“As an astronaut, especially during launch, half of the risk of a six-month flight is in the first nine minutes”— Astronaut Chris Hadfield
I’m writing to give you an update on the “first nine minutes” of the launch of the Institute of Applied Metatheory since our founding last month. The launch metaphor is apt, complete with metaphorically sitting atop billions of gallons of rocket fuel, massive acceleration, bone-rattling shaking, and the thrill of a lifetime as we launch dead vertical. It’s been a wild ride.
You responded to our invitation to get involved, with hundreds of people applying to join us to pursue our mission to Liberate transformational potential by applying Big Pictures to Big Problems. We’ve been humbled and deeply-gratified by the response, allowing me to say with great confidence that one of the four meta-hypotheses that I outlined at our founding is being validated: we do indeed have the talent and desire to coordinate action for focused social impact.
I also believe the team has done a good job of balancing the present, still, being qualities of a mature Teal (and Turquoise) team with the passionate, fervent, purpose demands of an urgent global mission. And yet the scope of the mission is ever-present, both humbling and daunting, as we attempt to do multiple hard things all at once:
- Build a true Teal organization, a global, agile learning organization that runs a 24/7 global work cycle with distributed teams currently operating on four continents, run by a diverse group of mature, top-of-craft functional experts
- Design and build an incubation architecture for focused social impact initiatives to address any context, in any problem domain, at any level of scale, and one that helps them iterate toward high-precision, in-context transformational innovations that might effect real change
- Provide alpha-iteration for the commercial initiative to design and develop the world’s first Integrative Epistemology platform for metatheoretical context analysis
- Conceptualize, germinate, recruit and develop a half-dozen multi-year initiatives (with another six in the pipeline), each with their own teams, impact strategies, transformational theses, innovation requirements, and funding models
There are thirty members of the team today, and I expect we’ll continue to grow to meet the demands of the mission. What holds it all together is integral consciousness, a shared worldview, values and sensemaking that allow us to coordinate action quickly, abundantly and with a wide latitude for constant, iterative action-learning (across a wide array of requirements, from integral design thinking to agile task coordination, from Teal organizational-matrix design to our own transformational innovation process, from metatheory to metapraxis design, and so on…).
And we’ve done it all, so far, without a dollar of donor funding. I’ve set out to prove that, done properly, donor gifts can achieve a 100x impact through integral impact design. So I will soon announce the IAM Legacy Circle, a private group designed for those who want to be on the inside of the Institute, who are mission and values-aligned, and who want their expertise and their gifts to leave an integral legacy, an evolutionary impact in a way genuinely unlike anything available in the world today. If you are interested in learning more about the IAM Legacy Circle, you can signal your early interest here.
So that’s the first five weeks. We face an immense challenge to pull this off, but with your continued help, and belief, I think we can; I believe we’re off to a promising start. I’ve been involved with founding a few other ecosystem-level projects in my career. Each one took more than a decade (I’m not that old, LOL… there was some overlap), each had a vision that exceeded its grasp, and each succeeded in incredible ways and came up short in other ones.
And yet this one is the most challenging—and promising—of all. The Institute of Applied Metatheory is, in a deeply spiritual sense, a dance with death, a demand that we surrender to a place where we can move fearlessly because we must, where we ask unreasonable things of our capabilities and our capacity for learning and integration, where we willingly go where we know we’re out of our depth… but only in being right there do we fulfill whatever small contribution we can make to this precious, precious world. This is indeed a rocket ship ride at the leading-edge of what evolution is up to at this very moment (in one tiny part of this infinite kosmos), and despite the challenges and long weeks, there is a sense of fulfillment that leaves no room for regret… kosmic projects, like beautiful families and lifelong love affairs, simply are their own justification.
That’s the dance, and we’ll shuffle until the music stops.
On behalf of the entire team,
All our love,