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Integral Ecology News & Events


New Integral Ecology Center Beta Website Launched

The Integral Ecology Center has now officially launched its NEW BETA WEBSITE within the institutional ecosystem of the MetaIntegral Foundation. The MetaIntegral Foundation is the world’s leading philanthropic and research organization devoted to integral thought and action, enabling the global community of integrally trained professionals to collaborate and increase their effectiveness in generating innovative responses to complex challenges. We are thrilled to be be a part of this exciting and ambitious new initiative and invite you to come visit our new website to get a sense of what is emerging and how you can participate. We will be updating and transitioning the many resources and assets posted here to the new site over the next couple of months, as well announcing a number of other exciting new projects and changes - so please stay tuned!

Announcing the Integral Theory Conference, 2013

The MetaIntegral Foundation, in partnership with Integral Institute, will host the third biennial Integral Theory Conference in San Francisco: Connecting the Integral Kosmopolitan. We are also extremely pleased to announce that two of the planet's most prominent integral thinkers, Roy Bhaskar and Edgar Morin, will keynote this year's event! Our own Sean Esbjorn-Hargens will offer a third keynote address, introducing conference participants to an exciting new "meta" framing of Integral Theory as well! The conference will take place on July 18 - July 21, 2013. Pre-conference workshops will happen on Thursday, July 18, and the main conference from Thursday evening, July 18 to Sunday, July 21, 2013. Please click on the following link to download the call for papers.

Green inside and out! Nature and Human Health

On June 10th, 2012, join the Integral Ecology Center's new executive director, Carissa Wieler, for an interactive presentation on the topic of Human Health and Environmental Activism. This presentation, hosted by the Sierra Club in Vancouver, B.C., will explore links between healthy nature and healthy humans. It will begin by presenting convincing health research that demonstrates the powerful impact nature has on our health and well-being. Human health broadly includes physical, mental, and social well-being. Participants will then be invited to venture further into the park and try out some interesting ways of observing and connecting with the world . The tools offered may be beneficial for personal well-being and enjoyment of nature as well as inspire creativity in how we engage with others towards a healthier, more sustainable planet. For more information and details on this special event, please click here.

Culture, Politics, and Climate Change Conference

An international conference, "Culture, Politics, and Climate Change," will be hosted at the University of Colorado Boulder from September 13th-15th, 2012. This scholarly meeting promises to be a lively and enriching gathering of some of the foremost International and American scholars in fields such as Environmental Communication, Environmental Policy and Politics, Risk Communication, Visual Culture, Religion and the Environment, Globalization and Spirituality, Journalism Studies, and Science Communication, among others. This cross-disciplinary conference will explore intersections between culture, politics, and science in order to enhance our understanding of public policy addressing climate change.  Given the emphasis on interiority, this conference is highly relevant for integral ecologists. Accepted presenters include integral ecologists such as Michael Zimmerman, Annick Hedlund-de Witt & Nick Hedlund-de Witt, and Elizabeth Allison. Click here for more information.

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Integrating Ecological Awareness into Daily Life: An exploration of Integral Ecology 

On March 13, 2012, join the Integral Ecology Center's own Carissa Wieler for an evening of exploration of the growing field of integral ecology, hosted by Integral Vancouver at the Centre for Peace in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The evening will be experiential, conceptual and conversational in nature, engaging topics such as the exploration of our own patterns of development in relation to issues we deeply care about with an eye for cultivating greater impact and embrace; and presencing multiple perspectives, including the interiors and relationalities of animals, so as to increase our sense of intimacy and connectedness with the world around us. For more information and details on this special event, please see the blog entry here.

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Anthology on Critical Realism and Ecophilosophy Published

Roy Bhaskar, the founder of the contemporary integrative meta-philosophy Critical Realism, along with Karl Georg Hoyer and Petter Naess, has co-authored a new anthology entitled Ecophilosophy in a World of Crisis: Critical realism and the Nordic Contributions. Building on its origins at a seminar in Oslo organized by two of the editors, this book combines classic texts of Nordic ecophilosophy and the original contributions of those influenced by this tradition to present the view that critical realism, with its provision of a robust philosophical ontology and generation of totalizing immanent critiques of Western philosophy, provides an expansive and secure home for the development of integrative ecophilosophical work generally.  It is therefore of significant relevance to Integral ecologists interested in the philosophical aspects of the field.



Integral Sustainable Design Book Published

Mark DeKay, Associate Professor in the College of Architecture and Design, and Chair of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has authored an important book entitled "Integral Sustainable Design: Transformative Perspectives" published by Routledge. DeKay's book uses Integral Theory to offer practical and theoretical tools for more effective sustainable design solutions and for communicating sustainable design ideas to today's diverse stakeholders. Click here for more information.

