Annotated Summary of a Presentation at the WHIS Talks Meeting Gorton Monastery, Manchester UK

November 3, 2017

 Julian Gresser, Chairman Alliances for Discovery/ International Counsel– WHIS (


Albert Einstein famously observed:

“We can’t solve today’s problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

How might we creatively apply Einstein’s axiom to community problems of burnout, drug addiction, mental illness, despair, homelessness, and hopelessness that are today crippling lives here in Manchester and also in many other cities in the UK and around the world?

I wish to offer a new way of tackling such seemingly unsolvable (so called “wicked”) community challenges. My presentation is organized around these basic questions:

  • Why?
  • What?
  • How?
  • When?


Many communities in the UK like Manchester and around the world are confronting a systems challenge—a constellation of problems that are closely linked or coupled. For this reason, piecemeal approaches to these challenges will not succeed. They must be part of an integrated strategy. Of course, we can find leverage in specific advances and will build from there. I am a great believer in “base hits,” to use an American sports metaphor. I will focus my presentation on one immediate step—a first action– in breaking the impasse: restoring vitality from burnout. Once we cultivate the power of vitality—in the meaning of harnessing deep creative life force—we will be able to cope with many other of life’s challenges. In this sense vitality is strategic. (* See Julian Gresser, “Inventing for Humanity—A Collaborative Strategy for Global Survival )


The hero of my story is the Heart. The Heart offers a powerful largely unrecognized capability that when combined with the power of the Brain and Mind offers, in my view, the best practical pathway through the chaos and troubles of life. My non-profit organization, Alliances for Discovery  is developing a body of empirical practice we call “Big Heart Intelligence (BHI)” that enables individuals, teams, organizations, and entire communities to deliver measurable, replicable, and verifiable beneficial results in extremely short time periods. 

    • When I refer to “Heart” I mean not only the heart as a physical pump, but rather as an energy field centered in the chest which transfuses, transmits, and transforms two distinct forms of subtle energy in addition to conventional electro-mechanical energy. * (See Stephen Harrod Buhner’s The Secret Teachings of Plants 2004 for a remarkably clear statement of the unique dimensions of the physical heart.) These subtle energy forms are qi in the Chinese language (ki in Japanese, prana in Sanskrit) and love. We will have more to say about the unusual economic properties of love in a moment.
    • BHI can be immediately and directly experienced simultaneously as: a heighted sense of vitality, relaxation, empowerment, connection, joy, compassion, balance, flow, and love; when we open the heart to love, it is natural to feel a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of life. (See Julian Gresser, Laughing Heart—A Field Guide to Exuberant Vitality for All Ages—10 Essential Moves/
    • The communication between the Heart, Brain, and Mind represents an exciting new scientific frontier examined in a recent BBC broadcast (See Heart versus Mind)
    • There is a considerable body of research on psychoneuroimmunology, psychoneuroendocrinonology, and neurocardiology that is advancing our understanding of the heart/brain/mind connection.
    • One fascinating example is the work of Professor David Paterson of Oxford University’s Merton College. Professor Peterson’s experiments indicate that there is a detailed neural network in the heart which is independent of the brain’s descending sympathetic and parasympathetic control.  (cited by Arthur G. O’Malley in his The Art of the Bart 2015; Mr. O’Malley was in the audience and kindly introduced me after my presentation to his important.)
    • The Heart lives at the core of the wisdom traditions of virtually all indigenous peoples. Egyptian embalmers retained the heart while discarding the brain and other parts of the deceased. The Heart was thought to assist the Soul in its transition to the next world. (See O/Malley, above.)
    • BHI’s Unique Value Proposition and Algorithm. There is an increasing body of practice seeking to integrate Easter meditative practices with new fields of exploration in the West, including mindfulness, positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and other emerging disciplines—all focused on enhancing personal health and wellness through caring and compassion for oneself.  In parallel there is a body of practice based on the principle of “paying forward” including volunteerism.  But the two bodies of exploration and knowledge are generally not in close dialogue. BHI’s algorithm integrates these two practices—caring for oneself and caring for others– with a third, the universe caring for us. Using our algorithm and process we are able to explore the discovery that the universe under some circumstances “listens” and is disposed to care for us, especially when we dedicate some of our creative energies to caring for others, and if we can attune our sensibilities to detecting the signal. We can learn to read and interpret these “patterns” of communication from the universe. The signal often arrives as a powerful image, a dream, or in as a synchronicity, in other words an apparently chance event that appears to be deeply meaningful. Enhanced pattern recognition modulated through the heart and mind has broad and practical applications in every sphere of business, especially in corporate leadership, wise decision making, strategy, and risk assessment.
    • Collaborative Innovation. WHIS’ community asset building model offers a marvelous application for BHI principles especially in building strategic trust within Collaborative Innovation Networks (Heart-COINS). In the last section I will explain how BHI and the WHIS model in combination can deliver an effective antidote to the challenges of burnout in local communities such as Manchester.


