Releasing the genius of an individual, an enterprise and a society is a central pre-occupation of the contemporary business environment. A fascinating approach to how we can begin to tackle this challenge is presented by the authors of Integral Polity. Integral spirituality, integral philosophy and the integral age, at an overall or holistic level of consciousness, has therefore become a strong enough idea to form the genesis of a movement over the course of the last half century. Taking as a starting point the ground-breaking work of the Trans4m Centre for Integral Development this book applies such an ’integral’ notion to the realms of business, economics and enterprise. To be successful, an integral approach must recognise the nuances of its environment - an integral approach in India is different from that in Indonesia, or Iceland, and they may in fact complement rather than conflict. Therefore this book also provides a fascinating alignment of such ’integrality’ with, and between different ’southern’ and ’eastern’, ’northern’ and ’western’ worlds. Using case studies ranging across the globe this review of a newly integral theory and practice provides a new lease of life to what may increasingly be perceived as the self-seeking, insulated and occasionally violent and corrupt, realm of the political.
Professor Ronnie Lessem is a Zimbabwean political economist, and graduate of Harvard Business School, who co-founded the Integral Worlds approach to Integral Development via the Trans4m Centre for Integral Development in Geneva. Professor Dr Ibrahim Abouleish is an Egyptian-born, Austrian-educated engineer and pharmacologist, ecologist and spiritual scientist, who received the Right Livelihood Award for founding Sekem, a Sustainable Community in the desert. Marko PogaÄnik, who studied at the Academy of Arts in Slovenia, is a conceptual artist and earth healer, and an iconic figure in his country, who designed the national flag of Slovenia and practises Sacred Geography around the world. Professor Louis Herman is a South African-born medical graduate of the University of Cambridge in England, now head of the department of political science at the University of Hawaii, West Oahu, renowned for his Primal Politics.
’In our current situation of economic, social and environmental crisis we need new ideas to make us fit for the needed transformation processes. It will require new ways of thinking, new forms of organizations and communities. Our past experiences show that relying on governments alone cannot be the solution. The examples of integral polity are very inspiring by starting development from the local context as opposed to the prevailing top-down method. Trans4m gives a valuable orientation to our coming integral age and we all have to ask ourselves where we stand in order to proactively shape our future in a purposeful and sustainable way.’ Helmy Abouleish, Managing Director of Sekem Group ’Integral Polity makes for fascinating reading. I was deeply moved by it. It is as if something deep within me that has been mostly voiceless all these years finally found an articulate voice. And this articulate voice addresses fundamental questions of sustainable development not from the normal standpoint of prevailing theories and frameworks that have failed dismally in creating healthy societies. Instead the authors bring an enormous and exciting amount of wisdom from all over the world, and from different ages, to bear upon the meaning, purpose, and possibility of what they are calling integral polity.’ Nicanor Perlas, author of Shaping Globalization: Civil Society, Cultural Power and Threefolding