11 Finalists: Executive Summaries of Projects


11 Finalists: Executive Summaries


Scroll down for the executive summaries of 11 projects we have selected as finalists to receive a grant. You can Donate Now to support this portfolio of Integral Projects and help us build the Power of We campaign for 2016.

VOTE for your favorite projects. By donating, you will be able to vote at the end of February 2016 and help us decide which projects get funded! If we don't meet the total amount to fund every project, then everyone who donates to the MetaIntegral Foundation will be able to vote for their top 5 project choices. Please click the button below to learn more and donate.



Executive Summaries of 2016 Integral Projects

Homeless Services Leadership Training


The National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services (NCEHS), a consortium of social work programs, was launched in 2013 with donor funding to replicate success of the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS). NCEHS is informed by the Restorative Integral Support (RIS) model, which was first implemented at COTS. RIS applies Integral Theory to whole-person services, taking into account accumulated adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and trauma while promoting resilience and recovery.  
Since leadership capacity is essential to implementing the RIS model, NCEHS’ first-year activities included regional leadership symposia, which led to development of a North Bay Leadership Learning Community. These homeless service leaders requested leadership training and were highly satisfied with the Integrally-informed leadership training funded by MetaIntegral. Leadership training for homeless service agency directors is key to RIS model implementation, which guides the whole person approach advanced nationally by the Center.

We seek funding to: 1) Provide and evaluate individually-oriented Integrally-informed leadership coaching for homeless service directors who completed the recent training; 2) Engage one committed homeless services agency to develop the WE space culture and individual skills, evaluating training impact.
Investment in our leadership training is timely as NCEHS takes steps toward a regional hub design that will maximize resources in carrying out multi-year activities to influence the social work profession and reduce homelessness. By strengthening university-agency partnerships supporting homeless service leaders and national innovations exchange (including the RIS model and Integrally-informed leadership support), we are poised for a powerful collective impact to reduce and eliminate homelessness.

Heather Larkin, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University at Albany, Directs the National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services and volunteers as a consultant for the Center for Post-Trauma Wellness. Heather has conducted research on adverse childhood experiences (ACE) among homeless people and co-developed the Restorative Integral Support (RIS) model with John Records. RIS applies Integral theory to a comprehensive ACE Response that promotes resilience and recovery. Heather leads ACE Think Tank and Action Team meetings and works with local service agency directors through the Healthy Environments And Relationships That Support (HEARTS) Initiative.

Learn more about the Homeless Services Leadership Training project >

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Integral Nepal Project


The earthquakes with magnitude of 7.8 (Mw) that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015 and of 7.3 (Mw) on May 12, 2015 was one of the worst recorded in the world history. More than 10,000 people have lost their lives and there are thousands more who are seriously injured and who have lost their homes. Nepal, with a total GDP of $19.921 billion (according to a 2012 estimate), is one of Asia's economically poorest countries, and has little ability to fund a major reconstruction effort on its own. The cost of reconstruction over the next few years will be massive. Overcoming the effects of this catastrophic event in Nepal will need a great deal of well directed assistance.

Integral Without Borders (IWB) launched a fundraising as the preliminary step to integral response to Nepal Earthquake, and collaborated with organizations already operating on the ground who were providing immediate needs for the survivors including food, shelter and healthcare. IWB’s long-term integral response will include facilitating healing circles to generate transformative narrative, emotional recovery, work with post-traumatic stress, cultural healing, address long-term systemic issues and execute sustainable social innovation initiatives. These efforts build on the Integral Nepal Project, a project currently being delivered by One Sky with its partner NGO in Nepal and funded by MetaIntegral Foundation in 2014.


Gail Hochachka, M.A. co-Founder of Integral Without Borders, has a gift of bringing complex ideas into real-world application, and then circling back by writing, teaching and facilitating dialogue on these themes. She brings experience from integral projects in Nigeria, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, and El Salvador, on themes as diverse as leadership development, value chain sustainability, climate resilience, community development, integral evaluation, and environmental capacity enhancement, in the nonprofit and private sectors. Currently works as executive director of One Sky-the Canadian Institute for Sustainable Living.



