Ken Wilber on Integral Business

An Excerpt from A Theory of Everything – An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality by Ken Wilber

Applications  of  the  holonic  model  have  recently  exploded  in  business, perhaps, again, because the applications are so immediate and obvious. The quadrants give the four “environments” or dimensions in which a product must  survive,  and  the  levels  give  the  types  of  values  that  will  be  both producing  and  buying  the  product.  Research  into  the values hierarchy—such  as  Maslow’s  and  Graves’s  (e.g.,  Spiral  Dynamics),  which has already  had an  enormous  influence  on  business and  “VALS”—can  be combined  with  the  quadrants  (which  show  how  these  levels  of  values appear  in  the  four  different  environments)  to  give  a  truly comprehensive map  of  the  marketplace  (which  covers  both  traditional  markets  and cybermarkets).  Of  course,  this  can  be  used  in  a  cynical  and  manipulative way—business,  after  all,  is  business—but  it  can  also  be  used  in  an enlightened  and  efficient  fashion  to  more  fruitfully  match  human  beings with needed products and services (thus promoting the health of the overall spiral).

Moreover, management  and  leadership  training programs, based on an integral  model,  have  also  begun  to  flourish.  Daryl  Paulson,  in “Management:  A  Multidimensional/Multilevel  Perspective,”  shows  that there  are  four  major  theories  of  business  management  (Theory  X,  which stresses  individual  behavior;  Theory  Y,  which  focuses  on  psychological understanding;  cultural  management,  which  stresses  organizational culture; and systems management, which emphasizes the social system and its governance). Paulson then shows that these four management theories are in fact the four quadrants, and that an integral model would necessarily include  all  four  approaches.  He  then  moves  to  the  “all-level”  part,  and suggests  a  simplified  but  very  useful  four  stages  that  the  quadrants  go through, with specific suggestions for implementing a more “all-quadrant, all- level” management.

Other  pioneers  in  this area  include  Geoffrey  Gioja  and  JMJ  Associates, whose  Integral  Leadership  seminars  (which  use  three levels  in  the  four quadrants) have been presented to dozens of  Fortune500 companies (“We believe that until recently, the transformational approach of organizational change  has  been  the  unmatched  champion  for  producing  breakthroughs, both  subjective  and  objective.

We  now  assert  that  the  transformational approach  has  been  eclipsed  by  the  integral  approach.”);  John  Forman  of R.W. Beck Associates, who uses an all-quadrant, all-level approach to supplement  (and  correct  the  flatland  distortions  of)  systems  and complexity  theory;  On  Purpose  Associates  (John  Cleveland,  Joann Neuroth, Pete Plastrik, Deb Plastrik); Bob Anderson, Jim Stuart, and Eric Klein  (co-author  of Awakening  Corporate  Soul), whose  Leadership Circle  brings  an  all-quadrant,  all-level  approach  to  “Integral Transformation and Leadership” (“The main point is that the evolution of all of these streams of development in all of the quadrants are intimately bound up with each other. Spiritual intelligence is literacy in the practice of  transformation.  Spiritual  intelligence  is  fast  becoming  a  leadership imperative.”);  Leo  Burke,  Director  and  Dean  of  Motorola’s  University College  of  Leadership  and  Transcultural  Studies,  who  oversees  the training  of  some  20,000  managers  around  the  world;  Ian  Mitroff (A Spiritual  Audit  of  Corporate  America);  Ron  Cacioppe  and  Simon Albrecht  (“Developing  Leadership  and  Management  Skills  Using  the Holonic Model and 360 Degree Feedback Process”); Don Beck of Spiral Dynamics, which has been used in situations totaling literally hundreds of  thousands  of  people;  and  Jim  Loehr  and  Tony  Schwartz,  who  are working  with  an  all-quadrant,  all-level  approach  coupled  with  very specific  change  technologies  built  around  the  optimal  management  of energy—physical,  emotional,  and  mental.  Tony  is  now writes  the monthly  Life/Work  column  for Fast  Company  and  can  be  contacted there. All of the above individuals have joined theInstitute of Integral Business, along with Deepak Chopra, Joe Firmage (Project Voyager), Bob Richards (Clarus), Sam Bercholz (Shambhala), Fred Kofman, Bill Torbert, Warren Bennis, and numerous others.

