Ken Wilber is the most important philosopher of our time.
However, despite the enormous volume of work that he has generated, and despite the fact that integral ideas are spreading rapidly, Ken Wilber remains somewhat unknown to the larger mainstream world. Our primary purpose for producing this definitive biography video series, as well as an interactive "theory of everything" application, is to shift his status from "the most important philosopher you've never heard of" to "the best known philosopher on the planet!"
But we need your help.
Whether you already find deep value in Ken's work, or are discovering him here for the first time, we want you to be part of this remarkable project.
It has been said that the period of history we call the Renaissance was "participated in by about one thousand people". Well nearly 100,000 of you were notified about this project. Together, we can create a whole new integral Renaissance for the 21st century, with dramatic and far-reaching implications for every known field of human inquiry. Let's make it happen.
Look to the contribution fulcrums to the right to see the various gifts you will receive for your generous support of the Ken Wilber Biography Project!
Why do President Bill Clinton, Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins all turn to Ken Wilber for inspiration and direction as we navigate the dangers and potentials of the 21st century?
According to Jack Crittenden, author of Beyond Individualism, "the 21st century literally has three choices: Aristotle, Nietzsche, or Ken Wilber." If you haven't already heard of him, Ken Wilber is one of the most important philosophers in the world today. He is the most widely translated academic writer in America, with 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages. Ken Wilber currently lives in Denver, Colorado, and is still active as a philosopher, author, and teacher, with all of his major publications still in print. He is the founder of the Integral Institute and the co-founder of Integral Life.
Ken Wilber is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative philosophy.
As Wilber himself puts it: "I'd like to think of it as one of the first believable world philosophies." Incorporating cultural studies, anthropology, systems theory, developmental psychology, biology, and spirituality, Integral Theory offers the most comprehensive and inclusive vision of life, the universe, and everything that we have ever seen. Integral Theory has been applied in fields as diverse as ecology, sustainability, psychotherapy, psychiatry, education, business, medicine, politics, sports, and art—helping to pull the many different schools within each field into a more comprehensive whole, while also showing how all these fields fit together in a genuine "theory of everything" for today's world.
We've heard that "problems cannot be solved by the same level that created them", and we can see that our problems have become so interwoven and interconnected it's almost impossible to address one without making the others even worse. The Integral approach described by Ken Wilber—the vision, the framework, the practice—represents this next level of problem solving, and we believe it offers the world its very best hope to establish the sort of wisdom, understanding, and sophistication we need to address today's most pressing issues and conflicts, and to discover happiness and fulfillment in our own day to day lives.
This is the Integral Story, a story whose time has come. Please help us tell it to the world.
All of us on the Ken Wilber Biography Project team have worked with Ken for at least five years, some of us much longer. Our mission continues to be to document the emergence of the Integral movement, of which Ken is one of the main leaders. As we've worked with Ken during our day jobs as editors and producers at Integral Life, we would occasionally ask him questions about his personal life, questions concerning some of his most defining moments that inspired him to become a bestselling author and philosopher. We learned to record his answers as often as we could, because they reveal so much about what moves him as a creative evolutionary leader and expand on his personal view of the world that has inspired all of us so much, as has inspired important figures in the worlds of politics, personal development, entertainment, and spirituality.
In a word, what Ken offers makes us feel much more hopeful about our potential future on this planet. And based on that simple emotion, we decided that we wanted to share our insider's experience of Ken Wilber with all of you—not just the vision or the theory, but the man himself.
We have designed the Ken Wilber biography project in three major stages. Each has their own unique purpose in popularizing Ken and his contribution to world culture, and all three are interrelated to help us maximize the cultural impact Ken and his work can have in the world.
Phase 1: The Ken Wilber Lifetime Interview Archive
For all of you who already know Ken's work, we turned our camera on and started asking him questions about his life, his inspirations, and his experience. We currently have over 30 hours of interviews on a wide spectrum of topics, and are continuing to record more. These interview clips will be organized into a specialized archive and indexed by topic. You will able to pick a question and hear Ken answer it directly.
*If you help us make this project happen by pledging, you will be granted access to this extraordinary archive before its release to the general public. Talk about inside access to one of the greatest minds of our time—truly a collector's dream!
