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Prototyping | 建構原型

This April I participated in a sensemaking journey to the Philippines to observe the prototyping efforts of a community of practitioners to create a learning nation.  Today's blog focuses the U theory’s prototyping process and the case study of HAPINOY.

The prototyping process:

Prototyping is the action of creating the new in living examples that explore the future by doing.  As one goes through a process of learning by reflecting on the experiences of the past (act - observe - reflect - plan - act) and learning from the future as it emerges (presencing), one’s mind, heart and will gradually opens and is able to let go of all that blocks one’s ability to connect to the deepest source of your self and will, then let come the inspiration for addressing real needs in real time.  At the moment of presencing, one is able to observe and adapt based on whatever happens next.

The conventional problem solving approach takes the pathway of analysis: narrow your question, review all work done previously on the topic, summarize and suggest what to do next.  

The prototyping method works differently: 1) Clarify the question, 2) observe, 3) adapt - then repeat these three steps based on your outcomes.  Prototyping is part of the sensing and discovery process in which we explore the future by doing.  This is such a simple point—but many organizations are stalled in the quicksand of “analysis paralysis.”

The prototyping process:

  1. Become a master observer and listener.
  2. Connect to your intention and operate as an instrument.
  3. When reality opens up, be fully present with it - and act from the Now.
  4. Follow your heart: do what you love, love what you do. 
  5. Always be in dialogue with the universe and assume the universe is a helpful place.
  6. Create an environment for supporting your journey. 
  7. Balance your talking-doing ratio.
  8. Identify the crack - the opening to the future and understand the imperatives for global change.
  9. Use different languages with different stakeholders - connect to them in terms of what they care about.
  10. If you want to change others, you need to be open to changing yourself first.
  11. Co-initiate through local leadership from the heart (a small group of five people can change the world)
  12. Take sensing journeys to help people see the system from the edges and to use collective sensing mechanisms to see the system from the whole.
  13. Create environments that support the team at the top as well as the emerging leaders.
  14. Prototype by being present and acting from the Now.
  15. Micro-Macro line.  Prototypes as seeds for systemic change. 
  16. Never give up.  You are not alone. (notes from PI workshop, Cape Cod 2011)

The co-creation movement of the U journey results in a set of small living examples that explore the future by doing. It also results in a vibrant and rapidly widening network of change-makers who leverage their learning across prototypes and who help each other deal with whatever innovation challenges they face.

Once the microcosms of the new are made in a prototype, the next step is to review what has been learned.  Very often what you think you will create at the start of the U process is different from what eventually emerges.  The co-evolving movement results in an innovation ecosystem that connects high- leverage prototype initiatives with the institutions and players that can help take it to the next level of piloting and scaling.  

To bring the ecosystem into the room, TRAIL invited over 200 members from government, business and civil society to this April to learn from prototypes and to collectively reflect on the vision of a learning nation in the Philippines.


Building a Learning Nation

The conference was hosted by The Rizal Academy for Innovation and Leadership (TRAIL).  TRAIL is a member of the Presencing Institute (PI) and SoL Philippines.

Currently nineteen people are enrolled in TRAIL’s ELIAS Fellows Program is a 10-month learning journey applying action research and leadership for studying and thinking up creative solutions to complex challenges facing the country today. 

One such solution generated by TRAIL is HAPINOY, a microventure initiative empowering nanay’s (aunties) to become entrepreneurs through a more efficient distribution system for the community story (sari-sari store).  HAPINOY’s story is showcased below:


Case Study: 

HAPINOY: Coaching Nanays to Financial Freedom: engaging multiple stakeholders to create solutions to their own challenges.

The journey began between two friends; one was working at Unilever and wanted to change his job, while the second, Bam Aquino, was in government wanted to do something that would directly improve people’s lives.  HAPINOY is their third endeavor together, following two unsuccessful earlier projects. 

Hapinoy addresses the issue of access.  “I wanted to serve people who can’t afford to see a doctor” says Bam, “the statistics tell us that 2 of 3 Filipinos will die without ever seeing a doctor in their life, and half of Filipinos don’t have electricity.”  To address this problem, Bam and his partner realized they could build upon pre-existing infrastructures such as the 100,000s of sari sari stories across the nation and the platform of microfinance - a means well established for supporting economically marginalized populations.  

“In August 2007 we convened our first gathering of a group of naynays.  Initially we felt difficulty connecting with them.  Finally one naynay said “your numbers are wrong, we can do better than your projections!”  We realized at that point that we needed to co-create the program with the naynays as partners.  Our business development is therefore built entirely on the personal development of our partners.  We hold many conversations with the nanays focusing on their mental models; such as How do you see yourself in society, in your family and personally?

A good indicator of progress came in one nanay’s response to the question: What do you want out of your life?

In the first year of her participation in HAPINOY she replied, “a happy family.”

Year two, she replied “my family can go out on weekends and eat at fast food restaurants.”

Year three, she said “Legacy.  I want to leave something behind that is greater than myself.”

Upon hearing this, her case manager invited her to become a trainer to other naynays and she has spoken to audiences sized over 100.  “We believe the key to our naynay’s success is consistent and incremental progress.  This becomes possible through the partnership with all members of the system,” says Bam.

Like Winston Churchill once said “success is going failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."

The U process is about enabling the individual to operate from the wellspring of her creativity (our blind spot) and exploring possibilities by doing.  

Figure 2 summarizes the process of accessing this deeper source of creativity and knowing. 