Key Media on Conscious Entrepreneurship and Success 3.0

Success 3.0 – A New Outrageous Love Story

Marc Gafni

“We need a new success story. We need a new love story. We need a new outrageous love story. And so what we want to try and do structurally, poetically, evocatively, shamanically, in these days is to articulate this new story.” ~ Marc Gafni at the Success 3.0 Summit

Watch this beautiful talk here:

To watch the talk and read the transcript, click here>>>

Conscious Capitalism & How It Interfaces with Unique Self

Raj Sisodia & Marc Gafni

A little prior to this dialogue, Board co-chair, Kate Maloney, accompanied Marc Gafni to Babson College where he was honored to be the guest of Raj Sisodia, co-writer, with John Mackey, of the book Conscious Capitalism.

Marc and Kate visited and spoke with one of Raj’s classes. Marc gave a major presentation as part of The Conscious Capitalism Distinguished Speaker Series. The title of the talk was “Outrageous Entrepreneurship: The Entrepreneur as Jedi Knight, Moral Hero and Outrageous Lover.”

Here you can stream the first 10 minutes of the video recording:

To watch the whole speech, click here>>>

Unique Self, Organizational Leadership, and the Destiny of Nations

Richard Barrett & Marc Gafni

In this much awaited 3-part dialog series, Dr. Marc Gafni and Richard Barrett, president of Barrett Values Centre, discuss the possibility of the development of a Unique Self metrics as part of the Barrett Values assessment and its critical implications for personal, organizational, and global transformation.

You can listen to the first dialogue here:

All three dialogues including partial transcripts are available here>>>

Success 3.0

Ken Wilber & Marc Gafni

In this 3-part dialogue, Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni talk about the framework for the Success 3.0 Summit.

What are the pre-modern, modern, and post-modern visions for Success? And how could a new, an integral vision for Success look like?

Listen to the first of the interviews here:

For all three dialogues and the transcripts, click here>>>

Michael Ellsberg Interviews John Mackey & Marc Gafni for Forbes: Unique Self & Conscious Capitalism

In 2013, there was an awesome event in New York organized by Kristina Kincaid, Lesley Freeman, and Michael Ellsberg. The event took place and was hosted in the beautiful Manhattan downtown apartment of Jose and Carmen Arozamena. The evening began with a private interview of John and Marc for an article on Forbes, talking about the important interface between their two books, Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni. In the interview, specific focus was given to an idea that John and Marc have developed together: the Unique Self of a corporation.

The second part of the evening was a public conversation between Marc and John, masterfully facilitated by Michael Ellsberg and followed by an invitation-only dialogue with twenty-five convened millennial leaders. John Mackey is the Board Co-Chair of the Center for Integral Wisdom and Chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market. And he is a fearless leader in the great calling for the Evolution of Consciousness and Culture. The dialogue was filmed, and we hope you will enjoy it here.

Stream the first 10 minutes of the video here:

To watch the whole video, click here>>>

The Metrics of Human Consciousness by Richard Barrett

Richard Barrett's long awaited book The Metrics of Human Consciousness has just been released on amazon.

This book has been a major CIW Think Tank project of last year.

From the Foreword by Dr. Marc Gafni, Co-Founder and Director, Center for Integral Wisdom and Dr. Zachary Stein, Academic Director, Center for Integral Wisdom:

The genesis of this book dates back to the time when Richard met Marc at a conference on Conscious Capitalism, held at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California in 2012. Richard was at the conference to present a paper on measuring the consciousness of leaders and organizations. Marc was at the conference to present a paper on the concept of the Unique Self. Very quickly, the conversation between the two of them turned to developing a metric for measuring the consciousness of the Unique Self.

After the conference Marc broadened the conversion with Richard to involve Zak Stein, the Academic Director of the Center for Integral Wisdom, and Ken Wilber, on of the co-founders of the Center. After several conversations, we (Marc and Zak) asked Richard to begin to explore the possibility of constructing a Unique Self metric. Richard accepted the challenge and joined the board of the Center as senior scholar. This books represents the first output of this exercise.


Richard Barrett offers us an exciting new direction for measuring consciousness. He has proven that the insights these measures bring can significantly improve our individual, organisational and societal performance. The work of the Barrett Values Centre stands as a testament to what can be achieved by seriously applying ourselves to the measurement of conscious.