Phase 2: The Ken Wilber Biography Video Series
For those who are not yet familiar with Ken Wilber, we are going out into the world to interview well-known teachers, leaders, and artists who have been directly influenced by Ken's life and work, including many of his own friends, colleagues, and collaborators. We want to know how Ken's Integral Vision has influenced their experience of the world, and how his writing continues to inform their own life, work, and play. We also want to explore how we can help unpack the Integral Vision in a way that will make it more accessible and relevant to the cultural mainstream.
Once we have a library of these testimonials, we will begin combining them with clips from the Interview Archive. We will also create high-quality digital animations to help explain some of Ken's most important contributions to the world, and illustrate not only the Integral Vision itself, but also the tremendous value it holds in a world seized by cultural, political, and economic gridlock. Ken's Integral Vision offers the cutting-edge perspectives we need to address our current challenges and shift our broken and fragmented cultural narrative—offering a "view from 50,000 feet" that allows us to see all the various patterns of human experience with far more clarity and compassion. This view allows us to enact "new ways of being" in our own lives that are more aligned with creating more love, fulfillment, and abundance in the world.
All of this will culminate into a series of high-quality PBS-style documentaries that chronicle Ken Wilber's life and work, as well as his groundbreaking vision for a more integrated world.
*If you help us make the documentary video series happen, your name will be enshrined forever in the credits of the series, however it is distributed—from DVDs to cable to PBS. You will also receive an advanced copy of the video series before it is made available to the general public. Don't you want to be a part of history?
Phase 3: The Interactive "Theory of Everything" App
We plan to create an interactive iPhone/iPad/Andriod-style app that will utilize the footage and audio from the Ken archive interview product and documentary video series, in a specially designed experience that allows the user a more interactive and customized relationship with Ken and his work. The interactive "Theory of Everything" app will also include a constantly updating stream of Ken's ongoing work as it emerges in the world. As the world's preeminent philosopher of the internet age, it is fitting that Ken's life and work take advantage of these new and rapidly expanding technologies.
*If you choose to help us create the Interactive Ken APP, you will be enrolled as a part of a special preview testing audience that will influence the final features of the interactive APP. Think about that, you can become a co-creator of Ken moving out into the digital interactive world. How cool is that!
Here you can find a couple short samples from the 30+ hours of interview footage that we have already captured. Moments like these are wonderful examples of how Ken weaves 3rd-person theory and 1st-person narrative together while telling his story, offering us a unique window into his extraordinary mind and heart.
A Long Line of Pioneers (5:12)
Did you know that Ken Wilber is not the only pioneer in his family? In fact, he can trace his heritage all the way back to Meriwether Lewis, who you may know as the first half of Lewis & Clark. In this exclusive footage from the Ken Wilber Biography Project, the world's greatest map-maker talks about a tremendously meaningful encounter he had with his famous map-making ancestor.
Experiments in Vision (3:48)
We all know Ken Wilber is a visionary, but did you know that in his early years he actually made a minor but significant discovery around the biological processes of vision itself? In this entertaining clip from the Ken Wilber Biography Project, Ken talks about one of the most interesting (and unnerving) experiments he's ever conducted, which curiously seems to include some of the very same seeds we find in his later work—that is, how the relationships between light (first physical, later spiritual) and various unfolding structures (first biological, later psychological) define what we can actually see in the world, and how we see it.
So who is the team that will be putting the Ken Wilber Biography Project together? Most of us are the same folks that bring you all the Integral Life content at www.integrallife.com. We know how to create media of all kinds—print, audio, video and interactive applications. We've all worked with Ken for a number of years, we've all experienced the value of Ken's work in a deeply personal way, and we're all excited to find new ways to help unpack this work and bring it out to the rest of the world.
Here are our short personal biographies:
David Riordan: Co-Producer/Director
David is a seasoned storyteller who has extensive expertise in producing programming for cable television and the web, DVD documentary films, and designing and producing Internet web courses, games, and interactive apps. Recently, he directed the documentary DVD "The Future of Christianity" featuring Father Thomas Keating and Ken Wilber and produced the "Coming Home" web course featuring Leslie Hershberger. He was the Executive Producer for the "Lost in Woonsocket" documentary film and the consulting producer and web director for the Random 1 documentary television series on A&E. www.random1.com. He is currently developing a biography project with bestselling author and philosopher Ken Wilber and directs media development at Integral Life.
