Posts Tagged ‘large-scale psychology’

Human Nature Prepares for a Momentous Leap

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

So predicted Professor Clare W. Graves in his article in The Futurist in April, 1974.

I asked him when this “leap” would actually happen. He cleared his throat and responded, “I don’t know the exact date, but you will know when it happens.” One could detect a twinkle in his eyes as if he was gently warning that we would have quite a challenge with this “leap.”

I believe it is happening now. I sense we are witnessing the “perfect storm,” those moments when major inflection points appear to converge, and our historical clocks are set on a new epoch, a sea change, a transformation that cuts across so many domains, even cultures and continents.

When the United States inaugurated a new president on Tuesday, it was not simply the typical ceremony in Washington, DC, nor were its implications restricted to just a swearing in of a new leader. The multiple millions who braved the freezing weather in Washington came from around the world. Others were tuned in on CNN, or various Internet news sources. One could detect pixie dust on the whole magical scene, as if we were about to rescued by a human who appears to transcends mere mortals, a gift from the gods.

On Wednesday morning we all woke up to our realities, problems, and challenges, and we all know what they are. No need to repeat them here. Clearly, “we are the people” and “this is the time.” But, to do what? How can 21st Century problems be addressed with 21st Century Solutions? The presidential campaign and victory were about “change.”

Here we ask, change FROM what and TO what?

We plan to address these matters during 2009 with a new conceptual model – Psychology at the Large Scale. You will recognize Spiral Dynamics but find much, much more.

You will be introduced to MeshWORKS Solutions (MWS) that design and implement Functional Flows. You will learn how to create Transpartisan Processes (TPP) that mobilize all stakeholders and resources and bring them to bear on our complex problems. Just as the US Air passenger plane was recently able to crash land on the Hudson and instantly mobilize all of the factors that made survival possible, it will take the same collaborative effort to deal with our challenges and threats. This is not a call for naïve “come together” sessions that only foster limited views, good-feeling experiences, or consensus-driven, superficial solutions. Something new will be required, as we align technology with human systems, and levels of development with appropriate and tailored packages, for the benefit of the whole.

   In responding to the challenge, here as a first step is our new branding advertisement that will be in the next issue of EnlightenNext Magazine, as well as in other publications and displays. It sounds the key-note for our response to this “momentous leap.”

Be of good cheer!

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.