Multiplex: What's New | Site Map | Community | News My Multiplex Account | Sign In 
in Search

Integral University Presents

  • IU Presents Integral Art

    I'm happy to share two exciting papers about Integral Art with you! Please find them in the File Share, with discussion space in the Forum.

    The author of both pieces is Matt Rentschler, who is a director of the Integral Art Center at Integral University. He has been a lifelong art lover and a student of the Integral framework, as well as a practitioner of poetry, for nearly a decade. He is also the review coordinator and an associate editor for AQAL Journal and a full-time employee of Integral Institute. Originally from southern California, Matt currently lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his fiancée, Channon, a surgical nurse. His personal website can be found at

    I'll speak to Michael Schwartz, another director from the Art center in the upcoming weeks, to talk about Art History. Matt will also be giving regular blog updates about Integral Art Center happenings on IU Presents in the future.

    I'd also like to thank you all for your patience as I get settled here at grad school. I'm still in the process, so I might still be a bit spotty, but I've got some exciting things planned for the next months, particularly for our integral scholars out there, so stay tuned!

    posted Tuesday, September 26, 2006 10:21 PM by heikkinen | 0 Comments
  • Sustainability Library + Away

    Just a quick note for a few updates.

    Be sure to check out the Sustainability section of the File Share (under Integral University). There are a couple of great new papers. Barrett Brown has decided to share the ENTIRE library with us, so they are slowly going up. And they are FREE to all users! They're going up slowly only because I'm in the middle of a big move, so I haven't had a big chunk of time to upload them.

    Which brings me to update #2.... no more news from me this week because I'm hitting the road! A long drive from Boulder, CO to Boston, MA so I can start my doctoral program. Next week will also be limited content as I unpack, but we'll be back to normal the week of September 11.

    Thanks for your patience and I look forward to sharing more from Integral University with you when I return.

    posted Monday, August 28, 2006 8:37 PM by heikkinen | 0 Comments
  • Integral International Development, with Gail Hochachka

    Gail HochachkaGail Hochachka is a director of the Integral International Development Center at Integral University, together with Paul von Schaik and Yene Assegid. Gail did her masters at the University of Victoria in BC, where she wrote her first book Developing Sustainability, Developing the Self: An Integral Approach to International and Community Development, released last year. She has done field work in El Salvador, Peru, and Ethiopia. Gail currently lives in Northern British Columbia but is in the midst of a move to San Francisco to join the faculty at John F. Kennedy University. I spoke with her about her work in the field, and the impact an integral approach has had, on August 17.

    You’ve done a lot of work in international development, in many countries. Can you tell me about your experiences and the impact of using the integral approach?

    I’ll tell you how I began to see the effects of integral in the world. I’ve noticed that people who have just learnt the theory may not see the uses right away; it can remain dry if it’s just a theory. You really have to put it to test in practice to see its full vibrancy and life. That said, I have also come across individuals that intuit or resonate with something "integral" without having the theoretical background. I have called these approaches "folk integral." In response to reality and lived experiences, these individuals begin to work with quadrants and levels. Usually when they come across the theory, they can just fly with it. But, let me begin with my own use of applied integral theory.

    In El Salvador, working on my Master’s thesis, I started looking more deeply at the meaning of development, in international development circles. I found it was primarily defined exclusively as the exterior inputs. It is amazing how so much of development remains Right-Hand interventions—more medicine, more money, more social infrastructure, more economic growth, etc. These factors are totally important, but there are other dimensions of development that need to be included. I’m always surprised to see people that have been in the field for decades, who still haven't they taken their analysis deeper, to discuss interiority, worldview, self line, ethics, morals. An deeper analysis asks deeper questions: what gives rise to good governance, what stimulates leadership, and what evokes a lasting commitment to sustainability? An integral approach helps me bring together these different aspects of reality into a development project.

    So in El Salvador, I began looking at three generalized sphere of actions. Practical action was most of the Right-Hand quadrants. The other two spheres were Interpersonal (Lower Left) and Personal (Upper Left). I also used a three-scale developmental framework of egocentric, sociocentric, and worldcentric. This was a really basic yet profound framework; I wanted something user friendly to put into practice, without losing the complexity of integral theory. During my nine-month project, I saw these interesting shifts in how people viewed themselves and their community. They began self-centered—understandably focusing on their own need for food and money—but through the process, more collective voices emerged, focusing on finding something that could help all the women in the village plus conserve bird habitat and the mangrove forest. They were beginning to take it to worldcentric views!

