April 2022 update: DATE TBD. This residency was originally scheduled to take place in June 2022. It will now take place at a later date. Be the first to know when a new date is confirmed by signing up to our newsletter.

Emergent Dialogue Residency

An intensive workshop and residency to explore

How can we cohere our autonomy and uniqueness to live and create at the edge of emergence?

June 2022, Bergerac, France

Emergent Dialogue Residency

Genius & Scenius 7-day Intensive Workshop plus 3-week Residency
Led by Elizabeth Debold & Thomas Steininger
For more info: https://lifeitself.org/emergent-dialogue/

Key Info

What is it?

A 7-day Intensive Workshop followed by a 3-week residency to explore: How can we cohere our autonomy and uniqueness to live and create at the edge of emergence? Led by Thomas Steininger and Elizabeth Debold, the creators of Emergent Dialogue.

When is it?

DATE TBD. This residency was originally scheduled to take place in June 2022. It will now take place at a later date. You can still register your interest to take part here; we will let you know as soon as a new date is confirmed. You can also sign up to our newsletter to be in the loop on what’s happening at our Bergerac hub. 

Where is it?

Life Itself Praxis Hub, Bergerac, France. A stunning palazzo on the Dordogne in the medieval town of Bergerac near Bordeaux.

Who is it for?

Creators, innovators, those passionate about transforming culture from the depth of collective human potential. Anyone who has a sense that there is an untapped potential that lives between us and who wants to experience that possibility.

Who is facilitating?

Elizabeth Debold and Thomas Steininger from One World in Dialogue (evolve World) in collaboration with Life Itself (see below).

How much is it? (full residency)

Starting from €2000 including food, accommodation and participation in the workshop. (For students under 30, special rates are available).

How much is it? (only workshop)

Starting from €1500 depending on room type (food and accommodation included).

Our aim is that cost is not an obstacle to anyone in participating. If finance is an issue, please get in touch about reduced fees or scholarship.


Genius & Scenius: A 7-day Intensive Workshop Followed by a 3-week Residency

For the past several thousand years, humanity in the West has been on a journey to individuate. “Individuation,” becoming an individual distinct from the group, is one of the great achievements of Modernity and Postmodernity. There is a particular kind of freedom, the freedom of choice, which depends on individuation. This capacity of individuation unleashed a torrent of creativity—science, new technologies, new forms of art and music, and more. Individual geniuses unlocked the secrets of the universe, opened pathways of consciousness, and created ways to connect us across vast distances.

And this process of individuation created ever-more radical forms of separation, from deeper dimensions of ourselves, from Nature, from each other. At this point, we have arrived at what could be called “hyper-individuation”. Everyone asserts his or her relative truth: “You do your thing, and I do mine; You have your truth, and I have mine.”

This extreme individuation is leading us into crisis: nothing holds us together anymore; our societies are falling apart. At a personal level, we can’t integrate our self-sense in the wholeness of life. At a collective level, we are failing to work together on the urgent, critical issues facing us as a species, e.g. climate collapse. Moreover, the destruction of bioregions and disruption of the climate caused by human activity is a result of this separation. The complexity of what we are facing calls for more than individual genius.

Moreover, we don’t want to (and can’t) “go back” to pre-individuated collective identities, whether pre-modern or pre-individuated indigenous cultures.

Where do we turn? Already, human beings are being moved to seek connection and connectedness beyond the separate self. Efforts to end the divisions of racism and sexism are part of this desire. The mindfulness revolution of the last forty years has been a powerful impulse to free the self from separation. And the craving for community, for co-working and co-living and co-creation, is growing stronger and finding new expression in remarkable social and organizational experiments.

How can we cohere our autonomy and individuality within a greater collective whole?

Can we individually contribute to and collectively tap into a new, synergetic intelligence and awareness?

How do we transcend and include our separate genius to create collective “scenius”?

The question is less and less “what about me?” and increasingly “what about we?”

This raises a host of further questions, such as:


Is there a way to develop beyond separation, so that our self-sense and wholeness become integrated? So that we can “transcend and include” the dichotomy between individual and collective?


Are there specific practices to cultivate a “we-space,” a space beyond and between us and yet where we show up fully ourselves?


Is there a collective creativity in which the unique contribution of each individual is amplified and integrated into a more complex and rich whole?

The answer, in a word, is yes.

If this intrigues you and you would like to experiment with a new potential that transcends and includes our individual creativity, you may now have the question: How do I find out more about this? How do I learn and practice this?