Part of the ongoing conversation on these topics was this beautiful dialogue between Ken Wilber, Richard Barrett and Marc Gafni on the nature and necessity of Personal and Societal Transformation:


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Success 3.0 Summit & Vision

The first Success 3.0 Summit, this amazing gathering from October 30th to November 2nd, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents that was co-initiated by the Center for Integral Wisdom was a wild success.

Among the speakers were thought leaders like Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos Inc), Arianna Huffington (Editor in Chief, Huffington Post), Alanis Morissette (Singer/Songwriter & Activist), Blake Mycoskie (Founder, TOMS Shoes), Barbara Marx Hubbard (Author, Social Innovator, Evolutionary Thought Leader), Michael Franti (Lead Vocalist of Spearhead & Activist), Casey Sheahan (former CEO, Patagonia), Lynne Twist (Global Activist & Author), Adam Bellow (Vice President, Harper Collins), Ibrahim Husseni, Business leader, Ben Jealous (former President & CEO of the NAACP), DJ Spooky (Composer, Musician & National Geographic Emerging Explorer), Tom Chi (Innovator & Founder, Google Glass), Jack Canfield (Author, Chicken Soup for the Soul), and many others.

Watch this montage of Marc Gafni’s talks from the Success 3.0 Summit 2014 on the new Outrageous Love Story the world needs so desperately:


Watch and listen to John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods and author of Conscious Capitalism (together with Raj Sisodia), and Marc Gafni, Director of the Center for Integral Wisdom and author of many books including Your Unique Self, talk about a new vision of Success for the new millennium.

They track back the many meanings of the word Success and its literature to the beginning of mankind until they conclude that, in the words of Marc Gafni from the dialogue, “it has to be inclusive and at the same time have a hierarchy, meaning it’s got to include the best of traditional, the best of modern, the best of postmodern, the best of 0, 1.0 and 2.0, and yet it’s got to offer something larger.”

Marc Gafni in the dialogue:

“So that’s where we are, success 3.0, an Integral view that’s got to be compelling. It’s got to be an evolutionary attractor. … It’s got to be powerful. It’s got to have alluring quality. It’s got to be an invitation. It’s got to be a myth that’s worthy. It’s got to be a new vision of what the Jedi Knight is. So, Integral 3.0, what might that look like?”

To watch the whole video, click here>>>

Success 3.0: The Vision

by Marc Gafni, Kate Maloney & others

Every one of us holds an inner image of what it means to be successful. That inner image, determines our decisions and drives our destiny. That image is often not articulated in the explicit values of a culture. But it is etched by society in the unconscious lining of our hearts and minds. The success myth of a culture speaks most clearly to its vision and values. It is the very essence of the culture. The success myth of culture, even if implicit or unconscious, either inspires or corrodes the soul of every individual that lives inside of its invisible net.

Let us state it clearly. The dominant success myth of much of western society is primarily woven from the strands of financial prosperity, fame, and power. While these are not the only values of western society they are its primary barometers of success. Honesty and integrity have some real cache in our culture. They are however not associated with success. Spiritual practice has some value in society but it is not equated with success.

Goodness, truth and beauty still hold some sway in our minds and hearts that those associated with those values are not necessarily held to be successful. In our culture a successful man or woman is one who wields power over others, is financially prosperous or well recognized.

[Read more…]

On Unique Entrepreneurship

by Marc Gafni

We live in an entrepreneurial universe. The nature of the universe is that it seeks higher and higher levels of connection and integration. Through these higher levels of connection and integration the universe creates deeper and deeper value propositions. The essential movement of the universe is toward higher and higher levels of recognition, mutuality, union and integration. What this means is, the universe in its core structure is entrepreneurial.

Quarks come together and merge their private interests to form a corporation called an atom. Atoms come together and merge their assets to form a larger meta-structure, a corporation if you will, called a molecule. Molecules come together and merge their diverse talents and unique strengths to form a complex molecule. And one can trace all the way up the evolutionary chain this entrepreneurial force which is the very Eros of reality of itself. One could fairly say that we live in entrepreneurial universe.

The nature of entrepreneurship is characterized by the irreducible uniqueness of each of the parts. Each agent in the grand synthesis of Universal evolution is irreducibly unique. That unique part is attracted, allured to a unique receptor, and in their merging, in their coming together new and higher values are formed. This is the essential process of evolution itself.[Read more…]

The Narrative of Conscious Business by Dr. Marc Gafni

The world of business is becoming one of the great cathedrals of spirit. Businesses are becoming places in which meaning can be created, in which mutuality begins to happen, in which intimacy and trust become core values, in which the expression of one’s unique self as part of a larger context becomes a reality.

