International Development Server2007-04-19T09:19:00ZIntegral Without Borders : Second Global Meeting the Date!

Integral Without Borders 
Second Global Meeting

The Integral Practitioner

Istanbul, Turkey
April 22 – 26th, 2008

Integral International Development Center

Faculty of Integral Institute/Integral University
Paul van Schaik, Emine Kiray and Gail Hochachka,
with guest teacher Diane Musho Hamilton.

If you are not a member of Integral Without Borders but are interested in attending the meeting please send a one page application to Gail or me stating your experience in the field and use of AQAL in 'international development'.

More details of this global meeting will be available on this blog in the near future.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Integral Without Borders Forums now have three forums running - Please check them out in the forum section.

1.    International Development - Integral praxis


With this Introduction by Gail Hochachka

A Call to Coherence

The field of international development aims to deal with some of the most pressing issues our planet faces. The field has an array of excellent, but partial, approaches to do so. Truly incredible scientific, technological, political, and medical interventions exist alongside other unprecedented advances in participatory, community-based, qualitative methodologies for social change. Added to this are the contributions from the world’s wisdom traditions who work with peoples’ interior needs and realities, and developmental researchers who have studied and mapped the process of human development. However, what is largely still missing is a framework that can bring together these different approaches into an integrated whole. Integral theory, advanced by contemporary philosopher, Ken Wilber, explains that to reach long-lasting and effective solutions, humanity needs to integrate the various truths that each discipline brings to the overall process of international development. The general disciplines can be grouped into at least four areas that relate with experience (“I”), behaviours (“It”), culture (“We”), and systems (“Its”) (or quadrants, as they are termed by Integral Theory).

Based on its exquisite synthesis of wisdom traditions and knowledge systems, Integral Theory explains stages of pscyhological unfolding (from ego-centric, to ethno-centric, to world-centric, to kosmocentric) and multiple intelligences (or developmental lines) that grow as we grow. Whereas less-than-integral approaches in international development may focus efforts on one stage (such as, "getting people to worldcentric") or one line (such as, IQ or Maslow's needs), an Integral Approach suggests that to be fully inclusive it is important to acknowledge the full spiral of stages and to include other lines as well. (Particularly, the "self-related" developmental lines, such as ego, cognition, morals, interpersonal, and values. See further writing about this by any of the moderators of this discussion thread.)
With the Integral framework as a guide, one can perceive the whole of a development issue, not just individual characteristics or causes. It enables a peeling back the apparent layers, to reveal and better understand its deeper, less-apparent contributing factors. International development issues do not arise in a vacuum — there are interwoven systemic (geo-political and economic) factors, cultural factors, and psychological factors that contribute to this, to name a few. The quality of integration needed in international development will include the exterior and interior realities of individuals and groups. It will include exterior interventions such as good governance, gender equality, poverty alleviation, economic strengthening, and ecological sustainability (“It/Its”). And it will also engage inter-subjective, hermeneutic arenas of social action, such as participation and co-creation (“We”). It will also include the individual interior processes of self-development, empowerment, and introspection (“I”). And it will include the intricate psychological unfolding of human development itself. The way forward for international development arises as a meshwork of these complex currents of reality.
This integration asks us to surrender our categorizing mind into the wholeness of reality as it arises. While, at the same time also retaining and refining the capacity to categorize — to distinguish and synergize the parts that, together, weave the whole. This is quite unlike most development interventions to date, which tend to embed solely in one or two categories of action-inquiry. Yet, piecemeal approaches have run their course dry. The complex issues in the world today yearn for more integrated responses.
To undertake such a profound integration requires a framework as a guide. The Integral theory provides one such framework, one that is found to be most comprehensive and uniquely able to synthesize these different areas. It provides a bigger picture of what is at play in international development, so to enable truly integrated responses.
Like any framework or map, it is not the actual territory, and will someday be replaced by an even more complete map. For now, it is one of the very best available. It brings together disciplines, methodologies, and truths, and explains how each one alone is partial, but, together, they become part of a larger whole. Within a whole framework, the distinct disciplines can synergize with all other disciplines. Separate from the
others — or, that is, outside of an Integral framework — each piece is much like a jigsaw puzzle piece. Each piece offers so much to the picture, but without a sense of the big picture, the piece alone contributes a mere fragment.

In this thread, we want to get practical with how Integral hits the ground. Please participate with the fullness of your experience in international development. Put forth your queries, comments, and reflections on the practice. Those individuals with extensive on-the-ground
experience in international development will offer their perspectives.

This dialogue thread on Integral practice in international development arises in service of moving beyond the fragments and into a coherence that can more fully care for our planet and all sentient beings.

Juicy Questions on Integral Theory applied to International Development

With this Introduction by Emine

Hello Everyone --the Perpignan group, IWB members, I-I community, Dimitri and randomturtle, and the world at large!! I have been asked to (continue to) moderate this thread.

