The Inner Development Goals Summit 2022.
Wow, what a day, what an event. What a great mix of devastating data, intellectual and theoretical knowledge, combined with doers and practitioners, and —after all— hope and inspiration for the future, as well as fantastic artists that moved my soul. I feel so blessed to be in the audience at site.
This high-standard international event was happening in the Stockholm Concert Hall on the 29th of April, focusing on inner development as one of the most crucial aspects of saving this planet. It starts with you and me on an individual level. This decade will be IT, where our actions will determine the future of humanity.
The Inner Developmental Goals is a non-profit organization for inner development. The organization conducts research and collects and communicates science-based skills and qualities that help us live purposeful, sustainable, and productive lives to benefit society, organizations, and individual growth and fulfillment.
According to the IDGs organization and its Executive Director, Jan Artem Henriksson, these are the skills for the future, supported by masterminds like Johan Rockström, Ph.D., and Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Aftab Omer, Ph.D. Brandeis University, Robert Kegan Ph.D. Harvard Graduate School, Jennifer Garvey Berger, Ph.D. Harvard University, Micael Dahlen, Professor Stockholms School of Economics, Johan Von Schreeb, Ph.D., MD Professor Global Disaster Medicine, Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Amy Edmonson, Ph.D. Harvard Business School, and more, lots more ...
BEING is about the relationship to self. It is about an inner compass, integrity and authenticity, openness and a learning mindset, self-awareness, and presence.
THINKING is about cognitive skills. It is about critical thinking, complexity awareness, perspective skills, sense-making, and long-term orientation and vision.
RELATING is all about caring for others and the world. It is about appreciation, connectedness, humility, empathy, and compassion.
COLLABORATING is about social skills. It is about communication and co-creation skills. It is about having an inclusive mindset and intercultural competence, trust, and mobilizing skills.
ACTING is about driving change. It is about courage, creativity, optimism, and perseverance
One of the most important things that I will take with me is this; there is a massive amount of power hidden in peaceful demonstrations where people show up in numbers. There is a chance for great positive social change when 20% of the population awakens to their inner imagination of a better future for themselves and humanity. I am hopeful.
These are my reflections and takeaways, representing no one else. I am adding my own understanding and interpretations of what was said and done.
The fear of death holds us back.
To free our potential, we need to face the ultimate fear of death and make an active decision to live life fully towards possibilities and abundance instead of being driven by a scarcity mindset and the fear of losing it all one day.
Proudness and legacy
It seems that the desire to be proud of worthy achievements and one's legacy increases as we get older and consciousness expands. The desire needs to be satisfied beyond status, money, possessions, and material assets. The desire to make a positive impact is growing far beyond visible outside markers. This is when we move from personal development into personal growth. This is great, even though the transition is painful, and personal growth requires different tools. If this desire grows within you, the importance of integrity and authenticity is undeniable to move forward into personal growth next level —a mind, body, soul, shadow, and spirit connection where you highest contribution is to be found.
The best solution
If we want to make the world a better place, we need to be able to choose to back the "best solution" within our field of passion. From my experience, it seems as if the best solution is often the one most difficult, the one most uncomfortable. Authenticity is needed to figure out your passion and what the best long-lasting, sustainable solution really is for you.
It requires self-awareness. Self-awareness requires emotional, intrapersonal, and existential intelligence. Emotional, intrapersonal, and existential intelligence requires us to revisit our past and current wounds from past and present moments and heal ourselves from resentment. We need to harness the learnings from our past trauma (which most of us have). And most cultures (level of worldview awareness) lack the understanding of trauma and the tools to heal from them, and most people don't even believe that that is possible. Well, I am a firm believer that it is. And I think we're heading into the next paradigm of awareness where efficient and practical ways of healing will go mainstream.
One word that was new to me and that I fell in love with was Existentiell Self-Management. And the importance of "stay with the trouble" and searching for the developmental line within the trouble, struggle, challenge, or conflict. To be alive means to be with it all. I once strived for an easy, smooth, comfortable, and predictable life until I found myself in it. But then I realized that the prize for a life like that was too high (at least for me). I had let go of exploration, experimenting, expression, confrontation, development, and growth. Existential Self-Management is not about hiding, avoiding, or shying away from what needs to be confronted. It is about staying and stay curious.
You are big enough to hold your emotions
I just loved this statement. It places the responsibility for ones emotions where it belongs, in the mind and body of the one having the emotion.
A small but miraculous transformation
I believe that it was Robert Kegan Ph.D. Harvard Graduate School, who asked a bunch of super valuable questions about the skill; THINKING. He guided us on the journey of self-discovery, and I fell in love with these questions:
Why do we self-sabotage?
What is my hidden commitment?
What are my big assumptions?
Go deep. This stuff runs deep. Dive into your subconscious mind. And it inspired me to answer (or try to answer) these questions as well:
What am I at the mercy of, what are my biggest fears?
What did life teach me before the age of five?
The future will be powered by imagination
I loved the quote from Phoebe Tickell, founder, and director of Moral Imaginations, "The future will be powered by imagination." I believe in this 100%, so we need to combine the exponential speed of tech evolution with moral, joyful, and optimistic imaginations and let that power a conscious collective act for a better future.
Why cynism matters
She also shed light on cynicisms. And how important it is. Sometimes, we fall into a pitch-black hole of cynicism. And sometimes, the only way to break free from that place is to free ourselves from limiting beliefs about the world and imagine beyond our current state of awareness.
