I'm currently on the fast train back from the 5th Integral Conversations in Guilin, China. I was here only for 24 hours, but leaving it I was much more impressed in the vision than last year. And I finally got it.
The Esquel group, in a nutshell, is building a unique offsite facility in a tourist-friendly location that hosts conversations about the future and humanity's most pressing issues. They seem to aim to do so in the Asian tradition, in reflecting views on hospitality, culture, and discourse.
Currently, the Esquel group is focusing on the software as the hardware is being completed. The software, which is called Integral conversations, is the content and community that has happened for the last five years; the hardware which is called Integral, is the physical campus that contains next generation garment manufacturing equipment, a spectacular view of Guilin, its own lake, and a R&D and innovation center.
I see parallels between what Esquel group is building to Roppongi Hills Tower in Tokyo. As one of the crown jewels of Mori-san's architectural vision, Roppongi Hills is the definitive combination of residential, commercial, and cultural space in dense Tokyo, set apart by the Mori Museum that occupies the top and most expensive floor. Similarly, Esquel Group could build the pre-eminent manufacturing hub, replete with hospitality facilities for its staff and guests, combined with a respect for cultural activities.
I now see that vision, and I hope to see it come true.