Grant recognizes innovative approach to decreasing hyperpartisanship.
December 3, 2015: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boulder, Colorado—Overcoming America’s hyper-partisan political paralysis is a big challenge, and may be the most troublesome problem facing America today. In response to this challenge, The Institute for Cultural Evolution (“ICE”), an independent think tank founded in 2013, is advancing a bold vision of a “Future Left” and “Future Right”—emerging cohorts within both progressive and conservative camps who are developing a vision of their political destiny that is less hyper-partisan. ICE is pleased to announce that it has received a grant in support of these efforts from the Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that the American people come first in our democracy.
America’s legislative gridlock has been called a “wicked problem” because it has many causes and no obvious solution. While some point the finger at government, the work of ICE stresses the foundational role of the electorate. According to ICE co-founder and president Steve McIntosh, “Political polarization is ultimately not a political issue—it’s a cultural one. It’s not just happening in the halls of Congress; it’s happening in the hearts and minds of the American people—in their beliefs and values. We can’t solve this problem solely through political or institutional reform. We need to help both conservatives and progressives better integrate the wisdom of their opponents while retaining their core values.”
Betsy Wright Hawkings, Democracy Fund’s Program Director for Governance, attended ICE’s first “Future of the Right Conclave” in June, said, “These convenings address political hyper-partisanship with the goal of creating conversations and solutions that expand the field to address and respond to opportunities for new partnerships and collaborations.”
Although ICE has received financial support from its board of directors, including Whole Foods Markets co-founder John Mackey, the Democracy Fund grant is the think tank’s first contribution from a prominent institutional philanthropy. ICE Senior Fellow Rich Tafel, “The Institute for Cultural Evolution has shown it has a unique ability to bring together leading thinkers seeking to resolve the hyper-partisan challenge of our time. With these funds from Democracy Fund, we have the ability to broaden our reach and lay the groundwork for lasting solutions.”
Beginning in early 2016, ICE will be officially launching its “Project for the Future of the Right,” which will be led by Tafel and McIntosh. Then later in the year they plan to follow this with their inaugural “Conclave on the Future of the Left.”
To read ICE’s acclaimed paper, “Depolarizing the American Mind,” to take its two-minute “polarization test,” or to learn more about opportunities to get involved, log on to: www.culturalevolution.org
The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that the American political system is responsive to the priorities of the American public. For more information about the Democracy Fund, please visit www.democracyfund.org.
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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