Susann Cook-Greuter,
Akasha Saunders

(United States, Grenada)

Title of contribution:

WEIRD + Diversity

Where & when:


WEIRD + Diversity

The field of Integral theory and influence is growing. We wonder how much of this growth is confined to white, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic (WEIRD) spaces, experiences, and worldviews. In these times of unprecedented global social unrest and distress – from the Covid pandemic, to greater awareness of racial injustice, to increased polarization in societies around the world, to the accelerating climate crisis- our work as integralists and developmentalists is to provide insights, help make meaning, and join in true partnership with a world that is suffering. The need is great. Many people are expressing readiness to join across geographic, racial, generational, ethnic, gender, religious, and class differences to counter inequitable power relations and structures and to heal divisiveness and suffering caused by a culture of othering and dominance. But how? For the integral community, we propose that it takes a look at the consequences to maintaining ‘WEIRDness,’ ‘whiteliness,’ and ethnocentricity in our field. These consequences reveal possibilities for expanding intercultural awareness and broadening the potential good of integral and adult development theories, especially for these times.

The risk is high of remaining blind to our privileged integral WEIRDness or to know about it without actually embodying this knowledge. This interactive presentation is our attempt to expose the risk and to deepen our collective awareness.

Names of co-contributor: Saunders Akasha

Akasha holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Human Development from Fielding Graduate University. He is credentialed through the International Coaching Federation as a professional certified coach (PCC). His active research interests are in the areas of coaching across differences, pilgrimage as developmental journeys, and meaning-making and complexity development in university students in the Caribbean. Akasha is a pilgrim and enjoys being in the woods. He spends most of his time between Grenada and Bermuda with partner, son, and a very protective and energetic cockapoo dog. He makes time for goofing around with his pre-teen son, reading fantasy books, and sitting still doing nothing.

About Susann Cook-Greuter 

Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter is a founding member and elder of the Integral Institute. She earned her doctorate at Harvard University. She is considered a leading authority in ego development theory and language studies. She used to teach vertical development theories worldwide.

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