    Once I left, the project continued, but a bunch of Lower Right pressures drew the groups down into a different state. I found that hard to witness. However, now, after five years, the groups are still going strong. I think the supportive conditions from our work together helped in some way. One of the greatest gift from this work is that I learned that there are ways of engaging in development that include these interior dimensions, and then I wrote a book on it to share that with other practitioners. I think an understanding of altitude or levels or developmental unfolding in particular is such a gift to international development work.

    Is this understanding of interiors and levels of personal development catching on?

    It’s beginning to. Most of the skills we have as development practitioners are from Right-hand quadrants, and we don't have as many tools and practices in the realm of interiority. So the first step in this inquiry was to investigate the skills that do exist out there right now. This is what I have been working on recently, with funding from Canada’s International Development Research Center I have been looking at six groups worldwide that use an integral approach in some way—either integrally informed or "folk integral"—and asking what methodologies are they using to work with interiority. It’s been an amazing project for me, since I get to take a close view into individual groups and also take step back and look at the whole. What this research found was that each group is working with interiority differently, in unique ways, and yet each set of interventions are working with a certain stage in the self-development process. This larger trajectory of interior human development is what the unique approaches share. This project gave me the chance to see the unique bends in the river, and the river itself. I’m writing a six case-studies based on this work, which will be available individually or as a series, and I’m planning to build it into a book.

    In this project, I worked with a group in El Salvador who initially used a "folk integral" approach. About two or three years after founding their organization, they found a Ken Wilber book tucked away in a book store in San Salvador, and it explained more clearly what they were doing and why it was working!! Reading Ken’s books helped to validate what they were doing, and opened a vast horizon for where they could take it! I did a case study with them for five weeks last year, and during that time also shared with them ways that they could deepen their use integral. It was tremendously inspiring.

    I’m just finishing now the five other case studies. The first is a community development organization in Peru in the Andes, working with the Quechua indigenous people. They use another folk integral approach, engaging all quadrants and using stages of healthy psychological and emotional development in children and youth. I also just made an inspiring field visit to Ethiopia, to visit two nonprofit organizations, both of which work with HIV/AIDS by addressing personal development and economic development. The last two case studies focused on girls’ education approaches in India, and a leadership development program in 40 countries spearheaded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Both these are integrally informed.

    I'm surprised at how many integrally-informed approaches there already are out there!

    I think it’s because we’ve been using the same old tools for so long now, and they are not producing to the degree we wish they would. People out there are yearning for new tools and a new approach.

    But I agree that the circumstances in which I’ve seen integral arising are sometimes totally striking. The UNDP’s HIV/AIDS Group has an integrally-informed leadership program they've been doing for the past four or five years, and in Ethiopia I met one of their graduates, who now a coach in the program. He took what he learned with UNDP and was applying the quadrants and stages in sustainability work in three tiny communities in the Rift Valley. When we visited, there were forty or fifty people crouching on the dusty ground, talking animatedly in the local dialect, with a flip chart with the four quadrants on it! I was deeply moved by this—to be in the cradle of civilization using integral to vision sustainable livelihoods. So amazing. I asked the facilitators what they found useful with the integral approach, and they said it really enabled them to see where environmental degradation comes from. Just an action doesn't tell the whole story—you have to ask why a person behaves that way. In that tiny village in Ethiopia, I saw as profound an integral analysis as you'd see in Boulder.

    So, I'm surprised and I'm not surprised. It's a stage of development that will emerge, regardless of what we do, and it's a fantastic tool as Ken has conceptualized it. So either way, my sense is that we are going to see more and more integral out there in the world, which is really exciting.

    I understand you are hosting an international development conference in France this October. Can you tell me more about it?

    Well, I’m really proud because it’s one of the first Integral University public events. Most of the events so far have been trainings and courses, but we wanted to engage the practitioners first, to build an actual field together. We have invited people to come and share their wisdom and knowledge to co-create this field! It’s one thing for our co-directors to come up with theory, and it is quite another to have a whole group out there co-developing the theory with us.

    It will be a small gathering, about 25-35 people. We wanted it small for the depth of dialogue and co-creation. We have participants from all over the world—local initiatives, NGOs, civil society, the private sector, international agencies. We’ll have global, international, and local spheres of influence, and a ton of depth. Connecting all these practitioners, in the same place, and with a shared framework, should have a major impact. [Visit the International Development Training site.]

    We hope the results of this conference will contribute to IU curriculum, contribute an public statement or concept paper on Integral international development, and, hopefully, also contributing to building a foundation for a knowledge network or knowledge community. This latter part is essential to keep the flow of wisdom between practitioners and encourage deepening of the practice.

