The Pocket Project was founded by Thomas Hübl and Yehudit Sasportas to help induce a shift from trauma-inducing to trauma-informed, trauma sensitive and, finally, trauma-integrating institutions and societies.
We are a non-profit, non-governmental organization and are funded entirely by the generous contributions of financial donors.
The Pocket Project is guided by our values, vision, objectives and key targets and shaped by the emergent needs of our times. We fundraise resources that allow us to contribute to the healing of collective trauma and to reduce its disruptive effects on our global culture. Every donor is an active participant in the realisation of these aims.
We restore fragmentation by addressing and integrating individual, ancestral and collective trauma. We heal the wounds from the past, thus shifting humanity towards a path of collaboration, innovation and emergence.
We contribute to the healing of collective trauma, reduce its disruptive effects on our global culture and help induce a shift from trauma-inducing to trauma-informed and trauma-integrating institutions and societies.
Our objectives are to
Reach out to a broad audience to inspire awareness on the global impact of collective trauma and possibilities for collective trauma integration through social media, festivals and online summits.
Create opportunities for engagement and collective competence building to both civil society and professionals. Offer scholarships for participants from non-majority backgrounds and the Global South.
Initiate International Labs that convene geographically and thematically specific groups to address collective trauma as part of a restoration process for respective countries or topics.
Offer the Study Room and Knowledge Library as a coherent meta-learning system. Collaborate with the School of Collective Trauma Integration to train professional practitioners to become facilitators of Collective Trauma Integration Processes (CTIP).
Set up Competence Centers for the further refinement and application of knowledge on Collective Trauma Integration to specific sectors, like restorative justice, climate change, gender equality and racialised trauma.
Set up a Collective Trauma Integration Center for the design and implementation of Collective Trauma Integration Processes for organizations, companies or countries in partnership with leadership circles and governing bodies.
Cultivate generative international partnerships with like-minded organizations and prepare for consultative status at the UN.
Our theory of change
We cultivate presence, relational sensing and coherence in individuals and groups.
Once a certain level of synchronisation and resourcing is reached, we can turn our witnessing presence consciously towards trauma contents and allow information to naturally arise. When trauma contents are touched upon, so are our protective layers of denial and resistance. Our we-spaces need to be resourced and coherent enough to be able to provide a hosting space of witnessing presence for what arises. Then, we can begin to acknowledge and digest what could not be processed before. The ensuing integration and restoration leads to a decrease in isolation and polarisation and and increase in compassionate and collaborative ability. Our creative and innovative potential can flow more easily into the world.
What is trauma?
Trauma is the inner response within an individual or a collective when facing a situation which is utterly overwhelming.
The high level of stress overloads the capacity for an individual to stay related to the experience. As a result, the nervous system shuts down or disassociates from that part which has become overwhelmed in order to protect the rest of the organism and survive. As this occurs, the symptoms manifest as flight, fight, or freeze response in the body.
Where trauma is not integrated soon after the precipitating event, it remains stored in the nervous system and creates permanent and long-lasting after-effects within a person or, even, a culture. These manifest as a range of symptoms or ‘signposts’ that can be traced back to the original traumatic experiences.
The trauma response is an intelligent function that life developed over millions of years in order to protect the survival of individuals and collectives. As a protective function, it serves life. However, the parts of life or pockets of energy that have been split off can ultimately threaten the wellbeing of the entire system.
In this way, trauma creates internal fragmentation that leads to the manifestation of external fragmentation and ultimately perpetuates itself.
Various forms of trauma have been studied, including:
Collective trauma is an invisible, yet formative ingredient for the structures that emerge in our cultures and societies, and that we tend to take for granted.
Collective trauma inhibits our potential for the expression of collective intelligence.
The Pocket Project’s contribution to this area of study is multifold: to explore the experiential aspects of both individual and collective trauma, and to illuminate both the overlaps and the distinctions between the two. In interactive training, initiatives, and social impact projects, participants actively investigate these experiences within themselves, with one another, and within their collective fields to ultimately arrive at greater clarity and resolution around the both small and large events that shape their lives.
Collective Trauma Integration
It is this background upon which Collective Trauma Integration has been designed.
As Thomas Hübl began to lead retreats in Germany in the early 2000s, he realised that many experiences of participants were rooted in the past, and specifically, related to the Holocaust and World War II. As he continued this work, he brought Germans and Israelis together to process their shared history. Since then, he has worked with tens of thousands of people from more than 40 countries in the facilitation of Collective Trauma Integration Processes. Further explanation can be found in Hübl’s newly released book Healing Collective Trauma: A process for Integrating our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds.
