Philosopher, author, and social entrepreneur Tomas Björkman’s claims are convincing: our culture needs to go through a new developmental paradigm shift. Either it will grow more complex—or crumble, as empires have crumbled in the past. The collective worldview needs to change, and to that end Tomas’ focus is on the relationship between growing our personal psychological maturity and societal change, a relationship Nordic countries recognized to their great advantage towards the end of the nineteenth century.
Extrapolating from his vast experience with business leadership, where inner psychological maturity turns out to be a foremost aspect of success, Tomas extends this knowledge, applying it to all of society, and emphasizes the importance of supporting a lifelong inner process of development for every individual. The only hope for our shared future seems to lie in wiser decision making by individuals who have expanded both mind and heart to encompass the greater complexities of our time. Recorded on December 2019, with Dr. Roger Walsh, John Dupuy, and Douglas Prater.
“Conscious effort on large-scale consciousness development actually worked.”
Note: This podcast was recorded live and includes, at times, some extraneous noises in the background. Please excuse them — we felt the conversation was very valuable and well worth sharing with our audience. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Topics & Time Stamps
- Introducing Tomas Björkman: philosopher, author, entrepreneur (02:28)
- Tomas’ unique contribution: cultivating psychological maturity individually and collectively, in order to co-create a new culture and survive as a species (03:39)
- Inner psychological maturation is one of the most important aspects of a good businessman, a good leader; this knowledge needs to be applied to all of us and society as a whole (05:12)
- The importance of getting the corporate culture right, societal culture right, and support inner psychological development (06:37)
- Our worldview in the West hasn’t changed since the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason: it’s time for another deep shift to encompass greater complexity (09:49)
- Looking at culture (and consciousness) as a complex, self-organizing, evolving system: we have reached the bifurcation point (14:47)
- The Nordic secret: Scandinavian countries realized the connection between the maturity of our inner world and our society at the end of the 1800s, becoming the happiest, richest, most stable countries in the world (24:24)
- The establishment of retreat centers for young people to find their inner compass and creating a critical mass of self-authoring people (28:20)
- Maturing from the socialized mind to the self-authoring mind, from conventional to postconventional (30:15)
- Consciously navigating psychological transformation and the self-transforming mind (34:24)
- The corporate realization that to succeed in business, you need your employees to mature to the level of self-authoring mind: Deliberately Developmental Organizations (37:54)
- The German idealistic philosophers’ reaction against Enlightenment philosophy and the evolution of mind and heart: Bildung (39:30)
- What constitutes depth of relationship? Inner development, deepening of relationship, and a multicultural society created by conscious effort (48:24)
- Growing together: how to hold and scaffold the building of a multicultural society (54:34)
- Changing our collective worldview will have to be a collective movement (59:01)
- The effects of the popularization of contemplative practice on the development of psychological maturity (01:04:31)
Resources & References
- Tomas Björkman, The World We Create*
- Tomas Björkman & Lene Andersen, The Nordic Secret*
- Tomas Björkman, The Market Myth*
- Oak Island (Ekskäret) Foundation in Sweden: http://ekskaret.se, “giving momentum to the right kind of changes”
- Tomas’ website: http://www.tomas-bjorkman.com
- Co-founder (with Jonathan Rowson) of Perspectiva, systems-soul-society.com, an interdisciplinary nonprofit organization based in London, developing responses to our epistemic metacrisis
- Co-founder, CoCreation.Loft, making space for conscious development of individuals and society
- Co-initiator of the Emerge network (with Jonathan Rowson), responding to the most urgent challenges of our time, connecting pioneers, seekers, innovators and their initiatives, sowing the seeds of a new civilization
- 29k, a Swedish open-source, non-profit tech platform making mental health treatment and personal development free and accessible to everyone
- Bifurcation theory
- Hanzi Freinacht, The Listening Society*, https://metamoderna.org
- Hanzi Freinacht, Nordic Ideology*, https://metamoderna.org
- Daniel Görtz, https://newrepublicoftheheart.org/person/daniel-gortz/
- Emile Fries, https://www.linkedin.com/in/emil-ejner-friis-56948585/
- Robert Kegan, developmental psychologist, The Evolving Self*
- Ken Wilber, The Integral Vision*
- Don Beck & Christopher Cowan, Spiral Dynamics*
- Deliberately Developmental Organizations: Making Business Personal by Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Andy Fleming & Matthew Miller
- Robert Kegan & Lisa Lahey, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization*
- Ellen Key, feminist and inner development advocate, author of the Swedish book Bildning
- Aldous Huxley, Island*
* As an Amazon Associate, Deep Transformation earns from qualifying purchases.
Tomas Björkman is an author, social entrepreneur, and the founder of Ekskäret Foundation in Stockholm. He is also the co-founder of the research institute Perspectiva in London, of the Co-creation Loft, the media platform Emerge in Berlin and the 29k.org personal development platform. He is a member of the Club of Rome and a fellow of the Royals Swedish Academy of Engineering Science. He is the author of three books: The Market Myth (2016), The Nordic Secret (together with Lene Rachel Andersen, 2017), and The World We Create (2019). He divides his time between London, Stockholm, and Berlin.
Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell
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