Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber

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A Call for Papers

for The First Integral Theory Conference

Integral Theory in Action: Serving Self, Community, and Kosmos

John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, California

August 7 – 10, 2008

In August 2008, John F. Kennedy University and Integral Institute will host the inaugural biennial Integral Theory Conference, the first major academic conference devoted to the field of Integral Theory and practice. The conference will take place at the JFK campus and provide a forum where scholars and practitioners in this burgeoning movement can gather for intellectual exchange, community building, and networking. The theme of the conference is Integral Theory in Action: Serving Self, Community, and Kosmos. This theme provides a context for individuals to showcase how they and their organizations are using integral theory in their personal and professional lives to make a difference. This will allow us to collectively reflect on how the field of Integral Studies in general and Integral Theory in particular is currently evolving (and where it needs to go next) in terms of philosophy, scholarship, research, and application. One of the key areas to be explored at the conference is to consider how Integral Theory will continue to unfold as scholar-practitioners add their own expertise to the AQAL framework.

The conference will be organized around two presentation tracks: one devoted to the application of Integral Theory in different professional domains (e.g., education, sustainability, psychotherapy) and a second devoted to the application of integral principles to developing better models and frameworks for integral theories in general and integral research in particular. While it is expected that most presentations will reference the AQAL (“all-quadrant, all-level”) model associated with Ken Wilber, presentations which feature alternative perspectives and critiques of the AQAL model will also be accepted.

Proposals for Application Track

Presentations that focus on specific applications of Integral Theory will receive greater consideration than broad overviews. For example, rather than presenting how quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types apply in general to sustainability, presentations that go into detail concerning the use of one or two aspects of Integral Theory and present case study material will receive priority. Also, we value applications that highlight what did not work or illuminated areas of concern regarding the model. Presentations which include an experiential component are encouraged. We further encourage presenters to consider addressing, at some point in their presentation, the following question: “What needs to happen next for the application of Integral Theory to advance knowledge in my field?”

Presentations on application may address any of the following areas:

  • Individual Transformation (e.g., psychotherapy, coaching, Integral Life Practice)
  • Community Wellbeing (e.g., medicine, healthcare, nursing, social work)
  • Institutional Development (e.g., business, leadership, organizations, education)
  • Global Dynamics (e.g., ecology, sustainability, politics, international development)
  • Spirituality (e.g., pastoral care, consciousness, integral buddhism, spiritual direction)
  • Aesthetic Expressions (e.g., art, creative writing, film analysis, movement)
  • Gender Explorations (e.g., sexuality, embodiment, feminism)

Proposals for Theory and Research Track

For the theory and research track, presentations may either include discussions of specific research results, assessment tools, and areas of theoretical interest or more broadly address issues of methodological pluralism, or theoretical comparisons (e.g., Wilber as compared to Gebser).

These presentations should use concrete examples of application to illustrate their theoretical points. We encourage presenters in this track to consider addressing, at some point in their presentation, the following question: “What needs to happen next for this area of integral research or theory to be advanced?”

Presentations on the theory and research may focus on any of the following areas.

  • Integral Research (e.g., study results, the development of specific measures, Integral Methodological Pluralism, mixed method designs, and validity).
  • Alternative and Complementary Approaches to Integral Theory (e.g., Gebser, Aurobindo, and various recent voices such as Almaas)
  • Critical Views of Integral Theory (e.g., limits of current interpretations, missing components, and textual analysis of Wilber’s writings)
  • Improvements to Integral Theory (e.g., further differentiations, clarifications, expanded analysis, recommendations, and new interpretations of AQAL)
How to Submit:

Please send a 250 – 300 word abstract of your proposed presentation along with a title, institutional affiliation (if any), and contact information. Please note presentations should not be longer than 60 minutes. We encourage participants to leave at least 20 minutes at the end for discussion and question and answer. We will also have poster presentations and a few 90 minute presentations. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for one of these.

In addition, include a brief (1-2) page outline which details the organization of your presentation. Include the specific topics and subtopics you plan to cover as well as any experiential exercises and multimedia elements you plan to include, if any.

Proposals will be subject to a refereed review process. The deadline for proposals will be December 15, 2007. Please send proposals to: Mark Forman, Ph.D. at [email protected]. Please contact Dr. Forman if you have any questions.

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