Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

The New Science of Awareness: Emergence of Consciousness in Organic Systems

Dr. Clyde V. Croswell, Scot Holliday.

The adaptive and resilient nature of awareness is practically ignored in business and organizations. The process of becoming aware is a vital factor in change and improving personal and professional effectiveness at the individual, group and organizational levels. We explore a new synthesis and explanation of spontaneous creativity in action by utilizing a novel perspective of emergence that is based on new findings from cognitive science framed in the context of simultaneously co-evolving complex adaptive systems. Bridging both physical and social sciences, we draw chiefly from biology and the life work of cognitive research scientist Francisco Varela, whose work in neuro-biology and consciousness has helped unfold the essence of the emerging paradigm of awareness. His approach introduces phenomenology as a pragmatic method for practicing awareness, wherein immanent awareness of ‘self’, ‘other’, and ‘world’ is seen as the catalyst for enacting effective relationships and intersubjectivity of teams and organizations. Because the atemporal nature of collective experience during each given moment forms our perceptions and transforms our perspectives, a non-linear model of time is needed, and introduced, representing the double intentionality of static and genetic constitution and their co-evolutionary nature. Awareness builds individual and collective capacity and disposition for dealing with change, decision-making, intentional transformation, and improving the quality of work and well-being in life. In the conclusion, several propositions and implications for change, transformational leadership, and sustainable organization development are presented.


Dr. Clyde V. Croswell  (United States)
Visiting Professor
Department of Counseling/ Human and Organizational Studies
George Washington University

Clyde Croswell is a Visiting Professor in Human and Organizational Studies at George Washington University and President of Community-L, Inc., an organization development consulting firm. Scot Holliday is a Graduate Student and Research Fellow at George Washington University.

Scot Holliday  (United States)

George Washington University

  • Awareness
  • Emergence
  • Consciousness
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Non-linear
  • Atemporal
  • Francisco Varela
  • Cognitive Science

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)