As participants attended ‘A Dance of Change in the Age of Complexity,’ a three-day seminar held at Shangri-La BGC Hotel, it seemed like just another conference for educators, businessmen and other adult professionals.
That business-as-usual atmosphere instantly changed when young children from Benedictine International School and Mother Goose Playskool Lipa, also participated in the conference.
A couple of boys from BIS were given the opportunity to speak at the podium. There, they discussed how systems thinking and learning could potentially help them in their future careers.
The conference guest of honor and main resource expert, Dr. Peter Senge, expressed his excitement to see such a rare sight in his welcoming remarks. “How many conferences do we go to where there are kids?” the world renowned organizational learning guru and systems thinking authority asked. “We go to conferences with business people all the time, those almost never have kids, right?”
Dr. Senge underscored the importance of proper communication with the young, especially in these types of seminars. “They get to learn something from the adults, while the adults in turn are reminded of their own innocence, playfulness, and the lack of fear—traits that will help in any leadership endeavor,” he noted.
The three-day seminar took its attendees, both young and old, through an extensive workshop which focused on organizational learning, systems thinking and success within an ever-changing organization. These activities varied in methodology but embraced a core principle of constant adaptability.
The Rizal Academy for Innovation and Leadership was the main organizer of the event. It featured a full roster of influential speakers coming from business, government, private/public partnership and education sectors.
Senator Benigno Aquino IV and Vice President Leni Robredo were among the keynote speakers, providing valuable insight and an insider’s perspective within their respective fields.
Dr. Senge capped off the symposium with a “Deep Dive” session, which served as a synthesis of the topics discussed and the skills mastered during the three-day conference.
Dr. Senge and a panel of motivational coaches, politicians, students and teachers discussed topics which were essential in the growth the Filipino people, most notably the youth. Among the topics discussed was the outlook of the nation, to which the international management guru gave an intuitive response.
“When asked if things will get better or worse, the response I always give is yes”, Senge said. “Things are getting worse; however, things are also looking better, this is where you need to look the world through multiple lenses,” Senge said.
“A funny thing – or you might even say a quirk – in our awareness is that all of us focus excessively on what we don’t want to see; we obsessively focus where our fear directs our focus. We need to cultivate our ability to focus on the future that we want to see,” he said.