UnConference Debrief – Ways to reimagine and restart learning

Key insights from our hosts and panellists Daniel Pinchbeck, Claire Boonstra and Liv Behre

At the UnConference this week (May 3rd), our hosts Canay and Rudy were joined as usual by the CLT Team: Yuri, Primavera and Michael. We were all lucky to host three incredible panellists to discuss ways to reimagine and restart learning:

  • Daniel Pinchbeck – Executive Director, Liminal News. Author of ‘Breaking Open the Head’, ‘2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl’, and ‘How Soon is Now?’ Founding member of The Assemblage.
  • Claire BoonstraFounder of Operation Education, Author of “Het Onderwijsvragenboek” (Breaking the habits in education).
  • Liv Behre Founder of Trio (the conscious coworking platform), Storyteller and Course Producer.

The hosts and panellists discussed a wide range of topics: the need to learn from other cultures to survive as a species, the integration of technology and spirituality, the lasting effects of coronavirus on how we view the value of work, the true purpose of learning and so much more…

Read on for a few snippets from this week’s expansive two-and-a-half-hour discussion.

A few insights from our panellists

Daniel suggested that we have a lot to learn from indigenous societies in the Amazon or Colombia, cultures who don’t have a negative effect on their local environment. He pointed out that these societies have been the “last-ditch resistance” against the extractive exploitative industries, and that the first step is to consider how we can survive before we thrive.

“What needs to happen for us now is simply to protect our own survival as a species. Our only hope is a unified planetary movement of collective consciousness towards a completely different economic system.”
– Daniel Pinchbeck


Canay highlighted how this is evidence that our current destructive systems are not our natural way of being. She questioned why we fight against the more conscious lifestyle that we know we need to follow and suggested this can open up a new path of learning.

“We know we need to be kind to each other, we know we need to design conscious business models. But something keeps us from doing what we know is right. There’s something lacking there. If we can just focus on that, whatever it is, and learn it or relearn it, that would be a very beneficial conversation for us all.”
– Canay Atalay


Rudy underlined a message that he has written a lot about in other posts on our site: the importance of personal transformation to progress as a species.

“Everybody’s talking about digital transformation, but to reach the next level of humanity, we need personal transformation. Digital transformation is easy, it’s fast. Personal transformation takes a lot of time and courage, to face your own demons.”
– Rudy de Waele


Daniel was asked a question on what he expects the “new normal” to be after the coronavirus crisis has settled. He suggested that it will cause our levels of profound awareness to shift.

“We’re collectively much more aware of our interdependence of the fragility of the whole civilization upon which we rely, I think it has to be the case that the insane degree of wealth inequality has to be coming under at least subconsciously a collective questioning. From pandemics in the past, could see a reevaluation of the value of different kinds of work.”
– Daniel Pinchbeck


Liv raised the point that conscious tools that we use in our transformational journeys – like meditation or plant medicines – are often seen as nothing more than external tools to be “used” and then dropped. Instead, she stresses that we need to “bring ourselves to the table.”

“We are doing these programs to feel like we’ve achieved something. But how can we go to a retreat and then not wait until the next one to feel in touch with ourselves? We need to activate ourselves on a constant basis and relearn new patterns and new ways of learning.”
– Liv Behre


Claire brought things back to our main topic of learning, by focusing on the true purpose of education. She elaborated on some points from her guest article and laid out three ways to reframe how we think of learning, taken from her years of research.

“The first is to learn to discover who you are, what you stand for, where you’re heading in life. And that means to unleash your own unique and infinite potential. Secondly, to learn to live life together, and to learn to live together. Thirdly, to learn to take ownership of your own life and of the world we strive for peaceful, happy, healthy and sustainable”
– Claire Boonstra

Claire also put this question to the audience, inviting everyone to give their own answers to this question, to define what it should be, rather than the way it is now.

Your voices

Throughout the UnConference, we had some amazing input from Tribe members around the world, giving their insights in the Chat or asking questions in the Q&A panel.

We put a number of these questions to the panellists and we invited one participant, Kelly, to bravely appear on-screen and ask her question directly. Claire also answered another audience question about how coronavirus has affected the way we are educating children.

“A burst of energy came out in the education system of people suddenly finding completely new ways of working, finding new cooperations new ways of looking at things. And what emerged was the things that are lacking. We need people. We need proximity, we need relationship we need touch, we need to feel each other and that is becoming very clear. But, for some children, this absence of the fixed system has been the best thing that could have happened to them, because they finally did not get distracted by everything around them.”

Sound familiar? This is a period for all of us to embrace the time without distractions, to learn and to reframe our approach to learning entirely.

Do you want to get involved in the next UnConference? To ask questions, tell your own stories or simply watch amazing minds discuss the most important subjects of our time?


Visit theunconference.com to see the upcoming program, read more about our events and register for the next UnConference.


See you next Sunday!

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