Capitalism is the force that has lifted humanity out of poverty through voluntary exchange. Communism tried to life people out of poverty through coercion, but wound up killing 17 million collective farmers in the Ukraine and countless millions elsewhere. Business has lifted more people out of poverty than any other force in history. That is so shocking and so powerful that it makes you sit up in your chair and say “Oh my God! Could it be that evil corporations are actually responsible for lifting more people out of poverty than any other single force in the history of consciousness and the history of the planet?”

What does it mean to lift people out of poverty? It means babies not dying, it means mouths being fed, it means girls going to school and getting educated, it means a response to slavery that never existed in the world before. It means that all the values of the great traditions get enacted on two levels: by ending the physical oppression of poverty and by opening a gateway for human being to be able to experience genuine growth with spiritual, emotional and personal evolution.

We need to bow deeply to business, which initially did all this unconsciously. Lifting people out of poverty was never the conscious intention of business; it was the by-product of a business well enacted. Now business is awakening to itself and becoming conscious. It is recognizing that it is a force with enormous power and responsibility. By becoming conscious, it can do what it does even better, creating a tide that lifts all boats. It can create more community, more mutuality, and paradoxically, more profit, by engaging everyone in the system. That is exciting!

Business and the Great Traditions

Business is the force in the world that is actually accomplishing the goals of all the great traditions. What a paradox! Every major value of the great traditions is fulfilled in business: intimacy, trust, a shared vision, cooperation, collaboration, friendship, and ultimately love. After all, what is love at its core? It is the movement of evolution to higher and higher levels of mutuality, recognition, union and embrace.

The core principle of capitalism is the expression of mutuality between people – the voluntary exchange of value. That mutuality is the cultural force of transformation and healing that is lifting people out of poverty in a way that the great traditions were never able to do. Business enables large bodies of people in voluntary mutuality to work together for a higher purpose, which is to create the prosperity that enables people to live, to love their children, to create a context to grow morally, spiritually and socially.

The great traditions, which are beautiful and from which we have received so much, thought in terms of charity, which is a one way gift from the haves to the have-nots. That was essentially the technology of the great traditions. Business moves us beyond the arbitrary split between the haves and the have-nots, between giving and receiving. Business understands a deep truth of evolutionary mysticism, which is that giving and receiving are one; at their core, they are the same. Business enables a mutuality in which the giver is receiving and the receiver is giving; there is no split between giving and receiving. That deep momentous leap in consciousness has created the most potent force of social transformation in history.

Evolving the Narrative

Narratives are the stories that infuse our life with meaning. The narrative of business matters greatly, not only to the business community, but to virtually every human being. The majority of people on planet earth are working in some form of business. But the dominant narrative about business is that it is greedy, exploitative, manipulative and corrupt. Since that is the story being told, the majority of human beings on the planet experience themselves as furthering and supporting exploitation, greed, corruption and manipulation. When people experience themselves that way, they actually begin to become that way. They think, “I’ve sold out. This is what I am. Isn’t it a shame that I didn’t open a soup kitchen? Isn’t it a shame that I didn’t become a volunteer worker in Sudan?”

But the true narrative is that by participating in business, they are creating prosperity through productivity and lifting people out of poverty. They are creating stable conditions for families to be raised, they are helping build communities that can create schools, they are creating places for people to exchange value and meaning and relationships and intimacy and trust. When people realize that they are part of the largest force for positive social transformation in history, their self-perception changes.

We must awake to the reality that business has the ability to change the self-perception and the self-narrative story for most of the human beings on the planet. We thought that was the role of psychology, but it’s not. Psychology can only deal with the broken pieces of people living in a society which pathologizes their core activity, which is business. We must change the essential narrative of business to make it an accurate reflection of the transformative impact of business, its true identity as the great healer. This is not a kind of Shangri-La vision; it is an accurate narrative of conscious business which should become internalized by the majority of citizens of the planet who are engaging in business. It is a huge and dramatic paradigm shift that actually shifts the very source code of our self-understanding.

The Five Stages of Business

By Marc Gafni

There is a parallel between the emergence of business and the emergence of self is both fascinating and highly instructive in understanding the narrative of conscious capitalism. Both the evolution of self and the evolution of business go through five core stages, which in large measure parallel each other. These five stages unfold in the historical emergence of the self and business even as they may also unfold in the life of the individual person or business. This highly conceptual account is necessarily quite simplified. Nevertheless, this framework is offered as a way of looking at conscious capitalism that adds to the discussion.

