WORLD ACADEMY OF ART & SCIENCE
THE
EMERGING
INDIVIDUAL
WEB-SEMINAR FEBRUARY 17, 2012
1
GARRY JACOBS, INDIVIDUALITY PROJECT COORDINATOR
CAN ONE MAN CHANGE THE WORLD?
Moses, Buddha, Christ, Muhammed, Alexander, Socrates,
Aristotle, Euclid, Plato, Ashoka, Shankara, Lao-tse,
Confucius, Kalidasa, Homer, Augustus, Aryabhata, Virgil,
Leonardo, Michelangelo, Gutenberg, Copernicus,
Columbus, Kepler, Galileo, Spinoza, Vico, Shakespeare,
Dantes, Machiavelli, Luther, Calvin, Bacon, Boyle,
Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Mercator, Pascal, Locke,
Voltaire, Rousseau, Hume, Franklin, Jefferson, Watt,
Adam Smith, Napoleon, Mendel, Darwin, Dumas, Hugo,
Marx, Beethoven, Wagner, Dickens, Goethe, Kant, Hegel,
Edison, Ford, Einstein, Freud, Keynes, Gandhi, Mao, Jean
Monet, Martin Luther King, Popper, Watson & Crick,
Gorbachev, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Tom Peters, BernersLee, Soros, Jim Wales, Gore, Brin & Page, Zuckerberg…
2
QUESTIONS
• What do we mean by individuality?
• What is the relationship between the individual and
the collective?
• How is individuality formed?
• What is the contribution of the individual to the
development of the collective?
• What is the role of the collective in the formation of
the individual?
• What conditions are most favorable for the formation
of individuality?
• Is humanity becoming more individualized?
3
HYPOTHESES
• The mature individual represents the highest
present achievement of human culture and
perhaps of nature itself.
• Humanity is becoming more individualized.
• The evolution of the individual is the key to
continuous evolution and sustainability of the
human community.
• Learning how to actively and successfully
promote the development of human capital in
general and the emergence of individuality in
particular is the single most important challenge
for ensuring humanity’s collective future.
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WHAT DO WE MEAN BY INDIVIDUALITY?
1. INDIVIDUAL
• separate, single or particular person
• a person who is striking, unusual, distinctive or original
2. INDIVIDUALISM
• Independence, self-reliance, often self-centered and
egoistic pursuit of self-interest.
• Differentiation that makes a person feel separate from
society.
3. INDIVIDUATION
• An advanced stage of personality formation characterized
by distinguishing qualities, characteristics and values.
• A development of consciousness made possible in
freedom by which an undifferentiated member of the
collective develops a unique personality with a sense of
social responsibility as well as individual responsibility.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF
INDIVIDUALITY
• Creativity, originality and uniqueness.
• Self-directed, not limited by collective norms, roles or
blind social conformity
• Embraces change and challenges with self-confidence
and courage
• Accepts responsibility and adheres to high values
• Aware of his own unique innate potentials
• Pre-eminent member of the collective; not egoistic,
selfish, isolated or living apart
• In harmony with himself and society, viewing society as
a complement rather than a threat to his individuality
• Humility and respect for the individuality of others
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TYPES OR EXPRESSIONS OF
INDIVIDUALITY
Physical
•
Adventurer & Explorers – Columbus, Balboa, Lewis & Clark
•
Pioneers – American Pilgrims
Social
•
Commercial entrepreneurs – Carnegie, Ford, Gates, Jobs
•
Social innovators – Muhammed Yunus, Jim Wales
•
Political leaders – Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Gorbachev
Mental
•
Inventors – Franklin, Watt, Edison, Tim Berners Lee,
•
Scientific discoverers – Copernicus, Newton, Darwin
•
Original thinkers – Socrates, Einstein
•
Creative artists – Leonardo, Shakespeare, Beethoven
Spiritual
•
Prophet, saint, sage, rishi, yogi – Buddha, Christ, Muhammed
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HOW IS INDIVIDUALITY FORMED?
• The individual is not an exception to the norm. He
carries within himself and embodies the accumulated
knowledge, skills and capacities of the collective.
• The individual is the conscious fount of the
accumulated knowledge and experience of the
collective
• What is exceptional is the freedom and courage with
which he explores, creates, invents, recombines and
expresses the collective endowment in original ways.
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WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
SINGLE PERSON & COLLECTIVE?
• Feudalism – subordination and subjection
• Monarchy – obedience and loyalty
• Democracy – political and civil rights
• Social Democracy – socio-economic-cultural rights
• Individualized Society – ?
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WHAT IS ROLE OF THE INDIVIDUAL IN
DEVELOPMENT OF THE COLLECTIVE?
• Development takes place on a bedrock of social
preparedness.
• Pioneering individuals are the first to give expression
to new ideas, values, organizational innovations,
discoveries and creative actions.
• Successful pioneers may be ignored, ridiculed or
persecuted, until a time when others imitate, replicate
and multiply the new behavior.
• Eventually society accepts, endorses, organizes and
institutionalizes the new behavior and internalizes it in
cultural values.
10
WHAT CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE
TO FORMATION OF INDIVIDUALITY?
Individuality can fully emerge only when people feel
secure, even when they oppose the conventional
consciousness of the collective.
• Peace – physical security ensured by law and order
• Political freedom
• Social equality
• Economic security
• Education – what type?
• Cultural values – which ones?
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CAN WE EDUCATE FOR
INDIVIDUALITY?
• Can we teach true rationality that does not
accept conventional wisdom just because it is
conventional?
• Can we teach the limits of rationality?
12
CULTURAL VALUES: SHIFT FROM
CONFORMITY TO RATIONALITY
• Even today society is ruled by conformity to the
social consciousness of the collective. Social
power still reside with those who conform.
• The challenge is to emancipate the individual
from subordination to the social consciousness
which oppresses and constrains his creativity.
• Conscious individuality can proliferate only
when society respects the courage and vision of
those who refuse to conform and is willing to
endorse rational propositions, even when they
conflict with prevailing social conventions.
13
IS INDIVIDUALITY EVOLVING?
• The scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th century
was carried out by a handful of inspired individuals.
• Today there are thousands of inventors and
entrepreneurs like Edison, Alexander Bell, Andrew
Carnegie, and Henry Ford
• Imagine a world in which individuality evolves from the
rare exception into a common endowment.
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ORGANIZATIONS AS INDIVIDUALS
• What applies to single individual human beings
should be even more applicable to small groups of
dedicated and dynamic people.
• Club of Rome report The Limits to Growth in 1972.
• Pugwash and IPPNW awarded Nobel prizes
• Wikipedia – 20M articles, 238 languages, 365M
readers and 100K regular contributors.
• Individuality may offer valuable lessons for WAAS
on how to fulfill the ambitious mission formulated
by our founders 50 years ago.
15
QUESTIONS?
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WAAS INDIVIDUALITY FORUM
Log-in to WAAS website with your user name & password to participate
in the Individuality discussions
URL to access the Individuality discussion forum
http://www.worldacademy.org/forum/49
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The Emerging Individual - World Academy of Art and Science