Anyone know anything about the Unicist Research Institute?

Written by Dorothy Nesbit on 3 June 2015

Dear colleagues

This is a bit of a long shot - has anyone come across the Unicist Research Institute or know anything about their work?

They have been in contact with me (and no doubt other coaches) with an invitation which looks interesting enough to explore but rather vague.  I thought I'd reach out in case anyone on the forum knows anything about them.

Warmly

Dorothy

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LouisAlmeida

Submitted on 4 June, 2015 - 17:19

Hi Dorothy,

Without trying to be too nosey, are you able to disclose what they're asking you to do? They have quite a prominent following on Facebook (following a quick search)! Maybe take a look at some academic work they've done with other organisations? I'll ask a few American friends.

All the best,

Louis

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DorothyNesbit

Submitted on 5 June, 2015 - 11:27

Hi Louis

You can nose away!  Thanks for the FB tip.

They have told me they're looking for coaches to act as Academic Associates (see  http://www.unicist.net/partnering-model.php).  Their description of various roles is very high level.  I've told them I'm interested to talk to someone and to learn more about their work and the role of Academic Associate.

It's an interesting situation.  They're clearly trying to expand their sphere of influence and looking for the kind of people they think might be able to help.  I need far more information than I have at present before making any decision.  And of course it takes time and effort to become informed - both ways.

Fundamentally, I am interested in approaches which are in line with natural laws.  So a first glance at their work does pique my interest.

I appreciate your response, Louis.

Dorothy

 

LouisAlmeida

Submitted on 9 June, 2015 - 15:58

Ah, very interesting Dorothy. They do appear to be very thorough. I'm definitely going to have to pay more attention to their work. I don't really know how popular they are over here in the UK but it'd be interesting to gauge. Sounds a great opportunity though, let us know how you get on.

All the best,

Louis

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DorothyNesbit

Submitted on 30 July, 2015 - 10:50

Dear colleagues

I promised to report back.

I've found it quite difficult to get to the bottom of what The Institute are actually wanting in terms of an agreement with associates and I think my questions to clarify have stimulated some frustration on the part of the person who contacted me.  I can't see how this is going to change and we have brought the discussion to a close.

A couple of other people contacted me who tracked down this thread.  It seems that they are also finding the language used by our main contact difficult to understand.  It doesn't augur well for a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship.

It's a shame.  their work looks interesting.

Warmly

Dorothy

jbloomberg

Submitted on 3 December, 2015 - 04:48

I have been contacted twice by Peter Belohlavek, the head of the various Unicist organizations. They made a similar request of me because of my research into organizational complexity theory, so I spent some time reading through their material.

From what I can tell, absolutely everything the organization has produced is complete and utter nonsense. I continued to read more material, allowing for the fact that English is a second language for the Belohlaveks, but to no avail. Either everything they write is entirely above my head (even though I've done extensive research into one of their primary topics), or it's simply nonsense.

I also tried to identify anyone else who might be involved in their institute or various other organizations. From what I can tell, the entire organization consists of three individuals: Belohlavek and his two children.

The reason I'm posting here at all is this discussion thread is the one and only web page I have ever been able to find that mentions anything at all about Unicist theory that isn't written by one of the three Belohlaveks.

But this whole situation still intrigues me. They have so much content that it simply boggles the mind how much effort the three of them must have put into it if it's all nonsense. The alternative -- that it does make sense but I simply cannot make heads or tails of any of it -- also boggles the mind.

Just out of curiosity I'd be interested in your take!

-- Jason Bloomberg, jason@intellyx.com

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DorothyNesbit

Submitted on 3 December, 2015 - 14:41

Hi Jason

I would have to echo what you say.  I found their use of language rather impenetrable so that, quite quickly, I found myself going round in circles - asking questions to clarify, getting answers that I didn't understand and which, moreover, seemed to demonstrate a certain lack of emotional intelligence on the part of the speaker.  That is, whilst I made an allowance for English as a foreign language I ultimately concluded that the issue went way beyond this.

I also realised, like you, that I was dealing with a very small team of family members.  I understand that people sometimes put their life's work into something they passionately believe in find it hard to find an audience.  This can be true even when people are doing great work.  But it wasn't clear that there was great work going on or that the skills of communication were in place to lead to any kind of mutually beneficial relationship.  It was very easy for me to say no to any further communication on this basis.

I, like you, remain intrigued.

