ILS International
Equipping our pioneers for the new frontiers


ILS Philosophy of Service 

The words Servant Leadership, Balanced and Integrated Development, Networking, Appropriate Technology, Sustainable Development and People Group Priorities describe the philosophy of ILS International.  


  • Servant Leadership -- ILS exists to serve others. Every hardware or software tool that ILS develops is directly related to a partnership project with one or more partner agencies.   We divide servant leadership into three basic servant categories . . . 

    • Servant TO . . . .    the person SERVING holds the agenda
    • Servant OF . . . .    the person BEING SERVED holds the agenda
    • Servant WITH . .    the persons SERVING and BEING SERVED determine the agenda together as a team        

The goal of ILS is to focus on being a servant of and servant with the individuals, communities and agencies it serves. 

Felt need -- Encourage every language/culture group to find their own "Mother Teresa's" -- those pioneers or innovators, within their own culture, who have a proven track record of serving their own people at the grass roots level.  There is an urgent need to document and share the personal stories of these quiet innovators and their innovations. One of the greatest bottlenecks in sustainable village and global development today is not the lack of innovation but rather the documentation of innovation and then the diffusion of innovation. There is a tremendous need to quietly affirm and network our pioneers without destroying them in the process. Most pioneers live very lonely lives. A true pioneer has no trail to follow -- for it is they who are cutting the new trails for a culture.  The challenge pioneers face today is -- how to cut the new trail without destroying the forest in the process after the  settlers start moving along their new trails. True pioneers are generally very lonely and misunderstood people because they are constantly thinking outside of the box of "how you are supposed to it" within a given culture. Our long range goal is to help develop a virtual community where these pioneers can feel safe, feel loved and share with each other their stories and innovations.

Current ILS Projects -- ILS is currently researching various leadership development processes, networking methods, cross-cultural design tools and non-formal education models that are being used to develop leaders both formally and informally around the world.  This research will then be put into ongoing knowledge bases, along with related case studies, innovation time lines, biographical sketches and later an interactive web site on the Innovators and their Innovations.

ILS has recently been asked by Masterplanning Group International to partner with them to develop a global Cross-cultural Leadership Academy.  Since 1976 Masterplanning Group has developed over 30 leadership books and tools that focus on personal and organizational development. 



  • Balanced Development and Integrated Development -- ILS is committed to the development of information and learning systems that focus on balanced and integrated development that has a strong sensitivity to the host culture. 

    Dr. Luke, the physician, beautifully described "balanced" and "integrated development" when he described the development of a boy named Jesus in Luke 2:52:

         "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man." 
         King James version of the Bible

    • wisdom . . . . . . . . . . . mental development
    • stature . . . . . . . . . . . . physical development
    • favor with God  . . . . . spiritual development
    • favor with man. . . . . . social development

Felt need: Develop resources and tools in cooperation with host cultures that focus on balanced and integrated personal and community development. In the past most tools focused on just one topic, discipline or domain. What is needed are tools that show how all of the related disciples fit together -- i.e. rather than having only CD's that focus on one of the cash crops of the west -- designed for graduate students and scientists and their related disciplines of plant pathology, etymology, climate, plant nutrition, plant breeding, hydrology etc. -- why not also develop a series of CD's on the major food crops of developing nations, in cooperation with their local farmers and extension agents in developing nations, that pulls from both the scientific wisdom of the west and the local wisdom of their local extension agents, local farmers and related village innovators and mobilizers.   

Related ILS Projects -- ILS is currently working on a CD-ROM with the title of "Integrated and Balanced Development". The conceptual design for this CD comes from an informal "think tank" of key cross-cultural trainers from a number of relief and development agencies that are highly committed to the concept of nation building from a holistic biblical perspective as expressed in Luke 2:52.  The purpose of this CD is to bring together some of the best tested training materials and articles relating to integrated, balanced and sustainable development. 


  • Networking -- ILS feels that it can most effectively and efficiently serve others through strategic alliances and partnerships that network individuals, agencies, projects and communities at the local level. About five years ago, as ILS was completing some ten years of research and development of its portable delivery systems (portable school, office, library, etc.), we decided that rather than focus on building an institution around our innovative technologies we would focus instead on spawning a movement through serving and equipping creative pioneers around the world. And thus our new ILS motto: equipping our pioneers for the new frontiers

    Felt need:
    Develop networking tools, processes and services for use at the grassroots level of a nation and related people nations through a network of participating partners. 

    Related ILS Projects
    -- ILS is is doing research on networking, especially as it relates to number of new technoligies including the use of iPods, pocketPCs, cell phones and related strategies and servies, i.e. e-mail, e- and mobile-learning, internet service providers (ISPs), application service providers (ASPs), internet, intranet and extranet services and related systems -- within the context of new processes  for developing nations and remote areas. This research will later go into a CD-ROM focusing on Networking and Global Distance Learning.  This CD will contain white papers, stories and actual case studies on distance learning (from the perspective of the learner), distance education (for the perspective of educational providers), cross-cultural curriculum design, interface issues for learners in developing nations and related English as a Second Language (ESL) issues, etc.

