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Gillian T. W. Ahlgren

Metanoia: Towards A Process for Social Transformation

Understanding metanoia--a profound change of mind, heart, attitude, habit, and action—is a practical and viable way of stimulating core conversations about solidarity, sustainability, and the common good. Using a narrative framework derived from Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises and Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, this paper describes steps or stages in a process of preparing for, engaging, and assessing personal and social innovation. The paper suggests that reclaiming habits of human goodness (e.g., encounter, examen, solidarity, empathy, social engagement) is a critical first step in meaningful innovation, and it traces a phenomenology of metanoia that stimulates dialogue, reflection, and collaborative imagination. Finally, it offers a pedagogical tool, in the form of a in interactive exhibit, that provides multiple ways (visual, textual, sensory, reflective, and experiential) to stimulate conversations about personal, relational, and communal/social accountability to the changes that our world needs.