The goal of a collective trauma integration process is to release and thereby integrate the trauma that is stored both within individuals and within groups of people who share a similar trauma pattern in their collective unconscious. An essential component of this technique is to strengthen the relational coherence of the group. When this happens, the group can release a portion of trauma, and thus, a portion of frozen intelligence of humanity. As we continue this work, together, we create a more open, creative global culture that has the potential for a brighter future.
The collective trauma integration process (CTIP) model has six core stages:
Thomas Hübl is a renowned teacher, author, and international facilitator whose lifelong work integrates the core insights of the great wisdom traditions and mysticism with the discoveries of science. He is the author of the book Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds. Originally a paramedic for nine years and a student of medicine, Hübl left his studies at the University of Vienna in the 1990s to begin a four-year meditation retreat, which led to a new life path focused on teaching meditation and mindfulness-based awareness practices. In the early 2000s, in Austria and Germany, participants in his retreats began to voice some of their deeply held intergenerational wounds stemming from the second World War.
The interdisciplinary nature of Hübl’s work has been deepened in dialogues with physicians, psychologists, neuroscientists and other leaders in their fields from around the world. In 2020, Hübl received an honorary doctorate from Ubiquity University in California.
Thomas lives in Israel with his wife, the artist Yehudit Sasportas, and their daughter.
FOUNDER / DIRECTOR OF ARTS
Yehudit Sasportas is one of the most prominent and prolific Israeli artists working in the local and international art scene today. Her work is focused on site-specific installations, which include sculptures, drawings, video and sound works, and call for an intense sensory experience. Her installations go through a process of responding to the architecture of various museums, as well as the wider cultural context within which they are created.
Her sculptural arrangements deal with a correspondence between subconscious materials, unspoken and unseen, and the way these layers of information activate conscious areas across the surface. Sasportas’ Active Consciousness films, which were made over the course of seven years, present relatively simple actions, yet provoke a deep reflection about how we experience, understand and project our own personal stories on reality.
Sasportas’ works have received recognition for their political relevance.
Sasportas represented Israel in the 2007 Venice Biennale, and created ten international solo exhibitions during the last decade, in venues such as The Kunsthalle Basel; The Berkeley Museum of Art, San Francisco; The Kunstverein Braunschweig; DA2 Domus Atrium, Salamanca; and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Sasportas is a senior professor at the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem. She works in Tel Aviv and Berlin and is also a lecturer in the International Academy of Consciousness (Germany and the US).
www.eigen-art.com | www.sommergallery.com
serves as CEO of the Pocket Project. She holds an MSc in Organisational Development, is an international facilitator, author, coach and consultant, and has worked extensively in the fields of sustainable development, curriculum development and intercultural collaboration. Kosha grew up in South Africa under Apartheid and has been dedicated to the healing of divides and collective trauma ever since. Kosha has received the Dadi Janki Award for engaging spirituality in life and work and the One World Award for her work with the Global Ecovillage Network. She serves as host and mentor on Thomas’ online courses, co-moderated two Celebrate Life Festivals and was a co-host of the 2019 and 2020 Online Summit on Collective Trauma.
joined the Pocket Project as project manager in November 2019. Anne has 14 years of experience in event management, in industry and commerce, as well as the public sector. She previously worked as event manager in Berlin for a start-up organization working on sustainable urban farming and aquaponic systems. Her passion is to bring healing, restoration of a sense of interbeing and understanding of the circularity of all life to children.
Anne holds a certificate in pre-, peri- and postnatal shock and trauma therapy.
She has organized large-scale events focused on healing collective trauma for Thomas Hübl since 2006 and has been part of the organizing team of the annual Celebrate Life Festival in Germany for the past 13 years.
Alex joined the Pocket Project team in 2020. Since 2014 she has supported Thomas Hübls students in Spanish and English through the Inner Science team. With a Masters Degree in International Economics and a second one in Consciousness Studies, Alex has worked for UNDP in Angola and has also served as an ordained New Thought minister in Washington, DC, for over ten years. As a native both of Colombia and of the U.S., Alex is passionate about social justice and is grateful for years spent working in various countries throughout the Americas.
is combining her role at The Pocket Project with her Masters in World Heritage Studies. She is a passionate food grower, Permaculture designer and facilitator. For over 10 years, she was the Administrator of Better World Cameroon and co-initiator of Bafut Ecovillage, an off-grid learning center North West of Cameroon. As Executive Secretary of the Global Ecovillage Network Africa, she brings regenerative community and social enterprise development to several African communities. In 2017, Sonita received the Gender Just Climate Solutions Award by the Women and Gender Constituency for empowering women on the earthen cook stove technology. Driven by her passion for healing colonial trauma, Sonita took the Principles of Collective Trauma Healing course with Thomas Hübl.