    It sounds like the field of Integral International Development is really taking off! Anything else you’d like to say?

    I really strongly see that integral is our next step, our next phase in how we engage in development work. I say this with the utmost respect for how people currently work in development. That said, I've seen interest and resonance with an Integral approach emerging across the planet first-hand. It's happening and it's something that will add to this field and how we nurture global well-being. I have tons of respect for what's currently going on, and we can deepen it. The integral approach is a profound way to do that. The theory is here, and with traction in real life its true brilliance emerges. I love it because it's useful, and it works.

    To learn more about Gail’s work, please read the paper in the File Share or visit:

    posted Monday, August 21, 2006 12:14 PM by heikkinen | 0 Comments
  • Sean Esbjörn-Hargens on Integral Education

    I've just uploaded Sean Esbjörn-Hargens' paper on Integral Education in the Integral University file share. This paper will be published in an upcoming edition of AQAL Journal and is presented here as a draft.

    One of my favorite things about Sean's work as I've seen it in this paper and at the Integral Ecology seminar is how he takes AQAL theory and applies it to each field in a unique, "custom-fit" way. He not only applies basic AQAL terms to the field, but also delves into the implications of this application. In this piece, he tailors the Four Quadrants together with the 3 basic levels of body, mind, and spirit to come up with the Twelve Commitments of Integral Education and the Twelve Ways of Knowing. This gave me a much deeper understanding of the potential of Integral education than considering the Four Quadrants alone. I look forward to exploring these commitments and ways of knowing in the Discussion Forum.

    That's right, we've got another Forum now, devoted to Education. This week focuses on Sean's paper, but starting the week of August 28th, we'll add more topics as Integral Education Center Director Lynne Feldman steps in as a guest host while I'm driving across country. Stay tuned!

    posted Thursday, August 17, 2006 11:25 PM by heikkinen | 2 Comments
  • Integral University Degree Programs, with Sean Esbjörn-Hargens

    If you've read the home-page for IU Presents, you'll know that two of Integral University’s proudest achievements are our partnerships with John F. Kennedy University and Fielding Graduate University. In honor of this exciting work, I spoke with Sean Esbjörn-Hargens about the two programs, plus integral education in general, last week.

    Sean Esbjorn-HargensFirst off, a few words about Sean. Sean is an Assistant Professor at JFK and is the Program Director of the Integral Psychology degree program and the Integral Theory certificate program. In addition to his work at JFK, he’s the Director of Academics at IU, the Co-Director of the Integral Ecology center, and the Executive Editor of AQAL: Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. Add on top of this a busy writing schedule—with publications in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Journal of Bhutan Studies, World Futures, and AQAL Journal, plus a book on Integral Ecology in the works—and a brand-new baby daughter, we have a true integral dynamo!

    Sean and I started our chat discussing the two degree programs. Both programs are essentially full—although the JFK program might have a spot or two left if you act today! One of the visions of Integral University is to have a network of Integral degrees around the world—so we're proud that our first two attempts have proved to be so popular.

    Can you tell me a little about the two programs?

    Both programs have a certificate and a Master's program.

    The certificate at Fielding is three courses done over a year, one course per trimester. The three are our foundational or core courses for integral theory: IOS Basic, the intro to the five elements; an advanced course on Integral Methodological Pluralism; and an applications course. The certificate at Fielding is transcended and included by the Master's program—the intro and advanced courses are included, with an additional 3 courses added. The applications course is replaced by a research course, which is more in-depth, focusing on integral research design for their final project.

    So, the Master's at Fielding is ten courses; the five integral theory courses provided by Integral University and five in organizational management and development provided by Fielding. Right now, we're working hard to ensure that the Fielding course instructors are familiar with Integral Theory, and that the integral instructors—myself and Randy Martin from Indiana University of Pennsylvania—are familiar with organizational theory. We want the students to have a seamless experience moving between the courses, so they can bring their integral theory into organizational management and vice versa.

    The certificate at JFK is much more robust; it also takes one year but consists of ten courses. Students take 2-3 classes each quarter. You get the core courses like at Fielding and the "element" courses—one course on each of the 5 elements, plus Integral Life Practice, Integral Spirituality, Phenomenological Inquiry, and more. Phenomenological Inquiry is a great class about how to do first-person inquiry, in a radically new format—meditation and contemplation online! [You can read about the full curriculum here.]

