Generational Change in the Integral Community

We are entering the years in which the elders of the integral vision will be dying. Their spirit and writings and our experiences of them will remain but there will be a shift in the demographics. The middle-aged thinkers will become the elders, the young ones will become middle aged and we will be surprised (and not surprised) by new young ones. What will change? It was famously said that “physics progresses one funeral at a time.” Are we like that?

What do you think will change as the eldest 15% of integral thinker-feelers dies and a thousand new people under 30 enter the culture from out of today’s global situation?

What will lost? What will be gained? How are the elders holding us back? What might we lose and not be able to replace when they are gone?


I am answering this as a 33 year old millennial who has been reading KW since I was 30. Reading KW has been the most recent in a long line of attempts to figure out what the heck is going on in the world and how to live in it.

Looking at videos and podcasts I can sense there is a generational gap in the IT community. I would be curious to see demographic statistics of IT membership community, those attending events and generally 2nd tier but I realize those are probably non-existent.

My hope would be that upcoming generations would do more to make the material more accessible and easier to practice.

For example I am currently frustrated that none of the KW books seem to be comprehensive. I ask questions and get responses like “oh you need to read One Taste, or Up from Eden” or some earlier or recent essay. I think a lot of the (pardon my language) older generation take for granted is that they have been on a journey reading these books and essays for the past 40 years.

Another example of what upcoming generations could contribute is to make IT more accessible by creating short, concise videos to explain IT concepts and post them to youtube. Specially designing them to be click-bait and pull you along on a integral journey.

Realistically I think a great number of my generation (28-38) are ready for Integral. The ones sitting on the sidelines because the left and the right are shouting too loudly and who think to themselves “they both have good points and are both screwed up in some ways”. I think a lot of the Jordan Peterson/Intellectual Dark Web fanbase is primed for a big Integral awakening but first need to be guided through Post-Modernism. I believe that a great number of the hardcore SJW scene will be exhausted from over extending themselves and be prime material for a 2nd tier awakening.

If the world is going to have a major shift when it reaches 10% Integral population its people from these groups (and others) the Integral Community needs to be shepherding.

Also I would like to say thank you, to KW and all those involved from the elder generations for their work. They have created a massive wealth for us to inherit. Definitely moved the ball forward.


Seems I’m an elder now. Yesterday I was a fresh mind open for anything. Today I’m still open just a tad more discerning in what I contemplate and take action on. It all goes by so fast. The beauty of Integral thinking, I believe, is it is an innate drive within human consciousness and development. How it shows up within each generation is part of the creative process. If nothing else I’ve come to trust that process. One of the perks of being an elder. :):thinking:


@Angelika_Ouellette, well said.

The ideals and intentions of the integral vision are about as conceptually democratic as it comes.

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This is a great reflection and I am happy it was brought up. Speaking as a 26 year old who has been reading KW since 15 (my mom got me into it), I think the next generation Integralists (I believe its called 3rd wave?) will be about fully manifesting Integral consciousness in the real world, applying AQAL to every real world problem and mainstreaming it in that way. Corey explained how 3rd wave Integral will involve reaching out to people at every level of the spiral, and not just to other people who are interested in Integral, or at an Integral altitude.

In some ways I see the older generation of Integralists setting the stage with the theory and spiritual practice emphasizing interiors, while the next generation will take the theory into the world to transform society at large, with a special emphasis on the LL and LR quadrants.

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So what changes are you making in those quadrants right now, as a 3rd generation wave?

Thats a great question. For starters, it seems like intersubjective spiritual practices, such as “we space” practices, circling, and “social meditations” seem to be all the rage nowadays amongst young spiritual seekers. Which makes sense, since true to the postmodern shift in recent decades, spirituality/consciousness is moving from the isolated self of the UL quadrant to the LL social dimensions, from traditional phenomenology to intersubjective phenomenology, sometimes called “intersubjective enlightenment.”

One of my friends (34) developed an Integral educational program in Hawaii offered to high school kids through a non-profit. The goal is to train the next generation of Hawaiian leaders through Integral practices including contemplative exercises, education on the AQAL model (and fun ways of applying it), communication techniques, leadership development, etc… They just finished their first year, which was a blast. We covered everything from altitude improv games to spiral moral reasoning to dream yoga.

Another one of my friends (36) is a teacher at a college in Iowa, who is teaching classes on transformative leadership, community development, and sustainability using the Integral model. Part of the students capstone project will be to upload their Integrally informed project onto an online website, which will function as a sort of online, Integral museum, which will archive the students explorations in applying integral to social change models.

As an organic farmer, I have been trying to piece together an Integral agricultural model, which would not only integrate the best of different farming traditions from around the world (such as biodynamic, permaculture, grow bio intensive, Korean natural farming) but also emphasize the internal development of the farmer, which is in my opinion, very important for next generation farmers. Many young farmers in Hawaii, who are mostly at green, tend to be “flaky” and shy away from hard work and the industriousness necessary to be a successful farmer, which stands in stark contrast to the older, traditional amber and orange farmers of large-scale industrial ag. We need to develop the consciousness of future farmers to promote environmentally sustainable agriculture while also being financially feasible.

A far off dream of mine is to put together an Integral political platform, combining the best of far left socialism with far right anarcho-capitalism, perhaps with some Crowdocracy thrown in there too, and run a campaign in Hawaii that would hit every relevant value-meme in the community in a transpartisian narrative. The campaign would also prepare us for the future of AI and automation, while being aimed at uplifting human consciousness in the process, so even if we didn’t win, the very act of the campaign would have an uplifting and unifying effect on the community.
In the near future, I am designing Integral educational materials to present to non-profits in Oregon, with the goal of leveraging green consciousness and helping it tip over into 2nd tier, which is sorely needed even for purely practical reasons. Many of these green non-profits are receptive to Integral ideas, especially when properly framed in the green language of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” although one has to be cautious of presenting anything appearing hierarchical to green.

Thats a few things off the top of my head :slight_smile:


Excellent! You certainly have set goals in the LL and LR quadrants. That Millennials are getting into the game and applying the energy needed to shift the consciousness and actions on a global basis is ready. It is time for disruption and change. An international online group I belong to called Abundance 360 consists of many Millennials looking to make massive changes in our world. The goal there is to positively impact a billion people. To do that takes a massively transformative purpose.We cannot do this alone. Connecting with others, each having their particular talents, vision fortitude and connections is amazing.

It also takes energy, money, exchange, cryptocurrency, call it what you will. It takes non profit and profitable organizations to implement the much needed changes. There are thousands of people who have acquired the financial freedom and sincerely desire to financially assist those with a greater vision or solution than theirs. Each of the areas you mentioned that you wish to change in Hawaii, you are not alone. The beauty of technology and the internet are the exponential ramifications and possibility for hundreds and thousands of disruptive solutions. Being able to connect with people from different areas and expertise, as an individual or small group is no longer an issue. Finding ones in the massive online data that you can resonate with, is.
We all have to start somewhere to begin. You have. :):smiley: So grateful to meet people like you on this socially transforming website. All the best.

Happy to meet people like you as well, Angelika! Mahalo nui loa :slight_smile:

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I appreciate the integrated nature of your reply here Jeb. I have just recently come to the “generation gap” realization when I went to a workshop in which I could not understand the language spoken by the 30 20-30ish aged people there. They could not understand me either and instead of “reconnecting” which was the topic of the workshop based on Joanna Macy’s work, I got silenced by the workshop 30ish aged, leadership. I feel that we can all come together here on a vibrational level, as I believe it is the vibration you are vibrating at that enables us to have compassion, listen and understand each other not age. I may be wrong about this but it is the only thing that helps me to comprehend why some people are able to have views that connect verses views that are so polarized and separate.


Your response is wonderful. Thank you! I have just entered the middle of the 6th decade of my life and so many things have become important to me that never were before. It would be good to have others to talk to and share with as most people have no idea what I am talking about and are not interested in integral ideas, or new ways of thinking about aging which are outside of the box built by the most popular beliefs. I feel like all the experience I have had in healing myself and striving to be a better human being need to be shared but only if it makes things easier for others not more stressful.


Appreciate your response sharonma1320. I’m about to enter a new decade, and frankly my mind and body are too busy to notice :slight_smile: in a good way. I find that keeping myself interested in others, no matter their age or mine, is powerful. By continually exploring aspects of self and relationships with others, the universe (all 4 quadrants) I’m forever changing and transforming my present moment. Not at all boring. Recognizing enlightenment, exploring development through growing up and showing up…working with shadow, there is a hell of a lot to learn being human. It is a great time to be alive. Hugs A

Angelika thanks for responding. You are soooo right about the human quality of life. There is always something to learn and new ways to grow. I cannot say the last time I described anything as “boring” but I can say that I have had some very real feelings of loneliness on this journey and hostility for my beliefs, because they are different, have kept me in a silent desert at work and in most other circles. I am looking forward to our conversation whenever you feel moved or if you feel moved to share. Thanks again, Sharonmo

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Dear Sharonmo, I would love to share conversations with you!

Your comment: “I can say that I have had some very real feelings of loneliness on this journey and hostility for my beliefs, because they are different, have kept me in a silent desert at work and in most other circles.” I can empathize with this comment. Certainly when the journey to understanding self and others fully kicked in there were times I felt alone, confused and out of sync with those around me.

Mediation has been my saving grace, I’ve been meditating for over 50 years. The journey within has never been lonely. It seems the older I get the more I’m able to be open and understanding of self and others. In the process solutions float into my awareness a tad more easily.

Having an Integral perspective has given me the courage to look beyond my own beliefs and opinions and realize that since “no one is 100 percent wrong” what about what someone else is saying could be right? If nothing else it stops me from judging or dismissing another person that is not in my world of agreement. Though I’ve not mastered the process it has given me an opportunity to engage in some fascinating conversations and connect with people I least expected could be possible.

I do respect beliefs. When I question myself as to why…I discover the amazing world of shadow work.

You are not alone Sharonmo. I’m honored that you chose to respond to my comments, it gives me a touchstone to recognizing I too am not alone.

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Angelika, I am so excited about what you say!! Yes, my resilience throughout this life of mine has centered around a true love of life and living it to the fullest, meditation or the inward journey, my total dedication to being a healer of myself, instead of outward directed in my profession and journey to health. A dedication toward “being true to myself” and authentically who I am and a belief that being available emotionally and spiritually to others and serving others but not rescuing (a hard lesson I learned through great suffering) has been the hardest lesson of all I have to say. You are wise when you say, “having an integral approach has given me the courage to look beyond my own beliefs and opinions and realize that no one is 100 percent wrong.” Thank you because being open to how they are right excites my inner “sherlock holmes” persona and I love seeking wisdom and knowledge.
The long journey I have taken has primarily been centered around being kicked out of the “boxes” that limited my overall vision of life until my 50’s. I am happy I do not have those blinders but it makes it difficult to find companionship and friendship that is open to me as an integral person. I am in a decade that seems to include building a circle of friends that accepts this openness and allows freedom in so many ways not acceptable in most circles. I look forward to the refreshing and open companionship, inspiration and motivational energy this will bring to my life. Thanks again for your responses. Sharon

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