  • Appropriate Technology -- The leadership of ILS is painfully aware of the limitations of technology in any society, especially in developing nations.  For too many years developing nations have been the dumping grounds for older, aborted and fading technologies. Very seldom have new technologies been developed in cooperation with the leaders of host cultures at the grass roots level.  ILS's philosophy is to "adapt" and "locally innovate" or "localize" , and not to just "translate" and "adopt" new methods and technologies.  ILS is convinced that the greatest innovations will probably not come from the west but from creative pioneers living and working at the grass roots level within minority people groups. 

    ILS does not want to create an unhealthy dependence on outside resources or unreasonable expense.  In the past, many tools used in developing countries have been cheap to purchase but very expensive for the local people to maintain. Most new technologies are dependent on electricity or costly batteries with a very short usage life and high environmental disposability problems. ILS spends a lot of time researching and field testing new technologies and processes and then redesigning or modifying a tool based on feedback from the host culture. 

    Felt need: To design a family of information and learning systems that take into consideration how the host culture acquires and disseminates information and knowledge  -- i.e. using proverbs, parables, stories and songs to communicate knowledge and wisdom.  

    Western societies, due to the printing press, have taught its people to think in a very time conscious linier mode and most non-western societies think in very relational and complete circle modes. As a result westerns are known for their monologue lectures, in-depth reports and volumes of books. Non westerners are know for their proverbs, stories and songs that are passed on around the the campfire and from generation to generation. ILS does not look at these learning modes as an either/or approach but rather a both/and approach. Our desire is to relate to and build on the local wisdom of a culture and then use the delivery or learning systems of the host culture. What would happen if each CD-ROM contained each type of these teaching methods as part of the user interface to the new knowledge? 

    Each new technology must be simple to operate, hold up well in climates with extreme operating conditions and require minimal servicing or operating instructions.  All ILS systems are designed to bring credibility back to walking and have a minimal dependency on the petrol nations. Each ILS system is truly portable and can use three sources of energy: 110-220 volt AC line current, 6 or 12 volt D.C. battery current or solar energy. ILS is in the processing of redesiging their battery powered systems around rechargeable double A batteries.

    Related ILS Projects -- ILS has completed the design and field testing of its Portable Energy System, Portable School, Portable Library and Portable Office and currently working on its Portable Mapping Project. ILS is presently working on a CD-ROM relating to Appropriate Tehchnology. See the ILS section on
    ILS Tools and Systems for more information on these new tools. ILS is also seriously researching a number of promising emerging new energy sources -- i.e. solar, wind, biogas, micro fuel cells, super capacitors, etc. that have minimal environmental impact.

  • Sustainable Development -- ILS is highly committed to long term sustainability. When we use the word "sustainable" ILS relates this to all "life" on our planet -- human, animal and plant. As a result ILS spends a lot to time encouraging the development of learning systems and practices that build on the knowledge, wisdom and learning styles of the host cultures -- i.e. using local proverbs, parables, stories and songs.  

    Felt need: ILS is presently developing a software "ministry suite" in cooperation with a number of innovators in the fields of literacy, ethno musicology, community development, traditional medicine, etc.  This suite of software tools will allow minority and pre-literate cultures to produce multi-media and multi-language books at a fraction of the time and cost previously needed for literate societies. These tools will enable a society to come into the information age without forcing them to become literate in order to compete and survive.

    Related ILS Projects -- ILS is working very closely with
    Shellbook Publishing Systems  (SPS) on a family of digital or Portable Libraries relating to water/sanitation, food/agriculture, health/medicine, shelter/housing, energy/fuel, HIV-AIDS, learning/education, micro enterprise/business, appropriate technology and sustainable village development. Each of these digital libraries will include SPS's new
    Shellbook Software for automating the production of bi-lingual books and multi-medial materials for minority language peoples and oral learners. The Shellbook Localization model enables an author or publisher to localize life crucial information for any of the 6,800+ living languages of the world.   

  • People Group Priorities -- Priority is given to programs and projects that directly focus on the information and learning needs of the following people groups:

    • Pre-literates and oral learners -- individuals and societies who can not yet read and write or learn best through audio and visual systems vs. only print media.

    • Poorest of the poor -- those individuals and societies who have the least access to the basic resources that are critical for survival and long term sustainability  

    • Minority people groups -- these may be migrant workers, refugees, international students, new immigrants or peoples who have been marginalized by the dominate culture due to its remote location, size or caste level      

Felt need: To develop knowledge bases on all of the known languages and cultures of the world and to encourage the development of wisdom reservoirs for each of the cultures of the world.  ILS is convinced that many of the greatest breakthroughs in sustainability will come from research and wisdom provided by the minority peoples of the world.  i.e. We are aware of a group of pigmies in central Africa who have "discovered" a natural anti toxin for each poison they use on hunting arrows from different forests.  We also have personally worked with a very gifted surgeon in central Africa how has quietly researched over 100 local plants that have medicinal value. This doctor estimated that by using just 10-20 of these plants he could cut his dependency of imported medicines by 20-40%. 

Related ILS Projects -- ILS has just completed eight years of researching, designing and developing three major knowledge bases on the Countries of the World, Languages of the World and People/Cultures of the World.  Each of these knowledge bases contains 10-20 related databases. This research is now being turned into a number of CD-ROM tools.  The first of these new CD's, Countries and Peoples of the World, was released during the fall of 2003. This CD contains one page Country PROfiles for 238 countries and/or territories and over 16,000 People PROFiles  for each of the 6,900+ living languages of the world and their related people groups.