The Austin Human Emergence Weekend
Barbara N. Brown
One recurring discussion at the New Year’s What Next Integral conference in Colorado was the emergence of spontaneous integral-like thinking. Many feel the need to begin to draw these voices in from the wilderness by bringing integral ideas into the mainstream.
On March 9-10, Don Beck, Spiral Dynamics, and Phyllis Blees, President of Peace Through Commerce, hosted a Human Emergence Weekend in Austin, TX. Based on the historical observation “If Goods Don’t Cross Borders, Soldiers Will” – Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), PTC is dedicated to Conscious integration of Law and Structure with a healthy Marketplace to allow the emergence of Prosperity, Justice and Sustainable Peace. Anchored by a critical mass of integrally-informed Texans, the event drew 66 participants from all over the US to Austin’s Casa de Luz – Center for Integral Studies. Participants bonded over healthy food in the center’s macrobiotics restaurant, although some of the Texans complained about the lack of ice for our iced tea.
Don and Phyllis clearly articulated the need to build the Life Conditions necessary for peace in the Middle East by helping those in the region develop economic systems that are a healthy fit for their current capacities. PTC reported on its Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs program, which is helping women in the Middle East cooperate to better their economic conditions. Said Dawlabani reported on the Center for Human Emergence – Middle East, where Don and Said partner with Elza Maalouf to apply SDi to increase the capacity of the local people. Although we missed Elza, the fact that she was on another Middle East trip was welcome news.
Saturday evening, we heard from the next generation at Voice & Exit, where Max Borders and Seth Blaustein presented a series of interesting ideas, mostly from their young friends in the Austin area. Although obviously not as polished as the TEDx formats they tried to imitate, they introduced some ideas that are getting traction in the Greener parts of Texas and others that are attractive to the Libertarian communities. We saw several gems that simply needed polishing with Integral thinking. Other presentations were versions of the old Green thinking that caused many of us to wish to stop the canned presentation and engage in a dialogue to walk the presenters beyond the boundaries of their current worldview. On Sunday, we saw group interactions with Don, Said and many of the experienced SDi participants push people beyond their comfort zones. As Kermit reminds us: It’s not easy being Green.
Said Dawlabani expanded our understanding of how economics and commerce impact our life conditions with a presentation on Memenomics. Said reminds us that there is a marketplace at all levels of the spiral – humans are born traders. However, the toxic Orange marketplace of Wall Street gamblers has little meaning to those engaged in the simpler markets of lower vMemes. Indeed, Said presented a compelling model of the memetic history of capitalism from Red “robber barons” to the solid Blue/Orange bankers of my Midwestern childhood to the 2008 fall of Orange unencumbered by any Blue values. We recommend you browse the Memenomics blog to see more of Said’s wisdom. Keep watch for his book later this year.
Integral minds are alive and well deep in the heart of Texas. If you’re coming to Austin or Houston, let us know. We’d appreciate the opportunity to introduce you to our community.