Wake up, grow up, and show up to your Unique Self! With this mantra in the background, one amazing presenter after another engaged a group gathered to re-imagine SUCCESS.
It was Success 3.0 Summit, and the mantra is taken from the planned title for an upcoming book by Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni. Gafni is a leader and Wilber a leading voice in the Center for Integral Wisdom (CIW), a co-initiator of the Summit. In many respects the Summit is the brainchild of Gafni and Kate Maloney, co-chair of the Board of CIW.
“You have an ethical imperative to grow and evolve,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods founder, co-author of Conscious Capitalism, and co-chair of the Board of CIW. His talks on day one and day four of the event framed the discussion of success in terms of transforming business.
Raj Sisodia, co-author of Conscious Capitalism, asked “Can a business be built on love and care?” … and it seems that speaker after speaker reaffirmed that the answer is yes. Sisodia also said: “Business is not a game. Not a math problem. Not a machine. Not war. Business is about the real lives of real people.”
Yanik Silver, founder of Maverick Business Adventures and author of several best-selling marketing books, said, “Our business is our canvas. Entrepreneurs are artists.” The notion of entrepreneurism as a cauldron for social experimentation and consciousness raising was definitely a theme running through many presentations.
“I really believe that business can be a place where people can become self-actualized,” said David Hassell, a man named “The Most Connected Man You Don’t Know in Silicon Valley” by Forbes Magazine.
In a talk won a standing ovation from the standing-room-only room, Jack Canfield said, “JOY is immediate feedback that you’re living your purpose.” Canfield is known as America’s #1 Success Coach and originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books.
Some of the talks described important life lessons derived from the front-lines of conscious business. For example, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jeff Walker said that he discovered he was not merely teaching marketing through connection, he was really “teaching connection through marketing.”
Other presenters touched upon the shadow dynamics preventing breakthroughs in conscious business. Dean Maxwell, co-founder of The Foundation, said, “When pursuing your greatest work, you will encounter your greatest fears.”
In addition to bestselling authors, entrepreneurs, and CEOs, the convention included Ibrahim AlHusseini. The venture capitalist and philanthropist said, “I want to invest only in enterprises that make the world I want to live into.”
And Jason Myers, Co-founder and CEO of CXO Collective International private equity firm, said “It’s time to show up and take companies off the treadmill to a conscious space.”
Over 75 presenters discussed an enormous range of perspectives on success. Topics outside of the business arena included success in relationships, sexuality, parenting, art, and civil rights. Speakers included musicians Alanis Morisette, Michael Franti, and DJ Spooky.
For many of us a remarkable highlight was our Saturday night main event: a movie and in-person appearance by Shep Gordon, the manager of many celebrity careers and the creator of the celebrity chef. He is the subject of a new film by Mike Meyers entitled Super Mensch: The Life of Shep Gordon.
Personally I found that there were too many connections and inspirational moments to chronicle. Of course, as an Integral thinker it was a joy to hear from Wilber and Gafni as well as other thought leaders such as Barbra Marx Hubbard, Lynne Twist, Warren Farrell, John Gray, Dave Logan, and Michael Beckwith. Arianna Huffington on the left and Adam Bellow on the right added a necessary political dimension.
Barbara Alexander, who watched the livestream of the event, wrote “Hats Off To a Successful Success Summit” in her column on Patheos. She writes, “Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up – the new vision of success.”
Success 3.0 Summit was held October 30 to November 2 at the St. Julian Hotel in Boulder, Colorado. Its social media presence included Twitter and the hashtag #S3S, plus the event was livestreamed via GaiamTV. Marc Gafni said that future summits will be held annually.
The event’s title comes from the concept that views of success evolve over iterations of adequacy, becoming more ethical and conscious as they evolve. Conventional notions of success tend to focus on money and status of the individual, notions which rise to no more than Success 1.0 or Success 2.0 at best. It is only when our conceptions expand from egocentric to ethnocentric and to worldcentric and Kosmocentric that we are at home.
In the magazine distributed to attendees, the Summit’s four key initiators write: “What would it mean if to be successful meant to wake up to the realization that you are an irreducibly unique expression of the love intelligence and love beauty that is initiating and animating Eros of all that is, living in you, as you and through you? What would it mean if to be successful meant to grow up to your highest level of consciousness as a unique expression of the evolutionary impulse, outrageously alive and in love with all that is?”
I’ll close with two memorable lines from the event. Firstly, Michael Franti closed his concert with “Be your best. Give back to the greater good. Rock out wherever you are.”
And then there was an amazing observation by Dr. Beckwith: “Future generations will look back and say, ‘You guys were starting businesses just for money? How gauche!'”