Author Archives: Alfonso Montuori

4/7 – The Perils of Pernicious Polarities: Contemplating Creativity, Collaboration, and Complexity.

Column / April - June 2015

Alfonso Montuori

Back in the late 80s and 90s I ranted and raved in print and off about the fact that our understanding of creativity in the US was focused exclusively on individuals—inevitably the lone male genius–and there was no recognition of creative interactions, of musical groups, theater productions, movie making, and the performing arts in general, let alone women (Montuori, 1989; Montuori & Purser, 1995, 1999).  A few decades later, the trend has shifted. Collaboration …

8/15 – “Shut up,” he explained.

Column / August - November 2014

“Shut up,” he explained.
Reflections on generative and not-so-generative communication in academia.

Alfonso Montuori

When I first came to the US to go to graduate school, I spent hours and hours in heated, coffee fueled discussions in the patio of the university cafeteria with just about anybody I could find and often continue late into the night. These conversations were central to my decision to stick with this academic stuff and forget about my previous life …

4/1 – Reflections on the Complexity of Integral Theorizing: Towards an Agenda for Self-reflection

Column / April- June 2014

Alfonso Montuori

In August of 2013 I had the pleasure of attending the Integral Theory conference in the Bay Area. I was delighted to see the spirit of openness, inquiry, curiosity, as well as the warmth and collegiality of the event. I confess that I am generally not much of a conference goer. As we all know, academic conferences can be deadly dull and are often rather closed to diverse perspectives. The focus can be hyper-specialized …

Transdisciplinary Reflections

Column / June 2013

Teaching an Introduction to Leadership Course When Leadership is “Dead.” (Part 1)

Alfonso Montuori

How do we teach an Introduction to leadership course when Leadership is allegedly “dead?” The discourse and practices of Leadership are undergoing dramatic changes, as we see in these pages. The heroic leadership model has been strongly challenged, not least because of the demands of the new, more collaborative, uncertain, networked distributed environment, as well as the emergence of women as both …

Transdisciplinary Reflections: It’s the End of the World as We Know It

Column / March 2013

Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, and the Creative (R)evolution.

Alfonso Montuori

When the Going Gets Weird…

When historians look back on the beginning of the 21st century, and around 2008, I believe they will view it as a time of great historical significance. We are in a “postnormal age,” according to the British futurist Zia Sardar, a time when everything is changing, uncertain, ambiguous, complex. Zygmunt Bauman, the Polish sociologist, calls ours Liquid Modernity. We’ve moved from …

Transdisciplinary Reflections: The Sound of Surprise

Column / January 2013

On Order, Disorder, Creativity, and Trust

Alfonso Montuori

History is not something ‘back there,’ something we browse through occasionally for purposes of erudition and arcane knowledge of bygone eras: history is in our flesh and bones–and in our minds. Darwin’s great revolution was to show us that we are our history (Bocchi & Ceruti, 2002). The great revolution of complexity and chaos shows us that history is not determined, that it is the contingent co-creation of …

Transdisciplinary Reflections: Transdisciplinarity as Play and Transformation

Column / October 2012

Alfonso Montuori

Americans have historically been a very practical people. Delving too much into the realm of theory and ideas, let alone epistemology, has often been viewed askance; a somewhat effete egghead distraction from the business of getting things made and done. Theory is a complex and problematic term, and it’s also far more pervasive than we may think—even among those inclined not to be sympathetic to too much, or even any, theorizing. I suggest that …

Transdisciplinary Reflections

Column / August 2012

Five Dimensions of Applied Transdisciplinarity

Alfonso Montuori

There’s an emerging literature arguing for the importance of a transdisciplinary approach, outlining its philosophical roots, and articulating the need for transdisciplinarity in our present situation. Transdisciplinarity is already branching out in many different forms and on many different levels, from the highly theoretical to the more applied. In the following pages I’d like to explore an over-arching framework for applied transdisciplinarity. In other words, it’s one way to …

Transdisciplinary Reflections

Column / June 2012

 A Personal Introduction

Alfonso Montuori

The networked society, with the amazing power of new technology, gives us access to more information than ever before. The problem now is not access to information. It’s how to organize that information, turn it into knowledge, and use that knowledge wisely. This is the challenge of Transdisciplinarity.

I want to begin by giving some personal history, the roots of my quest for Transdisciplinarity. In the process I want to make …