"Capitalism, then, is by nature a form or method of economic change and not only never is but never can be stationary. And this evolutionary character of the capitalist process is not merely due to the fact that economic life goes on in a social and natural environment which changes and by its change alters the data of economic action; this fact is important and these changes (wars, revolutions and so on) often condition industrial change, but they are not its prime movers. Nor is this evolutionary character due to a quasi-automatic increase in population and capital or to the vagaries of monetary systems, of which exactly the same thing holds true. The fundamental impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers, goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization that capitalist enterprise creates." - Joseph Schumpeter
"Just as biological evolution summoned complex organisms and ecosystems out of the primordial soup, economic evolution has taken humankind from a state of nature to the modern global economy, filling the world with order, complexity, and diversity along the way." - Eric D. Beinhocker
"Throughout the world, not necessarily named, and not necessarily conscious, there is this massive shift in consciousness that's occurring right now, which is the shift to seeing ourselves, not just as isolated individuals who are trying to acquire resources for ourselves as fast as possible, but seeing that we are all one and in this together, and can all work together as a single team, on a single project; this transition from 'me' to 'we.'" - Justin Rosenstein, co-founder of Asana
Business is perhaps the most profoundly generative and disruptive force at work in our society today. The core evolutionary impulse at work in our businesses and economies drives businesses to differentiate, select, and amplify new ideas and possibilities. As businesses grow they can create extroardinary feats of technological disruption, social change, extraordinary creation, and, often, extraordinary destruction. Business, and the technological innovation it often spreads, is at the core of many profound societal transformations, and helps to drive to evolution of the techno-economic infrastructure.
And, the techno-economic infrastructure in which we find ourselves has profound effect on the possibility space we see, live, and create within. Telecommunications, modern transportation, the internet; business has helped to create and spread these radical new possibilities rapidly throughout the world, and they are shaping, co-evolving and co-creating our new shared global consciousness. We can now see, create, and participate in the noosphere in ways that were nearly unimaginable just two decades ago. Gaia now has a nervous system. Businesses and the broader economy in which they participate are part of the most extraordinary complex adaptive bio-psycho-social ecosystem that our species has co-created. Business plays a role in every aspect of our lives.
We live at a time of profound change in the business world; we have seen the triumph of capitalism rush forward to cover the globe. However, as ecological balance buckles under the strain, as financial collapse, political turmoil and violence proliferate, it becomes clear that this is a hollow victory. While the triumph of the power of business and global networked capitalism has generated profound improvements in the state of affairs of many, it has also wrought major dislocation, alienation, and destruction.
Business, at its heart, is not about amassing capital. It's about coming together to create new things; the products, services, and experiences that shape our world. As the center of gravity of the morality of business begins a profound shift from "I" to "We," and we move from an impulse to accumulate, to an impulse to more consciously co-create, it is time to ask some basic questions about business, and its role in our world. In the midst of both extraordinary abundance and profound suffering, we need to reassess: What is wealth? What is value? How should businesses behave? What is a successful business? How can we create lasting generative change with the tools of business?
Integral awareness, using the tools of business, has an extraordinary potential and ability to envision and create radically new possibility sets. It gives us the capacities to begin to see deeper: into ourselves, into our customers, and into our future, to create a map and an approach for a business world that is evolving exponentially. Using integral awareness we can inhabit and embody and repurpose these profound tools of world-transformation that have caused so much destruction. Businesses run by an integrally-informed Bodhisattva ideal can create good that is scalable to the size of the globe.
Understanding the changing context of business, how to thrive in this new environment, expanding the dialog around what a business is and can be, and broadening the concept of who a business serves is the work of the Integral Business Center. We welcome you to this exploration. With ideas, tools, and a community of practitioners, we aim to develop the businesses and business leaders of tomorrow, and help today's leaders succeed in a rapidly changing world.
Integral business allows us to see and create new possibilities, together, informed by an extraordinary breadth of ideas, and a depth of consciousness that allows us not only to better understand ourselves and our customers, but to better embody and inhabit our greatest potential as a species.