In this FB IPS thread Zak Stein asked for examples of integral training programs. When a few offered criticism of those programs Zak noted there'd be time enough for that later, as his thread was just to find out about those programs in existence. This FB IPS thread is to explore that criticism.

I'm also posting it here for those not on FB and I'll share comments here with that discussion and vice versa.

How about forums such as this as legitimate integral educational programming? We have several academics here that share their knowledge to many that cannot afford institutional tuition. Plus there are quite a few bright and highly self-educated folks here that are not institutional academics who add astute analysis and innovative synsthesis to the integral database.

There is a marked difference in educational approach between the standard academic degree credentialing model and the P2P peer credentialing model, the latter being an example of the emerging neo-Commons worldview where peers value each other on the actual merits of their contributions without requiring institutional degree authority. Which is not to say that any old view is of equivalent value. But smart folks, institutional or not, can tell when someone's views are intelligent, relevant, sound and make a contribution to a project or not. To just ignore or dismiss non-academics though, as if that is the only authority worth attention, is part and parcel of a rapidly defunct educational model as widely documented BY academics on the emerging neo-Commons and P2P movements.

The only jobs for graduates of integral degree programs are teaching within a university with integral programs or as entrepreneur selling the integral model to businesses. There are very few jobs in the former category, certainly not enough to hire all the people in such training programs. And many of those jobs are as independent contractors with low pay and no benefits. Aiding job placement has always been one of the responsibilities of educational programs and should be of any integral program as well. If there aren't enough academic jobs out there to support the number of students in such programs then such programs have the additional responsibility to create those jobs in their and other institutions, as well as create tenure-track jobs with job security and benefits.

The other job track assumes everyone else is an extroverted salesperson in addition to scholar-practitioner who can boldly forge their own way, which many are not. Which of course is part and parcel of the capitalistic rugged individualism myth. And that it's just fine to teach this stuff to any capitalist business that has the money because the model itself will transform said business into a benevolent integral company that will do the right thing by its employees and the environment. Which of course flies in the face of the ITC integral anticapitalism debate and real-time examples like Whole Foods.

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Joseph said: I think the main problem is that Integral has yet to create its own sustainable socio-economic ecosystem. Instead they're just selling something to each other and to the larger population, be it information, certain practices, etc.. And the economics of this requires that integral practitioners have something useful to sell to all vMeme levels, but not necessarily to all economic levels. If this is not actively resisted by also offering a critique of and resistance to the dominant system (neoliberal capitalism) the net result is that Integral takes on the trappings of a bourgeoise/elitist evolutionary-accellerationist project.

What's behind the main problem is this: What is Integral and what are it's emancipatory potentials? Is this a case of certain things causing Integral to not yet reach its potential OR are there more fundamental contradictions within Integral itself that have yet to be addressed?

I think it's also important for everyone to re-read and critique this essay by Ken Wilber: "Right Bucks." Personally, I think Wilber is arguing a straw-man. The issue is not about whether or not a spiritual or integral practitioner should accept money but about how an emancipatory practice and teaching can avoid reproducing the very system that it is attempting to sublate.

I'll copy and paste some critical comments from Zak's thread referenced in the initial post:

Brian: From my perspective Zak, you're really pointing to a disconnect occurring in the "distribution" of integral technology (i.e. "practice") due to a pauci
ty of collaboration as silos tend to incubate themselves in relation to others. Scholarships?? Or does integral theory and practice divide along the lines of the "haves" vs. the "have nots"??

Joseph: When you do get to the critique phase, there will also be this to consider:

Abhishek: I don't know if 'self learning with support from the community' qualifies....located in India and without access to courses, I've still had access to very rich resources (freely available online) and timely guidance from the integral family ( including Bruce Alderman and Susanne Cook-Greuter )

My sense is that as integral grows, self-organized learning and self-initiated learning models also might take birth...particularly from a developing country context, most of these courses are pretty much out-of-reach for a majority

Brian: Re: Abhishek's comment that "most of these courses are pretty much out-of-reach for a majority" . . . Right Abhishek, my sentiment's exactly. It raises the question for me whether "integral" is actually "integral" (or not).

Eric; Is there any market research being done before the next round of building integral degree programs? Who is going to be looking at doing these kinds of degrees/certifications, and what jobs do they hope their education/training lead to?

Jessica: Lack of integral jobs: file under "nascent knowledge-powered economy run by industrial capitalist (monopoly) rules." [...] I propose that Integral's not dealing with economic issues is common with much of the new spiritual world and that this absence is thorough enough and contrary enough to the states/stages one can through such spirituality, that something must explain the absence, something more than just inexplicable inadequacy (aka the asshole theory of history and politics).

Serge: I value and practice 'Open Source Entrepreneurship' :

Open Source Entrepreneurship can be summarized very simply :

. use of open source knowledges [*] [that are free of rights] ;

. provision of open source knowledge ;

. offering free products (call products, for example - but, not only) ;

. compensation for expertise (paid products, consulting, training, coaching, ...).

[*] Knowledge, Processes, Tools, Technologies, Engineering, ...

(original in french)

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