A picture showing the urgency and ‘worst case scenario’ trajectory for climate change

My most sobering moment of 2020 was on the Mer de Glace in February. I describe more about how embodiment affected my experience in the RECAST zine published last year.

This is my children ‘on’ the Mer de Glace as we found it in February.  

As I write this in January 2021, the glacier will be another 5m lower than in this picture.  

Tim and I ice climbed on this ice in 1999 just in the middle of the picture when it was at the approximate height of the yellow line.  When we were last here, in 1999, the ice was just a handful of metres below our feet.  The placard marks the 1990 level.

Slater et al.’s August publication illustrates how series this ice loss is –following the IPCC’s  ‘worst case scenario’ of global warming.

The winds of change for education

At the end of last month I had the pleasure of speaking at the Edinburgh Firestarter Event, “Education for young people: Revolution or Evolution?”.  I had the opportunity to challenge educators, business leaders and public sector workers to think differently about education.  Thank you to Valerie Jackman who brought us together and Otto Scharmer for sparking us into action.

Please click here to read my speech: Winds for change – the real purpose of education


I can’t quite believe how much I have taken on this year.  It’s been a great year so far and I am putting some of the Theory U tools into practice – especially journalling, reflection and seeing the world with a different lens and myself with a mirror.  I wrote an article for the Buchlyvie Bulletin about U.Lab a few weeks ago… here is a slightly amended version.

West of Scotland U.Lab hub
The four co-hosts – Thursday’s at 12:30 at the SRC, 30 Bell Street, Glasgow

In August 2015, I was told by the head of a campaign organisation, to sign up for U.Lab, a new FREE online course (aka a MOOC). He said this course had potential for creating dramatic changes across the world.

I wasn’t sure what it would entail and I didn’t anticipate the profound effect it would have on me.

With 75,000 participating worldwide and 1,300 in Scotland, U.Lab is now the biggest educational development of the decade, if not the century.

U.Lab started in 2015 and is now an annual course run by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the Presencing Institute and is hosted on MIT’s learning platform, Edx.org. The U.Lab course is based on Theory U methodology (or ‘U process’) which is a framework, process and set of tools for making change.  It helps people to develop the knowledge, skills and capacity to make changes they want to make within their personal lives, communities or organisations.  Theory U can enable transformational change.
Transformation for me began with myself. First, I learnt to listen, listen deeply, without judgment and with empathy.  Then, it helped me with tools and techniques for action.  Theory U has changed my approach to life, work and problem solving.  As a researcher, I have spent years thinking and analysing; now I enjoy acting on my research insights and taking action for change locally and in networks across Scotland.

U.Lab Scotland is a network for U.Lab participants who want to make social change in Scotland.  It is supported by the Scottish Government and is organised by a group of volunteers from different sectors and locations in Scotland. In June 2017, I attended U.Lab Scotland’s first ‘hub host’ training event in Edinburgh – this was a first for U.Lab worldwide with participants from Europe and as far away as Paraguay.  I’m now setting up two hubs to support participants in the next U.Lab course which starts on 14th September.

If you would like to find out more, then I’m co-hosting a taster session on Friday 8th September at 7:30pm on-line (Rural hub details) and Thursday 14th September at 12.30 at the Scottish Recovery Consortium in Glasgow (West of Scotland hub details ).  These will run weekly till the end of the year.

To have a chat about Theory U, please contact me.

For more about U.Lab and Theory U in Scotland, go to presencing.org or ulabscot.com.

Twitter: #ulabscot

To enrol: The introductory course (90 minute video), which is a prerequisite for ULab 1.X