Blog | U.lab 2x – Building Vertical Literacy | Open your ears – and hearts!

What would a healthy, generative Higher Education system look like? That’s the question we explore in the 4th session of our U.lab 2x project  “Building Vertical Literacy in Higher Education” on May 6th, 2020.  

Using a method called ‘Social Presencing Theatre’ (SPT), we embodied various stakeholder roles to sense what the system feels like from within. Facilitated by SPT trainer Marielle Slierendrecht, we first made a 4D map of the current situation, with each stakeholder taking position in space and in relation to the other stakeholders. Even though we were challenged by doing this essentially 4D exercise in virtual space, by tuning into our bodies and verbalizing our positions and sensations, we managed to really get an embodied sense of the system and its barriers and potentials. We then slowly move into the second map that represented the future possibility of a generative Higher Education system.

The key insight that emerged: it all starts from listening! The health of the system is the wish to connect and key to connecting is empathic listening and emotional honesty.

Curious to see how we moved from the current reality to the future possibility? Watch the great animation that Rooske Eerden made during our session!

Animated scribing by Rooske Eerden

Our next and final session of this U.lab 2x journey will be on June 10th, focused on Prototyping. Open your ears  – and hearts!– there’s more to come!

Many thanks to Marielle for her great faciltation of this session, and to Dave, Meghann, Philippa and Rooske for co-organising and co-hosting the U.lab 2x.

Curious to find out more? Contact anke.devrieze@wur.nl or davependle@small2bigtalk.org.