As background: IU's Integral International Development Center (better known as Integral Without Borders --IWB) held its first meeting in Perpignan, France in October 2006. (See Holons IV for a brief account.) For the past six months we have been quite active in e-mail forum. Now we move to our new home on the Multiplex and also widen our embrace. I thought I would start with my synthesis of one of the central themes of this discussion --social holons and social change -- and we'll take it from there.What follows is a bare-bones 3p theoretical exposition mostly from a Zone 8 perspective, so please hold it lightly. (Another one of our topics.)

At the outset the task was to explain how society, a collection of individuals, all with different UL morphologies and centers of gravity form a coherent whole (society as a social holon) and how societies change and develop. This then evolved into questions of individual change, social change and the role of creativity/the emergent.

Here is what I think is a key section from one of my posts:

"One idea (from Integral Politics) is that the center of gravity in a society reflects the altitude of the dominant mode of discourse (LL) and the corresponding governance structures (LR) in a society. A second idea is that the techno-economic base is the most important determinant of the average level of consciousness in a society (eg Excerpt D). A third idea (eg Excerpt A) is that as a new level of consciousness arises in individuals there is a tetra-transformation. Interiors of individuals (UL), behaviors of individuals (UR), modes of discourse, shared values, norms (LL), and techno-economic-base, governance structures, educational, religious, legal frameworks (LR) all change and a new dominant mode of discourse and a new governance structure which will regulate the social holon is established.

It seems to me that the key point here is that every member of the society changes some, to be able to tetra-mesh with the emergent. This does NOT mean that everybody moves up to the new emergent level. If, for example, orange is the emergent, it does not mean that all the folks who were centered at magenta, red, or amber will move to orange. But pretty much every individual in the society will change --some will transform to the new level (at least 10%?! Ken's tipping point), others will make horizontal adjustments within their level, others, perhaps will even regress under the influence of the emergent LL-LR. It is most likely that most will transform in some lines of development (eg cognitive) but not others (eg values or morals). The point though is that somehow the society will mesh and be stable at that new level -- a brand new social whole with a new center of gravity and a new regulatory structure will have emerged. It will have individual members with all kinds of cognitive, morals, values, etc. levels, but they will all have basically adapted to the emergent orange social center of gravity, be it by curtailing their behavior due to new legal restrictions or genuine internal translations and transformations. What we get is a multicolored mess, but it is a different whole, a different kind of mess than it was before."

A key question that came up in this context was: to what extent does society make the individual and to what extent do individuals make the society? It now seems clear that individuals make the society to the extent, for example, that techno-economic innovations are made and instituted by individuals and governance structures  and modes of discourse are changed by individuals (leaders), each individual reflecting their own AQAL configuration, including, most importantly, the UL Eros emergent.

At the same time, society makes the individual to the extent that social context (LL-LR) is a component of each indivual holon's AQAL. Shifts in the social center of gravity (cog) and the techno-economic base are particularly important, because these influence and change all individual members; each member's LL-LR is affected. Overall, over time --ie change may proceed "funeral by funeral" -- the average level of consciousness in the society will tend to match the level of the social center of gravity and the dominant techno-economic base.

It is important to note that creativity/the emergent always first arises in the (UL) individual and individual consciousness has considerable relative autonomy --eg an individual may or may not respond to changes in LL-LR with a transformational shift  (the social cog may have moved to orange, but an individual may remain centered at eg amber with only translational changes) or the individual may develop beyond  the social cog, perhaps becoming a leader for the next level of change. So, overall,  it seems, individuals (especially leaders) make the society and society (as LL-LR) partly makes the individual. The other major part is Eros. Microgenetically, each moment is composed of last moment's AQAL (ie history matters) plus something new (ie Eros/creativity).

All this underlines the importance of a multi-faceted approach to social development. Those that emerge as key for me are: ILP to create emergent and healthy ground for Eros and individual change; nurturing leadership that will change (transform or translate) society; as well as skillful policies to shift the dominant modes of discourse, and institutions like the governance structures and the techno-economic base more directly.

This is all for now. Let's see where we go!


3.    Social Holons

Hey everyone,

I thought the stream on Social Holons was so important that it needed its own thread.  Agree Emine? 

It's great to be here and to have a place where we can spitfire words at each other - in lieu of being warmly in the same room as we were in Perpignan - but I guess this is what we'll need to work with for now.

This is a carry-over of our off-line discussion from the past several weeks.  What I'd like to hear (read) people talk about is what kind of attention or shift do we need to apply to the lower quadrants?  i.e. social holons?

Emine has dumped some pretty nifty thoughts on us already - but what do other people think?  Come on folks -let's get dirty!

Cheers, Brian.

Integral Without Borders - The Integral International Development Center will be the blog of Integral International Development Center - aka INTEGRAL WITHOUT BORDERS - that will go live soon.

Discussion threads are about to start in the forum section - the initial four
threads will be on:

1.   Integral theory (with some reference to international development)
2.   Integral praxis (i.e. theory and practice) related specifically to international development
3.    For beginners to Integral International Development
4.    Contemplative practices (we may not activate this thread right away, but want it to be here for the future)

The Co Directors of this Center are Gail Hochachka and Paul van Schaik.