While the mainstreaming of postmodern values is the headline of ConsumerShift, the emergence of integral values is equally or more important over the long term. As we noted in “Why Change our Values,” a new type of values emerges in response to inadequacies of current values and the emergence of new life conditions. Integral values will bring a greater “decisiveness “to the “relativity” of postmodern values. Integral values will be more willing to make a choice toward a clearly better alternative and less concerned about the small chance that not all evidence has been gathered and all views heard. Integral values will be about making the practical and function choice and moving on, with a bit less sensitivity to the strong participation ethos of postmodern values.
Another important aspect of the postmodern to integral transition is what Beck in Spiral Dynamics calls the move to a “second-tier.” Integral is the first set of values that doesn’t believe it is the most appropriate one for everyone else to have. Integral values adopt a much more nuanced and sophisticated approach that suggests flexibility in adopting whatever values best fit the particular situation (or life conditions). So, if it’s a situation that suggests traditional values, then go traditional. If a postmodern situation, then postmodern values. Integral values don’t suggest they are right for every situation or even every person. This is a key distinction because traditional, modern, and postmodern values holders each assume that their particular values are the best solution to any situation. Integral values holder adopt a flexible, “it depends” approach characterized by drawing upon the best of each type that fits the challenge at hand.
It is worth distinguishing integral values from the emergence of the Integral Philosophy movement pioneered by Ken Wilber that is sweeping across many disciplines and fields. My field of foresight, for example, has seen the emergence of Integral Futures (for more info, see “Evolution of Integral Futures“). While I am a huge fan of these ideas and the movement and have drawn upon quite significantly for ConsumerShift, the use of Integral to define this new type of values is taken from Spiral Dynamics(which refers to a Yellow Integrative Worldview in its color descriptions of Spiral Worldviews) and is not directly related to the Integral Movement. Andy Hines