Author Archives: Lisa Norton

10/9 – Integral Design Leadership: “Improvising in Uncertainty”

Column / August-November 2015

Lisa Norton 

 “Jazz is not a what, it is a how.”  Bill Evans

 “One Halloween, our group is excited to do a scary Halloween show. To start our play we ask the audience to give us an example of something that scares the living daylights out of them. I’m eager to get started, imagining suggestions like spiders, snakes, or zombies. What suggestion do we hear? “Commitment.” …What is happening is not what I want to have

6/16 – Integral Design Leadership: “Be(com)ing Nonviolent Design”

Column / April - June 2015

Lisa Norton

“ How can one design or manufacture in a way that loves all of the children, of all species, for all time?” William McDonough and Michael Braungart

To understand the consciousness of violent designing, walk through any dollar store anywhere on the planet. Here, productive forces, harnessed for the sake of production itself, find their anticlimax. The conversion of finite resources into cheap commodities, worth less than the packaging they come in, is a …

1/15 – Integral Design Leadership: Healthcare Design as Extraordinary Service: An Interview with Peter Jones

Column / January-February 2015

 Lisa Norton




Peter Jones is Associate Professor at Toronto’s OCAD University (Ontario College of Art and Design), an author and consultant in the emerging field of systemic design, and runs the innovation research firm Redesign Network. Peter spends his time balancing between teaching in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation graduate program in OCADU’s faculty of Design, pursuing collaborative research toward the redesign of social systems, and continues to redesign information services for medical and …

8/15 – Integral Design Leadership: “Toward Restorative Designing”

Column / August - November 2014

Lisa Norton 

“Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.” Herbert A. Simon 

Every human being is always-already a designer but the affordability of 3-D computer prototyping makes that fact more obvious. Over 5 million guns are manufactured each year in the US alone. What’s new is the intersection of the Maker movement, the diffusion of computer-aided rapid prototyping technology, and ingenious tests of Constitutional definitions of defense, liberty, …

1/20 – Integral Design Leadership: “Designing Criteria for Happiness”

Column / January-February 2014

Lisa Norton

 “The opposite of play is not work. The opposite of play is depression” – Steve Keil

Lisa Norton
Lisa Norton

I recently had the chance to learn more about the work of Philipp Guzenuk, the creator of “Happiness in Action: energy sources for peak performance” an innovative approach to leader and organizational development when I interviewed him as part of an online summit on new entrepreneurship. For four days in November, some 30 pioneers of …

09/3 – Integral Design Leadership: An Ecological Gateway to 21st Century Co-Development

Column / August-November 2013

Lisa Norton


“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”
– Robert L. Peters in Berman

Design thinking methods and approaches are gaining credibility in mainstream corporate, nonprofit and educational contexts.  But what exactly is design thinking and how can it serve integrally informed change work? As with any left quadrant form of expertise, design methods may appear idiosyncratic or ‘fuzzy’ until we find ways to translate efficacies into right-hand quadrant measures of real …

08/15 – Permeability Outside-In and Inside-Out: ITC 2013

Notes from the Field / August-November 2013

Lisa Norton

I attended the ITC for the first time in glorious San Francisco in July as a volunteer. I learned a great deal and gained real appreciation for the dedicated co-organizing group comprised of Jeff Bellsey, Valerie Beltran and Lisa Celentano and their generous volunteer team. I hope the following first-person impressions of ITC 2013 Connecting the Integral Kosmopolitan may hint at the incredible abundance of choices available during every session.

This Integral Kosmopolitan gathering …

Integral Design Leadership: Collective Designing in the Anthropocene

Column / June 2013

Lisa Norton

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller

What is the role of design in change work today and how can integral approaches to designing enhance distribution of social benefits? What if we could imagine ways to design collectively, as a species – a human tribe of tribes – in anticipation of our collective challenges? The …

Integral Design Leadership

Column / March 2013

STEM to STEAM: Negative Capability in Service to Empowered Creative Participation

Lisa Norton

At once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously–I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties. Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason. (Keats)

Often described as the fusion of art and science, design is now publicly poised at the …

Integral Design Leadership: “Francesco Morace’s Hummingbird Strategy”

Column / January 2013

Lisa Norton

Act as energy collector and catalyst of proposals, projects and people… in order to give Italy, Europe and the entire world new development perspectives and fresh growth energy. (Renaissance Link)

When the context is Italy and the theme is design leadership, singling out any one individual is no easy task. Despite the glittering achievements of his fellows, I especially admire Francesco Morace for his deft inter-organizational collaborations that synthesize the sociology of culture, design, …