Integral Development

Realising the Transformative Potential of Individuals, Organisations and Society
Ronnie Lessem and Alexander Schieffer

This landmark book by Schieffer and Lessem shifts the responsibility for large-scale development from often-distant development experts and organizations to each individual, community, enterprise and institution within the society.

With Integral Development, Alexander Schieffer and Ronnie Lessem introduce a groundbreaking development framework and process to address the most burning issues that humanity faces today. This riveting book argues that 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 by the authors over decades of in-depth engagement in transformative education and development practice all over the world. It uniquely combines four mutually reinforcing perspectives: nature & community; culture & spirituality; science, systems & technology; as well as enterprise & economics. Conventional development theory and practice have prioritised 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 book, the practical impact of Integral Development is brought to life through highly innovative cases from all over the globe, drawing on the author's first-hand experience. This makes the book a living demonstration of the power of this pioneering approach.

Integral Development shows how individual, organisational and societal development need to be interconnected to release a society’s full potential. It shifts the responsibility for large-scale development from often-distant experts and organisations 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.

Starting out with individual development, Integral Development uncovers the potential and invites the participation of each one of us in transforming today’s crises. The development agent or agency no longer engages in the development of “others”, but becomes a co-evolutionary development player. Development is thus turned into a co-creative endeavour concerning all of us.

By engaging in Integral Development, each participating individual, community, institution and enterprise generates new knowledge and innovative applications, thereby unleashing local genius while enriching global theory and practice. This culminates in “Integral Universities” as leveraging platforms for human evolution.

In summary, Integral Development provides an inspiring compass to fully actualize the transformative potential of individuals, organizations, communities and societies – a timely guide for co-creating a sustainable future.


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