Figure 2:

  1. The first movement (moving down the left side of the U) is about opening up and connecting.  This stage is about suspending old habits of judgment, what Otto calls “downloading” - listening and speaking from what you already know.  Instead, one descends down the U, and begins to “observe, observe, observe”, which involves putting yourself into the places of most potential, and listening with your mind and heart wide open.
  2. The second movement (at the bottom of the U) is about going to a place of stillness and connecting vertically to the deeper sources of self-knowing: who I am and what I am here for, what difference I want to make in the world. This stage is about deep reflection and about allowing one’s deeper inspirational and intuitive knowing to emerge.
  3. The third movement (moving up the right side of the U)is about acting in the now—that is, using rapid-cycle prototyping to explore emerging future possibilities by doing something together, which then generates feedback that helps generate new iterations of the initial prototype until it reaches a form that all stakeholders feel good about.

Most people relate to the future by reflecting on trends of the past.  From this view the future is an extension of the past—like an empty vessel that you fill with a somewhat modified version of the past.  Alternatively you can see the emerging future as a coming-into-being of something profoundly new. To connect with such a field of emerging future opportunity we have to open up, let go of the past, and tune in to what we feel is a field of future possibility, something that we could bring into reality, and a future that would be very different from the past.

~ Report by Keli Yen



建構原型是一項行動,創造新的活生生的例子並從實做中探索未來。圖表已說明U歷程: 創新能量的創生是靠連接靈感的根源以及下探U底部的心願(自然湧現),然後轉向右邊推動建構原型。

圖表 一:


傳統解決問題的方法是借助分析:把問題縮小,回顧所有與這個議題有關的資料,做出摘要與建議。建構原型的方法則不同於上。首先 1)澄清問題2) 觀察3) 調整,接著根據結果重複上面三個步驟。建構原型是感知與發現歷程的一部分,我們從實作中探索未來。這是很簡單的道理但是許多的組織卻經常陷入「分析癱瘓症」。

U 歷程的共創階段產生了許多小規模的實例,在實做中探索未來。這個歷程也讓變革者的網絡活躍且快速拓廣。這些變革者透過建構原型,發揮桿槓效應彼此學習,幫助他們處理所面臨的種種創新挑戰。


為了讓生態系統全部到位,TRAIL從政府機構、企業界以及民間社會邀請200多人來參加四月份的會議, 讓彼此從原型中學習,並集體對菲律賓成為一個學習型國家的願景進行反思。


  會議的主辦單位是The Rizal Academy for Innovation and Leadership (TRAIL). TRAIL是Presencing Institute (PI)以及菲律賓組織學習協會的成員之一。目前有19人投入在TRAIL’s ELIAS 的方案。ELIAS是一個為期10 個月的學習歷程,運用行動研究和領導力來研究思考如何處理這個國家目前面臨的複雜挑戰,找到具創意的解決方案。


以下是HAPINOY的 故事,在此次大會中由創始人之一,Bam Aquino用案例報告方式跟大家分享。

HAPINOY計畫: 目的在教練阿姨們經濟自由;由多元的利益相關者共同創造解決挑戰的方法。

這個方案從兩位朋友開始。一位在利華工作但是想要換工作。另一位,Bam Aquino則是在政府機關做事,他想要做些事情直接改善人民的生活。HAPINOY是他們倆第三次的共同合作;前兩次計畫都失敗了。

HAPINOY解決的是機會議題。 Bam說:「我要幫助那些無能力看病的人。統計數字告訴我們2/3的菲律賓人會因為無法看病而死,一半的人沒電可用」。  要解決這些問題,Bam和他的朋友認為他們可以從現有的基礎設施著手,例如:全國現有的100,000雜貨店及小額貸款的平台。這個平台發展良好,用來支持在窮困邊緣生活的人。


「從一位阿姨的回應中我們看到了進步的跡象。她被問到:『你要什麼樣的生活?』加入HAPINOY的第一年,她的回答是『一個快樂的家庭』。第二年的回答是『我的家人在周末可以到速食店用餐』。第三年的回答是『遺產。 我想要留下一些超越我自己的東西。』她的專案經理聽到她這麼說馬上邀請她成為阿姨們的講師。她曾經在100多名聽眾面前演講。」Bam說,「我們相信這群阿姨的成功關鍵在於持續且漸進的進步。這是因為這個系統裡的所有成員都成為夥伴才可能辦到。」


U 理論是有關於使個人能夠從她的創意福祉運作(我們的盲點),然後從實做中探索可能性。






  1. 成為觀察與聆聽的大師
  2. 與你的動機連結並且把它當成運作的工具
  3. 當實境浮現時,全心的投入現況並且從當下行動
  4. 跟隨你的心:做你愛做的事,愛你所做的事
  5. 隨時與宇宙對話並且假設宇宙是一個對你有助益的地方
  6. 創造一個能夠支持你的歷程的環境
  7. 平衡你說話-行動的比率
  8. 辨認出裂縫-未來的出口,了解全球改變的必要性
  9. 對不同的利益相關者要用不同的語言─與他們的關心點連結
  10. 想要改變他人之前要先開放改變自己
  11. 發自內心地與當地的領導者共同倡導改變(五個人也可以改變世界)
  12. 運用感知歷程協助人們從邊緣看到系統,而且運用集體的感知機制從整體看到系統
  13. 創造一個可以支持團隊高層以及未來領導者的環境
  14. 從當下行動與活在當下中建構原型
  15. 微觀與宏觀線。建構原型是系統變革的種子
  16. 絕不放棄。你不是孤軍奮鬥。


(中文翻譯: 吳咨杏)。


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