Reimagining sustainability leadership for this historical moment

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Issue Date
2018-07-06 , 2018-07-06
Robinson, Justin
action research
integral metatheory
social change
sustainability leadership
The current moment of ecological emergency—characterized by disorienting change and uncertainty—invites a deeper look at what sustainability leadership is, and what it could be. This research explored how the stakeholders of Integral Without Borders (IWB)—an international think tank and NGO focused on applying integral metatheory to sustainable development—might reimagine sustainability leadership to increase their collective capacity for wise and transforming action in the world. Using an integral action research methodology in the context of the action research engagement model, eight individual interviews, two focus groups, and an open space lab were conducted with an international cohort of IWB’s stakeholders. The study identified fertile areas for expanding the possibility space for sustainability leadership, specifically “Four Rs” of Integral Transformation Praxis: (1) “Revive”, demonstrating that consciousness matters, (2) “Reidentify”, embodying narratives of coexistence that foreground the sacredness of being and becoming together as part of the cosmos, (3) “Recode”, transforming the way value is measured and understood and (4) “Reconfigure”, co-creating innovative, constellated funding practices. Recommendations relevant to IWB’s specific leadership goals and challenges were also offered. This research took place with the approval of the Royal Roads University Ethics Board, consistent with the Royal Roads University Ethics Policy.
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