Category: Ideas

Lurch and Learn

The German philosopher Hegel gave us what is still perhaps the most compelling model of how societies change and evolve. His theory of dialectical progression suggested that cultures evolve in much the same way as ideas or outlooks do. The prevailing concept — or thesis as he called it — over time gives rise to its opposite, its […]

On Stewardship

What motivates people to work on behalf of the common good? In a study I’m leading for the Harwood Institute, I’ve been exploring this question with community leaders from across the country — civic entrepreneurs working to reduce homelessness, address poverty, work with inmates, clean up the environment, and generally strengthen our communities. A word that comes […]

On Ken Wilber and Integral Naked

I was dazzled by Ken Wilber’s book Sex, Ecology, Spirituality when it appeared in the mid-1990s. Rarely had I encountered a writer and philosopher who expressed himself with so much energy and clarity of insight on the difficult business of human consciousness. His grasp of the complexities of evolutionary theory, systems thinking, metaphysics, contemplative tradition, […]

Where To Look For New Ideas

Some 1,000 people came together in Canberra, Australia, over the weekend for a free-spirited “ideas summit” — a gathering of experts, activists, politicians, and celebrities aimed at soliciting innovative ideas to strengthen Australia’s future. Over the course of two days, some 8,000 ideas were submitted. By the end of the weekend, the number had been narrowed […]

What is a Paradigm Shift?

It’s been almost a half-century since the publication of Thomas S. Kuhn’sThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a slim little book that introduced the word “paradigm” into common parlance and shattered our conventional way of looking at change. Fifty years on, it still represents perhaps the best thinking on how transformation happens, who drives it, why […]

Discovering Our Unique Genius

People often define genius as a set of character traits or a way of being. Books instruct us how to think like Einstein or Leonardo da Vinci. But I see genius as the fulfillment of our true calling in life, as the flowering of our unique potential, whatever it happens to be. What good is […]