About the Author
Gail Hochachka

Gail Hochachka

Gail Hochachka works in international development and humanitarian aid in Africa and Latin America using integral principles with two Canadian non-profit organizations. Having witnessed first-hand how a comprehensive philosophy like Integral theory is achingly needed to address global issues, as well as having felt the compassionate impact of its application in the world, she is simply and deeply committed to integral practice for the planet. She is a Co-Director of Integral Without Borders, she works as the Integral Programs Director for One Sky in its overseas projects, is a consultant in integral community development in Vancouver, Canada, and is a published author.

Gail has over 15 years of experience applying an integral approach to sustainable development globally. She works with the Canadian NGOs Drishti-Centre for Integral Action and One Sky where she is involved in projects in Peru, Nigeria and El Salvador. The purposes of these projects are varied, giving her direct experience of the many ways an integral approach serves in practice in communities and ecosystems across the world. In Peru, the focus was on integral capacity development for increased effectiveness in Amazon rainforest conservation. In El Salvador the focus was on climate change adaptation in vulnerable regions. And, in Nigeria, the focus was on leadership development for sustainability in what is considered a ‘bottom billion’ country. She’s currently involved in designing and delivering integral leadership programs for value chains in the private sector in Peru and Bolivia, and hoping to expand into parts of Africa and Asia.

She has authored articles in academic journals, such as in Ecological Applications, World Futures Journal, Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, and Trialog Journal for Planning and Building in the Third World, as well as the book entitled, Developing Sustainability, Developing the Self: An Integral Approach to International and Community Development. The book, Developing Sustainability, Developing the Self, was an extension of her Master’s thesis looking at an integral approach to international and community development in El Salvador.

It was in El Salvador in the late 1990s—a country infamously known for civil war and the worst environmental degradation after Haiti in Latin America—that she realized we have to evolve our way out of this one… And, that the post/modern disciplines available in the field of development were not sufficient to be effective in engaging this type of evolutionary social change. Questions like, "Why do humans suffer and what are the tried-and-true pathways out of suffering?" and, "How do people and cultures really evolve?" initiated an integral action inquiry that continues to this day and has taken her to far-flung parts of the world such as the Amazon rainforests of Peru, the Niger Delta of Nigeria, and into native communities of Peru and Bolivia.

In 2005, Gail and her colleague Paul van Schaik founded the Integral International Development Center as part of Integral Institute, to explore, deepen and expand integral praxis in global social change work. It has since been re-named Integral Without Borders, has become it’s own nonprofit organization, and operates as a global community of practitioners seeking more innovative, integral ways to address complex issues and solve real world problems. She is one of the Directors of IWB and contributes centrally to event coordination, facilitating monthly conference calls, and overall project coordination. See more here: www.integralwithoutborders.org

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The Tetra-Meshed Earth: Depth and Innovation in Climate Change Adaptation

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Gail presents the contours of the challenge that is climate change — namely how to grasp in meaning or action such a wicked problem and hyperobject: something not directly seen and experienced, so radically nonlocal and involving of multiple disciplines, that exists on timeline we can’t easily conceive of, and regarding a future we can only approximate. Making sense of an issue this complex is slippery and plastic, and how we then engage it even more so.

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Making Sense of Trump’s Exit from the Paris Accord

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Last week, Trump stated his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement regarding climate change. Trump announced that the USA will withdraw based on the sense that it will negatively affect US jobs. To explore this, I turn to Integral Theory, which is a comprehensive transdisciplinary theory developed by contemporary philosopher Ken Wilber and applied by others across several professional fields. We can draw upon these ideas regarding the dynamics of social groups to make sense of Trump’s exit from the Paris agreement.

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Integral Without Borders: International Development in a Post-Trump World

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How might the integral framework help facilitate healthy growth and sustainabilty in developing societies around the planet? Gail Hochachka and Paul van Schaik talk to Ken Wilber about how Integral Without Borders is actively working to meet people’s struggles and challenges head-on and help them to gain more perspective and better adapt to their present circumstances. Gail, Paul, and Ken also discuss the earth-shaking election of Donald Trump, the social trends that carried him into the Presidency, and how his election might impact the further unfolding of integral consciousness around the world.