Immunity to change
I believe it was Robert Kegan, Ph.D. Harvard Graduate School, talking about the phenomena, Immunity to change. Since most of us handle change well, I believe that this phenomenon is often subconscious. However, to handle this subconscious approach, we need to understand the motives behind the fear of change. It is the fear of dying or suffering significant losses in life, Kegan says.
My thought; How do we deal effectively with the part of us that doesn't want to die? How do we let go of control, and the desired outcome, of all the things we don't control or own and still have a deep desire to achieve worthy goals and contribute for real? And how do we combine this with the highest level of altruism that starts with the love for self and others? The one thing that comes to mind is meditation and for us to reach a blissful state of mind often, at least once a day.
Think global, act local
and always start with yourself and your inner development before trying to change your community. There is a profound amount of wisdom hidden in your developmental process, don't bypass it. Be the change you want to see in this world. Be it. Don't tell people what to do; show them how you did it.
Free will needs a revival
free will was mentioned very briefly as an introduction to one of the skills and quality of the IDGs. But it stuck with me, and I have been thinking about free will for some time. Here are my extended reflections on it.
Human evolution takes time. It takes generations to free ourselves from patriarchal norms and social structures. We are breaking free from gender norms, hetero norms, family values, and dominant hierarchies. It takes time, and it is hard to find the balance. Because we have been indoctrinated with these values and norms for centuries, they are programmed in our subconscious minds, and they run deep within every industry and social system. First, we need to change laws, regulations, and taxes. Then the citizens need to be educated and encouraged to use their free will and make active choices of education, marriage, sexual preferences, kids or no kids, religion or no religion, etc. Sweden made the changes necessary within the system back in the 70s, and the liberation process has just begun. Fifty years of liberation is nothing in the eyes of human evolution.
How to co-elevate feminism and go forward in liberation (not backward)?
It is a question that comes to mind, and one thing that I believe we need to do, both men and women, is to reprogram our subconscious minds and free ourselves from the prison that our limiting beliefs about ourselves are creating. The glass ceiling starts in our subconscious minds.
Freedom and free will demands a lot
It demands self-responsibility through self-awareness. When people are given a choice, most people choose more freedom. People want free will; however, we have reached a point in human evolution where we need more tools to handle free will and the level of freedom available for a lot of us. We need emotional, intrapersonal, and existential intelligence, and it needs to be advocated, educated, and constantly empowered by a deliberately developmental culture led by transformational leaders, shattering hindering beliefs. Unfortunately, the global political leaders of today and the Swedish government do NOT represent transformational leadership. I would say they are conventional at their best and dogmatic at their worst.
Free will is not overrated
and it is not undesirable for humans. It is where human evolution speeds up. Consciousness expands. Without free will, you will be cough up in social norms and structure. Without free will, there will never be equality. However, we need to add skills and qualities to handle free will during the 21st century. To me, that is what the IDGs are all about.
What is it that makes your relationships —that grows you— work?
I believe that it was Jennifer Garver Berger, Ph.D. Harvard University who asked a bunch of super valuable questions about the skill; RELATING
What is it that makes your relationships —that grows you— work?
And the second question was: When you have lost your way in a relationship, what was missing in you?
Three parallel lives happening simultaneously
I loved Micael Dalens' talk about the three parallel lives happening simultaneously and how we don't see it.
We want to look back at a psychologically rich life (big events, wins, losses, and big emotions), and we want to look forward to meaning and purpose, BUT in the right now, we want to be happy. So, maybe, existential intelligence simplified is the ability to combine these three desires in our everyday life and make active choices if one of these "lives" gets too much or too little attention for an extended period.
Leave no one behind
It is a noble thing to strive for. Still, it is unnatural for the universe to live by this statement without a single request for assimilation or adaptation to the current environment. Learn, change, adapt, develop and grow is the motto, and every organism that cannot do this eventually dies. It is natural selection.
But we are humans, after all, we are not pure consciousness. We have the natural ability to feel empathy, compassion, and love for every living thing on the planet. We are natural-born lovers when given the right circumstances.
How to handle individuals that are immune to change or even worse, who are fighting it, trying to hinder liberation, development, and growth, locally and globally?
And what if that is you and me with our good intentions of including without excluding (which is an equation that does not work ...)
The only thing that comes to mind is education and the expansion of consciousness, moving the entire global community towards a Deliberate Developmental Culture in which all other cultures can co-exist, agreeing on the smallest part of assimilation; safe and free from physical harm starting with our own backyard, educating our politicians.
Last but not least.
What is the end game of our universe?
An organism should observe its environment and then collaborate for the greater good, but what is that? What is the end game?
Imagine the universe's endgame is to come into harmony within and among all living things? An eco-system in harmony where humans enjoy all of their intelligence, emotions, and sensations that are unique to us without harming others, enjoying all the beauty in this world. Can you imagine that for just a few seconds? And then see yourself as a cell, a small but significant part of the greater organism called the earth. A small role but significant in the holarchy of quarks, atoms, molecules, cells, and organisms where each and every part makes up the holistic, interconnected web of life on this planet. How could you better serve yourself and come into harmony as a service to the end game of the universe? I believe that the highest level of altruism starts with self-love and self-care. If all current generations would begin with self-love and self-care and deep healing, what a wonderful world this could be.
I am hopeful. Humans are amazing, but nothing is guaranteed and there is a sense of urgency, that is why we need to slow down and look inwards. It starts with you and me and the time is now.