In our busy and impatient world where the attention span of most people is extremely limited, the benefits of new ideas and practices must be immediately palpable and delivered and experienced instantly.

    • So, let’s try. How about 15 seconds? Please explore Move # 1–“Quieting the Heart”.  I am attaching the first Practice Note so you can track and measure your progress.
    • What about two (2) minutes? One of the most poignant and powerful BHI practices has been developed by my friend, Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk living in Austria. It is called “Stop, Look, Go!
    • To enjoy this wonderful practice, you needn’t do anything special except to savor this unique fleeting moment and to allow space for gratefulness: you are actually here and ALIVE! In the concluding lines of Henry V Shakespeare writes: “Small time but in this small most greatly lived.” Now is our vital moment, whatever its form, shape, or color.
    • It is perhaps easy to love your child, your spouse, or dog. But what could happen if we expand the ambit of love? The practice of cultivating love becomes even more interesting when we challenge ourselves, not from any moral or religious imperative, but rather, in the spirit of adventure, recognizing that love is the most powerful source of energy.
    • Here is a 5-10 minute exercise: 1. Simply notice the portals of the senses through which you experience love—sight, touch, taste, smell, hearing, or some creative mix of these. If you primarily experience love through one dominant sense—sight or touch, for example, ask yourself how might love be experienced by sound? There is a famous Chinese poem, “Little Jade, Little Jade” he called to her, not because he wanted anything, but simply to hear the sound of his lover’s voice.”
    • There is so much rattle in the world today that our senses are becoming dulled and our emotions are atrophying. This exercise opens us to the subtly and richness of our feelings and emotions which is closely tied with enhancing vitality and life force.
    • A next step is to expand the field of love to people we might ordinarily not associate with love—for example, a business partner, a customer, or perhaps a perfect stranger. Can we connect at the level of heart with them? Again, we needn’t label this a “spiritual” or “religious” practice. It is simply an opportunity to explore and to discover.
    • Paying Forward and the Multiplier Effects of Love. The most powerful way to interrupt patterns of negativity or the downward spirals of life is to hasten to pay forward the bounty of the world, however and whenever it appears in our life, without asking anything in return.  And the most powerful means of enhancing paying forward is to imbue it with the consciousness of love.
    • Love has five interesting qualities in economic terms. 1. Love is a “free good.” Similar to qi, universal love is omnipresent and inexhaustible 2. The smallest tincture of love conveyed in a singular moment can change a person’s life forever. 3. Love is undiminished and increases by giving. 4. Love immediately changes the value of money. When embodied in tangible actions that alleviate pain or enhance the quotient of joy of others, love can produce powerful Heart/Mind effects across within distant communities.

When?—An Immediate Antidote for Burnout

Burnout is a complex $ 300 billion global problem affecting many professions, trades, and industries, and millions of people. It is multifaceted. A major cause of burnout is massive relentless stress in life-depriving environments. Burnout’s symptoms include a profound loss of energy and life force, a spectrum of neurodegenerative and other physical illnesses*, a loss of joy (anhedonia), purpose, direction, and meaning in life, and in some countries like Japan, it causes sudden death (karoshi). Professor Christina Maslach and other scholars have pioneered a Burnout Inventory to detect, assess, and measure burnout. Yet an effective remedy for this complex syndrome has not to date been available. (*A correlation has been observed of burnout and “compassion fatigue” among caregivers with dementia of both patients and caregivers).

    • If devitalization lies at the core of burnout, the logic of my presentation is Big Heart Intelligence, perhaps in combination with other protocols, may provide an antidote for early detection, prevention, and restoration from burnout.
    • One immediately available program, presented by three allied organizations, Adventures in Caring (AIC), WHIS, and Alliances for Discovery is Oxygen for Caregivers: A Toolkit to Guard Against Burnout, Build Resilience, and Sustain Compassion,is available online for rent or purchase.  Four other titles in the library will be available by November 15. It is now possible for instructors and team leaders of health professionals and first responders in the U.K. and around the world to have immediate access to high quality instructional tools for teaching compassion and reducing the risk of burnout. This early app can immediately be useful to instructors and leaders in hospitals, hospices, nursing schools, medical schools, emergency services, chaplaincy programs and schools/associations/groups of all other allied health professionals.
    • WHIS and Alliances for Discovery are pioneering a unique multi-city pilot collaborative to introduce a twin app package based on the combined AIC Oxygen for Caregivers and BHI methodologies. The twin apps will be supported by Visual Matching Engine that will connect all members of a community by degrees of interest and affinity. The apps will be made freely available to several thousand initial users in these pilot cities. The analytics and data produced in the pilots will be shared freely among the participating cities.
    • This project well illustrates and advances the new field of “high impact investing,” drawing upon BHI principles. It promises to deliver simultaneously two measurable benefit streams: 1. a superior financial return and 2. a specific and measurable social return (SROI) at an extremely modest financial investment. We hope this initiative will appeal to “venture philanthropists”, CEOs and board members of visionary foundations, and the leadership of corporations who recognize that creating shared societal value is a key to competitive advantage. See, also, “Beyond Shared Value—Character as Corporate Destiny.
    • Celebrating BHI (Laughing Heart) Advantage. When individuals, teams, organizations, and entire communities embody BHI principles, a Heart/Mind field effect is produced –we call this “BHI (or Laughing Heart) Advantage”– that creates community social capital and abundance. BHI is a skill that can be acquired by entire communities. At the end of this Summary I am attaching a Technical Note that shows how this phenomenon can be expressed mathematically.
    • What might be a practical way for the Gorton Monastery to test this proposition in a specific sector of greater Manchester? We welcome Gorton Monastery to join the WHIS confederation of cities committed to delivering an immediate antidote for burnout. When is the most auspicious time to begin this collaboration? Now is our noble chance.
    • Nobel Laureate Albert Camus expressed beautifully the power of such a single decision. He wrote:

“Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations, a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope. Some will say that this hope lies in a nation; others in a man. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished, by millions of solitary individuals whose and works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history.”

Thank you for your consideration.

Technical Note: Laughing Heart (Big Heart Intelligence) Advantage in Organizations and Local Communities–A First Mathematical Expression

In light of the blog, “Reflections on the Multiplier Effects of Love in Enhancing the Health and Wellness of Local Communities

I believe the mathematical expression in the above link should be refined to include love as one of its essential elements:

Compounding BHI Effects in a Smart Collaborative Innovation Network (S-COIN) (Initial 90 day trial) leading to Community Wide BHI Advantage.

∑=(f) (BHI_p1(Δ+) x BHI-p_2(Δ+)…… x BHI p_50(Δ+) X (OSE Δ) X PFM (Pay Forward Multiplier) BHI Platform Effect X S (Synchronicity) X L (Love) where (t)=90…. n.

In this formula:
∑ = sum
(t) = 90 refers to the initial period of the experiment, i.e. 90 days
BHI Δ = each explorer’s BHI which is continuously increasing.

Open System Energy Increase = (OSE Δ) = where positive energy, in particular the subtle energy source of qi within the Explorers Community is continuously increasing.

PFM (Pay Forward Multiplier)–where each explorer passes on a part of the benefits he or she is receiving without seeking reward or recompense.

BHI Platform Effect—where the Platform itself becomes increasingly intelligent and interacts with and supports the individual and collective explorers journey(s) in many ways. (See Section V.)

Synchronicity—an increase in seemingly chance but meaningful events. It is not certain whether Synchronicity is simply an expression or a contributing cause of the Laughing Heart/BHI Effect or both.

Love—where the multiplying effects of love are dynamically at play, including its influence on how a community’s money and other assets are valued and used.

Further notes:

  • The concept of a BHI Collaborative Innovation Network (COIN) delivering community-wide advantage based on the multiple of the above elements builds upon the core principle of Metcalfe’s law which states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2).
  • BHI COINS are ripe for monetizing volunteering through the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency. It is estimated that the yearly value of volunteering in the UK and the US alone is in the $ billions.

Attachment: Basic Course Move 1

© Copyright Julian Gresser and Big Heart Technologies, November 2017. All Rights Reserved.








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