Developing social responsibility globally through solution-focused leadership
What Is The World Game?
The World Game is a movement to create a world consciousness tipping point. Everyone is invited to play! The Bali World Game Conference is a culmination of many events around the globe, and is intended to spark passion for helping others, while sharing inspiration, hope, and positivity. Started by solution-focused coaches, The World Game has the power to become much bigger! If everybody plays, humanity wins.
By hosting value-oriented, positive, fun “games” this global phenomenon can inspire us to choose positivity and happiness in the development and improvement of ourselves and our planet. Visionary, solution-focused coaching warms the hearts and minds of people in such a way that they ‘get cracking’ and emerge strongly into their own leadership vision.
To build a playful community that creates a world consciousness tipping point
Playing The World Game
Marilyn's Interview with Richard Bowell for United Nations Magazine
Interview conducted with Richard Bowell April, 2016
1. What is the evidence that we are living in a time of change?
The evidence is all around – there are huge shifts happening in the world today. Some may seem quite scary – there are big changes in the environment, oceans, atmosphere and our health, to name a few. In the United States, we are seeing a divergence between the left and right in the political arena, but this is happening in radical ways all around the world. People are needing to deal with old ethical dilemmas that cannot wait. And they are facing them, facing them viscerally in this moment and in their own communities.
This unfolding storm in the world seems to be external, but it relates very much to an unfolding storm facing all humanity. If we look at what is happening externally, we see we are at the point of reinventing what it means to be human – reinventing our human purpose and our capacity to discover the doorway into our common humanity.
It seems that the odds are stacked against us, but if we acknowledge where we are right now realistically, we can find the doorway for humanity to reinvent itself. Call it realistic optimism. We are poised right now to do it – there are a lot of people saying we can’t, but our potential is growing, and minds are opening.
In the last 50 years, people have developed the potential for really complex thinking. Ordinary people have developed exquisite abilities to move themselves forward. They are stepping through the doorway into their larger life and taking risks, finding courage and becoming leaders.
People are disturbed at the way things are misshaping their companies, for example. The world seems to be convoluting. But these people are also looking at solutions in a different way, too. They are looking for ways to develop a different kind of ethics, a different kind of social responsibility.
We are entering an era where ordinary people are becoming leaders and discovering their power of leadership especially through practices like solution-focused coaching – it allows people to move quickly to climb up the evolutionary ladder because they are facilitating others in an open way. Coaches, as well, have growing roles in their communities and have started to contribute strongly.
This shift shows up in the way people aim for further individual growth. People are exploring what human development really means now. Also they are identifying more with their humanity and less with a particular race or culture. This is a significant shift. As the largest coaching company in the world, we at Erickson are assisting people to aim for more social responsibility. This is a dialogue.
2. What is the human part in change?
To be human is a huge gift. We have incredible potential – for beauty, intelligence, grace, genius... We have capacities for love that we haven’t even yet explored – capacities for true emergence, into something we are becoming.
The word ‘human’ in itself is very special – The syllables mean ‘god-man’. The first part is an ancient sound – ‘hu’. We find it in ‘hu-manity’, ‘hu-mility’, ‘hu-mor’. This ‘hu’ sounds is everywhere even throughout China as in their word “humor”.
The ‘hu’ idea seems to be personal, but it has nothing to do with us specifically. It has to do with the emergence of humanity itself. We have the great opportunity to join this awareness. If we do it, the job gets started and becomes a calling; we are called to deepen the quality of our own humanity. If we don’t, humanity goes without our conscious contribution. It doesn’t happen and humanity misses it. Only we can decide whether we are going to give our life for what is trying to emerge through us.
The letter ‘H’ even looks like a human, with feet on the ground and arms reaching out to each other – out to our relationships and out to our individuality at the same time. The arms are also reaching up into who we are becoming and what we are connected to that goes beyond the specific elements of our lives.
We need to keep our ‘humanity door’ wide open. People are seeing this now – seeing that to lose the potential of our emerging humanity would be to lose a lot. We are being challenged to keep open what we are becoming. That is what is so exciting about these times – we are seeing these human capacities becoming activated now.
In coaching, so many people are going through their own transformational reach and taking on new levels of responsibility in the world and in their own life. Many Coaches are declaring a purpose to be more human, to be more responsible and more committed. The level of commitment that is emerging is something new. It meets the deep hunger for change and growth we are seeing everywhere, especially in young people today.