LAURA CALDERÓN DE LA BARCA
is an integral-intuitive psychotherapist , cultural analyst and collective healing researcher who lives in Mexico City. Her engagement with collective trauma led her to write in 2007 a PhD thesis that analyzed her home country, Mexico, in an imagined psychotherapeutic session. She has studied with Thomas Hübl since 2016, and is a graduate of the Pocket Project training which completed in 2018. She has conducted online therapy sessions with people in English and Spanish since 2012, presents on psycho-education, and carries out “Healing from Colonialism” workshops with Indigenous communities in Mexico and other countries. She is on the Steering Committees for Research, Colonialism and Writing groups for the Pocket Project
was born in Kobe, studied in Tokyo, and received his PhD in Duisburg/Germany. Prof. Dr. Kazuma Matoba teaches and researches in communication science at Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. Over twenty years, he has facilitated many intercultural, interethnic and interreligious dialogues. He is the managing director of the Graduate Program of The Academy of Inner Science (AIS), where he supports Thomas Hübl in establishing the dialogue between inner and outer science.
The Pocket Project Advisory Board is designed as an honorary committee, a visionary source of collaborative inspiration within the Pocket Project – specifically within the field of collective and intergenerational trauma.
For the last decade, Angel Acosta has worked to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice, and mindfulness. He holds a doctorate degree in curriculum and teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Acosta has supported more than educational leaders and their students by facilitating leadership trainings, creating pathways to higher education, and designing dynamic learning experiences. His dissertation explored healing-centered education as a promising framework for educational leadership development.
After participating in the Mind and Life Institute’s Academy for Contemplative Leadership, Acosta began consulting and developing learning experiences that weave leadership development with conversations about inequality and healing, to support educational leaders through contemplative and restorative practices. As a former trustee for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, he participated as a speaker and discussant at the Asia Pacific Forum on Holistic Education in Kyoto, Japan. He continues to consult for organizations like the NYC Department of Education, UNICEF, Columbia University and others. Over the last couple of years, he has designed the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience–a contemplative journey to understand structural inequality. He’s a proud member of the 400 Years of Inequality Project, based at the New School.
is a Professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, where she works to advance a new integrated science of thriving to promote early and lifelong health of children, youth and families. She is the founding director (1996) of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI), a center within the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, USA. She leads a Mindfulness in Maternal & Child Health consortium and a national agenda to address childhood trauma.
is a cultural anthropologist, social entrepreneur and author. Co-founder of betterplace.org, Germany’s largest donation platform and the betterplace lab, a think & do tank researching the use of digital technologies for the common good. She supports initiatives in line with her interest in digital-social innovations and invests in mission-driven startups such as Clue, DeepL and Nebenan.de.
is Professor for Civic Law and International Economic Law at the European University Viadrina. Since the 1990s, he has mediated and advised in disputes between large economic firms and in the public realm. He co-founded the initiative “Schule im Aufbruch” (School in Change).
is founder and former director of the Oxford Research Group, where she worked for twenty years, developing effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics. Scilla founded Peace Direct in 2002, and is now developing the ‘Business Plan for Peace – building a world without war’. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times.
has been known for leading edge work in human consciousness and organisational change for over 30 years. He holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Organisational Development from Harvard University. His work synthesizes an unusually diverse background in organisational behavior, social change, humanistic psychology, business, music, and spiritual studies.
is a Pediatrician and Doctor of Psychosomatic Medicine. She is Director of the Oberberg Clinics, Germany, where she established a salutogenic approach (focused on healing and well-being as opposed to disease). She is founder of the Oberberg Association, as well as the Oberberg Academy for Integral Healing, which seeks to balance outer demands with inner needs and expectations.
