The Institute for Cultural Evolution made good progress in 2016. We remain a small think tank with modest financial resources, but we’re definitely making a positive difference in American politics. Soon we’ll be announcing a major new initiative for 2017 and beyond. In the meantime, here’s a brief look back on 2016, together with our request for your support.
In 2016 we continued to develop and apply integral philosophy’s insights to help solve America’s political problems. Toward this end we published two substantial articles: Overcoming Polarization by Evolving Both Right and Left (March 2016), and Why Centrism Fails and How We Can Better Achieve Political Cooperation (July 2016).
These articles led to the development of ICE’s Values Maps, which are proving to be influential, and which will continue to be an important part of our work going forward.
ICE’s innovative perspective on political evolution was well received by the participants in our second annual Conclave on the Future of the Right, held July 8-10, and sponsored by the Democracy Fund philanthropy The gathering included distinguished author Charles Murray, Republican gay rights activist Margaret
Hoover, and anti-tax icon Grover Norquist. Following the Conclave, ICE president Steve McIntosh published an Op-Ed in The Daily Beast summarizing the event and calling for a more evolved form of Republican politics. And even though the election didn’t turn out as we anticipated (nor as any of the other Conclave participants anticipated), our “dialogue research” with this distinguished group informed our thinking on the future of American politics overall.
Despite our investigations into both the Future of the Right and the Future of the Left, ICE continues to be a nonpartisan organization that is neither left, nor right, nor centrist. We stand for political evolution and seek to facilitate development across the political spectrum. Prior to the election, our main issue focus was overcoming hyper-partisan political polarization. Yet while Republican control of both houses of congress and the executive branch will likely reduce gridlock in Washington for at least the next two years, our country remains sharply divided. Overcoming this divide by working to integrate values from both the left and the right will thus continue to be a central part of our strategy for the foreseeable future.
Other highlights from 2016 include the addition of our new ICE Board member, John Street. John is an award-winning entrepreneur who has launched many new businesses, including three that garnered Inc. 500 status. John has served on several commercial Boards and has been involved in a wide variety of startups, ranging from telecommunications and high tech to agricultural biotech. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic orchestra. John’s pragmatic political sensibilities make a great addition to the ICE team.
In 2016 we also continued to make inroads into mainstream media. In addition to our Op-Ed in The Daily Beast, National Public Radio’s “To the Best of Our Knowledge” program featured a substantial interview with Steve McIntosh on political polarization. Politico featured former ICE senior fellow Rich Tafel in a panel at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. And just this week on December 7, the Washington D.C. newspaper The Hill published Steve’s latest Op-Ed: “A New Political Center.”
We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made so far, and we’re very excited about the new political vision we’ll be announcing soon. Although we won’t be ready to launch this new initiative until early next year, we trust you will find this new direction to be highly innovative.
Completing our list of 2016 highlights is the on-line Worldview Questionnaire, created by integral researcher Annick de Witt, and added to the ICE website at the beginning of the year. This popular 7 minute test, which diagnoses peoples’ “values frame,” has now been taken by thousands of people at CulturalEvolution.org.
The ICE think tank is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. We depend on contributions from our friends and supporters. If you want to help further political evolution in America, please consider making an affordable tax-deductible contribution to our organization by following the link below. Even small financial contributions make a big difference, so please include us in your plans for giving this holiday season.
Thank you all very much for your ongoing interest and encouragement.
With Warm Wishes,
Directors and Senior Fellows of
The Institute for Cultural Evolution
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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.
On the new Growing Down Podcast, Jeremy Johnson, Ryan Nakade, Matt Hudkins, and I discuss the intersection of progressive politics and developmental politics. We focus on how progressive politics can benefit from an integral perspective. https://anchor.fm/growing-down/episodes/3--Developmental-Politics-ft--Steve-McIntosh-Interview-Series-ec5914/a-a1qcs3g