Prior to becoming an independent producer, David directed interactive production groups at Time Warner, Disney Interactive and Philips Media, creating more than thirty interactive entertainment experiences for the Internet, CD-ROM and Interactive Television. He has won numerous awards from major interactive societies including seven Interactive Academy Awards. He also co-wrote the hit song "Green Eyed Lady" performed by Sugarloaf.
Corey deVos: Co-Producer/Director
Corey is the Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life and Managing Editor of KenWilber.com. Corey has worked for Integral Institute/Integral Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of Integral Theory and Practice since 1996. Corey manages the membership experience at Integral Life, and is responsible for most of the writing, audio production, and imagery on the website. A writer, artist, and pop culture enthusiast, Corey is singularly devoted to helping unpack and popularize Ken Wilber's work for the world.
Corey is also currently working on a new book with Ken Wilber, tentatively titled Integral Naked: Ken Wilber in Conversation, which will feature a collection of classic transcripts from some of Ken Wilber's most extraordinary dialogues over the past 10 years.
Angie Hinickle: Graphic Director
Angie is a website producer and graphic designer living in Boulder, CO. After being introduced to Ken Wilber's work nearly a decade ago she uprooted from her hometown in the midwest and moved to Boulder, CO in 2006 to pursue a life of more meaning and fullness, and began working at Integral Life in 2007. As the Director of Communications and Aesthetics, she has been responsible for branding and marketing a countless number of products, as well as producing the monthly Integral Life Art Galleries. Her favorite part about working in the Integral community is being surrounded by an expansive array of perspectives, brilliant ideas, beautiful people, and boundless creativity.
Jason Lange: Co-Director of Photography
Jason is a filmmaker and digital media creator currently living in North Hollywood, CA. He has been a producer and the Director of Photography on both 2 seasons of the cable television show Sex, God, Rock 'n Roll and on the documentary film Awakening World, an official selection of the 2012 Hawaii International Film Festival. Jason has been a student of integral theory for nearly a decade, and worked at the Integral Institute before co-founding the world's first integral center in Boulder, CO (now the Integral Center). Jason currently runs the media production company Attention Engine, co-hosts The 7th Kingdom: A Deeper Look at Technology and Life online podcast, and is working to bring many of the insights of integral theory to mainstream Hollywood productions.
Jason Digges: Co-Director of Photography
Jason is a video producer and writer living and working in the people's republic of Boulder. From 2003-2007 he was part of the media team that created the first 500 video clips of the integral naked archives. He went on to produce, film, and edit Sex God Rock n Roll, an independently funded TV show that aired nationally on cable. He even acted in a few of the commercials! He has run his own production company for the past 5 years and helps clients get their positive message out into the world through online media.
Ken Furman: Lead Editor
After spending almost a decade working for the Walt Disney World Company, Ken returned to his home state of Colorado in to start a new career in video editing. The Denver and Boulder communities of Cable TV, Independent Filmmakers and local Industries offered a wide range of editing styles and philosophies that he acquired. Ken was introduced to the Integral movement and Ken Wilber by editing Integral Life's growing library of digital video content in 2008. It was soon discovered that he had unknowingly crossed paths with David Riordan over 15 years prior during a television production at Walt Disney. Ken continues to edit and produce content for Integral Life while also pursuing an on-going career developing and editing mostly ‘Industry Films' for local companies and businesses.
If you are asking yourself why we are using Indiegogo to fund the Ken Wilber Biography Project, it's because this project is more ambitious and requires more resources than any existing integrally-affiliated organization can supply.
Ken often says that the leadership in the Integral movement does not reside in him or any one person; that leadership emerges from the individuals within the community. Individuals will step up to lead the charge, but we can't do it alone. As we've said, the Integral audience is extremely enthusiastic, but still very small, and thus ambitious projects like these do not get met with the level of resources that they deserve. This is our attempt to overcome this lack of resources—to "crowd source" this project and invite those of you who are as excited as we are (and who have the means to help) to directly fund the Ken Wilber Biography Project and offer your own ongoing creative input. What this celebration of Ken Wilber's legacy becomes will ultimately be shaped by all of you, our co-collaborators. We think this Indiegogo campaign is the best way to not only acquire the resources this project deserves, but to also include all of you in the field of creative emergence as this project is brought into the world.
Additionally, we view this project as our personal "gift" to Ken, and not as a corporate production of Integral Life. We want to invite you to be part of this gift by helping us with funding (of almost any amount!) and offering us creative input to help us shape how this effort will continue to roll out into the world.
