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The Planetary Connection
Summer 1985

Research Events

Chicago, July; Brussels, July–August. “The Planetary Connection”


People examined the factors that lead to social change and identified social trends that are leading in new and needed directions. Participants delved into understandings of consciousness and spiritual development as practiced in various parts of the world. Looked at life styles and systems for contemporary social ethics. Leading thinkers and futurists contributed to the meeting: Jean Houston, Co-director of the Foundation for Mind Research, New York; [Oliver] Markley, director of the Futures Research Department, University of Houston; Barbara Hubbard, catalyst of the Positive Futures [sic] Society*; Willis Harman, author of An Incomplete Guide to the Future (The Institute of Cultural Affairs, 1987).

1984 - 1985



Staff-operated businesses provided staff support


• Brussels: Ken Whitney, the American Handiman from 1977–1979, with Clare Whitney and Paul Schrijnen, paid old bills, stipends, and sent all staff members to Chicago for summer programs (Clare Whitney, July 17, 2015).


• Chicago: Horizons Unlimited handled travel from 1983–1986.


• Chicago: Access Unlimited provided word processing services.


• Chicago (1982–1984)—LENS International consultants included Sherwood Shankland, Lee Early, Cynthia Vance, Rick Loudermilk, Jack Gilles, Pat Tuecke, and others..


• Houston: Income from LENS courses and consultancies. Don Clark, Dick Whanger, Linda Jones (Sunny Walker), Tim Wegner, et al.


• Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1975–1982)


• Kingston, Jamaica (1986–88)— Sherwood & Eunice Shankland, David & Ellen Rebstock, & Winston Davis operated as a LENS program consulting team.


• Lamego, Portugal (1982–1984)—teaching English to people working in port wine companies.


• Los Angeles: Milan and Linda Hamilton founded Food For All in July 1985 to raise funds for anti-hunger projects.


• Majuro (1973)—Larry White had an accounting firm where Sunny Walker worked. A small chip factory, farming, shark fishing, and Alele Basket businesses were run as a part of the Human Development Project. The Trans Atoll Service Corporation (TASC)…[?]


* Barbara Marx Hubbard is a co-founder of the World Future Society. Retrieved from


• New York, Computer Paradigm: Scott and Doris Morris and others did programming, consulting, and training.


• Toronto: PEOPLEnergy—First launched in 1985 by Jan Sanders & Ian Gilmoure; hired Bob Rafos, Bill Staples, Jo Nelson, Richard Kitney, Deanna Hickey, et al as consultants. In 2017, it continues as a self-support business, at times working in collaboration with other organizations, including Ian Gilmore’s Technology Transfer, on several contracts.


• Washington, DC, Computer Paradigm: Stan Crow, Linda and Lester Knudsen sold Kaypro computers; did programming, consulting, & training.


• Note: LENS consulting and training activities (initially Living Effectively in the New Society and later Leadership Effectiveness and New Strategies) provided ICA staff self-support in various other locations.


The Movement


• “Effective Management,” seminar is held in Zambia.


• Transitioned from being pedagogues to becoming facilitators.


• ICA was granted Consultative Status (in Category II) with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, May, 1983.


The Survey Project. A network of women associated with ICA developed the “Survey Project” to get women’s input into the United Nations World Conference in Nairobi. Women gathered to describe experiences of change in the past decade and hopes for the future. This data was sent to an international group of women at the Wingspread Conference Center, Racine, Wisconsin who created a report of findings that was included in a document presented to delegates at the Nairobi conference.


• STEP Program opened in Sellersburg, IN in 1985, supported by Training, Inc. Indianapolis.

Seven hundred full-time members of the ICA live and work in 65 houses around the world.


Ongoing leadership and facilitator training in the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Kingdom of Tonga, India, and Kenya.


Phase III of the IERD. Delegates returned to their own countries to explore further avenues of networking. Hundreds of events and programs were held around the globe:


• from local exchange conferences to major international gatherings


• from small group studies to meetings of large development agencies


• from local presentations and slide shows by delegates to production of a video film


• from exchanging notes and names to compiling a directory & data-base


(The Institute of Cultural Affairs, 1985)