Social Presencing: An Embodied Practice for Social Impact

Organizations striving for social impact are often stuck. It comes with the territory of the sector we choose to work in.  A reflective practice, done collectively, using the individual body, can provide new perspectives, solutions, and insights.

A “stuck” in an organization is something a team is trying to create, change or innovate that is not moving forward.  Stucks reside in individual team members as well as in the activities and results the team is creating together.

Grantbook’s Michelle Moore is currently part of a team at MIT’s Presencing Institute actively engaged in bringing Social Presencing, a body-based, experiential learning toolkit, to organizations to fuel transformative change.

The Scottish Civil Service, Los Angeles School System and Eileen Fisher are examples of large organizations using Social Presencing for insight and systems change.

Grantbook piloted Social Presencing with its entire team during the summer visioning retreat.  The team formed individual as well as group body sculptures representing various stucks in the context of personal goals, company growth and the “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” in the larger philanthropic ecosystem.

In addition, Grantbook worked with a member organization of the network, in July.  During a day-long experiential session, the TFA leadership team was guided through Social Presencing activities to work through leadership blindspots.  The team used the core stuck exercise to allow the highest potential of its Theory of Change to emerge. One participant reflected, “I realized that although our team feels tensions, both overall and between one another, when the going gets tough we are there for each other.”

This fall, Grantbook continues to offer this new approach to develop skills like creativity, innovation, intuition, collective insight and more at a New York City based philanthropic foundation as well as with the board of a Canadian museum.

Michelle Moore

Board Member

Strategy, Transformation, Process Optimization

Transformation work is my passion. I have helped former Soviet enterprises transition to a market economy, consulted companies on innovation performance, optimized business processes and implemented new technologies. Today, authentic transformation for lasting positive impact is faster and more accessible to all individuals, organizations and systems. Tapping into the collective wisdom of our teams, through high quality attention & intention, presencing, and embodiment is the new source for insight and innovation.