    The certificate at JFK is unique because you can finish the courses in one year and walk away with an accredited certificate; or you can continue with a Master's degree in Integral Theory. The certificate serves as the first year of the Master's, which begins in fall 2007.

    Can you tell me more about the differences between the two programs and whom they're better suited for?

    The Fielding certificate focuses on the bare essentials and is offered one course at a time. It's really designed for someone who doesn't have a lot of time, doesn't want to take multiple courses at once, but wants a constant connection with integral study and exploration.

    The Fielding Master's is for applying Integral Theory to a very specific area, organizational management and development. We hope for this program to be the first of many where Integral Theory can be applied to specific fields.

    The JFK certificate is really for gung-ho people with more time and more energy. It covers 2-3 times as much material and is really the most sophisticated training in Integral Theory that Integral Institute currently offers.

    The JFK degree is in Integral Theory, so it's a more general degree compared to Fielding. Students will explore and apply the model across many contexts throughout the program.

    You've said the JFK Master's degree starts the next year; can you tell me more about it?

    We are doing something really innovative by offering 3 levels of courses—body, mind, and spirit courses—in each of the four quadrants.

    By the end, you really have a degree in studying reality—you've really looked at each of the quadrants at each level of complexity. You'll understand every domain at every level.

    Who are some teachers?

    We have Randy Martin and myself at Fielding, and me, David Zeitler, Willow Pearson, Cindy Lou Golin, and my wife Vipassana at JFK. You can read their bios here.

    One of the focus areas of Integral University that I've been most excited about is supporting graduate students doing integral work, no matter where they are. Sean and I spoke about the challenges of being an integrally-informed researcher and the ways that IU can support their work.

    Where did you get your degree and what did you study?

    I got both my MA and PhD at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies). The degree was in Humanities, since that is what was offered. But I wanted a degree in integral theory, so I wrote almost exclusively about that. I must have written more than 40 papers over the course of my degree and at least 35 of them were about integral theory.

    My dissertation was called "Integral Ecology: a post metaphysical approach to environmental phenomena." It actually served as the foundation for the book Michael Zimmerman and I just completed, Integral Ecology. It's coming out next summer through Integral Books.

    What were some of the challenges of being an integrally informed doctoral student?

    It was challenging, even at CIIS. Although founded with an integral model in mind, CIIS was not very Wilber friendly. Student misunderstandings and faculty reactivity or ignorance was frustrating and disheartening at times. People were for or against Wilber in a really unconscious way, so it was hard to have critical inquiry around the integral model. Things were always so polarized. It felt a lot like the current challenges with environmentalism—some of the global warming issues might be exaggerated, but you don't want to mention that because you might then lose the chance to convince someone it's happening at all!

    It's different at JFK—here, people love the model but aren't over the top about it. It's such a great place of inquiry, with healthy regard for the model plus critical engagement. The upside is that as a result of being at CIIS I got really clear about what I wanted JFK—and Integral University—to be as an academic culture.

    It would be great for us scholars and practitioners to have a supportive space at IU to go into these challenges—balancing trying to advance the model in what might not be a supportive climate with healthy critical engagement and inquiry—and that's something I want to start here on IU Presents really soon.

    I agree. I'd love to talk about my experiences and reflections. I think there's a lot of ways of doing an integral dissertation at non-integral institutions, and we can come up with a list of resources to help.

    As someone about to start a doctoral program, I'd really love to talk with fellow researchers, so I'll definitely start that. Stay tuned!

    Next installment: Sean's paper on Integral Education!

    posted Monday, August 14, 2006 8:16 PM by heikkinen | 3 Comments
  • Conference call on JFK program this FRIDAY!

    Integral University offers partnership degrees with Fielding Graduate University and John F. Kennedy University. The Fielding program is completely full and the JFK program has just a few spots left. Join Sean and me on a call this Friday at noon MT to discuss JFK's pioneering Integral Theory certificate program and Master's degree!


    Do you want to join the world’s first graduating class of certified Integral Theory practitioners?

    Do you want to fast track your integrally informed career?

    RSVP now for a world-wide live information session and learn more about JFKU's new accredited, graduate level, online programs in Integral Theory launched in partnership with Integral University starting fall 2006.