CIIS Integral Conference, 2012

In February, 2012 California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) will host an Integral Conference at its campus in San Francisco.  The conference will focus on taking an integral perspective on the multi-faceted, interrelated planetary crises, with an eye for their root causes and solutions. Papers reflecting on this planetary situation from an interdisciplinary perspective bridging the spheres of culture, politics, economy, and ecology and focusing on deep elucidation and concrete solutions are called for. For more information on the conference, see the blog post here.

Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge Towards Solutions

Arguably among the most important scientific conferences addressing global ecological issues, the Planet Under Pressure conference - to be held in London from March 26 - 29, 2012 - will discuss solutions, at all scales, to move societies on to a sustainable pathway. Based on the latest scientific evidence, the London Planet Under Pressure conference will provide a comprehensive update of our knowledge of the Earth system and the pressure our planet is now under. The London conference will focus the scientific community’s and the wider world’s attention on key issues such as climate, ecological degradation, human well-being, planetary thresholds, food security, energy, governance across scales, and poverty alleviation. It will forge a new vision for trans-disciplinary research and provide scientific leadership towards the 2012 UN Rio +20 conference, also in 2012. For more information on the conference, click here.


New Integral Ecology Book Reviews

New reviews of Sean Esbjörn-Hargens and Micheal Zimmerman's book "Integral Ecology: Uniting Mulitple Perspectives on the Natural World" keep trickling in. To date there have been over a dozen published reviews across a variety of academic journals and websites, from Cybernetics and Human Knowing to Environmental Ethics to Worldviews and Ecopsychology.  Check out the latest reviews on the EXPLORE page by clicking here.



Online Integral Ecology Reading Group Begins

A new online Integral Ecology Reading Group has begun. The group, which includes a number of scholars familiar with Wilberian Integral Theory in particular and environmental studies in general, will unfold across several blogs. Each week a participating blog will review that week’s readings and host discussion for the larger group. For more information, including the schedule and links, click here.


Barrett Brown Publishes Groundbreaking Research on Integral Sustainability Leadership and Initiatives

Barrett C. Brown, co-director of Integral Institute's Integral Sustainability Center, has published a groundbreaking disseration, entitled "Conscious Leadership for Sustainability: How leaders with a late-stage action logic design and engage in sustainability initiatives." Brown's research empirically explores the unique ways in which developmentally mature leaders design and engage in sustainability initiatives.  For more information and resources (dissertation summary, powerpoint presentation, full dissertation) check out Brown's blog entry here.

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Leading Journal Publishes Article on Contemporary Spirituality and Sustainable Development

Ecological Economics, a top environmental journal, recently published an article by social scientist Annick Hedlund-de Witt, entitled "The rising culture and worldview of contemporary spirituality: A sociological study of potentials and pitfalls for sustainable development."  Hedlund-de Witt's article, informed by Integral Theory, is perhaps the first peer-reviewed academic article suggesting that later-stage cultural development (that is, the emerging culture of contemporary spirituality) is beneficial for the journey toward sustainable development.  To download the article, click here.

Integral Ecologies Book Forthcoming

A new book entitled Integral Ecologies: Natures, Cultures, Knowledges, and Our Planetary Future is in the works. The book, co-edited by Sam Mickey, Adam Robbert, and Sean Kelly aims to celebrate a plurality of integral ecologies by exploring the rich history and promising future of integral approaches to ecology. The essays come from leading and emerging scholars of integral ecologies, including Esbjörn-Hargens and Zimmerman, Mark Hathaway (who articulates his vision of integral ecology with Leonardo Boff in The Tao of Liberation [2009]), and some of the faculty and students of the Integral Ecology track in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness graduate program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. To learn more about this exciting new anthology, read Sam Mickey's recent blog post here.

Thomas Berry's Integral Ecology Legacy Honored in Newly Published Anthology

The recently published book, Thomas Berry Dreamer of the Earth: The Spiritual Ecology of the Father of Environmentalism, co-edited by Ervin Laszlo and Allan Combs, pays tribute to the pioneering contributions of the late Thomas Berry.  The book includes contributions from eminent philosophers, thinkers, and scientists in the field of ecology and sustainability, including Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Matthew Fox, Joanna Macy, Duane Elgin, Ervin Laszlo, and Allan Combs. Esbjörn-Hargens' chapter, entitled "Ecological Interiority: Thomas Berry's Integral Ecology Legacy," highlights Berry's contribution to the field of Integral Ecology.  To download the chapter, click here.

Karen O'Brien Publishes Book on Climate Change

IPCC scientist and Noble laureate Karen O'Brien has recently published an anthology entitled Climate Change, Ethics, and Human Security with Cambridge University Press. O'Brien, who has showcased her work at the Integral Theory Conference and in the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, presents, along with her co-editors and contributors, "the concept of human security as a new approach to the challenges of climate change, and to shaping a more equitable and sustainable future. Raising issues of equity, ethics and environmental justice, this book provides important perspectives for researchers and policy makers as well as upper-level social sciences students."  To purchase the book, click here.


