Reimagining Sustainability Leadership

Reimagining Sustainability Leadership: Integral Action Research in a Non-Profit Organization

Justin Robinson, MA, Royal Roads University, Canada

Over 2017-2018, Justin Robinson conducted action research with Integral Without Borders, to help engage us in an inquiry into sustainability leadership -- what sustainability leadership is in today's global moment, and how might it be reimagined within and beyond our organization? Justin has written this up as a chapter in a forthcoming book on Integral Theory and Transdisciplinary Action Research in Education, by Veronika Bohac Clarke at the University of Calgary, Canada. Please read the abstract here and full article below.


This research explored how the stakeholders of Integral Without Borders (IWB)—an international think tank and NGO focused on applying integral metatheory to sustainable development—might reimagine sustainability leadership to increase their collective capacity for wise and transforming action in the world. Applying an integral action research methodology in the context of an action research engagement model, eight individual interviews, two focus groups, and an open space lab were conducted with participation from an international cohort of IWB’s stakeholders. The study identified fertile territories from which the possibility space for sustainability leadership might be expanded, specifically “four Rs” of integral transformation praxis: (1) revive, (2) reidentify, (3) recode, and (4) reconfigure. Recommendations
relevant to IWB’s specific leadership goals and development as an organization were also proposed.