Level One:

At the first level, both the self and business begin in what we might call a pre–personal stage. At this stage, both form their identity in relation to the large context that holds them. In the pre-modern period, the idea of an independent business which served it’s own prosperity did not exist. Nor was there a notion of self as a self-justifying unit. For example the king (or queen) or the church formed the corporation in the Middle Ages. The corporation served the interests of the king and church. It did not have independent capital or will. Rather, it was defined in relationship to state or church. The individual was in the same situation. He was a subject of the king and vassal of the church.

The word self did not yet exist in the dictionary. A person’s definition was first and primarily as a loyal subject of king or obedient adherent of the church. The profits of the corporation enriched the king’s coffers. The king and state had the arbitrary right to seize the wealth of the corporation. New initiatives were capitalized by church and not by the investment banking firms. The modern notion of private capital did not yet exist. In the same vein, the assets and even the life of the individual are owned by the king (or queen). The subject is actually obligated to give up their life for church and crown.

Level Two:

At Level Two both the self and business emerge from the shadow of king and church and evolve into their own independent identity. Self emerges from the pre-personal to the personal stage. As the Renaissance dawns on Europe, the word ‘self’ appears in the dictionary. The separate independent self has emerged as a self- justifying unit. Self fulfillment begins to makes sense as a term. The self seeks to fulfill not the will of the crown or the dictates of the religion, but rather to fulfill itself. In the Renaissance and in the Romantic Movement that follows it, the rule-based Neo-Classicism of church and monarchy are replaced by intoxication with the individual. The individual’s destiny, journey and life become self-evidently valuable in the eyes of society and of the individual himself.

At the same time, business emerges as a self-justifying activity, which seeks its own fulfillment. As the post-Renaissance and Romantic writers are extolling the virtues of the independent individual guided by his own voice, Adam Smith is writing about the invisible hand of the market which self-regulates and guides the market place towards its own fulfillment. The corporation’s charter is no longer to profit the Crown or Church. The corporation serves itself, which is constituted by its owners or shareholders. The healthy corporation serves the financial interest of the shareholders. The healthy ego of the self serves the productivity and happiness of the individual self. The self –interest of the individual is to promote the survival and flourishing of the individual. The independent separate self and the independent separate business have emerged and their creative force is unleashed in the world.

Level Three:

At the third level, shadow elements of the individual and business emerge and give legitimate cause for concern. The self of the individual person and the individual business show signs of pathology. Instead of realizing the healthy differentiation with the larger defining environments of Church and King, self and business begin to disassociate from the their larger contexts. Self begins to slide into a selfish obsession with self. Healthy self-interest becomes narcissistic as the person fixates at an ego-centric stage of development and is only able to feel genuine empathy for himself or those necessary for his survival or flourishing. All others become objects to his subjects. He sees the others as a means to his end. Filling the ego’s greed becomes the primary human need. The individual begins to worship at the altar of his own self-gratification, and the things that gratify him are only the ego enhancers, which support the reification of the individual.

A similar process takes place in business. The healthy business becomes greedy. The robbers barons of the American expansion become the new archetype of business. Corporate greed emerges as a motive force in the public sector. Along with this, the narrative of the ‘evil corporation’ is born, which indicts the idea of business itself. Both the individual and business begin to be defined in terms of their shadow. Both are seen as only serving the financial enrichment of shareholders or separate self. Both are seen as being willing to oppress and exploit other for the sake of self. The selfish individual and the selfish business become fixed givens in the mental furniture and life worlds of modernity.

Level Four:

At level four various strategies are developed to deconstruct the ego of the individual person and the individual business. As a result of the excesses of both produced by greed as described above, the self validating person and business are demonized as the sources of personal and social evil. Theories are introduced, old and new, which support the complete undermining of the personal self and shareholder driven business.

