Posts Tagged ‘clare w. graves’

MeshWorks = ‘Thrive and Help Thrive’

Friday, December 19th, 2008

I would like to share with you the outcome of one of our first MeshWorks application at the large scale which you can read here.

Given the nature of our emerging problems, we are seeing Problems “G” and even Problems “H” that require what we call Second Tier Conditions which, in turn, will require systems “T” and even solutions “U.”  This use of many of the HU-Turquoise thought structures will be without the heavy metaphysical  elements that many are now relying on, for good reason to them. I will write on that situation a bit later, because it is so clear what is happening in “spiritual” communities as they are now talking about “culture” and even values systems. Amazing.

As more and more functions in this country, at least, are moving into a situation where “the government” is beginning to own many of our resources that were once in the domain of the invisible hand of the free market, this means that new criteria for complex decision-making will require new processes. We will, at first, bring back the old wineskins to deal with the new wine, but they will leak.  We have yet to create these new wineskins. We will soon describe MeshWorks Solutions in greater detail, along with Transpartisan methodologies.

Of course, Clare Graves predicted all of this in his rather innocent title to his 1974 article in The Futurist
publication of the World Future Society, “Human Nature Prepares for a Momentous Leap.”  That statement, in itself, caused me to make contact with Professor Graves because I knew intuitively that here was something unique and powerful. I could not put that concern into words, but I acted anyway. I doubt if any of us would have heard of Graves otherwise. I once asked him when this sort of thing would be required, did he have a time frame, and he responded: “Well, Don, no, I can’t tell you when but you will know when it happens. You will feel it for sure.”

I feel it now for sure, as are many of you. Many are constructing global-wide happenings, or gatherings that bring together the “wise ones” – usually those in the elite Orange-Green “enlightened” league who will meet in circles, express individual perspectives, “view with alarm,” and then begin to generate a list of things to do which, alas, are based on certain assumptions regarding the capacity of people and their habitats to actually do things. We will see these meetings proliferate all over the place and that is a good thing, of course.

Yet, I have a strong sense that these collective processes, as in Theory U and others, will be unable to get to the core problems and solutions.

For example, the same group that was so proud of the role it played in the scenario process in the early 1990s in South Africa have now returned because their processes simply found ways for the privileged few who had tickets to the negotiation table to enrich themselves. The needs of the vast population were not met in housing, education, health care, and standards of living.

Reality has now returned after the euphoria of the bloodless “revolution” and the magic of Mandela, as the crime rate has escalated and political instability appears to be on the horizon. The African National Congress has now split into two camps and will be warring against each other. Unhappily, I had in my mind’s eye the image of the sinking of the Titanic as the wealthy class climbed on the life boats but the “second class” were locked down in steerage class and could not escape.

That thought and image continue to haunt me. It spells “revolution” in no uncertain terms and I wonder if we are seeing the evidence of that also in the violence in Greece. I don’t think all of that is about the death of a 14-year old boy. And, have you seen the new taxes in New York which will be put on the population, much like a taxation without representation from an earlier day in our history. An 18% tax on a soft drink? Wow! And on bottled water?

I believe we are at a major tipping point. Our financial systems are presently frozen because, among other things, the lack of trust, the high levels of deceit and corruption, dirty money, and the repression of technologies that need to be released. Clearly our entire educational complex needs to do some serious soul searching. We still have options but they will come at a price.

Either we step over into a new paradigm or we hang back with at least one foot in the old one, often because of our financial need and fears, and our lack of being able to answer the question: Change FROM what but TO what?

We all know that President-Elect Obama can’t walk on water, in spite of some expectations, but come January 21 he, too, will confront a reality. I see some evidence of complex thinking in him in how he has selected cabinet members and even presenters at the Inaugural event on January 20. That is reassuring to me but I’m no fool when it comes to national politics and, of course, the media. We probably should invest in concession stands in Washington, DC because I have an idea the mall will be full of demonstrations on the part of people and groups who have had their expectations raised for a better life, only to have them dashed by the spring or summer.