    Call Time: Friday, August 11, 11am-noon Pacific

    This conference call will feature:
    - Sean Esbjorn-Hargens - JFKU Integral Studies Program Director and Integral University Academics, AQAL Journal, Degree Programs
    - Katie Heikkinen – Integral University Academics
    - Program details about the Certificate in Integral Theory starting October 2006 and Masters in Integral Theory starting fall 2007
    - Who should take these online programs?
    - What will I be able to do with this certificate?
    - Question and Answer

    Integral Theory Online Certificate Program Summary:
    - 48-week stand-alone graduate level certificate starting October 2006 (serves as first year of Masters in Integral Theory program)
    - Study from anywhere in the world
    - 10 online courses covering all aspects of the AQAL model
    - Faculty team of leading integral scholar-practitioners
    - Join the world’s first graduating class of AQAL certified integral practitioners

    Spots remaining for the first class in 2006 are very limited so it is recommended to apply soon.

    RSVP by emailing and requesting conference call details – lines are limited.  If this time does not work, or you would like a link to an audio recording of the call posted 10 days later, please RSVP with that noted and you will be contacted.

    Full program info at:

    We hope you can join us for this exciting opportunity to learn more about integral education.

    Sean Esbjorn-Hargens, PhD
    Program Director - Integral Studies Department
    John F. Kennedy University
    100 Ellinwood Way
    Pleasant Hill, CA 94523


    posted Wednesday, August 09, 2006 11:10 AM by heikkinen | 3 Comments
  • Welcome to Integral University Presents!

    Welcome to IU Presents, the very beginning of Integral University’s presence on the Multiplex Community! As we continue to develop our long-range vision for Integral University, IU Presents offers you an insider’s “sneak peak” into the world of applied integral theory.


    My name is Katie Heikkinen and I’ll be your guide as we explore together how integral theory can be applied to academic, research, and professional venues.  Our Center Directors and many other scholars and thinkers have laid the groundwork for us, and very soon you will be able to join the process.  I’ve been working on IU “behind the scenes” for the last two and half years, and I’m so excited to finally get a chance to talk with all of you.


    IU Presents is a weekly blog introducing you to our center directors and highlighting applications of integral theory in the world. Read-access is open to all, but posting in a forum, leaving a comment, downloading a paper, or participating in a conference call with IU Directors and staff are perks reserved for I-I Members.


    Most weeks will feature

    • An interview or article focusing on the academic work of a director or a center
    • Accompanying weekly reading—typically, an AQAL Journal article—our own peer-reviewed, Ken Wilber-edited academic journal
    • A new topic-based discussion forum with a moderated thread

    Some weeks may also include

    • Conference call with the featured director
    • Director-moderated discussion thread

    As time goes on, we’ll deepen our offerings with

    • Teleseminars, mini-courses, and surveys
    • Audio or video blogs and downloads


    We’ll also feature updates from the degree courses (JFK and Fielding), technology and HR progress updates from IU, information about AQAL-inspired professors and courses around the world, and news from our academic affinity groups. And of course, updates from YOU! If you’d like your work to be featured here, contact me at


    In addition to sharing the IU story and highlighting the amazing work of our centers, a main goal of IU Presents is to collect contact information from people that are interested in each field. Are you a psychotherapist, political scientist, educator, or other practitioner applying Integral in the field? We want to hear from you! I can connect you to volunteer with a center, write a paper, or start an academic affinity group. Academic affinity groups are people who have come together to explore the application of AQAL theory to a particular field. They might work together to write papers, create case-studies, or share tips and tricks for being an integral practitioner. We want these connections to serve as the foundation of our future university. The people that are active during IU Presents CREATE the staff for the full IU launch!


    More about the forums... Of course the I-I Road Rules apply here as well, but additionally, our forums are more academically focused. We’ll have forum monitors who might redirect conversations towards a more research or application-based foundation. We also want the forums to be teaching opportunities—us teaching you, and you teaching us! We hope the conversations here will be on a higher level than any other I-I forum so far.


    For this first week, I wanted to draw your attention to the academic work of Barrett Brown, the director of the Integral Sustainability Center, whom Gail featured last month.


    Barrett is a serious integral sustainability practitioner, with field-work experience throughout the Americas. He also is a trainer for our workshops, including the Evolving the Art and Science of Sustainability workshop which starts September 11 and is still open for registration.


    In honor of our “grand opening”, we are featuring a larger portion of the Sustainability library. Instead of the typical week’s single paper, Barrett is offering us 3 papers to enjoy and discuss.


    Please enjoy IU Presents!

    posted Monday, August 07, 2006 4:10 PM by heikkinen | 1 Comments

This Blog

Post Calendar

<March 2007>


  • RSS 2.0
  • Atom 1.0
 © Integral Institute, 2006. all rights reserved - powered by enlight™ email this page | terms of service | privacy policy | suggestion box | help