How an integral, green approach is helping to transform the Slovenian economy
The story of Integral Green Slovenia is very much a ‘TIGE’ story, emerging out the annual conferences in Caux. In the beginning of 2011, Piciga working on low-carbon policies for the Slovenian government visited Geneva and picked up a book on integral economies by Lessem and Schiffer. Piciga, Schieffer and Lessem then met at the TIGE conference that year before Piciga invited them to Slovenia to continue their work together.
Trans4m’s Integral Worlds approach aims to address imbalances in human systems—within an individual, organisation, community or society. The model is circular in shape. The starting point is its centre, representing an individual’s or society’s ‘moral core’, with four ‘realms’—north, south, east and west—that must each be considered. The ‘south’ is the realm of relationships, of nature and community; the ‘east’ is the realm of inspiration, of culture and spirituality; the ‘north’ is the realm of knowledge, of science and skills; while the ‘west’ is the realm of action, of finance and enterprise.
In Slovenia, Lessem and Schieffer worked with Darja to engage with companies as well as supporting the start-up of cooperatives and social enterprises. ‘In Slovenia, before the Second World War, cooperatives were once very strong,’ says Piciga. ‘With this in our history, we could see the benefits of reviving cooperatives and promoting social entrepreneurship.’ Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 and, through the ‘smart integration’ of proposals that addressed issues such as sustainable development, Piciga was able to show how the EU cohesion policy funding was used to implement many parts of the Integral Green Slovenia plan.
An integrated model approach, says Schieffer, helps ‘create a shared language. It gives people a way at looking at a burning issue through the same lens.’ Integral Green Slovenia continues to unfold and develop and Trans4m have taken their approach to other countries including Zimbabwe, Nigeria and India.
By Esme McAvoy