Updated: Dec 6, 2021
A Talk given at the Alma Mater Europaea Annual Conference 2020, Maribor Slovenia, on a virtual scientific and innovation panel entitled: "Building Back Better – a Greener, More Resilient Europe - An Integral Framework of Learning for Sustainability Transitions and European Green Deal"
by Prof. Alexander Schieffer
This contribution introduces, in overview form, the Integral Worlds theory and practice as a unique approach to fuse and evolve the paradigms of sustainability and integrality to holistically and transformatively address the burning issues of our time. The concept base, developed by Geneva-based TRANS4M and its global action research community, has been applied, inter alia, to the fields of economy and enterprise, offering a viable alternative to the mainstream non-sustainable economic paradigm. The Integral Worlds approach is based on some 20 years of researching cutting-edge theories and advanced best practices to sustainable development, on an organisational, community and societal level. It emphasizes dynamic and regenerative balance among four mutually reinforcing dimensions (nature and community; culture and consciousness; science, systems and technology; finance, enterprise and economics), with an integrative moral value core. Past and ongoing research demonstrates that such holistic and dynamic inclusion of all parts of a living system is vital for the long-term resilience and sustainability of our social institutions and societal infrastructure. Building on the existing integral knowledge base and the growing global practice field, this contribution explores how Europe can “Build Back Better”, thereby fulfilling its ambitious European Green Deal, by:
placing fundamental values, underlying the European cultural heritage, in the centre and as the starting point of visionary thinking as well as practical policies and measures;
by rooting integral sustainable development in nature and community;
by revisiting the economic paradigm that is to a large extent responsible for current environmental degradation, social and economic crises.
The presentation concludes with a brief exploration on the potential of the EU to become a driver for a truly regenerative economy and society – on a global scale.