On a practical note, any funds that are raised through this Indiegogo campaign that are not used in the actual production of the three initial versions of the Ken Wilber Biography Project will go towards ongoing updates to the project over time. The production team will be paid for some of their time to design and produce this project, but none of us individually are taking any profit from the proceeds the project. Integral Life is also making a sizeable contribution of the Ken interview material, and the costs of capturing and editing the existing 30 hours of Ken's personal interviews will be contributed by Integral Life to the initial effort, and as we capture more footage of Ken, Integral Life will pay for the capture and editing costs of that as well.
The majority of the funds raised by this Indiegogo campaign will first be used to research, capture, organize, and create the archive of material that includes Ken interviews, Ken's friends, and colleague's testimonials, as well as the digital visualizations of Ken's theoretical contributions to the world. Once this material is created, captured, and organized, funds will then be used to shape it into each of the initial three versions of the project. As each version of the project is completed, funds will also be used for marketing and partner development, so that the end result of all our contributions will reach the largest audience possible.
Why Three Products?
When we think about documenting Ken's contribution to the planetary culture, there are three audiences that we want to serve that we believe over time will help cause a "tipping point" of interest in Ken's work. We believe that these three products, developed for three different audiences, will move Ken from his current status as "the most important philosopher you've never heard of" to "the best known philosopher on the planet".
For Those Who Already Know Ken's Work
Those of you that have already found Ken through reading his books or on-line at IntegralLife.com simply want to hear Ken's answers to your questions. Why did he become an author of trans-personal psychology books? What were the first big Ah-ha moments for him? What shaped his worldview and the development of the Integral map as he wrote and interacted with some of the brightest minds on the planet? What does he think of reincarnation? In the interviews we are conducting with Ken, we are hearing lots of new, insightful personal antidotes about Ken's experience. We think the value of this Lifetime Archive is immeasurable to all of us that want to know more about the man himself and what calls him to contribute to the development of a more compassionate and abundant human culture.
For Those Who Don't Know Ken's Work… Yet!
There is a large audience that in unaware the Ken's work influences many of the leaders that they already pay attention to. In the fields of personal development, politics, spirituality, science and business, Ken's work resonates with anyone operating on the leading edge of human development. The Ken Wilber Biographic Video Series, will include interviews with these leaders talking about how Ken's work has influenced their own journey and will highlight Ken's biggest ideas that are transforming the future of humanity. The video series will be produced in chapters that will focus on Ken's defining moments that led to his major contributions.
The world of information and social media is quickly moving into an increasingly interactive phase as we consume more and more of what we are interested in on our iPhones and iPad devices. More than just "listening on the go", the promise of developing an interactive application to present Ken's work is that you can customize your experience with an enormous amount of material on a diverse range of subjects that Ken has produced to date. A user of the interactive Ken app will be able to launch an inquiry that is of personal interest to them and track the material that is appropriate to that topic. The other advantage to the interactive Ken app is that it can automatically update as new material becomes available on the web. New applications of Ken's work are emerging all over the planet on a daily basis, and the interactive Ken app will always be up to date on the latest movements in the integral world.
Timing: We currently have over 30 hours of interviews with Ken and will be doing more during 2013. We are also recording testimonials to Ken's work from his friends, colleagues, and collaborators and will continue to do so into 2013 with your financial help. In the first six months of 2013 we will release the first edition of Ken's Lifetime Archive. This archive will offer clips from Ken's interviews, indexed by topic and inquiry. With you financial help, we will also release the first chapters of the Ken Wilber Biography Series in 2013. These chapters will be available as downloads on the internet and as DVD/Blu-Ray collections.
After these first two phases are complete, we will begin designing and producing the Interactive "Theory of Everything" app. This interactive app will almost certainly require more resources than the first two phases, and may require further funding efforts before we can begin production. However, because the interactive app depends on the completion of the Interview Archive and the Documentary film, it is important that we begin work on these first two phases, which is where your initial funding will go.
Marketing and Distribution: At the moment, we have access through Integral Life and its marketing partners to approximately 500,000 individuals who already have an interest in Ken's work. This audience will be our first marketing target. As the Interview Archive and Video Biography Series rolls out in 2013, we will develop press contacts and partners to reach a much larger audience of at least 5 million people interested in the future of this planet. This includes those engaged in personal development and anyone with an interest in health, technology, spirituality and leadership. (Think TED talks.) In 2014, as the Interactive Ken app emerges, we will market and distribute through partners with interactive platforms in a number of markets.
