Integral Development : Realising the Transformative Potential of Individuals, Organisations and Societies book cover
1st Edition

Integral Development
Realising the Transformative Potential of Individuals, Organisations and Societies

ISBN 9781138219281
Published July 27, 2016 by Routledge
592 Pages

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Book Description

Alexander Schieffer and Ronnie Lessem introduce a groundbreaking development framework and process to address the most burning issues that humanity faces. While conventional top-down, outside-in development has reached a cul-de-sac, a new, integral form of development is emerging around the world. Integral Development uniquely articulates this emergent approach, and invites us to fully participate in this process. The integral approach has been researched and framed over decades of in-depth experience in transformative development education and practice all over the world. It uniquely combines four mutually reinforcing perspectives: nature and community; culture and spirituality; science, systems and technology; and enterprise and economics. Conventional development theory and practice has prioritized the latter two perspectives, neglecting the former two. This has caused massive imbalances in today’s world. The four interconnected perspectives allow for a transformative and integrated engagement with core development issues in a way that is locally relevant and globally resonant. Throughout, the practical impact of Integral Development is brought to life through highly innovative cases from around the globe, drawing on the authors` first-hand experience. This makes the book a living demonstration of the power of this pioneering approach. Integral Development shows how individual, organizational and societal developments need to be interconnected to release a society’s full potential. It shifts the responsibility for large-scale development from often-distant experts and organizations to each individual, community, enterprise and institution within the society. It is essential reading - and a call to action - for everyone concerned with the current state of local and global development.



Alexander Schieffer co-founded, with Ronnie Lessem, TRANS4M Center for Integral Development (Geneva), designed to (r)evolutionize education, research and development. Trans4m’s cutting edge programs provide innovative culture-specific responses to burning socio-economic issues. Born in Germany, Schieffer got his PHD from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, where he lectures in International Development. Formerly, he was CEO of First Asia Publishing (Singapore), Founder of CELL Center of Excellence for Leadership and Learning (Munich), an internal Management Consultant with the Bertelsmann Group (London) and worked in Investment Banking (Frankfurt). 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.


’A tour de force in relation to the notion of social innovation, the authors take us through an energizing new understanding of development. The task is irresistible. The review is far-reaching. The proposals are inspirational. A must-read.’ Pilar Alvarez-Laso, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO, France ’Integral Development contains a unique fusion of personal, organisational and societal development. It clearly shows the next evolutionary step for corporate enterprise, taking it beyond Corporate Social Responsibility. Integral Development is hugely relevant for anyone concerned with identifying the future role of business in society.’ Birgit Klesper, Senior Vice President, Group Transformational Change & Corporate Responsibility, Deutsche Telekom Group, Germany ’Integral Development by Alexander Schieffer and Ronnie Lessem offers a wonderful opportunity for us to understand the past, the present and the future of development. We often think about development as economic development. Development indeed cannot be dissociated from our human and civilisational evolution. The authors use the term integral development and offer theoretical frameworks and comparative analysis that help us understand what development really means at this important historical junction. It helps us see the choices we have ahead of us. As a social entrepreneur and innovator, I found the book extremely useful and inspiring. I would define it as a road map. It helps strengthen one’s vision in order to better contextualize actions. The book is very well written and I recommend it for anyone interested in contributing to our balanced and peaceful co-evolution as humanity.’ Thais Corral, Social Entrepreneur and Innovator , Founder of Network of Human Development and of the social enterprise SINAL do VALE, Brazil ’With Integral Development, Schieffer and Lessem have built a much-needed bridge between individual, organisational and societ