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Yin-Yang Principle

Harmonize conceptual opposites.


We live a world that divides us with national borders and sector silos, fueling nationalism, xenophbia and conflict. What is striking about the iconic Blue Marble photo from space is its wholeness. No nation-state divisions. No sector silos. The image is neither long-term nor short-term, but now. Blue Marble evaluation aims for that wholeness of perspective as a guide to wholeness of understanding to inform holistic action. To achieve that sense of wholeness necessitates seeing and engaging with different perspectives, harmonizing opposites,  integrating divisions, transcending boundaries, and overcoming polarities.


  • How you harmonize depends on circumstance, the nature of polarities you are encountering, the depth and degree of opposition, and myriad other factors.
  • The yin-yang operating principle provides specific guidance for adhering to and applying the overarching Blue Marble Integration Principle: Integrate the Blue Marble principles in the design, engagement with, and evaluation of systems change and transformation initiatives.
  • The yin-yang principle is a philosophical mindset not a procedural technique; it provides conceptual guidance for harmonizing opposites as appropriate and useful, but is not a rule that all opposites must be harmonized.
  • Design and evaluation are not intrinsic opposites, but are typically treated as separate and sequential. The Blue marble perspective of wholeness and integration applies to design and evaluation.