I recently came across the unique Canadian NGO called One Sky. They are practicing international environmental conservation and sustainable development with an integral approach. As someone who is very interested in integral philosophy it is exciting to see it put in action.
The integral movement is a fast growing community of people who are taking the integral philosophies of Sri Aurobindo, Ken Wilber and others and putting this inclusive world view into action in the world. In brief, integral theory takes the position that every tradition from spiritual to cultural to scientific has a slice of the truth. Using a four quadrant model with different levels in each quadrant, each truth has it’s place and relationship with the whole.
One Sky is using this-in my opinion, brilliant-model as the central part of their work. Rather than the traditional approach which often focuses on a narrow field such as conservation, development, or social issues, their work is taking all aspects and all perspectives into account when creating a new program.
An example of the four perspectives in an integral conservation and development project are:
- Rainforest conservation activities based on environmental science
- External community needs such as health care and teacher training
- The shared internal cultural values of the community, respecting tradition
- The internal personal and spiritual experiences of everyone involved
They have a project quite close to Cusco, so hopefully one day I can go and visit. They have an interesting video highlighting their philosophy and their project in peru. Here is their website: http://onesky.ca