Northern: Society/Technology: Water: Interaction

Social and technical grounding: living in truth

The late Vaclav Havel (22), former President of the Czech Republic, is unique in having been a politician, that is a head of state, who was also a playwright and a philosopher, as well as having been a noted dissident under the former communist regime. Living within the truth then, for Havel to begin with, becomes articulate in a particular way, at the point at which something is born that might be called the independent, spiritual, social and political life of society. This independent life is not separated from the rest of "inauthentic" life by some sharp dividing line. Both types frequently coexist in the same people. Moreover, and for the North American philosopher and art historian Iredell Jenkins (23), in his seminal work on Art and the Human Enterprise, there are similarly three psychic components that serve to constitute human consciousness: "the aesthetic component focuses our regard on the particularity of things, the affective on their import, and the cognitive component on their connectedness".

Thus citizens' initiatives, dissident movements, or even oppositions, emerge like the proverbial tip of the iceberg from the independent life of society. Above all, any existential revolution should provide hope for a moral reconstitution of society, which means a radical renewal of the relationship of human beings to what Havel calls the human order, which no political order can replace. A new experience of being, a renewed rootedness in the universe, a newly grasped sense of higher responsibility, a new-found inner relationship to other people and to the human community, these factors clearly indicate the direction in which we must go.

This social theme is picked up, albeit with relatively more emphasis on the cultural, by a group of largely European, but also American and Japanese, social scientists, focused on European-ness and innovation.

Cultural, social and technological emergence: integral innovation

During the 1990s, social scientists from France, Germany, Spain and Italy, as well as the UK, accompanied by North American and Japanese management academics, met regularly in Munich over a period of years to probe into European-ness and innovation. Sponsored by the German based Roland Berger Foundation (24), the aim was to take the European project forward, by broadening the base of innovation, to include cultural and aesthetic, as well as technological and economic elements. Overall, the group felt that the EU project had stalled, because of its over-emphasis on the political, economic and technological, to the exclusion, in an integral sense, of the cultural.

Drawing then on Europe's origins in Ancient Greece, and specifically on the Platonic orientation toward truth, goodness and beauty, the researchers ultimately developed a leadership typology that was inclusive of such (see Figure P.7).

Integral Leadership Typology

Figure P.7 Integral Leadership Typology

We now turn, by way of navigation, from emergent innovation to self-management and cooperative society.

Social and technical navigation: self-management/cooperative association

Jaroslav Vanek (25), Czech by birth and then a management academic at Cornell University in the U.S., became an avid student of Yugoslav Self-Management, as a basis for The Participation Economy in the 1970s. This distinctively Slovenian approach to political and economic life and work, for him, that is “the quest of men to participate in the determination and decision-making of activities in which they are personally and directly involved", is one of the most important socio-political phenomena of our times. Selfmanagement, in Eastern Europe as such, was a variation on the Southern European theme of cooperative social and economic enterprise.

For John Restakis (26), a Greek-Canadian, his focus is on how a revolution in human society that began with the rise of democracy in politics struggles to find its place in the world of economics. If economic democracy is the hidden face of this ongoing revolution, then the history of the co-operative idea is its most durable expression. Today, he maintains, the global co-operative movement appears to have arrived at a crossroads. With the collapse of communism, and with the capitalist system in crisis and facing increasing demands for reform, the case for the expansion of economic democracy has never been more relevant or more urgent. More importantly, there is a need for a middle path that avoids the extremes of market rejection on the one hand (as in the case of Marxism) and the unbridled power of capital as expressed in the idea of neo-liberalism on the other.

For a variation on such a co-operative theme we turn from Southern to Eastern Europe, back to Rudolf Steiner, born in Croatia, and to neighbouring Slovenia, where one of us, currently, as a conceptual artist and sacred geographer, Marko Pogacnik, is based. All parts of Europe – north, south, east, west and central – for him, meet in Slovenia. Two straight lines drawn across Europe from Gibraltar to Moscow and from Scotland to Crete would intersect in that country.

Social and technical effect: integral green slovenia

Following then in Steiner's (27) Central and Eastern European footsteps, is our (28) pursuit of what we term an Integral Green Slovenia, involving:

• a Slovenian soul force, portrayed for Pogacnik (29) as the Breath of Gaia;

• a self-sufficient local community at the heart of the Slovenian matter;

• a prospectively developmentally oriented research and educational centre as the spirit of Slovenia;

• a mindful enterprise with its energy-efficient social economy;

• the embodiment of an integral green economy, represented by the Slovenian polity as a whole.

In the final analysis, then, as presented in our integral political and economic approach, with which Trans4m together with a close Slovenian government colleague, Darja Piciga, are involved (see Chapter 13):

The Green Development Breakthrough programmes are focused on long-term solutions. They respond to Slovenia's strategic opportunities that arise from domestic human and natural resources. They also reduce dependence on imports and bring a balanced regional development in the cities as well as the countryside. Additionally these programmes support compliance with the international climate targets and job creation with higher added value, resulting in increased competitiveness of the Slovenian economy. The Green Development Breakthrough provides a positive vision, innovative solutions and ensures long-term prosperity.

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