Integral Ecology in Action: Drishti Launchs Integral Research Project on Climate Change

The Canadian non-profit organization Drishti-Centre for Integral Action is doing research on community resilience and climate change adaptation from an integral perspective, funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre in Ottawa. The project partners include CESTA-Friends of the Earth El Salvador and Centro Bartolome de las Casas, both whom specialize in environmental conservation, community organizing, and community well-being. Dr. Karen O’Brien, IPCC author of the chapter on climate change adaptation and professor with the Department of Social Geography at the University of Oslo, is a formal advisor to the project.

The main objective of this research project is to contribute to the understanding of community resilience and human development within the larger context of sustainable adaptation to climate change in vulnerable communities, with specific focus on El Salvador and Canada. The reseachers are interested in how the subjective dimensions of adaptation can be integrated with other climate change adaptation efforts and how an integration of community resilience and human development approaches to climate change adaptation could increase effectiveness for sustainable adaptation.

The project draws on an integral perspective and will employ an integral research approach using 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person methodologies. These include ‘photo elicitation’ also called photo voice, (1p-p), focus groups and story-telling (2p-p), and empirical research on the meteorological and climate data and other indicators of economic and ecological vulnerability (3p-p). As true ‘action research,’ the project builds towards developing draft community plans for adaptation in Salvadoran communities; and North-South learning exchanges in both countries on innovations in climate change adaptation. This is one of the first research projects conducted on climate change adaptation with an integral perspective in the developing South.

For more information, see


Sean Kelly's 5 Principles of Integral Ecology Presented at Schumacher College

In June, 2010, Sean Kelly presented his formulation of five principles of integral ecology while co-teaching a course at Schumacher College entitled "Gaia and the Evolution of Consciousness" with Rupert Sheldrake and Stephan Harding. Sean’s five principles focus on placing human existence into its ecological context and explore the relationship between gross and subtle forms of action. See the video below to view his lecture.

Sean Kelly, Ph.D. is Professor in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco where he co-founded a specialization track in integral ecology.  Sean is co-editor of the anthology Ken Wilber in Dialogue and has recently published a new book entitled Coming Home: The Birth and Transformation of the Planetary Era.

JITP Issue on Climate Change Published

The Journal of Integral Theory and Practice recently published part one of a double issue devoted entirely to integral discourse on climate change. Topics covered in part one:  

  • The politicization of climate science
  • Whether wealthy nations should shoulder the burden of curtailing emissions
  • How/whether to more broadly implement cap-and-trade systems
  • The role of NGOs, journalists, and ordinary citizens in the debate
  • Policy setting and the IPCC
  • How to balance the needs of developing nations with CO2 mitigation efforts
  • Behavior change strategies
  • The role of research literature in setting policy
  • World governance

The issue or a subscription to the journal can be purchased through SUNY Press. Check out the JITP website for more information.

Integral Ecology and Education Seminar a Success

Next Step Integral hosted an exciting Northern California seminar last August. By all accounts, the event, which was held at the Mount Madonna Retreat Center, was a success. This two-strand seminar on both Integral Ecology and Education provided an inspiring environment for Integral colleagues to meet and network with a growing community that "clearly understands that addressing a more complete spectrum of personal, cultural, and systemic realities at play in the universe is one of the most powerful ways to begin creating the changes we hope to see in the world." For more information and information on future events, please visit

Michael Zimmerman

Michael Zimmerman Delivers Keynote on Climate Change in Germany

In Berlin, on June 28, 2010  Michael E. Zimmerman gave a keynote address about climate change as seen from an Integral perspective.  The address was part of a conference organized by Integral Forum (Integrales Forum), which is one of the leading German organizations promoting Integral Theory and practice. For further information, see the Integral Forum website here.


Integral Ecology Paperback Edition Published

In the Spring of 2009 - after 10 years of research and writing - Sean Esbjörn-Hargens and Michael Zimmerman published the the seminal text Integral Ecology: Uniting Mulitple Perspectives on the Natural World.  Weighing in at over 800-pages it is a comprehensive overview to the field of Integral Ecology.  The book has been well received and is now available in paperback edition.  See the Explore tab for more information on the book and activities related to it.



Integral Sustainability in Nigeria 

Recently, members of Integral Institute’s Integral Without Borders received a $500,000 grant to get involved in Integral Sustainability in Nigeria. One Sky and Drishti- two Canadian NGOs - are working together to develop an integrally based leadership program to train 30 Nigerians in effective action. See Gail Hochochka's recent blog - Unveiling the Glass Ceilings – Integral Leadership in Nigeria - for more information on this compelling integral application in Nigeria.