Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘complex issues’

The Spectrum of Responses to Complex Societal Issues: Reflections on Seven Years of Empirical Inquiry

Thomas Jordan, Pia Andersson & Helena Ringnér

Abstract: This article offers conclusions and reflections based on nine empirical studies carried out over the last seven years on how increased capacity to manage complex social issues can be scaffolded. Our focus has been on the role of meaning-making structures and transformations in individual and collective efforts to skillfully manage complex issues. We have studied capacities for managing complex issues both in terms of scaffolding group efforts through structured methods and facilitation and in terms of individual skills. Our action research gave us insights into the variability in scaffolding needs: groups are different in terms of the participants’ meaning-making patterns, which means that methods and facilitation techniques should be adapted to the particular conditions in each case. We discuss variables describing group differences and offer a preliminary typology of functions that may need to be scaffolded. In a second major part of the article, we report on our learning about individual societal change agency. We offer a typology of four types of societal entrepreneurship and discuss in more detail the properties of dialectical meaning-making in societal change agency.

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More Perspectives, New Politics, New Life: How a Small Group Used The Integral Process For Working On Complex Issues

Sara Ross

Abstract: This article reports on a small research project with citizens who wanted to address their community’s chronically adversarial behaviors and atmosphere. It complements a longer research report on the same project, which is also published in this issue of Integral Review. The project used a structured public discourse process, The Integral Process For Working On Complex Issues (TIP). This article supplies background on TIP’s origins, then focuses on two areas. First, it explains the process steps used in the project in conjunction with the issue that participants developed by using them. Second, using examples from participants’ experiences of transformative impacts from their work in the project, it reports on two themes that underlie the main impacts and outcomes. The group worked on an issue about how its own intentions and tones needed to be chosen carefully if participants wanted to improve the adversarial local culture. The article includes links to “products” the group created in the course of its work. The themes were about dissolving “us versus them” mindsets and behaviors, and the liberation of being able to use multiple perspectives (as compared to only one point of view). This article is aimed at a diverse audience of individuals and organizations interested in promoting healthy individual and social change by addressing complex public issues and relationships. A brief epilogue sketches how TIP embeds criteria of integral theory.

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