Global Social Witnessing: An Educational Tool for Awareness-Based Systems Change in the Era of Global Humanitarian and Planetary Crisis
Keywords:global social witnessing, bearing witness, relational responsibility, whole-system-awareness, interdependence, interpenetration, sociel field
‘Global social witnessing’ was originally proposed by Hübl and Ury (2017) and was developed as a practice of “contemplative social cognition” (Singer et al., 2015). Though ‘global social witnessing’ is applied in various contexts by group facilitators of contemplative practice (Cmind, 2014), the concept has not yet been subjected to thorough research and has not yet arrived at a common scientific understanding and definition, which needs to be addressed throughout the research methodology of applying this concept. This paper aims to propose ‘global social witnessing’ as an educational tool for awareness-based systems change by highlighting its philosophical and psychological foundations in search of its ethical implications for bearing witness, a term often used in psychotherapy (Orange, 2017). This body of work draws on Emmanuel Levinas’s philosophy of relational responsibility, and focuses on transformative, systemic learning. As a consequence, this exploration will hopefully generate further research questions that can serve as focal points for interdisciplinary projects of awareness-based systems change (e.g., philosophy, sociology, psychology, education, neuroscience, and physics).
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