actually find that... I work a lot with living systems and systems thinking, and not everybody with an integral model is necessarily working with those other perspectives. So, for me, systems thinking is fundamental to actually being able to grog integral. I'm a professor in a school of leadership, so I've watched, over the years, how leaders, students of leadership, become more complex in their thinking. And they often enter the school where they've got very strong logical, rational capacities. So they're very strong head-thinking, and then they often open into this really major heart opening, which I would say is more something that's a social, networking kind of capacity. So they move from logical into social embrace.
And those are both necessary, but not sufficient to get into systems thinking. So there is then a breakthrough, that often takes a while to happen, where they wake up and realize that systems, human systems, embrace both of those capacities, the rational and the social interaction. And this then wakes them up to the fact that we're all connected, so they often come through that very easily through a kind of heart opening. But then they realize we're not only connected in our beliefs and how we work in cultures, but we're connected as physical systems as well. There is an ecology to how we relate to each other and to our natural world.
And so, I work in a very beautiful area with a campus on the West coast of British Columbia, so we've got, you know, first-growth forest right on the campus, and we've got the ocean as our daily view. So all of a sudden, they wake up and realize: I'm part of this natural world, I'm part of this natural capital, as we say in the business community. And so I'm not separate from it, I'm actually part of it.
So this waking up to the fact that I can see systems, and then I see... We often will send them out and say: 'Go find fractals in systems,' and they will all come back with little pieces of cedar, you know, that really are replications of the whole form of a massive 300-foot cedar tree. And they become really excited as they realize how beautiful these patterns are in the natural world.
And then they wake up to the fact that they're part of a living system, and there are cycles through it. So there are the cycles of their own lives, the cycles of their families, the cycle of generations. But there is also, when you can stand beside a tree that has been there for 300-500 years, generations and generations of human systems, and you realize that for the First-Nations cultures on the West coast, it has deep, deep spiritual meaning, there is huge cultural value in that tree.
So there's a wake-up to being part of not just systems, but living systems. And so I think those are sort of the pathways that also open the door to an integral embrace, if you will. Because what integral allows us to do, is to look through the lenses of complexity, and see the development in individual lives and also in group, collective lives, organizational lives.
And it also allows us to see how, from a systems perspective, we're able to look at different kinds of boundaries. And the boundaries that are measured in terms of relationships are different than those measured in terms of bricks and mortar, are different than those measured in terms of a balance sheet, are different than those measured in terms of a first-growth forest. And yet, we can be actually using and accessing all those matrix to make sense of our life.
And what integral does, it's actually presented in four quadrants. So the upper left is the 'I', the lower left is the 'we', the upper right is the 'it', the lower right is the 'its'. Those four quadrants - amongst other things, I'm actually an accountant, and I woke up one day and realized that what the integral model allows us to use, is different matrix in every quadrant.
And that means that we can bring the qualitative matrix that we use in leadership and say organizational development on the 'I' and the 'we' quadrants, together with all of those balance sheets and profit-and-loss statements in upper right quadrants, along with those massive systems and structures measurements that we might want to use for quality control or trying to understand how to put a rocket on the moon kind of thing.
So, integral has the capacity to work with living systems, systems in each of the quadrants, that are taken from different domains of knowledge, and using different matrix to actually understand how they're succeeding, or not.