In Search of Sacred Intelligence: Shamanic Sensibilities & the Evolution of Diversity in Business


  • Palma Vizzoni


Business Diversity Learning, Indigenous Community Technologies, Shamanic Sensibilities, Socio-environmental Crisis, Initiation


This paper explores the question, “How do the sensibilities of shamanic practices in combination with communal indigenous tools demonstrate a capacity to better inform business leadership and management towards sustainability?” This exploration centers itself around a missing link in corporate community management related to the narrow focus of diversity development and the ensuing task to broaden the action of “embracing diversity” as a core value of business. This recovery of deeper diversity awareness towards cultural competence and beyond can bring business to the doorway of utilizing ancient skills traditionally secluded to the lives of indigenous people and their wisdom gatekeepers. The main points of this paper include: · When “modern” society walks into its own indigenous landscape, it can be seen that the socio-environmental crisis faced today is an initiatory ordeal. As a result, modern people are faced with the task of creating practical adaptations to eclectic, ancient tools that serve the action of pushing through this crisis and globally witnessing its conclusion. · Examining what the terms indigenous self, shamanic sensibilities, and work instinct mean for Western culture. · Identifying where Western science meets indigenous technologies and recognizing a new relationship that was previously thought to be incompatible. · Analyzing the connection between broadening the definition of diversity in business to include indigenous community ritual technologies and the capacity of business to integrate sustainability and avoid the fatal consequences of current behaviors. In business diversity training case studies, when some groups have peak experiences of sustained creativity and trust, the format of their training is analogous to common techniques of community ritual. These ideas are supported by the work of David Abram, James Hillman, Martín Prechtel, Malidoma Somé, Brian Swimme, Margaret Wheatley, Ken Wilbur, R. Rosen and P. Digh, J. Gibb, and L. Gibb. These authors provide evidence for connecting Western thought to indigenous practices and building the business case for expanding the concept of diversity.

Author Biography

Palma Vizzoni

MBA 2006 Sustainable Management Presidio School of Management



How to Cite

Vizzoni, P. (2006). In Search of Sacred Intelligence: Shamanic Sensibilities & the Evolution of Diversity in Business. Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2006, Sonoma, CA, USA. Retrieved from



Evolutionary Design