Two well-known phenomena which give example to this level, but which is rarely seen from this vantage would be socialism and classical enlightenment. Both demonize the self, of business and the person, as being lost in a dangerous delusion of separation and independence. The independent business is said ignores the larger context of stakeholders in its actions and moves only to satisfy it’s own most pressing needs for gratification. The separate self becomes lost in the grasping of the ego for transitory fulfillment. It seeks to fill the shallowest needs for power and status, which are disconnected from genuine realization or achievement. Classical enlightenment sees liberation from the suffering inflicted by the go in the realization of no self. No- Self in most enlightenment teaching is the new consciousness of reality which involves the letting go of the illusion of being a separate self and realizing that one is an inextricable part of the whole. In no self you realize that you are not separate, either from god, nature, or any of the larger contexts of society. This is the movement from what we have called separate self to what we will now term True Self. The total number of true selves in the world is One. This is a clear movement beyond the limited experience of separate self into a larger field of consciousness in which the separate self is effectively deconstructed.

In a different expression of this same movement religions and governments enact rigorous regulations, which serve to at least curtail the greedy excesses of separate self and direct the energy of the separate self to what are seen to be more noble and exalted ends. In the world of economic exchanges and business the separate self-business, which serves its own ends and the ends of its shareholders, is targeted by Marxism as the core source of evil. Marx suggests that only the introduction of some form of socialism, which is business’s version of no self, will save the world from the evils of the corporation.

Level Five:

The evolutionary emergence of level five is form pathology to mythology. At the fifth level the movement is from the pathology of the self, both of business and the person, to the mythology of the individual person and business. At this level of consciousness we witness the evolutionary emergence of the Unique Self and the unique business.

At the level of true self one self-experience is as being an inextricable part of the seamless coat of the universe. At the level of Unique Self you realize that the coat of the universe in which you are a part is seamless but not featureless. You are a unique feature of essence even as you are not separate from essence in any way. You life in a deep realization of your larger context in the larger schema of reality. You are not apart but a part of all that is. However you realize that you are a unique part of all that is. You are a unique expression of essence. You are the personal face of essence. This is not the personal at the level of separate self. Separate self does not have a felt experience of being an indivisible part of essence.

Unique Self is obviously part of essence and just an obviously an utterly irreducible and unique expression of essence. Unique Self realizes that she has Unique Gifts to live and give that are not merely creative forms of expression but are sorely needed by all that is. Unique Self is true self-seeing through a unique set of eyes. Unique Self has a unique perspective on the world, which creates a new space of insight, which creates new possibilities and new knowing. In fact one might accurately say that True Self plus perspective = Unique Self. The same is true of the unique business.

The Unique Business has a unique perspective on the world, which creates its ability to give Unique Gifts. The Unique business does not superficially imitate competitors but rather turns inwards and outwards to self understand its own unique gifts of service or goods to the market places. The sense of that Unique Gift is the essential energy that guides and directs the business. The Unique business cultivates it’s particular set of eyes to gain unique insight into the market place and the customer which yield new opportunities to give is unique gifts in ways which serves the highest interests of all parties involved. The marketplaces feel the signature uniqueness of the business and reward it with the kind of attention and loyalty, which creates prosperity.

Just like Unique Self naturally realizes his or her larger context so does Unique Business.

For that reason precisely the unique business moves from a shareholder model to a stakeholder model. Unique Business understands that it is naturally constituted not only by investor shareholders but also by a host of other essential stakeholders, which are part of the larger eco system of the business. These stakeholders include employees, vendors and suppliers, families of employees, vendors and suppliers, communities that hold and interface with the business, and even include the environment and future generations. All are part of the true context in which the business needs to both survive and thrive.

Unique Self and Unique Business are each evolutionary emergents, which are just now being recognized. Each are aligned with the unique evolutionary impulse that lives in them as them and through them. Each are sources of iconic evolutionary creativity which creates greater and greater depths of compassion, love and value.

Welcome to the “Conscious Entrepreneur” Portal

Dr. Marc Gafni, Co-Founder and Director of the Center for Integral Wisdom about what a Conscious Entrepreneur is:

An entrepreneur is a natural expression of the genuine evolutionary creativity that drives people forward to higher levels of goodness, truth, and beauty. And, the great entrepreneurs that are doing awesome catalytic work of value creation.

The universe at its core is an entrepreneurial universe of evolutionary creativity. It awakens in those who choose to live their lives as entrepreneurs. To be an entrepreneur is to be an expression of the outrageous love that comes together to create new value up and down the evolutionary chain.

Shadows—ethical breakdowns—happen.

