'Integral Thinking and True Materiality':
An Introduction

If 2015 was the year that inspired new hope in sustainability with the publication of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the success of COP21, 2016 is the year the rubber needs to hit the road when it comes to implementation and impact. So rather than add to the end-of-year 10-best-of-this-and-that listing stampede, instead I’ve created a 6-piece series summarizing essential learnings from 2015 to focus priorities and actions for 2016.*

Reflecting on 2015, my own work focused on front-end developments needed in three interlinked areas:

  • Reporting: I am curating & facilitating the Reporting 3.0 platform, a community of several hundred concerned individuals from various constituencies around the world that instigates reporting for a 'green & inclusive economy,’ and showcases the greater whole of reporting, accounting, data architecture and new business models. Helping aligned constituencies to build the necessary glue between these four interconnected areas, the platform has organized three annual conferences and various Transition Labs; and has just presented its Call for Participation for 2016, offering participation in four blueprint projects to help bridge gaps between the different areas mentioned.
  • Ratings: As Director for Engagement at the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR), I am helping with the implementation of CORE, the Center of Ratings Excellence, grounded around the GISR Framework (Principles & Accreditation); the GISR Hub — a database with more than 100 data points on more than 440 rating products from roughly 125 companies globally; the Labs in which companies, investors and rating agencies can work on use cases for that increased transparency and work on continuous improvement of ratings; and finally on training and convenings for the community, building a greater knowledge base around CORE.
  • ThriveAbility: for several years I have been involved in the ThriveAbility Foundation as a co-founder. Last summer, the Foundation published A Leader’s Guide to ThriveAbility and has started the process to scale up the ThriveAbility equation, innovation roadmap and index development through masterclasses and pilot projects, with plans for a multi-year development to deliver on the index by 2019.

Circling back to the SDGs and COP 21, instead of following the hype around them, I continue to take a longer-term perspective towards what I call ‚integral thinking and true materiality’. I have developed a diagram that structures these areas in which activity is most needed, and of course Reporting 3.0, GISR and the ThriveAbility Foundation are great hosts for ongoing work in these areas. It is not without reason that they form the basis of my work portfolio.

  • Part 1: Introduction
  • Part 2: The need for integral thinking and true materiality
  • Part 3: Purpose clarification defines connectedness
  • Part 4: Success definition defines true future value creation
  • Part 5: Scalability opportunities define size of impact
  • Part 6: Integral thinking and true materiality define trust, innovation and resilience

The series will explain the above diagram, with each part also looking at the necessary change needs and focus areas within an organization. Fully developed integral thinking and true materiality can become a real game-changer!

*This series has greatly benefited from discussions and advice from Bill Baue, also involved in Reporting 3.0 and the ThriveAbility Foundation.

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