Presencing Prof-Essence

Learning Journey u.lab 2016: September 15, 2016: Presencing Prof-Essence

Although I’m now retired (but actually re-firing!) the past week or so has found me in ‘back-to-school’ mode, re-engaging with an extraordinary ‘mooc’ – a massive open online course

I first engaged with this course in its previous iteration, last Fall, while in Scotland. This course is a very big deal in Scotland right now (there is a discrete  U Lab Scotland ‘supplement’ to the main course – delivered by MIT through edX). This Fall my experience of the course will be from Canada, from my current home base in North Saanich, BC. I hope to focus more on this particualr experience in future posts – as I sense into the new course ‘field’ that I expect to be tilling in coming weeks and months. For now I will simply indicate that….

I am particularly interested in the course because of the focus on transformation – especially in relation to my ongoing interest in transformational professional learning. I have already set an intention of sorts for myself in relation to the course, building on the presencing that is central to the U Theory that underlies the course (NB while the focus is on presencing the course is equally concerned with its counter-point, absencing). Because of my ‘professional’ learning interests, my intention revolves around ‘enabling the presencing of prof-essence via professional-self design’. This would be one’s ‘professional essence-in-action’, borne out of one’s heightened awareness of this potential dimension in anyone who identifies as ‘professional’.

Such ‘prof-essence’ is for aware individuals to design themselves – and with like-minded, like-hearted, and like-willing others – as an engine of transformation, as a manifestation of their transformency, as their leadership in action. The u.lab involves experimenting with development of capacity for ‘leadership from the emerging future’. The professional-self design I have in mind would seek to ‘source’ the requisite leadership to help actualize the wellbeing that WE – the highest achievable collective – seek to will into existence. Not simply through the work of our minds, but also – and perhaps moreso – from the centre of our hearts and the depths of our souls.

I am conceiving ‘prof-essence’ as three professional ‘makings’ at work, each encompassing a key transformation: praxis (personal – from ‘me’ to ‘I’, from small self to large Self); ethos (interpersonal – from ‘I’ to ‘We’); and poiesis (trans-personal – from ‘We’ to ‘All of Us (beyond ‘them and us’)’. The associated ‘self-design’ engages several elements, each of which might be perceived to contribute to one’s ‘prof-essence’. The elements include consideration of various ‘pairings’, ‘standings’, ‘settings’ and ‘transformings’ – which I will seek to address at greater length in the course of the course. For now I will simply mention that the ‘pairings’ entail an effort to cultivate particular awareness of, and a particular intent to align: self and service; soul and role; spirit and purpose (one more ‘inner’; the other more ‘outer’).

These ‘makings’ are further conceived as part of a larger ‘whole-making’ endeavour, aligning with a wellbeing imperative – as the bottom-line, and highest aspiration – closing the divides, in greater integrations of integrated-ness – on our insides, and integration-ability – on our outsides. The ensuing wholeness may be envisaged as an integration of the classic virtues – goodness, truth and beauty, in a movement devoted to ‘ever-more-whole-making’. The emerging future I am willing – as our existential ‘pull’ – might therefore be an infinitely compounding G.T.B. … perhaps G~T~Bn ….

[If you are curious about the course, check it out at:

And for a quick ‘taste’, sample the short mini-course designed for curious u.lab ‘newbies’: The latter can be completed in around two hours]

Published by

Ian Wight

A Canadian Scot. Ex-professor, now senior scholar. In re-firement. Passionate about (planning as) placemaking, as well-being (by design). Advocate of transformative professional learning, as professional-self design. Attentive to the making/s of professionals via praxis, ethos and poiesis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *