What is needed to become a visionary leader? How do we train ourselves to be responsible and mindful entrepreneurs and community builders? How can we best be the change we want to see in our world? These are leading questions for evolving the Kaospilot curriculum for the 3 year full time training program.
At the centre of the KaosPilots Switzerland is the dream to create a school that allows our students to grow and unfold their calling and their gifts and talents. The Being state- ment of our School articulates this dream:
We, KaosPilots Switzerland, are life’s challenging training ground to unfold who we truly are.
We hold the understanding that each of our students is a unique human being with his or her own dreams and inspiration, strengths and talents. From experience we know that it is a long process to find out what our dreams really are. Most of us are experimenting and testing ourselves in different fields until we are about 50 years old, to then know where we want to make a difference and commit ourselves longer term.
So, what does this mean for an entrepreneurial education where the students are between 21 and 45 years of age? It means that we need to have a double focus – that is on the individual dreams and callings, the gifts and talents that every student brings with him or her so they can figure out who they truly are and what they really want in life – and to have the focus on the collective: What wants to emerge when we come together as a community of hungry learners, KaosPilots and change makers? Because community is what makes any idea and business project fly.
Some KaosPilot students become entrepreneurs starting their own companies and organizations to bring inspiring services and innovation into the world, some become project leaders for complex and interdisciplinary change, others become community builders, peacemakers and still others love to fight for causes as activists in new collective ways. What they all have in common is the hunger to learn more about themselves and about each other, about how to live a balanced life and how to create sustainable structures for themselves and the people with whom they live and work.
KaosPilots need to become very good at the individual discipline to pursue a dream and at the same time they need to become strong team players, evocative leaders for flat structured and self-organizing teams and companies to create growth. This double focus is the back bone of the kaospilot curriculum. It means that 5 of the 7 exams that every student needs to pass are group and team exams of different natures. First, they learn to work together in teams of 3 to 5 people, later, they learn to work together in and with groups of up to 50 people.
Our Danish KaosPilot partner school in Aarhus has 25 years of experience in this field from which we can benefit. Our own experience goes back four years so far, during which 21 Swiss KaosPilots have graduated. What we have learnt as a small business school is:
• Our students’ dreams and calling, their gifts and talents are key for their learning process. In our coaching, guidance and teachings as well as in the client project work, this needs to be in the fore- ground.
• We need more cross-team/class-collaboration.
This means more working and learning together among the different teams and together with the staff, the partners and teachers of our network. This allows for more diversity and for learning from experienced people in particular fields as well as community building. We call this co-creation: Each and every member of our school tribe needs to live into their responsibilities, and pull their own weight to make the whole school work well and successfully.
• Maintaining the focus on project design and interdisciplinary collaboration, business planning, process leadership and facilitation as well as entrepreneurship is a strong pathway for learning and training ourselves to get better at implementing our dreams.
• Moving and learning together as a tribe, keeping our school’s kitchen clean and bright, being mindful of the resources we are using, learning to address difficult issues in our community and how to deal with conflicts and challenges – these are essential aspects of our training to be the change makers who do not need hierarchy anymore, but who can evoke the strength of self-responsibility and self- authorship in a business and a tribe where every voice matters.
• Creating daily practices that are crucial to stay on track with our dreams. How do we train our spirit, our body, our emotional powers and the courage of our heart to be bright and clear? How can we listen to the silence?
• Learning to be a strong tribe, how to build relationships, how to trust people who are very different from ourselves. When mistakes happen, how to come to new agreements with each other when that is needed… to find answers to these questions we make use of the power of the ancient wisdom of the Delicate Lodge Teachings from the old Mayan and Northern American tradition of people who lived in balance with the Earth.
We are adjusting the kaospilot curriculum to become more meaningful, more powerful for the individuals and the collective. We will keep on growing as edge walkers, learning about polarities in this world and seeking to find a new middle way between the extremes that we currently see fighting everywhere in the world.
Maybe you see links and connections between our work and yours and you want to learn with us. What are your dreams?
We are looking forward to meeting you.
By Matti Straub-Fischer, Headmaster of the KaosPilots Switzerland / Graphic recording of the first school day 2016/17 by Mona Bjerre Ebdrup