We have inherited and, to some extent, benefited from a “bubble economy” in that worth and value were not connected to the “reality economy.” We were trading in hypes.  This has been so clear in Iceland where our SDi colleague Bjärni Jonsson and others are really struggling to find a new basis for survival in that difficult place. It was all “bubble.”

Solutions will come out of families, communities, counties, churches, and other groupings and will ultimately reach state-wide and country-wide domains. This is the revolution that needs to happen. Our current system simply cannot be reformed. It is passing away quickly and short term fixes only waste precious resources on a sinking ship.

 What kind of future do you think our post-teen kids are seeing for themselves? That age group in Chile has come up with a novel approach based on what they call the Penguin Revolution. Apparently, the high schoolers virtually shut down the schools recently and because their uniforms looked like Penguins, they were identified as the Penguin Generation. We have early plans to respond to that fear and desperation as soon as we can.

The world, now, is full of unique “change” opportunities if we just had the wisdom and resources to respond to them. They are everywhere.

In any case, there are tough decisions just ahead and we might as well get ourselves ready to play a positive role. People know that I am a very positive person with great optimism for the future, but I also have a historic memory of the Great Depression in the 1930s because of stories my parents and grandparents used to tell me. To his dying  day my dad would NEVER use a credit card for anything other short-term needs. He would only pay cash for a new motor car, and simply had no debt.

It is within this context that new decision-making models MUST and WILL appear; at least, they will be generated by these Life Conditions, and it will be up to leadership, if we have any today, to see the opportunities, grasp the moment, and be courageous enough to enter the fray. And we must be in a position to get involved ourselves. Maybe things are not yet bad enough while we enter the festive season, but if the Dow reached 500 sometime in ’09 we would all feel the pain.

It might take that, alas.

This is why I want to applaud the Center for Human Emergence in the Netherlands, for Peter Merry and Anne-Marie Voorhoewe for their leadership, and for the role of others to push ahead with the new models, usually against both political correctness and vested interests, even in the NGO and governmental worlds.

It is also timely that Dr. Marilyn Hamilton’s new book on the Integral City is now in the marketplace since so much of it reflects this new model, especially, the MeshWorks design and implementation.

No one can predict the future, or identify the most probable trend-lines, but we can certainly begin, now, to prepare ourselves to respond to any contingency.

It makes no use to play the “blame and be blamed game,” or even the false security assumptions behind gated communities with a “live and let live” philosophy.

Only the values and methods of the “thrive and help thrive” mentality can see us through. MeshWorks is one of those processes.

Be of good cheer.

Why Brooks and Gladwell need Clare W. Graves

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Many colleagues and friends urged me to make available here my personal response to the latest David Brooks op-ed column in today’s New York Times. So for those interested readers who do not care to scroll through 305 comments on the NYT website, and for those who happen not to be members of the SDi Discussion Group (to join, click here!), what I felt needed to be said is the following:

The meshing of the social forces and unique, individual capacities is best explained in the seminal work of Professor Clare W. Graves entitled “the emergent, cyclical, double-helix model of bio-psycho-social development,” best known as Spiral Dynamics. This framework describes the pendulum swing between the I:Me:Mine (individual) and We:Us:Our (collective) values systems to form musical chord-like blends. These are systems within people, companies, cultures. This model played a major role in the South African transformation out of apartheid and is presently being used in Palestine along with Elza Maalouf. See for details.

Also, this paradigm will demonstrate why David Brooks and Malcolm Gladwell have slightly different views, since it explores the deeper values system codes at the core of an emerging human nature. As such, it also includes the role of behavioral genetics as well as strategies to raise levels of consciousness, all within what Maclean’s magazine in Canada once called “The Theory that Explains Everything.”

Since the concept integrates bio (the physicality of mind/brain) with psycho (the levels of complexity in individual world views) and socio (the impact of webs of cultures and societal systems and structures, it provides the Transpartisanship process that fits Obama’s search for solutions that go beyond race, red vs. blue states, conservative vs. liberal, extremism vs. moderation, and capitalism vs. socialism perspectives.

