We have been in the pursuit of awakening since the ’60s with the rise of postmodernism, hoping for a wide-scale awakening of humanity. It seemed it would be a quick process, completed within just a few decades for the majority, or at least a critical mass of humanity would reach a tipping point. Just meditate, do spiritual practice, and exercise altered states, and we would soon become transformed into an awakened humanity with planetary consciousness. This has been the postmodern promise for the last 60 years.
Our era has its own profile and characteristics in an integral analysis. What does the psychograph of the global world look like today? In it, we see a growing, international interest in integral approaches and a strengthened presence of green with its lights and shadows. Also, Russia’s red aggression and the war in Ukraine have stirred up the European Union, with a strong grip on our root chakra, in gas, oil, and energy prices, which is suddenly felt in the infrared (beige) stage reality from one day to the next by 446 million Europeans, many of whom can no longer heat their homes like they used to.
In the Middle East, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict continues, ignited by purple tribalistic and blue traditionalist worldviews, both of which use red means in their ongoing fight, with no capacity for a pluralistic worldview, yet alone an integral one, that is capable of mediating between the factions. Most of the region’s countries struggle to find a way into modernity while holding on to their tribalistic, egocentric, and mythic worldviews, causing instability in economic and political systems. Internal tensions between older and younger generations linger, with the younger generations representing more of green.
In Latin America we see a rise of leftist governments, as people are tired of traditional governments that favor the rich and privileged. People are interested in peace, intercultural dialogue, and wealth with sustainability, factors that also show the deepening of green values.
Under these conditions, is it easy to believe in a planetary awakening of humanity in 2023? How has our 1.0 version of the story worked so far?
Rather than feeling down, let’s remember that evolution never stops turning its wheel, spinning us in a wild and dynamic process. Accommodating to the ever-changing, anicca nature of evolution itself, why not create an update of planetary awakening, a 2.0 integral version of it?
In the postmodern 1.0 version of planetary awakening, we have held the vision of planetary consciousness through the spiritual awakening of many. Seemingly opposing approaches came to light as the ascendant and descendant versions of awakening, where the waking up approach suggests we be retreating meditators while the waking down approach exercises shamanic and entheogenic eco-conscious practices. Also, we have realized that waking up practices like meditation are not enough, and growing up practices like psychotherapy are necessary, too, as a means of loosening ego fixations and growing a container of enlightenment that is less egoic and more perspectival and compassionate, coming from a deeper and wider collective sensing and flow.
In the past few decades, many integral approaches have been developed, where spirituality and psychotherapy are profoundly integrated. But mainstream society continues to seriously lag behind, holding the view that psychotherapy is largely meant for mentally ill people who need to become well-functioning citizens. Inner growth circles have begun to use other terms like shadow or trauma work instead of psychotherapy. In addition to “growing up” and “waking up,” there is also a need for “cleaning up” and eventually “showing up.”
Systemic and integrative approaches are necessary to clean up the confusion and integrate the bits and pieces of our stirred-up psychospiritual worldview. We need to offer the world a meaningful, integral worldview, and right now Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory is leading the field. We are the ones using it, putting it into practice, and contemplating many significant areas through its lenses, developing new insights, important messages, and practices.
Maybe awakening is not just an individual affair but a collective one?
Is collective awakening the sum total of individual awakenings, as people reach causal and nondual states, nirvana, satori, samadhi, and unio mystica, as described by the spiritual traditions? Or is there something else, something new arising evolutionarily in the field of awakening itself. Maybe it is the awakening not only of human beings but of all living systems on Earth, the awakening of the planet itself, of which we, the 8 billion people, are a part.
There is still a lot to think about and clarify to further crystallize our integral worldview and offer a 2.0 version of planetary awakening, where we take into account that we are already twenty-three percent into the 21st century, and after a quick reality check, it looks like our collective awakening is not so fast and widespread but moving rather slowly and gradually.
Are we ready to dialogue around a possible Planetary Awakening 2.0 where we reinterpret the concept, elevating it to a 2.0 integral phase that can provide a vision for the 21st and 22nd centuries?
