See other self-portraits

Beatrice Benne

209 NW 23rd Ave, Apt.104
Portland, OR 97210
Twitter: bcbenne

(503) 866-0928



What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?

How do we use our collective intelligence to reconnect to the infinite Universe of Possibilities and co-create a society that is just, thriving, and in symbiosis with the natural environment?

What is your personal experience of collective wisdom in groups?

In a creative session I co-facilitated, participants were to work in small groups, for about 4 hours, on the same topic, and with no direct interactions between the groups. At the end of the session, during the report out, I was amazed at the congruence between the ideas presented by each one of the groups. It’s like participants had worked together for the entire session. When the time has come for an idea/strategy/understanding/solution to emerge, it will do so from multiple independent places, simultaneously. It’s in the energy field.

What is it about the work in this field that excites you and connects you to your own deepest self?

I find the principle of “Coherence” – that everything is already whole and that our task, as a collective, is to look for the ways that it is – very liberating and empowering. It means that the solutions we seek, in fact, already exist, and that if we open ourselves enough to the possibilities and listen to our collective wisdom, we can resolve all the problems we face.

I am fascinated by the living systems’ principles of self-organization and emergence.

Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of what brought you to this work.

I feel I have been preparing myself for this work for the past 14 years. I am currently in transition, professionally, and I have decided to launch my own consultancy. My work is grounded in systems thinking, the application of living systems theory to organizational change, adaptive leadership, and collaborative design.

My doctoral dissertation, which focused on the understanding of an organization’s adaptive capacity from a living systems theory perspective, was a turning point. From a theoretical perspective, my doctoral research broadened my understanding of today’s complex and adaptive challenges – that is, problems that are political and value-based per nature and that cannot be simply solved with technical solutions. But more importantly, it impacted me, very personally. Since then, I have no longer seen the world with the same eyes. My values and mental models have shifted.

Although I have never met them, my mentors include Peter Senge (Systems Thinking), Margaret Wheatley and Elisabet Sahtouris (living systems and organizations), Peter Russell and Barbara Marx Hubbard (global brain, collective consciousness), Otto Scharmer (Theory U), Ronald Heifetz (adaptive leadership), among others.

How would you like to be available to others in this field?

I wish to apply systems thinking, living systems theory, adaptive leadership, and other theoretical frameworks and seek opportunities to be involved with perhaps more experienced consultants and practitioners in the field on transformative projects in diverse organizational contexts. I am also interested in research and in continuing developing theories on the topics of emergence and collective wisdom.

Links to this site or others:

LifeWeb - Elisabet Sahtouris
Margaret Wheatley
The Spirit of Now - Peter Russell
Presencing Institute

[ Back to Top ]