Over the years David Brook’s essays and articles have described this emerging construct but without a knowledge of its basic tenets.

Professor Graves taught at Union College (New York) for many years and died in 1986. His conceptual thinking and practical applications are now being used worldwide in a number of Centers for Human Emergence.

Large-Scale Psychology: The Design and Transformation of Whole Societies

Sunday, December 14th, 2008


Cometh the hour …

Arguably the biggest news of the decade for friends of the Spiral: I am confident of introducing a new psychology division into the American Psychological Association.

Large-Scale Psychology is what I call it—a concept whose time has more than arrived.

My close colleagues and I look forward to introduce the concept of Large-Scale Psychology during a special symposium at the annual conference of APA next August in Toronto.  

The proposed symposium title is “Large-Scale Psychology: The Design and Transformation of Whole Societies” and our brief proposal says it all, really:

“The recent election of Barack Obama as US president has uncovered major cultural shifts which, like tectonic plates, are bound to realign the surface of our social and political landscapes. Likewise, the current global financial crisis is but a symptom of deeper dynamics which, like invisible fractals, we have yet to fully grasp and assimilate. 21st Century versions of City-States are emerging, as are new alliances of ethnic and religious themes now streaking the planet due to (im-)migration, globalization, and the spread of information and instant networking via the Internet.

“The resulting fragmentation has outstripped our models of governance, economic parity, and understanding of deep cultural codes.

“Our research indicates that we are poised for an unprecedented, momentous leap in our perspectives on our psychological selves and ways to deal with behavioral patterns that now coexist or conflict within new sets of defining life conditions and new limiting boundaries.

“Our global era has become rife with conflicting, rigid ideologies, polarizing dynamics, proprietary interests, technological utopias, and egalitarian needs and demands. Confounding to many is also the desire to address “global” dynamics while simultaneously retaining focus on the “local.” Many more people newly search for meaning beyond self and how to have an impact on the larger society.

“In all these areas there exists a need for in-depth understanding of psychology at the “large scale” that will be able to provide us with a new macro frame of reference to address major and complex problems from a large-scale perspective; that can combine with new research in genetics and complex adaptive intelligences, along with sophisticated scanning software, to provide a framework and process to support problem-solving, policy formulation and, ultimately, human and cultural development.

“Historically, the various fields and branches of what we know as Psychology have attempted to adapt to new developments. However, too often our social and academic textbooks still reflect the outdated products, assumptions and world views that once fit the age in which they were created and popularized, now inadequate to the task.

“This symposium will introduce “Large-Scale Psychology,” an initial attempt to conceptualize a container that can hold and legitimize all of the spectrum views of psychology – from intrapsychic to interpersonal, to group, cultural-ethnic, and national perspectives and beyond. The presentation will focus on innovative initiatives around the psychology of communities, cities, movements, ethnicities, entire countries, as well as defined population and cultural regions.”We will present this growing body of knowledge, based on the seminal work of Muzafer Sherif and Carolyn W. Sherif in the field of Social Judgment, and of Clare W. Graves and his innovative Emergent, Cyclical Double-Helix Biopsychosocial Theory of Adult Human Development, and will illustrate its practical application in projects such as the transformation out of Apartheid in South Africa; strategies to develop a new Palestinian state in the West Bank; the dissolution of major racial and ethnic stereotypes; and strategies for producing healthy and sustainable communities, cities, and cultures.”

“This new field of Large-Scale Psychology has been field-tested in some of the most dangerous and complex places on the planet, such as South Africa during Apartheid and, at present, the Middle East. Fieldwork case illustrations are included.”

While official recognition of such a new APA division will be a really big deal, I should also note that I have been lecturing audiences and teaching my Spiral Dynamics Integral students the principles and processes of large-scale psychology since 2001 under a synonymous title: Macro*Memetics.

Some of the workshops I have offered along the way in Large-Scale Psychology a.k.a. Macro*Memetics have been “Nation-Building in Afghanistan,” “The Future of Cuba after Fidel Castro”, “After the United Nations, What?” and “CultureShift – Designing the Next World System,” to name just a few.