Working Full-Time on The Institute for Cultural Evolution

Layout 1Until my next book, The Presence of the Infinite, comes out this fall, I’ll be working full-time to further develop the Institute for Cultural Evolution think tank (“ICE”).

In furtherance of this social entrepreneurial endeavor, in December, ICE co-founder Carter Phipps and I traveled to Washington DC for a four-day strategic planning session with new ICE Senior Fellow Rich Tafel. While in the capitol, the three of us met with a group of influential Republicans, as well as another group of up-and-coming Millennials who were very receptive to our integral approach to politics.

During the planning retreat portion of the trip, we worked on the next phase of ICE’s strategy to help ameliorate political polarization, incorporating learning from our 2014 Esalen Conclave (see the previous blog post for a description of the Esalen event). We also devised a tactical road map for 2015. Among the insights from the retreat was the following:

What many see as the political “extremes” are actually the holders of America’s core values, which include both traditional and progressive ideals of morality. Therefore, in order to depolarize American politics, both parties will need to start by depolarizing themselves. This will involve teasing apart the best from the worst within both of these progressive and traditional sources of America’s values. On the progressive side, this means more effectively bringing forward the values of “people and planet” while rejecting the anti-establishment views that are hostile to much of what America has achieved. Similarly on the traditional side, this means bringing forward the values of decency, respect, and patriotism while rejecting the ethnocentric and jingoistic views that now hold us back in an increasingly globalized world.

These ideas are developed further in a recent blog post on ICE’s website, found at this link.