Come to this 7-day intensive workshop and residency led by the global pioneers of emergent dialogue, Thomas Steininger and Elizabeth Debold, to open yourself to the co-conscious creativity of the living space between us, hosted in a beautiful villa in the southwest of France in full-bloom June.

Intensive Workshop

Thomas and Elizabeth have been exploring the potential of a new step in human development through the practice of emergent dialogue. They call this new step transindividuation—through which one discovers the creative potential of the field that lives between us. Sensing into a more subtle dimension of our selves and the reality we share, you can discover a source of connection, meaning, and creativity that emerges from togetherness. Through the most human of activities—talking together—comes a step beyond separation into radical connectedness. The potential of this is transformative: not just in direct experience but in the ability to create and collaborate together. Rather than genius, this new potential creates scenius—the genius of a “scene,“ where passionate individuals gather to create together.

The guiding idea behind both the Genius/Scenius intensive and residency is to create what cognitive scientist John Vervaeke calls an ecology of practices. This collection of practices attempts to deliberately develop a new “We” culture that is an evolutionary step transcending and including the hyperindividualism of our current postmodern world. You will have developmental guidance, inspiration, and support in a range of domains: consciousness development, spiritual/philosophical grounding, embodiment, practical co-working, connection to nature, shadow work, intersubjective sensemaking, co-conscious creativity, and, generally, a living synergy into being a new culture.

Ecology of Practices

Silent Meditation / lectio divina

emergent dialogue

(whole group and small group holons)

Movement / Yoga / Qigong

if possible

Practical Scenius

Scenius Project

Scenius Salons

Experiences in nature

Explanation of Practices:

Practical Scenius: taking on daily care activities (cooking, cleaning, gardening) twice a day for 30 minutes from the lively collective field

Scenius Project: as a gift to Life Itself, we will collectively decide on, design, and create a project to support our temporary Bergerac “home,” such as painting a mural, planting a garden, creating a labyrinth

Scenius Salons: exploring the potential of synergetic intelligence to engage in sense-making together on topics of current interest or important new ideas

emergent dialogue Holons: using the practice in small groups, rooted in nonseparation, to discover how shadow elements in the human psyche keep us from accessing co-conscious, synergetic intelligence

This intensive is for you if:


You have a longing to live and create more deeply with others


You are deeply curious about the limits of your own knowing


You have a passion for depth—and have explored spiritual practice


You are self-responsible and have done inner work to shed light on your shadows


You want to learn how to live from a place of nonseparation


You have a good sense of your creative potential and feel that there is so much more that could happen between human beings that we have yet to tap.

The intensive may not be right for you if you happen to be in a personal crisis at the moment or your primary focus at this time is on personal healing.

In this intensive, you can learn to:


Deepen meditation so that it opens us to wholeness


Grow your capacity to sense into the living field of collective presence


Give yourself to a deeper coherence in the intersubjective space


Shift your center of gravity from the interpersonal to intersubjective


Open yourself to become a vehicle for the creative impulse in the whole


Work with the synergetic intelligence that emerges in the space between


Transform conflict into creative friction


Discover a “higher mind“ that arises from the whole



Develop your capacity to live and work from collective emergence, the source of scenius

Genius & Scenius Residency

How do we continue with and deepen our capacity for co-conscious creativity and emergence? The three-week residency following the intensive is an ideal way to integrate all that you have learned and put it into practice in daily life. You will have time during the residency to do work—there is wifi and workspaces—and to explore emergent dialogue through a variety of practices for collective creativity.

After a few residencies at Life itself, we have come to realize how important this integration is and how simple daily tasks are important avenues for continued transformation. It is no wonder that Zen temples and monasteries have required monks and nuns to share in the basics of everyday care—cleaning, cooking, gardening, sharing responsibility for each other’s health and well-being. For this residency, each of us will contribute an hour each day to these tasks, divided into two 30-minute sessions. This is a practice of scenius, what we are calling Practical Scenius.

The residency will also be a field of experimentation. We will continue to explore the new capacities that emergent dialogue opens up in a variety of contexts: to develop a creative project together, to think deeply together about current issues, and to reveal shadow aspects of the self. Our aim during this month together is to bring to life a vital, creative community that allows us to experience being a living, creative field that transcends and includes our uniqueness.

