“I think Depolarizing the American Mind by McIntosh and Phipps is among the most insightful essays I’ve ever read about the causes of our Nation’s hyper-partisan polarization problem. It offers a new diagnosis of how we got here, and a new prescription for what to do now. McIntosh and Phipps show us how we can evolve into more constructive forms of disagreement a decade from now.”
“I found the ICE Austin Conclave on the future of the right to be a highly worthwhile investment of time and effort. Affirming the truism that two minds are better than one, the Conclave was revelatory in identifying themes for a new center-right fusionism in a carefully tended collegial setting, that I believe will help catalyze the innovation and reform we aspire to encounter in our political system.
— Margaret Hoover, political commentator, gay rights activist, and author of American Individualism: How A New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party
“I am generally skeptical of conferences and conclaves; there is a lot of talk and little more. But the Esalen Conclave was different: the combination of the setting, the format and the people made it much more worthwhile than any I can remember. … The format enabled us to have free discussion but with a focus on where we can find common footing to move both the conversation and action forward. And the people offered a wider range of experiences and views than we commonly find, so less simply talking amongst ourselves. You are to be complimented for pulling this off, in what I really hope will be not just one Conclave but an ongoing process to help some ideas crystallize into action to reduce our political dysfunction.”
— Norman Ornstein, eminent political scientists and Resident Scholar at American Enterprise Institute
“It was a most enjoyable and productive experience. The participants constituted a much more diverse group than I normally encounter. The clash of perspectives was stimulating without being in any way unpleasant. The conversation in the small conference room in Murphy Hall with chairs pulled in a circle was frank and enlightening, less a kumbaya moment than a serious engagement on matters of transcendent importance to our public life. I’ve been gratified to see new friendships made and connections established. The blogging about the conclave and ideas about moving forward have been constructive. I hope you are able to maintain the momentum created by the first conclave and find ways of building on it. The investment would be a good one.”
— Thomas Mann, eminent political scientists and Senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution
“ICE’s Austin Conclave was a wonderful opportunity to listen, learn and share ideas on how best to expand liberty in America and the world.”
— Grover Norquist, Founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform
“I thought the conclave was sensationally good—really quite so as formats for those kind of things are difficult to do. It was more productive than I would have expected.”
— Steven F. Hayward, conservative scholar and Ronald Regan Professor of Public Policy at the Pepperdine University
“We applaud the groundbreaking work of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, which is taking an innovative, integral approach to solving key challenges of our time. Solving issues like climate change and political gridlock can only be achieved by a significant shift in cultural thinking, and that’s what ICE is all about. Their focus on linking cultural evolution and tangible, measurable goals is a new opening for the sustainable and just future we all seek.”
“For my money, Steve McIntosh and Carter Phipps are two of the most lucid, thoughtful, practical thinkers alive on the subject of cultural evolution, and integral thinking. I’ve been studying and writing in this arena for 25 years, and these two guys, and their books, have changed the way I look at the world. The Institute for Cultural Evolution is going to be a major force in addressing and finding new solutions to the key social issues that continue to divide us.”
“The Esalen conclave on political polarization was superb. Unlike some other similar meetings I’ve been to recently, the organizers made sure to have some actual conservatives in the room. They also understood that good relationships are the key to good thinking – at least when it comes to understanding people with different values – and they made sure to foster those relationships by allowing time for informal socializing, and by providing one of the most beautiful and relaxing settings in America for a meeting. I believe that the Esalen model is an excellent way forward to create a group of influential people who can find and then support novel ways to address the slow, grinding, national emergency of political polarization and dysfunction.”
— Jonathan Haidt, acclaimed author, social psychologist, and Professor of Ethical Leadership NYU-Stern School of Business
“Applying Integral Theory and an understanding of the evolution of worldviews, Steve McIntosh and Carter Phipps have founded the Institute for Cultural Evolution to counter ideological rigidities with a more comprehensive and flexible framework that integrates polarities and points to new solutions to our most intractable problems. This is an exciting development to watch and support.”
From Developmental Politics: “Taking an evolutionary perspective on our political problems helps reframe our hyper-polarized political condition as a golden opportunity to bring about the next emergent level of our civilization’s development.”
From Developmental Politics: “The higher purposes which we recognize as *transcendent* have a kind of magnetic power that draws us forward. As Oxford philosopher Iris Murdoch wrote, ‘we are spiritual creatures, attracted by excellence and made for the Good.’”
Emerson’s insight, that “every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact,” reveals the connection between exterior physical energy and interior ‘value energy.’ In fact, ‘the good’ in itself can be most accurately conceived of as an upward current of perfecting energy.
Although every infant begins life with the same basic form of biological “human nature,” the extent to which their consciousness develops is largely determined by the culture in which they are raised. Human nature itself thus evolves through the evolution of human culture.
Managing the polarity of liberal and conservative values is not simply a matter of meeting in the middle or compromising. Working to both challenge and *support* our political opponents is a new approach to politics that is pragmatic and transformational at the same time.