Intentional Society

  • Online - time zones from New Zealand to Nigeria
  • James Baker
  • network
  • development,
  • community

Organization information

We are a geographically distributed community of seekers and friends, connecting face-to-face via video calls. We connect and reflect together in relationship as a catalyst to self-development, increased awareness, greater integrity. We relish our diversity across gender, generation, nation, ethnicity, religious (or non-) background, socioeconomic status, and other perspectives increasingly. Some of us bring backgrounds in various related fields or scenes: adult development psychology, relational practices (e.g. Authentic Relating, Circling, Collective Presencing), and the "sensemaking web" (e.g. Game B, Integral, Metamodernism). Regardless, all of us are united in one thing above all else: seeking to grow.

Most weeks, our main activity is metaphorically assembling “around the campfire” to learn and play collectively, to make sense of ourselves and our relationships to others and to the world.

At the deeper conceptual layer, what we're doing together is authoring a developmental community of practice with a culture of expanded awareness. There's a conventional script for “becoming an adult” that goes something like “finish school, get a job, get married and have 2.5 kids, buy a house and then acquire more toys while climbing the corporate ladder.” This also seems like a recipe for having a mid-life crisis of meaning. The conventional script sells us short: we can, and do, keep developing throughout our whole lives.

How does one practice development, or build a culture around it? We think a large part of the answer comes from relational practices. A lot of theory and thought has gone into what we do together. But it’s also what people everywhere have known and done for millenia, in villages, tribes, and crews of belonging and support. There is wisdom in both science and woo, in the latest discoveries and in ancient traditions. We thrive as social, relational beings, growing in small groups of high trust - and even as we’re faced with global challenges that demand coordination across humanity to meet, we think that any future of global unity must emerge fractally outward from interpersonal trust and cooperation at local scale.

Intentional Society