Sushant Shrestha, M.A. is a native of Nepal and the Project Lead for the Integral Nepal Project, currently being carried out in partnership with One Sky and funded by MetaIntegral. He engages in integral research projects, capacity building work, leadership development, and building sustainable organizational practices that honour local culture and tradition while navigating the forces of globalization. He is a certified coach and graduate of the Integral Psychology Program at JFKU, he has a background in strategy consulting with degrees in Management and Finance, and has trained with Susanne Cook-Greuter and Terri O'Fallon on the Leadership Maturity Framework and its organizational application.


Learn More about the Integral Nepal Project >

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Beyond the Balance Sheet: A Frame of Integral Economics

This project investigates invisible, and therefore often overlooked, resources (e.g., social, intellectual, and reputational capital) used by organizations. It empirically documents 19 forms of capital, developing and testing a typology akin to a periodic table of elements for economics.  

Integral Implications:

The result of this project will be a new understanding of economics, shifting our conception of capitalism from a zero-sum game (one person’s winning must come at the expense of another’s losing) to a non-zero sum game (multiple winners allowed). The practical contribution of this research will be the development of an actionable framework for integral economics that can serve as a toolkit for sustainable business model development in all sectors (nonprofit, public, private, and social enterprise).

Project Description:

Using case study methodology, this research examines how a formal collaboration of 29 nonprofit arts and culture organizations creates, mobilizes, and converts resources. Preliminary analysis suggests the organization grows multiple forms of intangible capital through strategic program design, converting these intangible forms into financial capital to sustain the organization. How is this possible? Because of intangible capital’s special qualities, notably its nonrivalrous nature (like a lighthouse, one person’s use doesn’t leave less for others); its ability to generate cascade effects, and its convertibility (capital, like energy, comes in a variety of interchangeable forms). This project’s theoretical contribution is an empirically supported explanation for the phenomenon of increasing returns, effectively transitioning economics from a logic of efficiency (resource conservation) to a logic of value creation (conversion and recirculation of capitals).

Elizabeth Castillo, Ph.D. candidate and instructor at the University of San Diego. Her doctoral research investigates resources development in the nonprofit sector, focusing on intangible forms of capital such as social, intellectual, and reputational. Her professional experience includes serving as Director of Development at the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (2009-2012) and Director of Foundation Relations at the San Diego Natural History Museum (1999-2009). She holds an MA in Nonprofit Leadership and a BA in Philosophy (summa cum laude) from the University of San Diego. Her hobbies are hiking and nature photography.

Learn More about the Integral Economics Project >

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Redesigning Site Assessment Approaches for CBI and PUP with Integral Theory in the Context of Private Reserve Planning in Honduras


Throughout the international development world, site assessments are standard fare. Often outside experts arrive briefly on site to extract information from stakeholders; apply methodological checklists; focus on external phenomena; rely heavily on scientific knowledge; analyze from only one or two disciplinary perspectives; and generate technical assessment reports. This non-participatory, top-down, science-driven, exterior-dimension-dominant approach misses much of reality and fails to mobilize community “interviewees.” An Integral Site Assessment could do much better.

Our project has united a non-profit team including the PUP Global Heritage Consortium (Holistic Planning in heritage site management), Consensus Building Institute (multi-stakeholder conflict mediation), Donella Meadows Institute (systems thinking and causal loop diagramming), Integral Without Borders (Integral theory applied to development), and the Honduran Network of Private Reserves to develop and disseminate an approach practically never attempted in development history: an Integral Site Assessment.

The development of such an assessment is currently unfolding through four phases: introductory internal staff conversations; formal workshop to development methodology; field application as part of the Network’s strategic planning process; write up and institutionalization of the methodology in our organizations for future site and situational assessments; publication of an academic paper to legitimize and disseminate; and courses to teach others how to do it.

Integral Theory has made numerous appearances in the development field, but through dissemination we can reach the environmental management, heritage, and conflict resolution fields — audiences who have never heard of Integral Theory, let alone applied it to achieve a more holistic view and approach to multi-dimensional, Integral development.

Jon Kohl's university mentors inculcated him with interdisciplinary, systems thinking. So when he experienced the global crisis in heritage management plan non-implementation, he founded the PUP Global Heritage Consortium to circumvent the technical-rational problem lurking deeper than oft blamed lacks of resources. Working globally with UNESCO to develop Holistic Planning detailed in his upcoming book (co-authored with Stephen McCool), Jon has researched numerous disciplines and recruited diverse Consortium members. This cross-fertilization slowly seeps throughout the Consortium and its tools with the ultimate goal of transforming the Modernist paradigm for natural and cultural heritage management into a more Integrally informed, holistic approach.


