August 29, 2008

Integral Praxis - 2008 Year In Review

One year ago the three of us sat down together and agreed to put an idea into action. For years each of us had been working in fields where innovative thinking was only as useful as the practical applications it produced. Science, religion, cultural theory and philosophy were all important approaches to understanding the world we live in but what truly matters, what truly makes a positive difference, seems to be how each of these can contribute to the practical transformation of individuals and collectives.

After centuries of ignorance, conflict and struggle our increasingly interconnected civilization is now moving into an epoch where humans have access to a wide spectrum of human knowledge. We decided that together as a formal group we could explore deeper this vast ecology of human knowledge and continue our many discussions in a more intentional and meaningful way. These different knowledge systems (epistemologies) have much to teach us, and must be respected on their own terms – yet we wondered (and still do wonder) if it would be possible to bring these various ways of knowing and being into contact with each to produce a more comprehensive set of ‘tools’ and wisdom. Thus we created the Integral Research Group (IRG).

The Integral Research Group is a (post)formal research and development venture that attempts to draw together the most advanced and innovative research, theory and practices in existence for the explicit purpose of facilitating healthy individual and social evolution. The approach we are currently exploring is based on a pluralistic, pragmatic and open process of cross-fertilization. Our goal is to gather, reconsider, disseminate and put into practice the world’s leading scientific, cultural and ethical insights. We seek the actualization of a dynamic worldcentric approach of a mutual understanding and potential praxis.
"Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries. Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren't there before." (Margaret J. Wheatley)
The Integral Research Group also explores the potential of Integral Philosophy to act as a backdrop for a general framework for interpretation and discussion. While we pledge ‘solidarity’ with the ‘Integral Movement’ more generally, and embrace our role as ‘evolutionary allies’ in the struggle of more holistic and humane world, we are also deeply interested in the possibility of a more rigorous and critically informed, and post-Wilberian, integral approach. Such an approach, we believe, focuses more on bridging the gaps between research, theory and application in the areas of human potential, community development and social justice.

The Integral Praxis weblog is the online expression of our group’s intention to take such an approach into the public domain. Integral Praxis is for us an opportunity to experiment and share some of our explorations with a wider community of people interested in a more mosaic and kosmocentric sensibility. We seek to be “Integral” because we want our research and posts to be comprehensive and critical, and gravitate towards “Praxis” because our focus is on sustainability, practical application and the wider dynamics of social change and adaptation.

Early on we had hoped that the IRG would develop into an independently existing non-profit organization. This, however, has not come to fruition due to several unexpected and divergent opportunities to apply our version of ‘integral’ in our respective professional fields. Although we are grateful and excited by these new opportunities we regret having to abandon our desire for official incorporation, and instead refocus our attention elsewhere.

However, we are firmly committed to maturing Integral Praxis as site for exploration and dialogue, and are dedicated to making it a relevant content provider for ‘integrally-oriented’ individuals and professionals. Integral Praxis will continue to evolve and provide readers with posts and content which both challenge and elaborate the integral worldview, while highlighting a wide range of interesting and significant interdisciplinary activity.

Over the past year we have posted on topics ranging from neuroscience and ecology to spirituality and cultural evolution. We have featured leading edge research in a variety of fields, published original essays by several interesting authors, announced upcoming and relevant community events and highlighted various local and international change-oriented organizations and projects. All of our posts are meant to provoke reflection and deeper consideration of the interrelated character of human being, knowing and relating – and always in the interest of application. Integral Praxis will continue this tradition of providing holistic and analytical content, and always work to improve the quality and accessibility of the website.

Learning, for us, is part of a recursive process. Over the next year we will revisit some previously posted material in an effort to provide fresh perspectives on some persistent theoretical and practical issues, and allow our newer readers an opportunity to review some of the most significant debates and developments within the integral community. We hope that by revisiting key themes and debates we can help promote more healthy and robust forms of integral thinking and praxis, and ultimately move towards a better understanding of the nature, history and dynamic potential of our species.

Thank you all so much for reading and responding, and for all the helpful emails and positive communications. We appreciate it very much.


The IRG team.


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Ryan said...

congrats on an Inte-great first year. I'm excited about the plan to deepen the themes you've already mapped out.

. said...

thanks Ryan,

we're excited to be able to focus on IP content now that the "organizational" aspects are not the main component...

great work on the Dream Studies Portal as well...


Sebastian said...

Happy emergence-day! , this is a great site and, if we are more than dreamers, a very important one too!!

Wishing you the best

Sebastian S.

. said...

Thanks Sabastian!!!

We're pretty excited about where this blog/site might be heading... Hopefully it evolves into a really strong content provider for all us 'integral' geeks!

Again, we're always looking for great ideas, contributors, suggestions, etc... Feel free to join us in making Integral Praxis even better in the future!


PS-I think the "truth" of Integral and Beyond is only just emerging...

Joe said...

Love the Integral Praxis! Keep up the good work you guys.

Your Faithful Reader,


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