Production Techniques: We are employing a variety of production techniques across all three products. First we are doing interviews with Ken and those that he inspires. We will use clips from these interviews to highlight the defining moments in Ken's work. We are also going to create digital animated visualizations of Ken's big concepts so that we can witness the effect they have on our lives, while showing examples of Ken's biggest claims about what is going on. Finally, we will use our interactive design expertise to craft the interactive "theory of everything" app, combining the material from the Interview Archive and the Video Biography Series with interactive features that allow the participant to customize their experience of Ken's work.
Here are a few examples of some different video production styles we have been playing with recently. If you haven't already checked out the Ken Wilber interview clips above, we urge you to take a look.
The Future of Spirituality: Why It Must Be Integral (clips from an in-depth interview series with Tami Simon)
What Is the Integral Movement? (a simple slideshow presentation featuring the stunning work of many integral artists)
Ken Wilber's Claim (a short teaser video that shows some of the post-production prowess of our video editing team)
Can I write this donation off in my taxes? The Ken Wilber Biography Project is a for-profit endeavor, and thus does not qualify for tax write-offs.
I stumbled into Ken's world over five years ago. My entire media career in Hollywood was shaped by my interest in what the future was calling us to. In 2000, I made the leap into the web/media documentary world as I applied all I had learned directing interactive media groups at companies like Time Warner, Disney and Philips to documenting what was emerging at the leading edge of human endeavor. I was interested in and remain dedicated to spotlighting the best ideas to expand the field of love, compassion and abundance to as many people on this planet as possible.
In spite of my documentary work with Emerging Worlds, One World Journeys, Google Ocean and the Random 1 television series on the A&E Networks, I realized at some point that I did not have a clear context for what I was experiencing. That was until I met and hung out with Ken for a while. Like Ken, I had an interest in the patterns of behavior that drive our stories about what gives meaning to our lives. One of Ken's greatest gifts has been developing a Theory of Everything from diverse sources of human development work and collaborating with giants engaged in cutting edge ideas around the world. The elegance and the clarity that comes from Ken's Integral map of consciousness and his outrageously hopeful claim that a new stage of human development is emerging in our lives was more than enough for me to have spent the last five years as the VP of Media for Integral Life and just as important in my spare time to be part of the team that is bringing the biography of Ken's life and work to life. I can't think of a better seat at the table of what the future is calling us to. And I am inviting you to join me for this extraordinary journey of discovery and inspiration.
I have been a student of Ken Wilber's work for pretty much my entire adult life, having discovered A Brief History of Everything at 19 years old. I still remember seeing it on the bookshelf as I browsed the eastern philosophy and new age sections at Barnes and Noble, trying to make sense of a world-shattering spiritual implosion I had recently experienced. I read the spine and asked "who could possibly pull off such a pretentious title?" So I pulled it off the shelf, saw Ken's face plastered on the cover, and said to myself "OK, I bet this guy could." He was an intense looking dude, I thought he looked like Clark Kent with Lex Luthor's hair stylist. And before you know it, I was falling upward through a rabbit hole of holons, quadrants, fulcrums, and pre/trans fallacies, with the constant sensation of having finally figured out how to say something that's been on the tip of my tongue for as long as I can remember.
That was the beginning of my love affair with Ken Wilber, and before long I was voraciously consuming everything he had ever written. Through Ken's work, I was able to slowly wrap words around those most ineffable parts of my experience, and to hold all the staggering complexity of my self and the world around me in a single simple vision. After several years of intense study, this love affair would eventually lead me to move to Boulder with the single-minded drive to find a way to work with Ken and help bring this big, beautiful vision to the people who need it the most.
In so many ways, this project is a fulfillment of a deeply personal, ongoing commitment I made a long time ago to do whatever I can to allow as many people as possible to find the same meaning, value, and clarity in Ken's work that I was fortunate enough to find—because deep down I know that the Integral vision can not only change a single life, it can change the world.
Now I am 35 years old, almost a full decade into my integral career, with a baby girl preparing to meet the world in just a couple months. I want to help create a better future for my daughter, to give her a better world and the opportunity to become a better person than I could ever hope to be. And I feel that at this moment, this project is my very best shot to help make that happen. I hope you will join me!
Team on This Campaign: