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The Integrity Day Project: Creating Global Peace and Prosperity For All

“Shall we play a game?”

That’s the question (borrowed from the classic film “War Games”) I asked in my teaser post two days ago.  In that film, the game is between humans and a government computer with the power to start World War III. With the Integrity Day Project, I intend to offer a game people worldwide can eventually play that will not only PREVENT World War III but also chart a path to global peace and prosperity for all.

What I am planning will be an intellectual and emotional game that is initially played solo (challenging its players to achieve critical insights)… and a game that progresses to ultimately involves communities of players: communities that can be as small as a family and as large as a city, state, nation, or (eventually) the world.



Where This All Began (My Human History Perspective):

Most people are familiar with the story of the Three Wise Men who visited thebaby Jesus in Bethlehem when he was born. 
As a child, I learned this story from the TV special “Amahl and theNight Visitors” (the first opera ever written for television).

Even if you’re not particularly religious, I trust you’ll agree the story of Jesus’ life is one of great vision:

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Love the Lord, love thy neighbor, and love thyself. Simple and powerful. A great vision… but one not yet achieved. (For those oriented more towards science, I invite you to substitute “Love the Universe” for “Love the Lord”.)

This is where humanity was a couple of thousand years ago: Great promise unrealized, despite the best efforts those who championed it made at the time.

What if – thanks to advances in the physical and social sciences over the last 50 or so years - what what not achieved then… and has still not been achieved… can now be achieved?

What if what’s been in the way of loving each other, ourselves, and the Lord/Universe can be eliminated? And by “eliminated” I do not mean being victorious in some war with an external force (who some might call “the Devil” while others use more human-centered names). By “eliminated” I mean by achieving an inner, intellectual and emotional victory over lessons most of us learn very early on… lessons that seemed true at the time but are no longer true today.

I am writing this essay – on what would have been Buckminster Fuller’s 122nd birthday – to announce the Integrity Day Project, a project designed (a) to teach the general public (and businesses and governments worldwide) the methods required to achieve this victory, (b) to celebrate the progress towards this victory – at the individual, group, community, state, nation and global levels - in as public a way as possible, and (c) to engage this project's participants in a great, Global Game... one that will be fun to play. "Serious Play" devoted to developing an Idealized Design for how humanity can function in the future unconstrained by any obsolete ideas from the past AND a plan for implementing that new design worldwide.

The worlds of the physical and social sciences have finally caught up with the vision. Humanity now has the capability to create global peace and prosperity for all… to live from a place of love, cooperation, and constructive exploration and problem solving rather than hate, cutthroat competition, and destructive violent action.  Disagreements will always exist, but they need not lead to violence.  They can, instead, lead to learning and improvements. These are some of the lessons the Integrity Project will champion.

Foundation of The Integrity Project (part 1): Three Wise Men

Launching The Integrity Project starts with my briefly telling you the story of three wise men. You may not have heard of them before, but they may well be the three most brilliant men of the 20th Century.

R. Buckminster Fuller, W. Edwards Deming, and Russell L. Ackoff were applied philosophers. They both thought great thoughts and put their thoughts into action. Each of them saw great potential breakthroughs – discontinuous changes – in the human condition here on Earth… changes from conditions of want, greed, and backward-facing beliefs to conditions of abundance, cooperation, and forward-facing innovations.

Born July 12, 1895, R. Buckminster Fuller saw the world as an interconnected whole in which the human family were “the passengers and crew on Spaceship Earth”. Bucky was born with very bad eyesight, something which wasn’t corrected until he was 4 years old. If you imagine what it was like to suddenly learn the world didn’t look the way it had looked to you for the first 4 years of your life, you can probably imagine why Bucky became so good at seeing the world as it actually was from a scientific and philosophical perspective too. His greatest “new look” achievement – as pertains to The Integrity Day Project – was that he saw that all of society was organized around win-lose, scarcity-based thinking… something which may have been true centuries ago but was no longer true today. Bucky knew that by “doing more with less”, the physical sciences could now be used to feed, clothe, house, and educate everyone on Earth. The biggest challenge? Getting the message out…something Bucky worked tirelessly to do through lectures, books (most famously “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”), and demonstrations of these principles by way of his inventions (especially the geodesic dome but also the World Game).  

You can watch Bucky talk about this new reality and see the World Game being played in this 2 minute video (in which Buzz Aldrin can be seen playing the World Game)…



Born October 14, 1900, W. Edwards Deming was trained in the statistical sciences, which led him to have a reality-based view of human efforts to work together than involved understanding that the design of the social system in which people work (as well as the social system in which they develop as children). He had no problem with people making mistakes on the job, because he knew that highly effective organizations worked on a continuous learning and improvement model (much as Mother Nature does… it’s called “evolution”). Dr. Deming’s celebration of mistakes was contrary to the “mistakes are bad” philosophy students learn in school, where they result in lower grades. For this reason, as a college professor Dr. Deming would announce at the beginning of the semester that all of his students would be getting an “A”… so they could focus on learning rather than on getting a good grade.  Dr. Deming’s methods were used by the US government during WW II to insure that the assembly lines producing everything from tanks to airplanes functioned in the most effective manner possible. Interestingly enough, he was also sent to Japan by the US government after the war to help the Japanese rebuilt their industries.  Thanks to Dr. Deming, “Made in Japan” went from meaning “poor quality” in the early 1950s to “world class quality” in the 1970s. The story of his work in Japan was told in the 1980 NBC White Paper “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?”, 
which led to the product and service quality revolution in America (including the creation by President Reagan of what is now called the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program).