Merrick Hoben is Director of the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) Washington D.C. Regional Office – a not-for-profit organization that provides assessment, facilitation, training, coaching and dispute system design services to public and private clients worldwide. Mr. Hoben leads CBI’s Corporate-Community Engagement Practice Area. His core competence is helping organizations, companies, and diverse groups to apply negotiation and consensus building tools toward more creative, effective and efficient stakeholder engagement and decision-making. Internationally, he has worked with numerous multilateral development agencies, global NGOs, governments, major companies and other national partners to institutionalize collaborative approaches to planning, resource and project management. He is fluent in Spanish.

Learn More about the Integral Site Assessment Project >

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The Natural Design Navigator: a mobile app for selecting and relating sustainable design strategies using an integral knowledge framework

The project creates, tests, and disseminates a fun, graphic, collaborative, integrally-informed, user-friendly mobile device software application (App) targeted at architects and design students. It builds a working model of an integral design knowledge base about how to design net-zero energy and carbon-neutral buildings. This is important because buildings are responsible for about half of climate change and energy use. The NDN supports interdisciplinary collaborative design teams to access and share sustainable design ideas as concrete strategies. They will be able to select and relate strategies for multiple goals in the domains (quadrants) of performance, systems, experience and culture. Users can navigate by a dozen routes, from performance impacts to intended experiences to generative metaphors—and do this by gaming together or in solitaire on their mobile devices and sharing their results.

Design and design knowledge are complex—yet the structure and access to design knowledge is not very sophisticated. Three things are missing:

1) How design ideas and the forms they take are related to each other;

2) How perspectival methods change the nature of problems and solutions;

3) How to arrive at successful solutions that do not overly privilege particular approaches at the expense of others, such as achieving net-zero energy while also providing rich user experiences of nature.

The NDN structure expands and combines design knowledge structures from DeKay’s two major works: Sun, Wind & Light, architectural design strategies, 3rd edition (2014, 864 pp.) and Integral Sustainable Design: transformative perspectives (2011, 500 pp.). The NDN will be perhaps the first interactive integral knowledge structure.

Mark DeKay, Professor, Registered Architect, specializes in sustainable design theory and tools. He is author of  Integral Sustainable Design: transformative perspectives, the first book to apply Integral Theory to design, and primary co-author of Sun, Wind, and Light: architectural design strategies, 3rd ed. (2 volumes), which considers the form-generating potential of climatic forces. Other work focuses on green infrastructure for downtowns and watersheds, urban form for daylighting, and climatic neighborhoods. He has two national AIA teaching awards and recently won the UT Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. He is a Fulbright Fellow, and co-edits the UT/RedVector online professional program, Sustainable Design and Green Building.


MARCH University of Oregon—urban sustainable design
MARCH Tulane University—architecture

Learn More about the Natural Design Navigator >

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Caucus for Children's Rights


In Tanzania rates of violence against children are high, but too many people continue to say, “It's none of my business” when they see a child suffer.

Kate McAlpine is now building off her PhD dissertation into the world-views of Tanzanians who protect children and developing a developing an intervention that transforms Tanzanians who say, “It’s none of my business” when they see a child suffer, to a point where they develop the empathetic capacities that are required for them to decide to protect a child for the first time.

A key finding from the study was that Tanzanians who protect children possess an “Ujasiri mindset.” Ujasiri literally translates from Kiswahili as ‘bravery’ or ‘confidence.’ Its possession is a necessary precondition for taking action to protect children, as it enables a person to feel visceral pain when they witness children’s suffering, and this primes them to decide to act.

People who do not have empathy do not have the capacity for the ujasiri mindset that is so foundational to opening one’s eyes to suffering and taking action to protect a child. Kate is testing the theoretical proposition that empathy can be cultivated in adults, and this initiative aims to develop a process that inspires positive emotions, and that enables people to take up the perspectives of others.

She will develop a practical tool that will nurture ujasiri, and in doing so will transform people from walking past suffering children into becoming protectors.

