initiative, having successfully installed a second GCI Monitoring System Site. GCI Director of Research Rollin McCraty just returned from overseeing the construction of the new sensor site, located near Hofuf in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia–on the opposite side of the planet from our first sensor site in Boulder Creek, California, U.S.  The new site was approved by Prince Abdulaziz Ben Jloui and is named in his honor.

The ability to simultaneously monitor signals on the opposite side of the planet will enable GCI to start building a picture of the rhythms and resonances in the magnetic fields produced by the earth and ionosphere on a global scale–the first time this has ever been done.

We at GCI genuinely appreciate the interest of NextNowNetwork/NextNowCollab members this past year, including all those who joined us for the EcoSentience day in Santa Cruz (during which GCI was presented). It has taken a network of many to allow us to design and set up these two planetary field monitoring sites, withthe ultimate goal of determining whether collective positive coherent energy can influence the global field environment.  To continue to move forward we’ll need to keep growing our networks of support.

Now that we have two sensor sites, our next step is to create an automated system to analyze the data coming in from the sites.  We also need to deploy additional strategically positioned sensor sites in upstate New York on the east coast of the U.S., the United Kingdom, Asia and Western Africa, as well as in other parts of the world. If you are interested in sponsoring a sensor site, learn more.

Continued progress in achieving our collective mission of helping shift global consciousness is made possible through your caring participation and on-going support.  Thank you!  Claudia Welss, Rollin McCraty and the GCI Steering Committee

The “Phoenix Economy,” State of the World Forum and Global Coherence Initiative

“A new economic order is rising from the ashes—and a new generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and investors is accelerating the changes essential for delivering scalable sustainable solutions to the world.”

The Phoenix Economy:  50 Pioneers in the Business of Social Innovation

Global Footprint Network has been named one of the “Phoenix 50,” a new list generated by Volans, an organization that describes itself as “part think-tank, part consultancy, park broker and part incubator.”  They are in the business of helping develop and scale social innovations to financial, social and environmental challenges.

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They distinguish between four types of markets instead of the usual two we’re used to hearing about–Bull and Bear markets.  The Dragon characterizes markets like China, where social cohesion is just strong enough to keep the double-bottom line economic engine roaring, while the Phoenix is the kind of market we have to do more than hope we’re destined for–a market that “blurs across national borders and works to integrate the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental value added into its DNA—as a triple helix of change and new growth.”

From the website:  “From the ashes of the downturn, a new Phoenix Economy is self-assembling—focused on providing social and environmental solutions, where markets and governments have failed. If the pioneers of the Phoenix Economy are to succeed, they will still need substantial assistance from governments, foundations, investors and businesses, and we identify urgent opportunities for facilitation, collaboration and support.”

Volan’s Phoenix Economy report was supported by The Skoll Foundation, SustainAbility, NetImpact, and the United Nations Environment Programme.  It’s a market intelligence report of scale solutions leading into a Phoenix economy, and ends with a “Phoenix Agenda,” detailing how different sectors can help enable this paradigmatic shift.  The Phoenix 50 are organizations–for-profit, non-profit, and NGO’s–that are, in the authors’ opinions, among the best currently doing this work.  (Heartening to see the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley on the list, since I was there pioneering socially and environmentally responsible curriculum for corporations during most of the 90’s, when awareness of the need for this kind of work was quite low–except among the student body in the form of the self-organized Students for Responsible Business, which has since become NetImpact.)

The report quotes the same”everyone a changemaker” remark from Bill Drayton that I quoted in an earlier post on his presentation at the Tech Awards last year.  Drayton is convinced that we’re about to hit the “awareness tipping point” in which “the public at large will engage.”  This is one of the functions of collab partners like the 2009 State of the World Forumto move the momentum towards a tipping point in which the public is not just aware, but is also motivated and empowered to act; that is, where a critical mass feels sufficiently networked into solutions capable of addressing the challenges we face in transforming ourselves and our societies.

One of the most interesting parts of the report is the “Pathways to Scale” model, which is described as 5 stages:

  1. Eureka!, in which growing dysfunctions of the current order reveal emerging opportunities
  2. Experiment:  trial-and-error responses to those opportunities
  3. Enterprise:  building responsive business models that support new value creation
  4. Ecosystem, in which critical mass is achieved through alliances and imitation
  5. Economy:  the system transcends to a new equilibrium.

These stages remind me of what Belgian chemist and Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine said about a system in balance and functioning well.  Such a system is difficult to change, but as that system falls into disorder, change becomes more and more feasible and finally inevitable.  At that inevitable point the least bit of coherent order (or critical mass) can usher in a new higher form of order.  We are clearly at that inevitable point.  Now we need to facilitate the critical mass that will usher in a higher-functioning order out of the “ashes of the downturn.” Reports like the Phoenix Economy, and organizations such as those that comprise the Phoenix 50, are helping to get us there.  And for an example of an initiative working to create critical mass on the level of being to complement the doing, see the Global Coherence Initiative.

Also read:

Collective Heart Intelligence

At last month’s Program for the Future (the NextNow-born initiative focused on reinvigorating the development of tools and technologies to support collective intelligence), one of the most interesting movements I observed emerging out of those who chose to be there was toward creating a broader definition of “intelligence.”  My opinion, which seemed widely supported, is that real collective intelligence isn’t a product solely of human thinking–it actually requires that we tap in to ALL of the human intelligences, as well as the intelligence of Nature. It must include the intelligence of the heart.  If this were truly and sincerely accomplished, I believe collective intelligence would represent a Whole greater than the sum of the parts–something not at all guaranteed by a collective intelligence that is the product of thinking minds alone.

So to balance the good thinking we’re all doing, this post is the first in a series to shift focus away from thinking, and starts at a very essential level–using the intelligence of the heart to manage human stress.  After all, how “intelligent” are we capable of being when we’re under chronic or extreme stress, including at a collective level?

Several of the most active members of the NextNow community have experience with the Institute of HeartMath, the organization that NextNow Collaboratory is working with in support of the Global Coherence Initiative.  HeartMath is a non-profit stress research picture-6institute that has been provideing stress solutions to the military, government, hospitals, police, Fortune 500 companies, and school systems for over 17 years.  They received a $1 million US Dept of Education grant to develop programs to reduce test anxiety and improve emotional resilience and academic performance that achieved significant results within 3 months. Based on the effectiveness of HeartMath for resilience training, they recently were awarded a grant to train soldiers pre-deployment and in Iraq and are applying for other grants to help military families post-deployment. They also have support in Congress.

picture-5In Informal Learning (Pfeiffer, 2006) by NN’er Jay Cross, there is a paragraph about my early experience with HeartMath tools as a director of executive development at the Haas School, UC Berkeley:

In 1995, Claudia brought Heartmath into the executive program at UC Berkeley.  The participating CEO’s and business unit heads were expected to return to their organizations with hard solutions to complex global problems, not theories about “soft stuff” like the role of heart intelligence in decision-making.  When the topic was introduced there was a stunned silence and the usual signs of withdrawal—heads turning to look out windows, people suddenly realizing they needed to use the restroom.  But when the technique was offered and the biofeedback technology was hooked up to a few willing volunteers, seeing was believing. The implications of the internal coherence they observed were obvious, but what to do with this new awareness given the prevailing paradigm, was not.

HeartMath’s published research has identified a measurable psycho-physiological state called coherence that enables individuals to better manage their emotional energy, take the drama out of stressful situations and connect with a deeper awareness. As people learn simple practices to create this state of psycho-physiological equilibrium, which brings order to the heart rhythm pattern, they can quickly improve cognitive function, regain emotional balance and improve personal health and well-being.

To become collectively heart intelligent, we need to care for our own individual level of coherence.  To that end, Heartmath has written a De-Stress Kit for the Changing Times that provides a few simple coherence-building practices to help people intercept and manage stress during this period of challenge and uncertainty. It’s included under the “Resource” heading for review, where you’ll find a link to a free download from HeartMath.

5 Comments

  1. it’s very exciting global initiative… I love it…

  2. simple and so powerful.

  3. Claudia, my comments to your interview above was that you stayed on message through out the
    interview which was very good in threading the needle. I belief that discussing benefit analysis
    for individuals upfront could be more compelling . Your points on a collective goals and providing you
    with a healthier system can be the foundation to build a conscious awareness. Just food for thought,
    in a world of uncertainty you are a beacon of light for all of us. I wish you well in your endeavors,
    and the path in which you choose.

    Best to you and yours,

    Buddy

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