We are also starting to move past the ‘comfort zone addiction’. For many years, people thought we were moving towards a time of more material consumption, more flamboyance, more luxury, etc. The aim was to have life treat us well personally. This addiction is losing its appeal at last. People are realizing – no, it is not going to be like that, and especially for our children. This is not what our future is all about for the rest of this century. We can no longer self-indulge. We have to grow up here. We need to take care of this planet, take care of each other and take care of this opportunity for all humanity.
When people start to explore what gives them real satisfaction in life they discover that their happiest moments are when they are contributing in some way, when they are making a difference to others. Then they are no longer looking from a personal position. They start looking and seeing who we are all together. We help the whole system. Coaching conversations become a framework for pondering and learning our deeper purpose.
This is what we were doing at the Bali World Game Conference in April 2016 – looking for personal pathways to move into effective contribution. People are discovering that pleasure is very temporary and what gives real joy is contribution. They are finding their own pathway to making a unique contribution and discovering they can do this.
We see this in many different coaching fields (educational coaching development, leadership development, organizational coaching). People are committed to contributing and committing also to their own awareness. There is also a growing focus on developing conscious organizations. There is huge excitement in this development that is emerging now.
We are coming to a tipping point. Tipping point studies show that with strong leadership, it only takes about a 3 percent shift in any community to shift the total culture of that group. This can happen quickly. For example, Gandhi, one individual, defeated the British Empire and its armies through his commitment to India’s emergence. He also assisted many Indian people to emerge into their leadership responsibilities, and has shifted the leadership potential emerging in India for 100 years now. A tipping point change is much easier to create than people think. When people know it’s possible, when they experience their potential and discover what is really relevant to them, they step forward and soon develop the capacity for 100 percent commitment. One conscious person can facilitate this even for a large community.
People are discovering that they can be strong ‘tipping point leaders’. We all have this potential and we are standing at this crux of time to make this shift now.
This movement is now happening – it is a tsunami of its own right. We are at that point in time when it will emerge more and more strongly and will continue until this shift towards a world culture of ‘We’ awareness happens totally.
3. In what way can we become conscious of our individual part in change?
Spirit means breath. We are breathing examples of spirit. As we get ‘in-spired’ and take in the awareness, people step through the doorway and start to find the ‘beyond self, self’. If someone supports them, they take the steps freely and fiercely towards their larger life.
There has been a strong awakening in the coaching community towards support for humanity’s awakening through leadership development. There have been a lot of movements in the world (religious, political etc.), but there is only one deeply felt human development movement. We see it also emerging in universities, cultural think tanks and other places, but it is strongly emerging now in the solution-focused coaching movement.
As Coaches we use ‘coach’ or ‘observer’ position to help people stay out of old emotional storms and to stay with the leadership needed to allow others to emerge. We try to listen to ‘who’ a person is becoming – to their emergence, not their old story. We want to listen to their values and vision and visit this larger context with them so they develop it in themselves.
When a person makes his or her own self-development discoveries, there is a ‘felt shift’ and we know a transformation has happened, something has truly shifted.
It is a Russian doll kind of evolution that is emerging – people are always moving towards what is larger. At first it might seem to them to be only a larger aspect of their personal identity, but this is never enough for most people – they do not stop there. There is a deeper unity that people crave and want to develop because it is who they truly are. The unity is their nature and so they reach for it. It is beyond them.
Coaching practice develops communities of practice – what we were building with our recent Bali conference. This becomes a key opening for people to find their life – to discover their vital force and find out who they are and what their inner life is about. It triggers in the individual the responsibility of being in leadership with his or her own lives – it is like a quickening force.
We are currently introducing the idea of coaching games as a way to interest people. It is not commonly thought that playing games is a good way to reach a highly purposeful state, but it can be a very strong way to communicate the inner power of self-development learning. It gets people involved with deepening their life. They can discover what commitment is about, for example, and they grow themselves up. We need to grow up first before we can make a contribution.
We are creating a global coaching movement. It is one of the new tools and technologies to facilitate this human shift on the planet – to discover human possibility. Facilitating the shift in just one human facilitates this shift in all of humanity. When people know this, they start to become extremely capable coaches. It turns them into true participants on the planetary stage where they can enact this great human change on behalf of all humanity.
When we coach any human being we create this shift for all humanity. We are changing the world one conversation at a time.
Commitment to development becomes a dance. As people move out of their comfort zone and start to coach others they discover their own potential and become more capable of that wider seeing, of moving past their own barriers. I believe that the capacities we are now building will quickly generate this tipping point on the planet.
People understand that this is a perilous and significant time and they are stepping up like never before. Each of us can fulfill this human potential – this human possibility. It is in the declaring of this possibility as an individual human that allows us to do so on behalf of all humanity.