Warmly

Dorothy

martin.alvaro

Submitted on 23 January, 2017 - 19:56

The Unicist Group began its activities in 1976. The Unicist Confederation is sited in Delaware (USA), the Healthcare Corporate University in Houston (USA) and the “bunker” of The Unicist Research Institute is in Argentina. You can find the information of our client list and the governance of the group by accessing our Website.

It introduced a paradigm shift in sciences that went beyond dualistic empiricism based on a pragmatic, structural and functionalist approach that emulates the triadic intelligence of nature. (I apologize for not using plain language).

This is a breakthrough in sciences that requires using a double dialectical approach instead of a dialectical approach to deal with adaptive environments. This excludes some of the people who made comments without having the capacity to go beyond dualistic empiricism.

I invite you to use, make pilot tests and criticize this approach but avoiding groundless criticism based on the lack of capacity, information or driven by conflicts of interests.

We have expanded the boundaries of sciences to make complexity manageable. It can be managed in plain language after the groundings of this approach have been understood.

Martin Alvaro
Business Intelligence Manager

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DorothyNesbit

Submitted on 24 January, 2017 - 12:13

Martin, as a matter of interest, can you point to any specific examples of what you would see as "groundless criticism based on the lack of capacity, information or driven by conflicts of interests"?  I'm not sure whether you are saying (a) that you would prefer it if this doesn't happen in general or whether you are saying (b) that this is how you see some of the points people have made above.

I suspect you and I both prefer a certain level of precision and accuracy in our own and others thinking and I am inviting you to demonstrate this - it would meet my desire for clarity and precision in this discussion.

Warmly

Dorothy

peter.belohlavek

Submitted on 24 January, 2017 - 12:33

I decided to assume personally the response to those who install subjective doubts and suspicion on the research works I am leading at The Unicist Research Institute because they feel excluded by them.

The Unicist Research Institute has been, since 1976, the pioneer in using a unicist ontological approach to deal with complexity. It introduced a paradigm shift in sciences emulating the triadic intelligence of nature, integrating complexity sciences with systemic sciences. This research allowed developing technologies to manage the complex aspects in the social, business and institutional fields.

In the business field, as you might know, “Nine out of ten startups will fail. This is a hard and bleak truth, but one that you’d do well to meditate on.” (US-Forbes). This is the consequence of applying empiricism in a culture where “trial and error” is an accepted behavioral pattern.

The unicist approach is a major paradigm shift in business based on a logical approach to businesses that manages them as unified fields avoiding the need to enter the “trial and error paradigm”. It allows defining what is possible to be achieved and developing the maximal and minimum strategies and actions to ensure the production of results. This approach only fails when fallacious information is used.

I hope you can profit from it.

Peter Belohlavek

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DorothyNesbit

Submitted on 24 January, 2017 - 12:57

Peter, thank you for joining this thread and welcome to the Forum.  I think this may be your first ever post in this setting.

I sense that you are passionate about the work that you do and I understand your desire to correct any misunderstandings, especially when they are expressed in the public domain.  I hope that if you read the thread you will also understand that the people who have commented (including me) are intrigued by your proposition and want to be fair to you and to your organisation.

I invited Martin to clarify what he is saying. He hasn't responded yet, though I realise that I hope he will, as a matter of courtesy as well as clarity towards anyone reading this thread.  I would also like to invite you to do the same.  Would you be willing to clarify what you mean when you speak of "those who install subjective doubts and suspicion on the research works I am leading at The Unicist Research Institute because they feel excluded by them"?  Would you be willing to give specific examples - what people have said that you view in this way (or is it "all of the above")?  Is it your belief that what people have said above aims to install subjective doubts (etc.) or that, simply, this could be an unintended by-product of our discussion?  I'd be interested to know.

I am one of many people who take part in this Forum who value clear and empathetic communication.  I will make no effort to engage with and understand your research unless I can see that you and your colleagues aim to communicate in ways which bridge divides and build mutual understanding - that you are at least trying.  This reflects my personal values around communicating in ways which make it possible for everyone's needs to be met.  I invite you to a two-way conversation - though I perfectly accept that you may prefer not to engage in this way.

Warmly

Dorothy

PS It may also be useful for you if I highlight to you the rules of this Forum and to invite you to consider how your contribution meets or doesn't meet the rules.  I think the admin team may "cut you some slack" given that you have joined a discussion which is about your organisation though normally posts which include self-promotion sit outside these rules.

martin.alvaro

Submitted on 24 January, 2017 - 13:08

Dear Dorothy,

This is a response to your comments:

About the problem of capacity: The unicist approach went beyond dualistic thinking using a double dialectical logic that requires a learning process. The double dialectical logic allows managing the triadic structure of concepts. This implies that a unicist approach is “opaque” if you are not aware that you need to leave your natural dualistic thinking (neurons are on or off) aside.