Here is the suggested daily timetable for the residency
Silent Meditation

7:30 – 8:30

Breakfast Buffet

8:30 – 9:00

emergent dialogue Practice

9:00 – 10:00

Practical Scenius
(cooking, cleaning, gardening, repairs)

10:00 – 11:00

Work or Leisure, alone or with others

11:00 – 14:00

Lunch at the table

14:00 – 15:00

Work or Leisure, alone or with others
(cooking, cleaning, gardening, repairs)

15:00 – 18:00

Scenius Project or Practical Scenius

18:00 – 19:00

emergent dialogue Holons

19:00 – 20:00

Simple Dinner Buffet

20:00 – 20:30

Scenius Salons or Free Time until bed

20:30 – ??


Dr. Elizabeth Debold

For the last forty-some years, I have sought the answer to the question: how can we transform the dynamics of relationship and complexities of desire between women and men so that we all can thrive and reach our full human potential?

This inquiry has taken me from feminist activism in New York City to a doctorate in developmental psychology with Dr. Carol Gilligan at Harvard to a tumultuous global spiritual community that pioneered collective awakening and, finally, to an ongoing experiment in intersubjective emergence in Frankfurt, Germany.

I founded One World in Dialogue, an online forum to explore how intersubjectivity can bring us together across cultures to create new capacities in global consciousness. An author, transformative educator, journalist/editor, community leader and mentor, I have found the answer to my question in the amazing collective emergence of the Co-Conscious We and seek to share its potential in all that I do.

Dr. Thomas Steininger

I have been cultivating transformative “We Space” practices for nearly 30 years. As a philosopher, practitioner, and spiritual mentor, I have dived deeply into the practice of meditation and into an exploration of the evolution of human consciousness, particularly the current transition from a hyperindividual “I” culture to a co-conscious “We.”

As an authority on cultural evolution and the different spiritual and religious currents that have formed our postmodern world, I bring this perspective into my work as publisher of evolve-magazin, the leading German magazine on consciousness and culture and as faculty at Meridian U. in California. I also have a weekly webcast called Radio evolve, where I have interviewed over 500 pioneers forging the future.

For the last decades, I have co-founded and developed a process of emergent dialogue, an advanced practice in conscious communication.


Being part of the emergent dialogue practice, experiencing for real a new and deeper way of being together, and also the thrill and excitement of bringing new insights and capacities into existence, is what gives me real hope for a better future for all of us and also the means for how to contribute to that.

–Eirin A., Norway

This was one of the most powerful practice gatherings I have experienced.

–Ali W., UK

Opening my life to the We Space has opened my awareness even more to the living field which connects all of existence. In doing so, I feel my Self transformed, along with the way I show up in the relationships in my life. Participating in different We Space programs has given me a great gift of feeling touched, seen and connected effortlessly along with inspiring me to give a voice to this living field, the We Space. It feels easier to ground into the present and receive life’s surprises with grace and clarity.

–Nura, Earth, 30

...being together on a new level.

–Christo, Witten, Germany

I’ve been involved in business start-ups and integral community design for over 40 years… work that was frequently interwoven with my spiritual path. The discovery of we space five years ago was like entering a whole new octave of possibility… in all three arenas. The emergent dialogue work with Elizabeth and Thomas has been particularly beneficial for us since the cultivation of we space has both increased our capacity to work with emergence within the business and to weave a much richer level of connection here in the community.

–Kerry L., Asheville, NC, USA

emergent dialogue is transformation in any community... the practice is Soulfelt.

–Rev. Cass C., USA

Part of the Sympoiesis Series

Sympoiesis #7 – Emergent Dialogue is the seventh in the series of month-long residencies that are a spiritual cooking-together of various ingredients: people, practices, workshops, art, community life and actual cooking. The ingredients are drawn by the opening of a space, a vacuum to be filled by people and practices too spiritual for politics, too “political” for the monasteries. The idea that life can be divorced from spirit is at the heart of our trouble. Let’s sit with this great trouble without giving in to the narrowing impulse to “save the world.”

Residencies combine an activating frame of collective practices with a time-space dedicated for personal work/projects – a key aspect is learning how we can integrate community and practice, collective and private, absolute and relative in our daily life. 

Life itself residencies are based on a daily structure which aims to create a container in which each participant is sustained and nourished and in which the collective body can move together. This is the question of what we call the Minimum Lovable Product: what is the structure sufficiently strong to hold us as a community and sufficiently flexible to integrate our individualism? These residencies are directly inspired by monastic Zen communities adapted to our secular reality; a laboratory for metamodern communities.

Please find out about our shared common principles for all participants.

Please find out more about our residencies.

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