Global Social Witnessing is the human capacity to mindfully attend to global events with an embodied awareness, thereby creating an inner world space that mirrors and brings compassion to these events. We shift from being a mere bystander, mentally processing the latest news, to an active witness, responding from our bodies and hearts, as well as our minds. Global Social Witnessing teaches us to gently turn our attention towards rather than away from challenging events in the world.
In the Pocket Project, it is our understanding that unresolved systemic, multigenerational trauma delays the development of the human family, harms the natural world, and inhibits our higher evolution. Adequate healing and peace-building starts from our capacity to presence what is actually happening, both internally and externally. We consciously develop our ability to gain a more precise and embodied sense of relatedness to events in the outside world.
Through Global Social Witnessing, we relate to the cultural process and understand that the social body is developing through all of us. As human beings, we are a small movement within the bigger movement of the collective and of life itself. Through our presence and intentionality, we co-shape the events we witness.
During the Pocket Project Global Social Witnessing calls, we consciously create a sense of group coherence as we attune to world events together. Such a ‘we-space’ can be profoundly supportive for our own nervous systems to become more able to digest the energy and activation that arises as we touch on parts of the cultural experience.
We acknowledge the limits of our ability to relate, and then, gently, begin to expand them. Together, we learn how to experience challenging events in more attuned ways, and thus become global witnesses of our time. Practicing over time, Global Social Witnessing generates a more conscious holding community for events in the world – a subtle activism for healing, peace-building, and global citizenship.
Each of our Global Social Witnessing Calls will be dedicated to a particular topic, theme or event in the world. The calls will be led by senior Pocket Project Facilitators and will be free.
Our next calls will take place on:
Climate Change & Collective Trauma with Louise Marra
Grief and Grace in Equal Measure – Trauma – Oppression – Resilience with Ruby Mendenhall, Teddy Frank, Karen Simms and Nasir Bayan
(Please check here to find the time in your location)
The Individual Level
A human being who can depict the inner life of another human being in itself develops the ability of compassion. Compassion is not a cognitive process, but the ability to reflect within ourselves the composition of the physical, emotional and mental experience of another. The attunement to the experience of another person creates real compassion, and thus a new radius of relatedness and inspiration, which is the prerequisite for truly healing action. The difference between reactiveness and responsiveness – our ability to be and do from response-ability – lies in our ability to relate in an embodied way.
The Collective Level
The same applies to the collective context. If we can map within ourselves the processes that happen in society, we become mature and integrated citizens of a nation or culture. Only once I am able to create a physical, emotional and mental representation of events within myself can I really relate to them. This relationship, in turn, allows me to come to an appropriate (not reactive), creative action. The more I have to hide or dissociate myself from the events and processes of the culture in which I live, the less I can find an adequate response.
For example, when a terrorist attack occurs, many people feel overwhelmed and turn away. This can lead to reactions which create further fragmentation and polarisation in the system, and may grow into political tensions up to national or international levels. Reactions based on trauma re-create new traumatisation.
The Question of Guilt
At first glance, it looks as if the guilty party in an event such as an act of terrorism, an abuse scandal or an act of destruction of biodiversity are those who have committed offences under the law. A few people are ‘the bad guys’, and the rest of the community sees themselves as innocent. This is only partially true, however. If we take a closer look, we will find that each event is an expression of our culture as a whole. When we are unable to embody in ourselves the events and news that we hear and read about, we cannot relate fully. The social body becomes insensitive and loses its compassion, immune strength and regenerative power. The witnessing consciousness within culture diminishes, thus becomes less conscious of its own inner processes and less able to self-correct. Climate Change is a prime example for our struggle to course correct our global culture. Instead, unconscious actions determine or at least deeply influence the outcomes.
The more precisely we learn to receive and attune to our own relation to the place, event, collective issue, the more love and space arises – precision is love.
has post graduate qualifications in environmental management, public policy and Jungian and Transpersonal psychology. She has trained with Thomas Hübl for many years including through the Pocket Project. She is an executive coach and group process leader employing many different modalities including somatic therapies. She works mainly with diverse groups of leaders on transforming patterns of the past and leading for systems change, within us and within the whole. She has worked for Prime Ministers, boards, NGOs, corporate teams, public sector and philanthropy across the globe in emergent practice, social innovation and leadership. She is deeply connected to the living planet and all its beings, and is part of the Ngai Tuhoe tribe in New Zealand and is passionate about reconnecting people as nature.
Christine Gerike lives with her family near New York City since 2015. She holds an M.A. in American Studies, Economics, and Political Science at the University of Münster, Germany. Christine is a trained manager of German non-profit educational organizations, and has been working as a transformational coach and facilitator since 2011. She is a graduate of the yearlong Pocket Project training in 2018, initiated the first Global Social Witnessing (GSW) online practice in 2017 and has facilitated monthly group-calls on a variety of world-related topics since. Together with colleagues from the Pocket Project, she co-founded the GSW Competence Center in 2019, which is dedicated to expand practice and knowledge of GSW in the world. Christine co-leads webinar trainings on “The Practice of GSW” since 2020.
is an experienced and licensed mental health therapist who has been working in the human services field for most of her life. She has spent her career helping individuals, organizations, and community groups reach their highest potentials by using trauma-informed and culturally responsive practices. Her approach to therapy is based on family systems theory, which is strength based, trauma informed, and culturally responsive. She has extensive experience in creating programs and services for women, men, children, and teens. Her programs are always aimed at helping individuals achieve healthier, safer, and more empowered lives. She is an expert in systems coordination and cross-system collaboration as well as in improving programs, services, and supports for individuals in need.
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.
Teddy is trained as a trauma-informed creative arts and Bioenergetic psychotherapist, leadership coach and transformational group facilitator. She serves as an executive coach for Mobius Executive Leadership. Teddy is Co-Founder of Humanenergetics, Inc. working to restore healthy relationships with self, others and our global world. She was the former Global Head of Cultural Transformation at Royal Philips, facilitating top leadership teams and architect of the culture strategy. Integrating her passion for social justice and cross-cultural wisdom teachings, Teddy serves as a facilitator and researcher for the Pocket Project and has been studying with Thomas Huebl since 2017.
Robert Buxbaum is co-founder of the Pocket Project’s Global Social Witnessing Competence Center and has worked to develop and refine GSW practice since 2017. He also co-created and co-teaches Witnessing the World in Me/And Me in the World, a webinar series on GSW Principles and Practice. Robert is a certified coach, social activist and former executive leader of large-scale public and private organizations. He is a senior student and graduate of Thomas’ Hübl’s Timeless Wisdom and Pocket Project trainings, a member of Thomas’ Core Group, and facilitates groups and workshops.
Manda Johnson is a co-founder of the Pocket Project’s Global Social Witnessing Competence Centre and is co-creator and facilitator of the Webinar series Witnessing the World in Me/And Me in the World. Manda facilitates groups of business executives in leadership development and works as a coach and somatic therapist. Manda has studied with Thomas Hubl since 2016, she is a member of his core group and a graduate of the Pocket Project’s, Restoration of Collective and Intergenerational Trauma training.
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. She has been learning with Thomas for 15 years. She has served as a host and mentor for almost all of Thomas Hübl’s online courses, co-moderated two of the Celebrate Life Festivals and was a co-host of the 2019 and 2020 Online Summit on Collective Trauma.