About the problem of conflicts of interests: We are now expanding worldwide introducing the unicist standard to deal with complex adaptive environments. This threatens the solutions that were built based on dualistic palliatives, which were effective enough to exist but have been subordinated to deal with operational aspects.

The unicist approach is a new stage in sciences that is easy to be understood if you manage Zen, but hard to accept if you live from empiricism.  If you access our website and search for “unicist clipboard” you will find a synthetic explanation. 

Cordially

Martin Alvaro
Business Intelligence Manager

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DorothyNesbit

Submitted on 24 January, 2017 - 14:09

Thank you, Martin, for your response to my request that you explain yourself a bit further.  I was interested to know, when you invited people to "avoid groundless criticism based on the lack of capacity, information or driven by conflicts of interests", whether you were making a general point or saying something specific about comments you have read here in this thread.

Reading your response, I wonder if my request was unclear to you - I am asking you to explain why you made this comment in this context, in response to comments on this discussion... did you understand something else by my question, I wonder, or perhaps understand my question but choose to respond without reference to anything that has been said here on this thread.  I'm not sure, even though you've described your posting as a response to my comments.

I do think your response could be seen as promoting your offering, and for this reason people may choose to flag it up to the organisers of the Forum for deletion.  For now, I am choosing not to do this as I consider that this discussion could be of use to anyone considering working with your organisation (as a coach, for example) or buying from your organisation.  Beyond choosing not to flag it up to Forum staff, the choice whether or not to delete any comments that promote your offering is not mine to make.

Martin, I wondered on reading your response if I haven't made myself clear.  If my request above is any more clear than my initial request it could be interesting and helpful to have an answer.

Warmly

Dorothy 

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JaneMolloy

Submitted on 25 January, 2017 - 11:51

I have just read through this entire thread and now I have a headache.  I suspect I am lacking both capacity and information to be of any interest at all to the Unicist crew!  Dorothy - you have the patience of a saint.

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DorothyNesbit

Submitted on 25 January, 2017 - 12:42

Hi Jane and thank you for joining the thread.  I welcome contributions by other members of our community... I was feeling rather lonely!

Peter was also kind enough to share a link with me behind the scenes (though I have asked him to continue any communication via this thread) to The Book Of Diplomacy (see http://www.unicist.org/pdf/diplomacy_en.pdf).  Having glanced through it - rather than read it in full - it's my understanding that the communication style used by Martin and Peter above is an example of the approach they describe in this document.  Pages eight and nine, on diplomatic language, give an immediate (though possibly incomplete and superficial) insight into their approach.  Here's a brief quote which may be helpful to any readers of this thread:

"Diplomatic language needs to be ambiguous, so as to give room to the dissuasion power without generating a confrontation conflict. The dissuasion power works as a taboo element so it can only be communicated in an ambiguous way. The ambiguous language is a conceptual language that integrates sides, because each side projects what it needs to hear."

As you probably realise, Jane, my own communication is rooted in very different traditions.  Many thinkers that I admire (Roger Schwarz, Marshall Rosenberg, Roger Fisher and William Ury and more) point to the need to understand others' interests.  Marshall Rosenberg used to say that when people understand each other's needs, they can find ways in which both parties' needs can be met.  So, the aim of Rosenberg's approach is to look beyond assertions to the underlying needs and to respond to those needs from a place of empathy for self and other.

In the context of this discussion, I wonder if my desire for clarity is at odds with the Unicist approach which - if I understand it correctly (which I may not) - sees ambiguous language as a way of constructing an environment of cooperation.

In 2015, I had some discussion with Diana Belohlavek, which was enough for me to realise that there really wasn't a basis for me to collaborate in any way with the Unicist Research Institute, which I confirmed to Diana in an e-mail in July 2015.  As a result of Martin and Peter's comments above, Peter's behind-the-scenes e-mail and my reading of the document Peter pointed me to, I begin to understand that my chosen approach to communication is rooted in very different values and beliefs to those held by Peter and his colleagues as a result of their work over the last forty years or so.  It's been worth the patience to get to this point of understanding... I'm very grateful to Peter and Martin for the additional information.

Back to work now... I wanted to acknowledge your comments Jane.  I am inferring some glimmer of fun on reading you, Jane - that maybe reading and posting has been fun for you?  Perhaps it stimulated some "OMG... I don't believe it"?  Me, too, as it happens.