You can see Dr. Deming speak about the power of cooperation and continual learning and improvement in this video from his The New Economics” lecture given when he was more than 90 years old. (Please listen carefully, because in addition to his age he had a very deep voice.) 

   


Born February 12, 1919, Russell L. Ackoff was a pioneer in the management sciences (friends with other greats including W. Edwards Deming and Peter Drucker) best known for helping codify the principles of Systems Thinking and for advocating a process called Idealized Design when seeking a way forward for your organization (of for society). Russ worked with both Buckminster Fuller and W. Edwards Deming, which makes him unique in my experience for being a bridge between the very “counter culture” image Bucky developed after writing “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth” and the very “establishment” image Dr. Deming had as a result of his work in Japan after WW II (at the request of the US government) and his being profiled on the 1980 NBC White Paper “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?”.  Russ did very mainstream work (Annheuser Busch was one of his clients. And he advised the White House on transforming its communications office during the Clinton administration), but he also challenged the larger organizations of society, including the education system as the co-author of “Turning Learning Right Side Up

You can see Russ speaking about the concepts of Systems Thinking and Discontinuous Change in this talk, which was part of a celebration of Dr. Deming’s life held shortly after Deming died.



Foundation of The Integrity Project (part 2): My Personal Journey

I met all three of these wise men, starting in 1983 when I met Bucky. Then Dr. Deming in 1991 and Russ Ackoff in 1999. I have been friends with Bucky’s daughter, Allegra, since 1995… corresponded with Dr. Deming about bringing his methods to the world of community development… and was mentored by Russ from 1999 until his death ten years later. 

But my story – and why advocating for a breakthrough that leads the public to know global peace and prosperity is possible resonates so deeply – is much more than one of a man meeting the extraordinary thinkers starting in his mid 20s. It begins with my life from a very early age.

While to an outsider a childhood growing up in modest surroundings in NJ initially and then NYC (Manhattan’s Upper West Side) might sound comfortable, I literally grew up in a war zone. My parent’s marriage was hugely traumatic… emotionally devastating…. and occasionally physically violent. I retreated from this violent environment into the world offered me on television and in motion pictures. (Thank you, Hollywood, for giving me hope that “something better” existed.)  And then at age 7 a miracle occurred. My 2nd Grade class took a trip across town to the United Nations. Suddenly I was presented with not just a vision of world peace but hard evidence that people were actively working every day to make world peace happen.  The contrast between what I saw at the UN and my family life hard wired my brain to seek out ways to help make this vision possible.

Unfortunately, my family was not capable of helping me follow up the interest in peace I expressed when I got home from this class trip, and my thoughts of doing that kind of work receded as I once again dealt with daily survival needs.  But when I was given – completely out of the blue – “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth” to read by a work colleague when I was 24 years old, those old desires came rushing back.  I will write more about my story in a later post… including details of my work. You can find me onLinkedIn here.

For now, I will share one main point: 

Hollywood not only helped save my life. I have learned from my research that it has helped save/educate America a number of times since WW II began.  I will have much more to say about this soon.  But here’s a link to the effort that took place during WW II

The First Motion Picture Unit

Also, so you can see me in action, here is a  video of me asking a challenging question to Tom Friedman and Joseph Stiglitz at a 2006 event moderated by Ted Koppel. It gives you a sample of the power the science behind world peace now being possible can have. (Watch for Ted Koppel’s “ah hah” moment)


And here is my most recent speech, in April of this year, at Rotary International’s NYC  club…




Foundation of The Integrity Project (part 3): Outline Of The Overall Action Plan

  • Book: The Integrity Day Project
  • Curriculum (developed beyond what I’ve done before while writing the book)
  • Training (nonprofit to the public, for profit to corporations and governments)
  • Celebration of participants (modeled after the Baldrige Performance Excellence “Quest for Excellence” conference), taking place annually on July 12th (Bucky's birthday)
  • Celebration of project (modeled after all the entertainment world has done to date to educate the public while entertaining them at the same time)… eventually a “holiday-like event” similar to other big holidays (Valentine’s Day, New Years Day, etc), what will be as visible a celebration of intellectual and emotional progress for humanity as the Olympic Games are a celebration of athletic skill
  • The Global Game (an ongoing social science / cultural evolution laboratory in which students of the Integrity Project's curriculum gather online - and probably in person each July 12th - with the aim of designing & implementing a global human social system based on abundance rather than scarcity-based thinking)


We don’t need Jesus to come back. We can stop waiting for such a global leader to suddenly appear as a flesh and blood person.  He can live in our hearts much as any great loved one still does after they’ve passed. What we CAN do is take inspiration from his vision and the selfless way he lived his life… and use the tools we now have available to us – from these 20th Century Wise Men – and create the Heaven on Earth first proposed those many centuries ago.





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"Shall We Play A Game?"

Coming soon...

Remember this scene?

"Shall we play a game?"


What if we could play a different game... one about creating a world where the adventure of exploring brave new worlds had replaced the fear that has us constantly waging war... a game about how best to make "a world at peace" replace "a world at war"?

That's what the Integrity Day Project will be about.

You can read about the primary inspiration for this project here: The World Game

Stay tuned....