Today’s world is dealing with (at least) a three-fold crisis: a planetary crisis, a cultural crisis, and a meaning crisis. Awareness and exploration of our worldviews can contribute to addressing these crises.
It can help us see more of the whole, and start cultivating the wider, even planetary perspectives needed to respond to our planetary crisis.
It can help us appreciate the wisdom of other perspectives, and learn to communicate and collaborate across differences, thus supporting us to make progress on our cultural crisis.
It can help us clarify our values, enhance our sense of meaning and purpose, and ‘make sense’ in an increasingly complex and disorienting world. In this way it supports us to address the meaning crisis.
(Read more below on these crises and how we’re hoping to contribute to addressing them.)
Our mission therefore is…
Our mission is to offer tools and programs that support people to enhance what we consider ‘essential 21st century skills’ ~ including skills that allow people to ‘take perspective on their perspective’, to make sense of their experiences and clarify their values, and to communicate and collaborate across differences.
And to do so in ways that are experiential and interactive, transformative and fun!
We aspire to make our tools and programs available to the greatest number of people worldwide, in ways that are easy and low-cost for users. Our programs can be used online and live, by individuals and with groups, and in different contexts and settings.
They may for example support educators to host deep learning journeys, help organisations improve their organisational culture, or facilitate trainers to invite their groups into more meaningful conversations.
We offer ‘journeys’ into worldviews
We offer explorative learning journeys into worldviews ~ into our ‘big stories’, our fundamental frameworks, our mental maps of meaning-making.
These journeys are science-based: based on insights emerging in contemporary academic fields, like the study of worldviews, developmental and positive psychology, educational theories, sustainability and complexity science.
We don’t promote any particular worldview, nor a change of worldview, but we support people to explore their frameworks of meaning for themselves, in experiential, introspective, and interactive ways. This is why we refer to it as a journey. (Read more about our educational philosophy here.)
Participating in a journey means you get to walk the path. With awareness of your starting point, the luggage you bring, and the views you’re familiar with, you get the opportunity to explore other vistas. Like with a journey to a foreign country, you’re bound to come out different, enriched in perspective, with a broadened horizon.
We’re a learning organization
Worldview Journeys is a learning organization. We’re deeply committed to learn from the experiences of our users, keep on researching and testing our programs (like we’re doing with Utrecht University), and integrate newly emerging insights and needs. In this way, we trust that our tools and programs can continue to offer the highest quality of experience to our users, and the best possible positive impact on our world.
More about the three-fold crisis
We’re increasingly confronted with problems that impact the entire planet. The corona crisis is a potent example. It reminds us how interconnected we are. It teaches us that in some fundamental way, we’re all in the same boat. We’re finding out that we can’t solve this issue if we’re not taking care of the whole.
Our global environmental problems teach us the same. Ocean acidification or climate change don’t stop at the border. Their impacts are felt everywhere. We can only address them by seeing the bigger picture.
These planetary problems therefore demand wider, even planetary, perspectives ~ perspectives that can take more of the whole into consideration, and can take a more expansive perspective in space and time. Exploring our worldviews can help us see more of the whole, and lean into wider perspectives.
We also live in a time of extreme societal and political polarization, frequently referred to as the ‘culture wars’. These wars are intensified by our contemporary media landscape, where people are often only fed the stories that fit their views.
When we don’t hear stories that could put our beliefs into a different light, our views tend to get stronger and more extreme. With that, the distance to people who think differently grows. Polarization intensifies, and groups of people increasingly stand in opposition to each other. This creates animosity and hostility between people. It also makes it harder to work together to solve the big problems we face.
Exploring worldviews can help us acknowledge the limitations of our own perspective, and appreciate the wisdom of other perspectives. It can help us communicate more constructively across differences, collaborate with one another, and forge more creative solutions.
We’re also facing what’s often called the ‘meaning crisis’. You could say this is like humanity having an existential crisis. We see this in mental health issues being on the rise in nearly every country in the world. In increasing suicides. In stress, depression, and chronic anxiety becoming commonplace. In the ‘loneliness epidemic’ sweeping the planet.
People’s overall sense of well-being being is under pressure. Many don’t know what’s true anymore, let alone what the meaning of life is. This can leave people feeling lost and confused, and make them more susceptible to depression, addiction, distraction, and disease.
Exploring our worldviews supports us to clarify our values, and enhance our sense of meaning and purpose. It asks us to explore deep, existential questions, and dialogue about them with others. It can help us ‘make sense’ in an increasingly complex and disorienting world.