Warmly

Dorothy

 

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JohnMFisher

Submitted on 25 January, 2017 - 12:42

What a fascinating thread!, luckily it would appear I'm not good enough to have been contacted by these guys :-)  I've had a look around their web site and couldn't find "an English translation", Whilst there is a lot of (long) words on the site, there is no real, meaningful detail on what they actually do (and how they do it) or what things like "double dialogical logic" really means.  

However, it looks like a complex variation of the "Plan, Do, Review" philosophy.

I think if they are serious about expanding their user base there needs to be a major re-examination of the obscuring language used throughout their web pages - what on earth does "The unicist approach went beyond dualistic thinking using a double dialectical logic that requires a learning process. The double dialectical logic allows managing the triadic structure of concepts. This implies that a unicist approach is “opaque” if you are not aware that you need to leave your natural dualistic thinking (neurons are on or off) aside." actually mean? and how, more importantly, can this help my client base - if i started talking like this i wouldn't have many new customers (nor many old ones).

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jocook

Submitted on 25 January, 2017 - 15:20

Hi all,

Dorothy, thanks for your points about the rules of the forum.

In this instance we feel that the company have the right to reply about the conversation people were having around them. From what I can see there is a lot of trying to understand each other's points of view, language and specifics, so it seems ok for now.

Thanks,
Jo Cook,
Deputy Editor, TJ
 

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DorothyNesbit

Submitted on 25 January, 2017 - 16:31

Thanks for popping by, Jo... I also share your view.

Warmly

Dorothy

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Hilary Cooke

Submitted on 27 January, 2017 - 13:52

Remember that scene in the first Bridget Jones's Diary where she gets on a treadmill and then promptly falls off it in a kind of sweaty heap? 

I feel a bit like that now - having just fallen off my own intellectual treadmill! 

I was curious (and engaging in displacement activity it has to be said) and I am, after all a researcher in the large and wonderfully, dizzily expanding field of behavioural science. A new paradigm or concept is an excuse to put on my favourite anorak and get stuck in. I even talk to myself out loud while I am in that zone.

So I tried - I really and respectfully tried Martin and Peter - to understand your proposition through Unicist. I Googled, I "met" you both in cyber space,I dabbled on your Face book page, watched some videos, reviewed comments, - in short I made an effort in an attempt to add something to this post from an informed place.

...and I can't. It's simply beyond my understanding. It's beyond my intellectual capacity and the whole jamboree has left me feeling a bit "less than". I'm cool with that - but I am left feeling curious about who the market is for this and who it is aimed at?

I get the inference to Zen properties that you make and that if we understand it, then it's not it - pretty Zen... and notice that some of the metaphors (like the space in the glass on the facebook page) are direct lifts from the Tao Te Ching...

However, it seems to be an exercise in promoting a form of intellectual elitism and I find your responses quite criticising and punitive in their style - I feel a bit "told off" for not getting it, rather than encouraged to engage in dialogue and understand. That's how they landed with me and that's not a culture or paradigm that ,for me and in my tiny world, is based on equality and education - so for that reason, I'm out!

Thanks all for an interesting thread though!

Hilary

(Dr. Hilary Cooke) 

PS - and Dorothy, I agree with Jane - you do have the patience of a saint and the respectful manners of a diplomatic superstar.

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DorothyNesbit

Submitted on 27 January, 2017 - 21:16

NIce to hear from John and Hilary - having started this thread I do feel a certain sense of responsibility to take part in the current conversation and, this week, it's been a bit of a displacement activity for me, too.  I think you're both giving Peter and Martin some very clear feedback about how their materials land with you and how you think they might land with others... If there's something worth pursuing, I am trusting that this organisation will find its true client base and do fruitful and mutually beneficial work.  Your feedback is available to help Peter and his colleagues reflect on their marketing approach should they wish.  Hilary, thank you for your feedback to me also, which I am enjoying, along with your observations.  Wishing a great weekend to one and all, Dorothy.  (Pressing return is taking me to the beginning of this post so it's one dense paragraph from me today.) 

 

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ChristineCarmichael

Submitted on 28 January, 2017 - 14:50

It's quite clear to me that this is completely nonsensical; either because of an inadequate grasp of the English language, or because someone's pulling somebody's leg. 

JohnEllwood

Submitted on 29 January, 2017 - 10:05

Well said Christine, it is complete verbal diarrhoea.