The task of the Vision Team is to ongoingly bring the vision and the concrete work of our organization in sync. Thomas Steininger and Elizabeth Debold are responsible for creating this function, which we sometimes refer to as being “architects of consciousness.” They work to ensure that the conditions for creative dialogue and a vibrant HigherWe culture flower within all that emerge does.
I see myself as a philosopher. Within emerge I am not only part of the Vision Team but am also the publisher of evolve magazine. I teach in our programs, lead retreats and speak every Thursday with our guests on Radio evolve. In my “past lives,” I worked as a journalist at the radio station Österreich 1 and as a psychotherapist. In my Ph.D. thesis in philosophy, I wrote about self-awareness and social change with an emphasis on Ken Wilber and Martin Heidegger. Sometimes it seems that this work has become the blueprint of my entire life. The questions that moved me at the time, move me still. For almost twenty-five years, I have explored dialogue as a catalyst for the development of consciousness and cultural change. I believe that through our work in emerge, we can make a small but significant contribution to a new culture of consciousness—one that can lead to new answers to the pressing global issues of our time.
Within emerge, I am part of the Vision Team and am also responsible for global programs (in English) and our cultural collaborations and outreach. I am an editor of evolve and write an article on gender for each issue. Gender and social change have been my focus for the past four decades. The first half of that time, I spent as an activist for women’s rights and studied developmental psychology at Harvard University (with Dr. Carol Gilligan) to better understand how our identities as women and men are formed. The second half, and until now, I have gone deeper, into the foundations of self and relationship rooted in consciousness itself. At this point, I have come to understand that our gender identities are completely entangled in the social systems we are part of—the economy, media, politics–and hierarchies of race, wealth, culture, and religion. I am vitally interested in creating small microcultures in which diverse human beings can connect and communicate to bring alive a new creative potential between us. emerge’s programs try to make this a living reality.