Who are we?
My name is Elaine Olsen and I am founder of The Fourth Space. The genesis of how I came to start this venture, is my children. I held them tenderly as babies. I watched them grow into little people. They morphed into teenagers where their lives were both fun and difficult. They moved into higher education where they either winged it or agonised over it. Then they transitioned into the workplace in ways that were both bewildering and mystifying.
As they made their way across the terrain of who they were, I journeyed with them too. There were moments of deep joy and troughs of immense pain. I witnessed their struggle of finding identity and their yearning for a sense of belonging.
Through them and with them, I too experienced profound shifts and somehow discovered myself and my place in the world. Who I am and what I want to be is strongly and inextricably linked with a higher purpose of being in service to young people.
My intention is to co-build a place for changemakers, where young people can know who they are, and be a part of a ‘family’ that they can belong to. We are about building a strong, creative and safe platform from which they can launch themselves and their ideas into the world.
The Fourth Space is the first step in a journey towards creating an alternative educational space where learning occurs through doing, where learning is co-created with others, where nature's wisdom is accessed and experiences are viewed as teachers.
What is this fourth space?
The inspiration behind the name of this venture originates from Theory U: Leading from the Emerging Future book where the author Otto Scharmer writes about different versions of society.
Society 1.0 is organised around hierarchy where the primary source of power is coercive (e.g through military rule). Society 2.0 is organised around competition where power is both coercive and remunerative (i.e through market-based incentives).
Then Society 3.0 emerges and the primary players in this space are interest groups like NGOs where stakeholder dialogues are the norm.
What gets really interesting is the Society 4.0 space where the notion of organising around the whole is about creating a shared awareness of the eco-system.
Otto goes on to explain that 'eco-system awareness is an internalisation of the views and concerns of other stakeholder's in one's system'. In other words, being able to see and sense other people's perspectives will result in decisions made that benefits everyone, and not just a small group or a small part of the world.
So for us here at The Fourth Space, we are really curious to see if we can chart the course towards Society 4.0. Our learning journeys are designed to enable people to co-feel, co-move and co-create their way towards a future where the wellbeing of all and the planet is front of mind and centre.
Given the troubles that we are in today, we are sorely in need of new ways of thinking, doing and being if we are to repair and renew the system for life is to be sustained on the planet.
Our task is to help you to first know yourself, so that a new breed of entrepreneurs, creatives and citizens are birthed, and readied to have a good go at making things better.