But an entrepreneur, in essence, is an expression of best and most potent in us. In a self-organizing universe, we need to unleash the infinite creativity of entrepreneurship. In doing so, outrageous love will heal our world if we act together. [Read more…]

Conscious Capitalism

The seminal work on Conscious Capitalism was written by CIW Board Chair John Mackey and Executive Board Member Prof. Raj Sisodia.

At once a bold defense and reimagining of capitalism and a blueprint for a new system for doing business, Conscious Capitalism is for anyone hoping to build a more cooperative, humane, and positive future.

Whole Foods Market cofounder John Mackey and professor and Conscious Capitalism, Inc. cofounder Raj Sisodia argue that both business and capitalism are inherently good, and they use some of today’s best-known and most successful companies to illustrate their point. From Southwest Airlines, UPS, and Tata to Costco, Panera, Google, the Container Store, and Amazon, today’s organizations are creating value for all stakeholders—including customers, employees, suppliers, investors, society, and the environment.

Read this book and you’ll better understand how four specific tenets—higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership, and conscious culture and management—can help build strong businesses, move capitalism closer to its highest potential, and foster a more positive environment for all of us.

The Conscious Capitalism Movement

Most movements have their iconic images or foundation stories: For the civil rights movement it could be Rosa Parks on a bus, or the Selma march; for the human potentials movement, it’s surely Esalen. Adam Smith’s pin factory provides an image for the advantages to be gained from economies of scale enabled by capitalism. For the new movement known as conscious capitalism, the foundation story has to be the great flood on Memorial Day, 1981.

Whole Foods had been in existence for just eight months in one store on Lamar Avenue in Austin when a hundred year flood sank the store under eight feet of water. After eight months of modest success, the store, under-capitalized but thriving, was wiped out, all of the inventory and equipment destroyed.

Then an amazing series of events unfolded.

Read the whole article in the Esalen eZine Volume I >>>

Welcome to Conscious Capitalism

This section of the Conscious Entrepreneur portal is influenced by John Mackey’s and Raj Sisodia’s great book on Conscious Capitalism. John and Raj cite Marc Gafni twice in ways which capture why Conscious Capitalism is so important to the Center for Integral Wisdom.

The paragraphs below are some brief excerpts from Marc’s citations in the book (transcribed and summarized from his welcome message):

We are powerfully re-visioning the role of business in society. Capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other force in history, and it’s done so through voluntary exchange rather than coercion.

Communism tried to do so by coercive means and ended up killing millions of people in the process. By ameliorating poverty, the values in the Great Traditions are enacted and a gateway opens for growth. It opens a gateway for human beings to grow morally, socially, spiritually.

Now, for the first time in history, business is awakening to itself for the first time in history, bringing more community, mutuality, and profit by engaging everyone in the system. By becoming conscious, business can create more community and mutuality and paradoxically more profit by engaging everyone in the system.

Narratives are the stories that infuse our lives with meaning. The true narrative of business is creating places for people to build relationships and transform society. The majority of people work through some form of business, but the narrative is that it’s manipulative and corrupt. Therefore most people experience themselves as furthering greed and exploitative.

What happens when people experience themselves that way? They become that way.

By changing the narrative, people will realize they are part of the force of positive transformation in history, they change. Through conscious capitalism, the economic driver of society becomes a potent force for the evolution of the Good, True, Beautiful.

Power is a quality of essence; it is gorgeous. Corporations offer opportunities for moving beyond first-level consciousness and allow us to talk about genuine esteem and self-actualization.

In this new evolutionary emergent, business awakens to its potential when capitalism moves beyond its many corruptions and shadows. Conscious capitalism articulates a vision to make corporations into great cathedrals of spirit in our time.

Workshop on Conscious Capitalism

In 2014, Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni held a workshop on Conscious Capitalism at Nyenrode Business University. 

Dr. Marc Gafni, Ken Wilber (on skype), and Prof. Dr. Paul de Blot explored the following questions:

  • Marc_Mauk_PauldeBlot_NijenrodeUniversityWhat are the three core principles of running a conscious capitalist business?
  • What is the difference between the shareholder model and the stakeholder model and why it matters?
  • Why is it essential for the success of a company that the company is able to identify its Unique self?
  • What are the three reasons that changing the perception of business in the modern world is essential to the success of business?
  • Why is the evolution of business from unconscious to conscious capitalism essential to the financial bottom line of a company?

To stream the three seminal talks by Ken Wilber, Marc Gafni and Prof. Paul de Blot, click here>>>

Watch the workshop here: