Introduction to the Transformative Power of Worldview Awareness

August 26, 2014 ~ 9:00am – 4:30 pm ~ Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax

Building connectedness in a 21st Century world of highly divergent cultures, experiences and perspectives to learn and work together more effectively

tug of war rope

Each of us has a worldview. In fact, we each have more than one.  Our worldviews operate 80% unconsciously and impact how we see and interact with the world, events, situations and other people.  Worldviews influence communication, decision-making and workplace cultures.  Tension and conflict or apathy and resignation are spectrums of response when worldviews collide.  

Worldview awareness is a way to surface assumptions, beliefs and value systems in reflective and curious ways rather than adversarial or defensive ways, offering the potential for more comprehensive approaches and solutions to emerge on a range of issues that might be mildly oppositional to completely divisive to seemingly unsolvable.

Would you like an alternative approach to any of the following scenarios:

  • Debate in meetings or public gatherings so loud nobody is listening for what’s really going on – for the deeper meaning, patterns or emergent possibilities?
  • Diversity or equity training not delivering the results you expected? 
  • Silos still existing in your organization despite your efforts to tear them down? 

conflict group

What is Worldview Awareness?

As a leadership training Worldview Awareness offers individuals, teams, organizations and communities the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the power and potential to shift conversations and thus workplaces or community engagement opportunities into more culturally inclusive and agile spaces by:

  • Becoming aware of your own worldview, acknowledging and appreciating other perspectives or worldviews
  • Learning ways of and strategies for working with and holding different and multiple worldviews simultaneously 
  • Growing cultural agility in individuals, teams, departments or organizations through worldview awareness as a powerful resource for understanding other cultures, especially when there are fundamental differences in views that divide people, exploring these differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect and decreased defensiveness that allows us to advance many interests at the same time
  • Offering practices that raise awareness of beliefs, assumptions we each hold, allowing us to better navigate encounters with differing perspectives, equipping individuals and groups with the tools and skills to better embrace the perspective of others
  • Developing greater cognitive flexibility, increased comfort with unfamiliarity and more appreciation of diverse perspectives
  • Working with a framework or guide for ongoing worldview exploration, more creative problem solving and greater capacity for discernment 
  • Generating opportunities to bring curiosity and non-judgment, increasing connection among diverse groups to find new ways forward on matters of shared interest/concern or to resolve conflict

Experiencing and understanding the transformative power of worldview awareness often leads to more creative solutions through better communication across departmental boundaries or even silos, more inclusive and welcoming environments,that goes beyond diversity or equity training, powerful employee engagement and more responsive customer service.

Workshop Participant Experiences

“Participants in worldview awareness sessions have stated that the reflective space they are invited into about worldview(s), where it comes from, what their own worldview is and curiosity about others’ worldviews helps create an understanding of how to give voice and visibility to multiple worldviews and create openings for successfully leading different, more inclusive conversations on issues and challenges that routinely show up in organizations, communities and social systems.”  

group conversation

In this one day introduction to Worldview Awareness Training, you will:

  • Be exposed to the transformative power of worldview
  • Increase awareness of your own worldview, where it comes from and how it impacts your work and relationships
  • Become aware of ways to invite and engage other worldviews more fully into conversations, teams, organizations or social systems
  • Explore how to draw on the transformative power of worldviews in business development, customer service, employee retention and recruitment and addressing divisive or contentious issues across ideological divides (ie: urban/rural, economic development/environmental protection, revenue growth/cost containment, organizational silos)

You should come if you

  • Want to learn more about worldview(s), what it is, how it is shaped and how it influences dynamics at work, in our social systems and relationships
  • Are genuinely curious about other ways to lead and engage others 
  • Are thinking about policy development in your organization for hiring practices, promotion practices, workplace culture and/or disciplinary practices
  • You would like a wider variety of people to see themselves reflected in your corporate culture

Where Worldview Awareness can be and has been applied

  • Increasing cultural agility – understanding a variety of perspectives originating from different cultural experiences and backgrounds, especially around questions of equity in organizations, government or social systems
  • Customer service – particularly if you serve a diverse customer base and misunderstandings that turn into bad customer experiences have occurred
  • In preventing the imposition of worldviews – in situations where you, your company, your community (or other) ascribe to a particular worldview but have been meeting resistance, where you are willing to be curious about both your own worldview(s) and the worldview(s) of those you interact with
  • Intergenerationally – in the work force, in educational environments and in our social systems
  • Public/community engagement – particularly around divisive issues where you truly want to elicit and engage a wide range of perspectives in an atmosphere of mutual respect, decreased defensiveness to generate more comprehensive approaches and solutions
  • Any environment where you want to improve communication and connectedness of perspectives to advance issues or organizational objectives

Facilitation Team

Aaron McKenzie Fraser - photographer - http://www.amfraser.com

Kathy Jourdain

Kathy Jourdain’s diversity of experience in process design and co-creating adaptive strategy comes from her work with a wide variety of clients in addressing simple, complicated and dynamically complex issues. It includes community and cross-cultural engagement, strategic direction, innovation and building team coherence in traditional organizations in the private, public and not for profit sectors, across systems in rural, urban and suburban settings, with social entrepreneurs, across generations and in culturally specific circumstances in Canada, the US, Brazil and France.  She founded Shape Shift Strategies Inc. as a means to pursue collaborative partnerships to take on meaningful smaller and larger projects in the world. She recently published her first book, Embracing the Stranger in Me: A Journey to Openheartednesshailed as a deeply authentic sharing of a personal journey that has shaped who Kathy Jourdain is today

Carolann Wright-Parks

Carolann Wright-Parks

Carolann Wright-Parks, Manager of Community Economic Development and Strategic Engagement with the Greater Halifax Partnership, has a specific mandate to assist, support and enhance African Nova Scotian communities, bringing lifelong passion for community development and experience in Toronto (where she ran for Mayor in 1988), South Africa and Nova Scotia to this work. She strives for visible success to inspire and generate enthusiasm within the community, building a foundation for future success and development. Because of this work, her imagination has been fired up by the possibilities inherent in the transformative power of worldview awareness.

Jerry Nagel

Jerry Nagel

Jerry Nagel is an economist with a long history in economic development in the mid-west US, providing leadership and strategic direction on a range of issues including a futures study, creating economic opportunity, and supporting a healthy environment and vital communities, working collaboratively on multi-state initiatives on long term regional development plans.  He has worked internationally in many environments where engaging multiple worldviews was instrumental to the success of initiatives undertaken. He is a founder of Meadowlark Institute in Minnesota, known for its results oriented approach to developing capacity and taught at the University of Minnesota for twenty years. He is currently completely his PhD dissertation on worldview.

Registration Details

August 26, 2014 

9:00am – 4:30 pm

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, 1675 Lower Water Street, Halifax, NS B3J 1S3

$295.00+HST (includes morning coffee/tea, a light lunch and any resource materials)

Register at Eventbrite or contact Kathy at Kathy@ShapeShiftStrategies.com or 902 832 3178 by August 19, 2014 to reserve your seat. Registration is not confirmed until payment is received.

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