Kate McAlpine is a designer who creates solutions to the moral dilemmas that are faced by Tanzanians who are trying to do the right thing. She designs transformative experiences for young people, professionals, leaders and parents who want to break cycles of endemic violence. Her work helps people to interrupt violence when it occurs and  to break self-destructive personal narratives.




StagesLens Text Analysis Research


This grant will allow us to prototype developmental assessment technologies with three integrally-informed organizations who would otherwise not be able to afford scaled-up assessment projects.  Adult developmental models of ego maturity, leadership, wisdom, and related capacities can help us map out the milestones and compass points of human potential that are so deeply needed to address contemporary challenges.  Unfortunately, those assessments with the highest quality and most integral orientation have been expensive to assess because they require substantial time from highly trained individuals, and that has limited the uptake of developmental approaches in society.  

Our research is exploring the application of state-of-the-art text analysis and machine learning to build automatic scoring systems that could drastically reduce the cost of doing large-scale assessments based on sentence completion tests. This technology also has the promise of being extended to analyze arbitrary text such as twitter feeds to get rough estimates on developmental aspects of groups. 

Large scale assessments of adult development will open up new territories for integral and developmental researchers and practitioners such as correlating ego development with personality typing systems and doing truly random sampling over populations.  We have identified three integrally-informed projects that could benefit from this new technology and are excited to serve as test beds for its continued development, including application areas: assessment of post-conventional characteristics of emerging spiritual leaders; leadership development for a public radio organization, and correlating ego development with other personality and capacity assessments in a college cohort.

Tom Murray, Ed.D., works part time as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts School of Computer Science and is Chief Visionary and Instigator at Perspegrity Solutions.  Murray's projects include research on: using text analytics to estimate developmental levels, using artificial intelligence methods to create responsive learning environments, and supporting social deliberative skills and deep reflective dialogue in online contexts.  He is an Associate Editor for Integral Review journal, and has published articles on integral theory as it relates to education, contemplative dialog, leadership, ethics, knowledge building communities, epistemology, and post-metaphysics. Website:  www.stagelens.com

Learn More about StageLens Text Analysis Research >

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Developmentally-Oriented Fundraising

The MetaIntegral Foundation and its many donors were a pivotal partner in my prior research which established that there is, indeed, a relationship between our developmental levels and how we approach philanthropy. Specifically, how we make meaning influences how we approach and select philanthropic causes, how we form ideas about potential solutions, and how we engage with our fellow human beings as we, together, pursue solutions. This, as you can imagine, has important ramifications for the future of our world. The problems at hand—problems such as social injustice, the destruction of the environment, and poverty—are all problems which call for increasingly complex approaches, the sort of approaches which may be better understood through the lens of developmental theory.

In this next research project, I am conducting field research in partnership with a large nonprofit and their board. Our goal is to understand how this approach might inform fundraising practices. These findings will be used to develop curriculum for training nonprofit practitioners, as well as be disseminated in articles and journals to influence the sector.

The research has been designed to incorporate the MetaImpact Framework to include the following four key areas:

  • Change in Stakeholder Performance:  Improve the organization’s fundraising capacities by training its staff members to identify and understand how their donors make meaning (developmentally) of their organization’s work.
  • Change in Stakeholder Experience: Improve donor engagement by leveraging the knowledge in their developmentally-orientated fundraising approach. Staff and board members, too, may experience a shift in how they relate to their fundraising work and the work of their organization.
  • Change in Stakeholder Relationships: Improve, enhance, and deepen the relationships of all stakeholders including donors, staff, and change agents thus, expand their collective synergistic potential.
  • Change in Stakeholder Systems: Improve the overall environment of the systems they are operating in, both internally within their own organization, and externally to the global causes they address.

The findings from the study will be shared in both practitioner and academic publications and at conferences and, thus, influence nonprofit fundraising at a broader level.

Jennifer A. Jones, Ph.D. continues her research into developmentally­ orientated approaches to philanthropy. In this next project, Jenny is conducting field research in partnership with a large nonprofit and their donors to better understand different developmental levels and appeal to how these levels inform philanthropic interests. These findings will be used to develop curriculum for training to inform nonprofit practitioners, as well as be disseminated in articles and journals to help transform the sector.




Learn More about Developmentally-Oriented Fundraising project >

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Energy Futures Lab

The project we've proposed to the MetaIntegral Foundation is part of the Energy Futures Lab (www.EnergyFuturesLab.com), an exciting multi-stakeholder collaboration underway in Alberta, Canada – a global leader in energy development.

The Energy Futures Lab (EFL) brings together 40 Alberta leaders for the Lab's fellowship– from industry, government, NGOs, academia, First Nations groups, and community organizations – to discover innovative ways to transition Alberta's energy system to one the future requires of us.

This project aims to leverage the expertise, ideas, and work of our Fellows in the coming year to strategically engage their organizations and the public at large. Collaboration of this scale and complexity is hard work; it's not for the faint of heart! We need leaders who are equipped and skilled in a whole-person (integral) manner. With this funding, we'll be able to provide Integral coaching to several of the Fellows, enhancing their capacities to know themselves, act in alignment with purpose, collaborate with others, and see the whole system at play. From these one-on-one coaching engagements, we'll also reflect upon and improve the way in which we host subsequent meetings, interactions, and workshops. We believe the individual coaching component will be critical for the Fellows' success, not only within the cohort workshops, but also afterwards as they mobilize their peers, networks and constituencies to accelerate the energy transition.

The Lab's success will result in breakthrough outcomes at a systems level that could include new partnerships, new standards, game-changing business models, shifts in public narratives, and changes in public policy.

Learn More about Energy Futures Lab >

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The HUB: CORE Leadership Program

Sonoma State University’s The HUB: An Integral Center for Diversity, Vitality and Creativity builds upon a postmodern legacy of university initiatives that promote anti-discrimination practices, social justice, and respect for cultural diversity. While The HUB works closely with and on behalf of underrepresented communities, this public university integral center - the first of its kind in the world - is open to all students and incorporates integrative methods into its organizational and programmatic design. At the heart of all the HUB's activity is its CORE Leadership program (CORE), a nine month co-curricular program designed to 1) help develop the whole person and whole systems; and 2) help students learn from experts how to enact leadership and change in the following six domains:

•    Cross-cultural Community Building and Civic Engagement
•    Difference, Inequity and Activism
•    Identity, Creative Expression and Embodiment
•    Social Innovation, Technology and Vital Systems
•    Wisdom Traditions and Spirituality
•    Global Interdependence and International Connections

As part of their “learn by doing” leadership training and value exchange for participating in this free program, CORE students assist in the development and execution of approximately 50 programs sponsored by The HUB (organized thematically in the same six categories listed above), including a program focused on community building and cultural de-polarization held in nearby Santa Rosa, CA. An estimated 4,500-5,000 people a year attend these programs, and since 2012 The HUB has sponsored over 150 lectures, performances, workshops, and conferences. This is real impact.

At a time of extreme fragmentation and contraction, CORE fosters a radically inclusive, engaging, and diverse community of emerging leaders who support and challenge each other with fierce compassion. This funding will help offset the costs of assessing the development of very specific student leadership capacities (e.g., perspective taking, seeking, and coordination; ability to consider context; etc.), which is information we need to continue to refine and grow the program.

Finally, CORE students who complete the nine month program are eligible to become HUB interns - who help to run CORE - as well as paid HUB student assistants. CORE is integral to the overall well-being of the HUB and the thousands of people the center serves.


Let's Drink Less by Half

Alcohol consumption is on the rise.  In the small country of Estonia, absolute alcohol consumption is among the highest in the world per capita. Building on a national social campaign, Let’s Drink Less by Half! this project led by Riina Raudne, Ph.D. is designed to reduce alcohol consumption to meet the World Health Organization's recommend figures. Based on previous research that national drinking patterns can be influenced, this project will conduct a multi-method evaluation and leverage the AQAL model thereby embedding integral methods and strategies for a whole systems approach to reducing excessive alcohol consumption.  The results will produce a case study on the efficacy of this approach, which can be disseminated via an academic manuscript and distributed to public health and occupational journals and conferences.

Riina Raudne, Ph.D.  Riina continues the work of her doctoral dissertation from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, using multi-methods research to map the contemporary Estonian discourse of alcohol and drinking and design an effective public health intervention.

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Thanks for reading about these projects. We hope you feel inspired and motivated to support them. Please donate today - and at the end of February - cast a vote for your favorite projects! Then stay tuned to the Foundation's news and announcements - in May - to find out which projects receive funding!