is founder of CMPartners and Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is also founder of the Bridgeway Group, a nonprofit organization which works in conflict-affected regions. Ken serves as advisor to parties engaged in critical negotiations. He also leads and contributes to policy initiatives aimed at strengthening international relationships. Prior to founding CMPartners, he was a Principal at Conflict Management Inc. He received his B.A. from Yale College and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
CHRISTIAN W. MANDL
is a consultant for the healthcare industry and public health organizations on vaccines, cancer immunotherapy and global health. His engagement includes roles as a Co-founder and Chair, Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for Tiba Biotech (USA), Chair, SAB for Themis Biotech (Austria), and Chair, SAB for the International Vaccine Institute (Korea). Until 2015, he was Global Head of Research, Early and Exploratory Clinical Development at Novartis Vaccines, where he led a global team of more than 300 clinical researchers developing a broad range of viral and bacterial vaccines. Prior to that, Christian was Professor and Assistant Head of the Clinical Institute of Virology at the Medical University of Vienna. He has authored more than 100 scientific publications and holds several patents for vaccine and RNA technologies.
Ruby Mendenhall is a Professor of Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, Gender and Women’s Studies and Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an affiliate of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology; Women and Gender in Global Perspectives; the Cline Center for Advance Social Research; Epstein Health Law and Policy Program; Family Law and Policy Program; the Institute of Government and Public Affairs; and the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Mendenhall is an Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Mendenhall’s research examines how living in racially segregated neighborhoods with high levels of violence affects Black mothers’ mental and physical health using surveys, interviews, crime statistics, police records, data from 911 calls, art, wearable sensors and genomic analysis. She also examines Black mother’s resiliency and spirituality. She is currently directing the STEM Illinois Nobel Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, which provides unprecedented access to computer science and other STEM fields. The Nobel project is also a pathway program to medicine and Nobel Scholars will be trained to become Community Health Workers and Citizen Scientists. Mendenhall has written over a hundred poems. Her latest poem is co-authored with the Urbana, IL Poet Laureate Ashanti Files and titled “From Racism to Renaissance”.
is a sociologist, psychologist, futurist and the president of Meridian University. Raised in Pakistan, India, Hawaii, and Turkey, he was educated at the universities of M.I.T, Harvard and Brandeis. His publications have addressed the topics of transformative learning, cultural leadership, generative entrepreneurship and complexity capability. His work includes assisting organizations in tapping into the creative potentials of conflict, diversity, and complexity. Formerly the president of the Council for Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychologies, he is a Fellow of the International Futures Forum and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.
is a clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Psychology department at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Her research fields include coping with trauma, stress and illness, and the development of narrative theory and qualitative methodologies. Her clinical work focuses on individual and collective responses to trauma, mainly studying identity reconstruction processes in the aftermath of traumatic events. Today, she focuses on trauma narratives, at both the individual and collective levels, and the role narrative plays in healing traumatic injuries. Prof. Rivka Tuval- Mashiach uses qualitative, as well as mixed methods in her research, and has published two books and numerous peer reviewed papers on these topics.
is co-founder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation. For the past thirty-five years, William has served as a negotiation adviser and mediator in conflicts ranging from Kentucky Wildcat coal mine strikes to ethnic wars in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. He has taught negotiation and mediation to tens of thousands of executives, labour leaders, diplomats, and military personnel from around the world.
is an American author and founder of the Integral Theory, a four-quadrant grid map and synthesis of all human knowledge and experience. He is an important representative of transpersonal psychology, which concerns itself explicitly with spirituality. In recognition of the pioneering and rich nature of his insights, he has been called ‘the Einstein of consciousness research’.
COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORk
At the heart of our partnerships are our close collaboration with Sharing the Presence - GMBH in Germany, Inner Science - LLC in the US and the Academy of Inner Consciousness in Israel.
The Pocket Project cultivates partnerships with like-minded organisations, and those that extend our work into areas beyond our immediate skills and capacities. We are applying for consultancy status at the United Nations and have applied for a booth at the UN COP26 (Climate Conference) in Glasgow later this year.
Global Ecovillage Network
The partnership agreement between the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and the Pocket Project was signed in November 2017. GEN restores the capacity of communities to become places of healing and regeneration of life and reaches out to more than 6000 communities on all continents. In partnership with GEN, the Pocket Project offers scholarships to build capacity and skills for trauma integration in crisis areas and fragile democracies.
Institute for Global Integral Competence
In the 21st century, schools and universities have a major responsibility to create spaces in which a cosmopolitan society can be prepared for the future. They can be a place where students can practice ‘global social witnessing (GSW)’ in order to develop human capacities to attend mindfully to global events with embodied awareness. If our future is to be cosmopolitan, we need to establish cosmopolitan education. IfGIC and the Pocket Project have applied for EU funding to co-develop a curriculum for Global Social Witnessing.