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Training – Learning about Social and Cultural Dynamics – Enrol ➤

Our courses are based on the seminal work of Prof Clare W Graves and the work of Dr. Don Beck called Spiral Dynamics Integral. The further work of Dr. John Cook in change, culture and memetics and Christopher Cooke a Master Practitioner. This approach is called Intentional Integral Practice (IIP). Link to overview presentation.

IIP Bubble 3Things that work for individuals, organisations and companies in a ‘real’ world.

  • Life work balance
  • Sustainability
  • Diversity
  • Multiple Bottom Lines
  • Understand what business you are really in

Course Overview

The courses we offer and the communities of practice we host are based on the work of Professor Clare W Graves. His framework of Biological, Psychological and Social Systems acts a ‘map’ and ‘compass’ to help students to understand themselves and the environment in which they live. It is not a human developmental model in terms of you can or cannot evolve to more enlightened ways of thinking. It is a map showing how you survive and prosper in your current life conditions. This means that if life conditions change you can activate more of less complex ways of thinking to survive in these new conditions.

Our students on our combined Level 1 & 2 (Part 1 and Part 2) Intentional Integral Practice cover in outline the 6 day Level 1 & 2 course in Spiral Dynamics Integral given by Christopher Cooke and Dr Don Beck. Dr Beck worked with Clare Graves up to Graves’ death in 1986. However we provide a much richer learning environment with discussions and forums as well as lessons and assignments that are marked and moderated. The courses also take a practical approach on how to use this framework for example in Part 2 Level 1 & 2 there are videos showing application in real organisations.

Christopher Cooke was co-developer of the online course using his 15 years of training experience together with Dr John Cook. Christopher and John have jointly given many Level 1 and Level 2 courses in the UK, Europe and New Zealand and Level 3 course in the USA.

Dr John Cook has also developed the framework further into the fields of culture, change and memetics and these are covered in the Level 1& 2 courses. (Memes are units of cultural replication). Complex human adaptive systems.

The graphic below gives an indication of the development of this powerful and usable framework.


A Little about Clare W Graves.

“Clare W Graves was born in New Richmond, USA on the 21st December 1914. He graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. USA in 1940. He gained his PhD in psychology from Western Reserve University, Cleveland and returned to Union College in 1948, becoming a full professor in 1956 (Lee: 2001a). He retired in 1978 and died in 1986.

Graves knew Maslow (1968 ‘hierarchy of needs’) and delivered a lecture for him when he was ill (Lee, 2002). Graves also had great respect for the work of Schein (1965). This has led to the use of Schein’s 1990 three-dimensional model of culture throughout this research. Graves’ first published paper was in the Harvard Review (1966) on the “Deterioration of Work Standards”, about quality systems.” Cook, 2008 p3)

A Little about Dr Don Beck.

“Dr Don Beck gave up his professorship in political science to join Graves in the 1970s and continue Graves’ work. This resulted in the book “Spiral Dynamics – mastering values, leadership and change” in 1996. In the 1990s Beck worked with the philosopher Ken Wilber’s integral psychology to combine their ideas. Wilber produced a book “A Theory of Everything” (Wilber, 2000) covering Graves and Spiral Dynamics”. (Cook, 2008 p3)


Beck, D. E. and C.C. Cowan (1996). Spiral Dynamics – mastering values, leadership and change. Blackwell Publishers Ltd Oxford UK.
Cook, J. E. (2008) “The Role of the Individual in Organizational Cultures: A Gravesian Integrated Approach”. PhD Thesis Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
Graves, C. W. (1966). “Deterioration of Work Standards,” Harvard Business Review, 44 (Sept/Oct) pp. 117-128.
Lee, W. R. (2001a). Background on Professor Clare W. Graves, Downloaded 2/04/2003
Lee. W.R. (2002). Clare W. Graves, Levels of Human Existence. A transcription Edited by William R. Lee, ECLET Publishing, PO Box 42212, Santa Barbara, CA 93140 USA.
Lee, W. R, (2002a). “Levels of Human Existence and Their Relation to Value Analysis and Engineering” Clare W Graves 1964/65, Downloaded 16/11/02
Maslow, A. (1968). Towards a Psychology of Being (2nd Ed) Van Nostrand, New York USA.
Wilber, K. (2000). A Theory of Everything, Shambhala Boston USA.

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