Learning in Common Space®: Harnessing the wisdom of the community
By Angelika Gaßmann
It is no longer a secret: swarm intelligence is extremely successful. The concept of „Common Space®“ shows how it can be used in workshops to solve complex problems and to address individual concerns. The prerequisite for this is a learning culture of togetherness in which the participants trust each other and really contribute their potential.
In his book „Minimum“, Frank Schirrmacher describes the story of the settlers of Donner Pass. In 1846, a larger group of 81 people set out with their covered wagons. Families and individual young men get stuck in a snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada. It is not until the spring of 1847 that a rescue party is able to get to the people. Who survived? It was those who were traveling in families. Of those traveling alone, all had perished.
We have not yet tapped the potential that lies in the community, in a group, a team, a commune, a society. We still believe too much that the individual, the „hero,“ must and can overcome the challenges.
The importance of the „shared space”
The reasoning behind the idea of Common Space® is actually obvious: by entering such a common space, each individual leaves their own limited space. Together with others, they enter a space that contains a wealth of possibilities far beyond their own. What if all the experience and knowledge that exists in a room could be used? What if trainers, teams or even companies could design an atmosphere where it is a joy to ask questions, try out things and share experience consistently with others?
The other image of space has a lot to do with how trainers and participants open up the inner space within themselves and find it possible to live more from connectedness and what has already succeeded than from deficits and what separates.
The Common Space® concept shows how this wealth of possibilities can be unlocked for the individual participants, but also for the goals of the company.