Global Social Witnessing
Be present – Feel what you see – Become a global witness
Monthly free Global Social Witnessing Calls
What is Global Social Witnessing?
Global Social Witnessing is the emergent 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 is an essential social technology that teaches us how to gently turn our attention towards rather than away from challenging events in the world.
The term ‘Global Social Witnessing’ was first introduced at the Celebrate Life Festival in 2017.
In today’s world, we experience the tension of a widening gap between what we sense could be possible from the potential of individuals and humanity, and what is realized. In the Pocket Project, it is our understanding that unresolved systemic, multigenerational traumas delay the development of the human family, harm the natural world, and inhibit the higher evolution of our species.
Adequate healing and peace-building starts from increasing our capacity to bring our presence to what is happening, both internally and externally. We consciously develop our ability to gain a more precise and comprehensive embodied sense of relatedness to events in the outside world. We call this practice of insight ‘Global Social Witnessing’.
Through Global Social Witnessing, we practice our ability to feel and relate to the cultural process and become aware that the social body is developing through 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. Many of us have learned to process the latest news and numbers solely on a mental level. This may have become habitual – it seems ‘normal to us. We pull out of the discomfort of our body sensations and emotions, out of the discomfort of truly witnessing what is taking place. Alone, we might feel overwhelmed by the intensity.
Global Social Witnessing Calls
During the Pocket Project Global Social Witnessing calls, we consciously create a sense of coherence, a group field that supports us in practicing presence, as we attune to world events together. When we enter the witnessing process in such a group, we start to grow our capacities. The coherent ‘we-spaces’ can be profoundly supportive for our own nervous systems to become more able to digest the energy and activation that arises as we venture to touch on unfelt parts of the cultural experience.
It is not a question of all of us being able to do this at once. It is about finding out where the limits of our ability to experience lie, and then, gently, beginning to expand them. We find our personal and collective limits, learn how to experience challenging events in more attuned ways, and thus become global witnesses of our time. Practicing over time, Global Social Witnessing supports new awareness in individual group members, elevates the overall capacity of the group and generates a more conscious holding community for events in the world – a subtle activism for healing, peace-building, and global citizenship.
Each of our calls will be dedicated to a particular topic, theme or event in the world. For now, please save the date – soon enrollment will open. The calls are free and in English.
Our next calls will take place on:
22. March 2021, 8-9.30pm CEST (Central European Summer Time)
“Turning our attention towards the COVID Pandemic – Grieving for what we have lost and are losing”
with Markus Hirzig and Robert Buxbaum
19. April 2021, 8-9.30pm CEST(Central European Summer Time)
“Vaccines and Vaccinations – Inequity & Responses to a Global Pandemic”
with Patrick Dougherty and Manda Johnson
24. May 2021, 8-9.30pm CEST(Central European Summer Time)
with Robin Alfred and Christine Gerike
21. June 2021, 8-9.30pm CEST (Central European Summer Time)
with Louise Marra and Christine Gerike
2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 8pm CAT/ 1pm CST(Mexico)
(Please check here to find the time in your location)
More information about Global Social Witnessing:
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.
Markus Hirzig has 30 years of experience in accompanying people, especially in body therapy (physiotherapy, osteopathy) and also in personal development and growth. Markus works to help his clients develop a deeper sensitivity for tensions in their body and the body’s energy field as well as their origins. He works with people both in his practice and also online internationally. Since 2002 Markus has had intensive contact with Thomas Hübl and has accompanied people and their personal processes during Thomas Hübl’s seminars and online courses for many years. Since 2011 he has also been involved in the training and further education of the team of assistants.
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.
is a licensed psychologist who has over 40 years of clinical work and decades of working with social despair and collective trauma. The last 5 years he has been developing models and protocols to support therapists, individuals and groups to stay in good relationships as they work towards integrating trauma. Stemming from his experience as a Vietnam veteran, he has a focus on collective trauma cause by involvement in or experience of armed violence, war and genocide. He has been with the Pocket Project since its inception.
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.
is an organisational consultant, facilitator, trainer and executive coach. Robin worked in criminal justice in London, before moving to the Findhorn ecovillage in Scotland in 1995 where he founded Open Circle Consultancy. He has extensive experience of leading and developing groups and individuals across all sectors – corporate, public, and third sector. His facilitation work is designed to cultivate the self-organizing principle in groups and individuals and to support the emergence of transformational fields. Robin has been studying with Thomas Hübl for the past 12 years. He 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.
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.
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.