1st Edition

Integral Advantage Revisiting Emerging Markets and Societies

By Ronnie Lessem Copyright 2015

    The BRICS countries are heralded for their double digit economic growth rates and while this has indeed been impressive, particularly in India and China, it is clear that significant social and environmental fault-lines have developed in these regions. Building on the integral heritage of Ronnie Lessem’s previous work through Trans4m’s Centre for Integral Development, here he makes the case for ’integral advantage’, a philosophy inclusive of nature and culture, technology and economy, altogether accommodated by an integral polity. Moreover, and as will be illustrated in each of the cases of the five BRICS countries, each one is an integral entity in its own particular right, and needs to be viewed, and duly evolved, as such. In the final analysis, he argues, then, that around the world, the failure of a society to develop is not due to its economic limitations, in isolation, but to the failure of nature and culture, technology and economy, to co-evolve in unison, under the rubric of an integral polity, altogether aligned with that particular society. Drawing on the approach he has developed towards the release of a society’s genius, in each case, he demonstrates how the pursuit of integral advantage may actually arise. Most specifically, he indicates how a balance between the spiritual and the material, on the one hand, and the natural and the social, on the other, needs to be achieved.

    Part I. Orientation: The internet is not the answer: fields, factories and workshops to networked economy

    1.Emerging markets and societies: north-western conventional economic wisdom; Towards integral advantage: integral realities and rhythms

    Part II. An East-West Russian Integral Perspective: Mutual aid to earth manifesto: grounding in Russian nature and community

    2. Cosmism to anthropoecology: grounding to Russian emergence through culture and spirituality

    3. Anthropoecology to the world as household - Russian navigation: philosophy of economy as social science

    4. Portrait of a Russian province: Nizhnii Novgorod Zemstvo effect.

    Part III. North-South African Integral Perspective: Wild law to earth jurisprudence: grounding Southern Africa in local nature and community

    5. Future primal and the truth quest: emerging through local-global culture and consciousness

    6. Truth and reconciliation: navigating towards freedom; Ubuntu to value sharing: transformative healing effect - out of the divine will of Africa.

    Part IV. Circumnavigating BRICS: India, China, Brazil: Integral India: south-east - swadeshi to sarvodaya

    7. Integral China: north-east - chaxugeju to guanxi; Integral Brazil: south-west - eco-services to free trade re-imagined

    8. Reconstituting the BRICS: comparative to integral advantage.


    Ronnie Lessem was born in Zimbabwe of central European parentage, and graduated from Harvard Business School and the London School of Economics. He has written some 30 books, the last six together with Alexander Schieffer, on self, organizational and societal development from a transcultural, transformational perspective. He has also been an international management consultant in Europe and America, India and Africa for three decades.

    ’The author of Integral Advantage manages to facilitate a pathway of appreciation and reason into the complex cosmology surrounding the development of emerging societies within our universe. It also gives a voice to a reality often silent and unrepresented within our global landscape...’ Bennie Anderson, CEO of Da Vinci Institute, South Africa ’This remarkable book written by Professor Lessem underlies future hope for the sustainable integral society, exploring the emotional truth of social innovation. He re-visits the modern economic concept of the BRICS, transforming it into the ecology of holistic philosophy, re-framing it into the GENE-ius that characterizes the Trans4m Centre for Integral Development in Geneva, and finding unique cultural, social, economic and spiritual paradigms of Brazil, the Russia which I have known so well, India, China and South Africa, reflecting systematic and effective ways of integral advantage, giving birth to new perspectives for the local-global reach.’ J. Lapidus, Business strategist of Zerno Consulting, Latvia - South Africa ’Ronnie Lessem’s insights into the very soul and soil of India provide a rich and fertile ground for an integral model of development; not just for the renewal of Indian society but for the advantage of the world at large.’ Sudhanshu Palsule, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India ’One of the most critical aspects of our times is to find the references that will guide our transition toward a more sustainable and humane civilization. Ronnie Lessem provides such a guidance by offering new examplars and frameworks, inspiring questions that deepen our Brazilian inquiry.’ Thais Corral, social innovator, founder of Sinal do Vale and Adapta Sertao ’The author has successfully articulated the complicated individual and social systems of the Chinese. An understanding of the Chinese conceptualization of Egocentricism, Xiaokang and Chinese Pragmatism is very ne