Integral Leadership Collaborative Call with Ken Wilber

June 2012 / Notes from the Field

Russ Volckmann

Russ Volckmann

Brett Thomas arranged a conference call for people in the Integral Leadership Collaborative and future conference calls with thought leaders. For example, a recently hosted call featured Maureen Metcalf and Mark Palmer, authors of the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook. This initial call included a presentation by Ken Wilber and participation by Brett, Jeff Salzman, Willow Dea, Clint Fuhs, Eric Troth and myself.

Those calling in were from Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada and the US. Three Integral Leadership Review staff were present: Bureau Chiefs Brian van der Horst in Paris, Joseph Zepedeo in Vancouver, and Associate Editor, Mark McCaslin

The goal for this series of conversations is to give participants an opportunity to explore leadership in the integral movement. They had been listening to many presenters and panels over the months. Although many had prior opportunities to ask questions and participate in group discussions after Ken Wilber’s opening statement. Here was an opportunity to participate with others in looking to their participation in the Integral Leadership Collaborative and carrying integral into fields of action.

The session opened with brief comments by the guest hosts. For example:

Brett talked about Ken Wilber’s courage in starting an institute and attracting a lot of the people on this call. Now, he said, it is a time for our own courage. Do we have a calling in which to place this courage? Brett indicated that he feels called to be of service to transformation on the planet at this time of history. He invited all to consider if they feel called. What is some change or transformation that is wanting to happen? Each of us can find courage and answer that call.

Clint Fuhs reminded us that this is a critical time on the planet. Collectively we will make decisions over the next five years that will shape our transitions and extend our development. He asked, “How do we take the differentiation across the integral community and bring it together to prevent a disassociation.” We need to integrate our efforts transorganizationally and with emergent technology while integrating ascending and descending masculine and feminine energies.

Willow Dea brought the group down to earth to consider what each individual is capable of embodying to enact what we are called to do. We need to look at what we are up against, what is challenging, what is going well.

At this point Ken Wilber addressed the large group. What follows are some of his comments.

The integral movement has great potential for growth. Integral awareness is a stage of development of actual human potential. If you are interested in integral it is because you are at this integral stage of development. If you did it on your own the primary characteristics that emerged are a comprehensiveness and inclusiveness. Along the way we may have thought each is the only valid one. Integral shows that all others are true but partial and need to be included. Society makes room for earlier stages and stations in life. As individuals at an integral stage of development, given that you have this altitude, what aptitude do you need to put this into action? What skills can you learn and put it into play, that don’t necessarily come with the territory. For example, at Stagen they are looking at styles of business leadership and ways to teach that.

The first decade of integral involved developing theory that was inclusive and comprehensive. This was done well. Now we are taking these ideas and putting them into application, putting them into play, into the actual reality of using it in interactions with all aspects of your life. This is not just about individual development, but it also is about how to apply integral to larger problems—community, worldwide, climate issues, economics; wicked problems global in nature. These can no longer be solved by a single nation. Integral awareness is global.

Think with enough complexity to start addressing these global issues. How can integral be put into practice in all areas. How can we become leaders and co-leaders in our business? How can we be effective as integral parents? How can we create communities of friendship of people at integral through meetups, salons, even dating services?

In the next decade or two all of us will be taking out integral understanding and awareness and asking how can I use this, become part of a movement that is going to have a worldwide, community, city, family wide impact? How can I use these opportunities to identify what is happening and what is working?

This is the sixth major transformation in the history of humanity. Ask each other the questions you are asking yourself; those are the good questions.

At this point, the members adjourned into small groups for further discussion. These explorations continue with the Integral Leadership Collaborative.