The session was chaired by Jerri Dell, Community Empowerment and Social Inclusion Learning Program.
Based on several years working with Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk in South Africa, Dr. Don Edward Beck has developed a new model for nation building which has tremendous relevance to Afghanistan in the months to come.
Dr. Beck s model -- entitled Spiral Dynamics -- is based on the work of the late Professor Clare W. Graves of Union College, New York. Professor Graves described what he called "Levels of Psychological Existence" as an emerging pattern and priority of worldviews, value systems, and complex adaptive intelligences that arise in response to life conditions -- that is, human nature is not fixed, and cultures are not static. Dr. Beck further enhanced the Gravesian framework by fusing it with the new science of "memetics" and joining forces with philosopher-author Ken Wilber s "All Quadrants, All Levels" approach in looking at the development of people and cultures. This enhanced model takes an integral and holistic approach that can be applied to all societies, because it focuses on open, dynamic systems.
In his talk, Dr. Beck proposes a "natural design" process, one that is crafted to fit the natural habitats, the patterns of memetic migration, the historical dynamics that have all shaped this point in time, the influence of forces in neighbor states, the current levels of psychological development of the people, the crises created by patterns of violence and warfare, the natural divisions into clans, tribes, empires and ideologies, as well as the potential skill levels of available leadership.
He argues for introducing a new, more powerful, comprehensive and dynamic way of thinking into decision systems and understanding both of the people in Afghanistan as well as the international agencies who wish to support them; and he demonstrates ways in which
Dr. Beck shows how to actually create a system that deals with a society s economic, social and cultural dynamics while building local capacity at the same time. Such a model ensures that support systems will respond to the survival and sustenance needs of millions of people and address the issue of sustainability and self-sufficiency, he argues.
- intertribal warfare in Afghanistan may be countered,
- the internal conflicts within Pakistan may be addressed, and
- the religious and cultural aspects of the Jihad and other historic conflicts may be understood.
Dr. Beck has also developed a Peace & Conflict Monitor approach to profiling troublespots before they explode. He will discuss his analysis of the deeper "value system" issues regarding Israel and Palestine, by showing why neither the Oslo Peace Accord or the recent Camp David meetings had a chance of bridging over the great divides. He will suggest a fresh, Integral initiative in reframing the historic conflict out of the ethnic stereotypes and into a recognition of these deep value system codes.
By drawing upon these new insights and by exploring these value memes – the cultural "DNA"-like codes -- to leverage the situation in Afghanistan, Dr. Beck offers a unique solution that can be used to bring peace and prosperity there and elsewhere around the world.