NEW WAYS OF KNOWING
Flow with the evolving edge of systems change and personal growth in a one of a kind online course.
What it feels like to embody complexity
Inspiring classes from a world-class faculty
Powerful cognitive, dialogue and embodiment practices
A collective inquiry with others from around the world
Transformative insights into complex problems in your own life and projects
A more comprehensive view on the most important global issues today, from AI to culture wars
A foundational understanding of complexity studies, systems theory and cognitive science
Extensive resources including workbooks, a reading list, guided practices and more
Beginning 13 December 2023, finishing 28 February 2024
Price: £495 / $600 (Early Bird £445/$550, ends 28 Sept)
Apply for a scholarship here
Adapt, thrive and transform in an age of crisis and transition. Learn from the brightest minds in complexity studies, systems change, cognitive science and personal development. Tap into new ways of knowing to
expand your perspective.
Teachers and Facilitators
(Click to read bios)
Why This, Why Now?
We are walking out of a past that can no longer sustain us and into a future that is yet to be born. At this moment in history, we're facing multiple overlapping crises in ecology, politics, economics and culture. Runaway AI, political polarisation, geopolitical instability and other problems are all converging at once. Some have called this the 'meta-crisis', and it can feel overwhelming. However, the word crisis derives from the Greek krinein, to decide. It’s an inflection point; as much an opportunity as a catastrophe.
What defines the meta-crisis more than anything is its complexity. Whether we're trying to change our political systems, cultures, organisations or even our own minds, we're wrestling with complex systems. They have a life of their own, evolving and changing while we're trying to make sense of them. To thrive in the world today, and find new solutions, we need to develop a new relationship to complexity. Not just in the systems that make up our lives, but our own inner worlds, and the places where they meet.
That doesn't just mean gaining an intellectual understanding, but learning how to embody and flow with uncertainty, nuance and contradictory information. It means practicing new ways of seeing and being that allow us to truly engage with the complexity of the world and our lives. To find those capacities, we have to go to the cutting edge of cognitive science, complexity theory, systems change and personal development.
New Ways of Knowing will give you the tools, theories and practices to help you re-orient your sensemaking, and deepen your connectedness to other people and the world. As well as curated content that helps simplify complexity theory, systems change, mythopoetics and cognitive science, you will learn practices to help you to approach problems and contradictions from a new perspective. You'll learn how to access new insights, deepen your understanding of the systems around and within you, and flow with complexity in every aspect of your life.
Use the gallery below to see what's happening each week, or scroll down for a snapshot.
Alexander Beiner: Introduction
All live sessions are 90 minutes, and will take place on Wednesdays at 8pm UK time / 3pm New York Time / 12pm Los Angeles). Our introductory session is on 13 December. Alexander Beiner will facilitate this session, where we'll explore what cognitive and emotional tools we'll be developing to meet complexity in this process. You'll connect with your fellow explorers for the first time and identify what practices, ideas and theories are most relevant to your own life and projects.
Alexander Beiner: Embodying Complexity
In week two (20 December), we'll introduce the core practices that can help us expand our capacity to navigate the interconnected reality we live in. Alexander will introduce a Complexity Tolerance meditation, the Fluid Inquiry practice you'll use in your 'pod', and a Complexity Journaling practice to use through the winter break. Trish Blain will join the session to explain her Four Forces model and introduce additional practices you can try out.
Trish Blain: Feeling Multiple Perspectives
In week three (10 January, 2024), Trish Blain will explain how The Four Forces can be used to help us hold multiple perspectives and desires at the same time. This experiential session will help you to say 'yes and' to multiple perspectives while being able to experience or consider each as fully as you can.
Nora Bateson: Systems Learning
In Week 4 (17 January) Nora Bateson will explore her concepts of 'symmathesy' and 'systems learning' to explain why systems don't change; they learn. She'll host an experiential practice to help you with 'transcontextual learning' so that you can move with change, rather than trying to freeze it in place.
John Vervaeke: Four Ways of Knowing
In Week 5 (24 January), Professor John Vervaeke will share how cognitive science can help us apply the right ways of knowing to the right problems, iand explain the four different ways of knowing. Much of the session will be a Q&A session so that you can ask him to elaborate on particular ideas.
Jonathan Rowson: Tasting the Metacrisis
In our sixth session on 31 January, Jonathan Rowson will help you make sense of the 'meta-crisis', not just intellectually, but also aesthetically. The session will devote a lot of time to Q&A so you can ask specific questions that relate to your own inquiries.
Sophie Strand: Using Myth to Map Complexity
On Wednesday 7 February, Sophie Strand will invite you to drop into our oldest form of mapping complexity: mythopoetics. In this session you'll learn how myth links to place, and why understanding symbolic meaning is such essential and powerful tool in our capacity to live in a time of upheaval.
Jim Rutt: Complexity Science and Game B
On 14 February, Jim Rutt will share his decades of experience at the forefront of complexity science and as a founder of the Game B movement, which asks how we can build a new kind of society based on 'win win' dynamics. With plenty of time for Q&A, this session is also an opportunity for you to deepen your own personal theory of change and action if you're interested in building a new kind of world.
Minna Salami: When Social Systems Get Stuck
In our penultimate session on Wednesday 21 February, Minna Salami will share how systems theory can help us make sense of why economic, racial and gender inequalities persist and get embedded in our social fabric, and what we can do about it.
Alexander Beiner: Looking Ahead
On our final session on 28 February, Alexander Beiner will facilitate a session to harvest the insights you've gained, both individually and collectively, through this process. We'll talk about next steps you can take in your life or projects, and ritually close the process together.
Week One: Introduction with
Alexander Beiner (13 Dec)
Week Two: Embodying Complexity with Alexander Beiner (20 Dec)
Week Four: Systems Learning with
Nora Bateson (17 Jan)
Week Five: Four Ways of Knowing with John Vervaeke (24 Jan)
Week Seven: Using Myth to Map Complexity with Sophie Strand (7 Feb)
Week Eight: Game B with Jim Rutt (14 Feb)
Week Ten: Looking Ahead with Alexander Beiner (28 Feb)
Week Three: Feeling Multiple Perspectives with Trish Blain (10 Jan)
Week Six: Tasting the Metacrisis with Jonathan Rowson (31 Jan)
Week Nine: Systems and Culture with Minna Salami (21 Feb)
*All sessions are 90 mins
This isn’t really an online course; it’s an immersive process of learning and personal transformation, bringing together people from across the globe. You'll have the choice to decide which of the many practices, theories and materials are most relevant to you, and create your own personalised journey. Every aspect of New Ways of Knowing is designed to be applied directly to your life, work or projects. In this way, the complexity of the world is your teacher, while the faculty and your fellow participants act as guides and inspirations to help you apply what you're learning to real-life situations and problems.
Alexander Beiner has designed online and in-person experiences for thousands of people, including the Rebel Wisdom Sensemaking 101 course. New Ways of Knowing is something new, as well as an evolution. The insights gained from running those cutting-edge courses and retreats has been used to create a new format and experience design, with the aim of making the experience meaningful and accessible regardless of your background.
Logistics and Practicalities
There are three main ways you'll learn and experiment in New Ways of Knowing. The first is in our live sessions with the faculty, which happen on Wednesdays at 8pm UK time (3pm New York and 12pm Los Angeles). The second is through weekly sessions with your 'pod' of four people, where you'll be given dialogue practices and other techniques to help deepen your inquiry together. The third is the resources, practices and reading lists you can explore in your own way throughout the process. You will also have the opportunity to try personal development techniques like breathwork, process work and IFS (Internal Family Systems) to connect to the complexity within you.
The overall format of the course has been designed to enhance and deepen your learning. Our first two sessions will be on 14 and 20 December, and then we'll break for the winter holidays. The idea is to give you time and space to practice, watch or read the material most relevant to you. You'll have access to a curated list of our teachers’ core work, along with simplified explanations of systems theory and complexity science, and an extensive 'reading, watching and listening' list. You’ll also be introduced to some initial practices, including a new Complexity Tolerance meditation, a Curiosity Journal, and a variety of frameworks and theories to help you tap into new ways of knowing. Ultimately, this period is about embedding your capacity to gain an intuitive, lived experience of complex systems and the metacrisis.
When we get return from the break in January, each week will include a live session from one of our teachers. Depending on the teacher, these will either be a guided practice, or Q&A session to give you a chance to delve into aspects of their work most relevant to you. You can use the gallery above to see what’s happening week on week.
All sessions will be recorded, and if you prefer to access only these recordings and the full list of resources, you can also sign up for a ‘Content-only’ ticket. If you choose to opt for the whole experience, you’ll have the option to work in a ‘pod’ of four people, where you’ll have weekly dialogue practices based on the subject that week. In the past, pods have to lasting collaborations, and even a marriage and birth! While we can’t promise that, we can say confidently that the pods are a powerful way to deepen your learning and connections.
By the end of New Ways of Knowing, you will leave with a deeper understanding of how to embrace complexity and navigate the meta-crisis. You will have new orientations and new responses to complex problems, and a set of practices you can use in your life moving forward. Above all, you will have gone on a deep collective inquiry into our shared humanity and the potential of a new world.