Social transformation through cocreativity

A new forum for philosophy and creativity research

Author: Dr. Kai Gregor
Humans are on the threshold of a new era, in the midst of transition. The technical and industrial age has brought enormous progress to mankind. For further development we now need other ways of thinking and acting than me-chanics. The creativity potential of human beings is needed to co-creatively shape this evolution.

Today, we are unmistakably in the transition from an industrial society to a new era of humanity, which can also be called a knowledge society, a network society, a sustainability society or even a creative society. This future will preserve the useful achievements of industrial society, but it must also learn to understand and solve its ecological, social and spiritual problems. This transition is particularly difficult due to a rapidly progressing modernization. It could slide into the uncontrollable and self-destructive as a result of influential developments of exponential proportions (capitalist logic of increase, population growth, compound interest curves, AI, biotechnology, and others): These tendencies, which tend to become independent, must be integrated more strongly than before. By qualities of sustainability, authentic individuality, liveliness and solidarity we can achieve that.


Gesellschaftliche Transformation durch Kokreativität


This can only succeed on the basis of a non-reductive integral view of man and the world, which takes man seriously in his highest potential and his most creative abilities and brings him to unfoldment: mankind – a whole of creative beings, every man an artist (Beuys). Integral creativity and cocreativity are key concepts of human self-knowledge and self-realization in the global age. In order to work this out in a long-term and systematic way, we, Maik Hosang and I, founded the Institute for Philosophy and Creativity Research in 2017, based in Berlin and Pommritz. Here I would like to present some basic features of our work.



The Institute for Philosophy and Creativity Research places the concepts of integral creativity and cocreativity at the center of its work and combines the methods of psychology, philosophy and art in order to gain a holistic-emancipatory perspective on the future development of society.

Secondary creativity competencies are, of course, by no means senseless or reprehensible in themselves. But they are external to the human being. Thus corruptible if the social framework conditions are unsuitable. Secondary creativity competences are centered and fulfilled only when they are put by the individual in the service of his primary deep creativity. Only by combining primary and secondary creativity does integral creativity emerge, according to Maslow. Integral creativity is the fully developed, mature freedom of the individual, creative power with technical-practical competence. Only through this does the individual become the creative designer of the social sculpture of his or her life.

Only integral creativity fulfills what Beuys demanded for art in every human being: every human being is an artist.

It is important to see that the concept of primary creativity is not part of the instrumentalization for reasons of principle. Through it, rather, we come into possession of criteria for grasping and further strengthening the autonomous core of an inviolably human (of dignity, individual uniqueness, quality, and freedom). The strengthening of this residuum seems to us one of the most urgent tasks of today’s art and philosophy in the age of the global logic of disposal of capitalism.



This brings me to cocreativity: There was this famous Czech psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He has shown in a study of many years on creativity that creative ideas or products almost always arise only from the interaction of many influences. Not only from the genius of one individual, as one would still assume today. To put it pointedly: Einstein’s achievements, too, were only possible in a special interpersonal field. This seems to us a very significant insight for all ideas of art, education, science. City, economy, politics, indeed society in general.

It turns out that it is much easier to foster primary and consequently integral creativity. By changing external and especially interpersonal conditions and relationships. Rather than by trying to challenge a single individual to think more creatively.

If secondary creativity may also be enhanced to a limited extent by effort, appeal, and work, integral cocreativity is a purely interpersonal resonance phenomenon. Technically speaking, integral cocreativity is an interpersonal atmospheric-aesthetic field reality. It emerges from the free interplay of recognition, appeal, and resonance of individual creative subjects. Primary creativity can therefore only be made possible indirectly by shaping the environment. I.e. by changing the aesthetic surroundings, the social atmospheres, by rearranging mental presuppositions and guiding philosophical paradigms. Fundamentally new non-instrumental methods have to be collected and elaborated. Not only to tap the sources of primary creativity, but also to bring their inspirations into the world. These are methods that combine new and old forms of knowledge, reflective and meditative techniques. These ultimately aim to realize unintentional willing and acting (wuwei), genetic thinking (hishiryo), and knowing not-knowing (docta ignorantia).



Hopefully, this has clarified some essential framework ideas of the research program of the Institute for Philosophy and Creativity Research. Applied to today’s developments, they point to a critical corrective. Also a diverse future-oriented perspectives. On our agenda is the development and testing of a degree program for integral creativity. In addition, we try to test new forms of integral thinking and acting in various ways. In order to present and discuss our ideas with the broader public, we have decided to organize a regular philosophical festival in Berlin. The – Festival for Art ≡ Philosophy 2018 is an art festival that, following the ancient idea of poesis (Plato) and the expanded concept of art (Beuys), rejects the reductive and abstract separation of philosophy and art in order to recover integral forms of creative co-creative thought and action.


Gesellschaftliche Transformation durch Kokreativität


It seems to us necessary to create a new forum for this integral co-creative interrelationship of philosophy and art. This is in order to give people new means and instruments to deal with the challenges of the present in a co-creative and cosmopolitan way. And thus to equip them with a competence to acquire new existential perspectives in life. Instead of continually reproducing the status quo in the dialectical repetition loops of politically correct mainstream discourse. And the powerless academic enterprise, and the self-fulfilling prophecies of playful art events in love with themselves in the narrowest of circles.

Whoever is interested in our work, would like to receive further information or feels called and gifted to participate, I cordially invite you to join us.


About the author

Unser Autor Dr. Kai GregorDr. Kai Gregor is a philosopher, action artist and Zen monk. He wrote the book “Freedom – Reflection – Fulfillment”. Also he is co-founder of the Institute for Philosophy and Creativity Research. And curator of – Festival for Art ≡ Philosophy.







This article was originally published in the German Issue of Tattva Viveka No. 74: Gesellschaftliche Transformation durch Kokreativität

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