ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: 
THE INTEGRATIVE IMPROVEMENT INSTITUTES PROJECT
(Minor editing with links updated September 2009)
Graham Douglas
www.integrative-thinking.com

ABSTRACT

The challenges we face in our economies and societies in our divided unsustainable world are perhaps greater than at any other time. These challenges have arisen because of how we have been trained to think, plan and act as individuals and how we have applied this training to the way we organise and govern ourselves. We have thought, planned, organised, governed and acted as though our world is comprised of parts which can be separately exploited by humans and managed by us from one stable state to another. We have forgotten we are just one species in a complex natural world. We have tended to act without a sense of wholeness - without integrity. Meeting these challenges will require new approaches to how we are trained to think, plan and act as individuals and how we are trained to organise and govern. These new approaches will need to be based on our current scientific understanding of our world and the human mind.

The Integrative Improvement Institutes Project directly addresses these challenges in a novel way. It is designed to improve the well-being of people and their physical, social and cultural environments through low-cost adaptive diffusion, refinement and implementation of a unique bottom-up Integrative Improvement (II) approach for achieving sustainable development.

II emphasises dynamic connections, relationships and interactions in line with our current scientific understanding of the world as tending to be self-organising with human beings whose minds are naturally integrative. II improves in a balanced, integrative and sustainable way the lives people already have. II involves training individuals in Integrative Thinking and complementary tools and encouraging and facilitating Integrative Governance enabled by technology in all government, business and civil society organisations. II progress is measured by indicators of well-being such as those included in the Sustainable Society Index described at

 http://www.eoearth.org/article/Sustainable_Society_Index.

ACE Themes:- 7 Economic Systems, Development and Growth  and 10 Environmental Economics, Energy and Sustainable Development.

JEL Classification:- O10, O20,  O30, P11, Q01, Z10

Keywords:- Sustainable Development; Integrative Improvement; Integrative Thinking; Integrative Governance; Integrative Capitalism; Integrative Democracy.

NOTE (added September 2009):

The word “sustainable” has acquired many meanings in recent years as discussed at http://www.eoearth.org/article/Sustainable_Society_Index. However, in essence, the word means “able to keep going” and it is with this meaning which it is here applied to organisations and individuals as well as to their physical, social and cultural environments.