IEC stands for Integral European Conference, as these gatherings started in Europe in 2014, eight years ago. At that time, there were also major integral conferences held in the USA, and inspired by that, leading integralists on the European continent joined forces and organized the first IEC in 2014 to create a continental gathering particularly focused on integral theorists and practitioners from any one of the fifty-one European countries, with guests from other continents as well.
Over the years, IEC has grown from being a European “local” conference to become the main global venue of the integral world, where integral experts and others interested in this approach can meet and exchange their latest findings. Due to its spontaneous, experiential, and fun nature, this conference is at the same time like a deeply meaningful holiday and an opportunity for transformational personal growth.
At the first IEC event in 2014, we focused on „The Emergence of Integral Consciousness in Europe.” This title signaled the time had come for the integral circles and gatherings that had been happening locally to join together on a European scale. The goal was to birth a visible European, continental-scale integral scene, and we did it successfully. At the first IEC, 500 people came from 32 countries. At the second IEC in 2016, the title and the focus was „Reinventing Europe,” and we worked on the burning questions of those times: refugee and migrant influx, the possible transformation of the EU, etc. We had 500 people from 35 countries. In 2018 at IEC3, we felt we needed to invite the global integral world and start to focus on all: „Allies of Evolution,” as the title had it. We had 600 people come from 47 countries and since then, IEC has been a truly global conference. In 2020 and 2021 we organized two Global Online IECs during covid, “Global Integral Awakens” and “The Future of Collective Evolution,” with 1000 participants each. In 2022 we organized a hybrid IEC, partly in-person and partly online, with the theme “World Peace with the Integral Approach.” For 2023, as covid recedes, we will return to the fully live conference.
At integral conferences, participants experience a high concentration of presence and awareness, as well as a very stimulating and high-quality intellectual environment. “It is just impossible to have a boring conversation here,” is how Dr. Roger Walsh, renowned transpersonal and integral psychologist, put it. At these conferences, people have a positive openness towards each other, and besides enjoying an intellectual feast, they are also ready to open up, play, and engage in deeper experiential processes together. It is a purposeful, colorful, and fun community to be with.
One important aspect is the evolutionary orientation of positive growth: seeing the developmental potentials of people, organizations, and humanity at large that unfold in stages. In the integral view, evolution occurs not only in the objective, physical, exterior world as natural science has it, but also in the subjective interiors as psychology and spirituality describe it, and the integral framework helps connect the two. Thus, science, psychology, and spirituality are no longer separated but integrated, translated into what we call the four quadrants, the matrix of our interiors and exteriors, the individual and the collective.
Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, a meta-theory that integrates over a hundred schools of psychology, spirituality, philosophy, sociology, and other human sciences, serves as a common denominator and theoretical reference point for IEC, because we consider it to be the most encompassing approach we know of today. Besides the expert Ken Wilber, IEC also brings together many other experts and practitioners from the evolutionary and developmental worlds. Thus, IECs are open and welcoming to people with all sorts of varying points of view and perspectives.
A useful metaphor for IEC might be a wide-open „tent,” where people with many evolutionary and developmental approaches gather, and where Wilber’s Integral Theory is the „central pole.” The overarching tent canvas houses many other „tribes” from around the globe, all coming together to share knowledge and have transformative experiences.
People and organizations who have come together at IECs are, to name just a few:
Susanne Cook-Greuter and Associates with Vertical Development; Integral Coaching Canada and many other coaches and organizational developers; Terri O’Fallon and Kim Barta with STAGES;
Integral Facilitators from Ten Directions with Diane Hamilton; Robert Kegan, developmental psychologist from Harvard; Stanislav Grof, Dr. Roger Walsh, Gabor Matè, and other transpersonal psychologists, and many other psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, coaches, and counselors; migrant, refugee, and torture victim healers; medical doctors and alternative medical practitioners;
Don Beck and colleagues with the Gravesian-based Spiral Dynamics community; Frederic Laloux’s Teal world including Brian Robertson with Holocracy; Torbert’s Action Inquiry Leadership world; Otto Scharmer with his Theory U and Presencing for individual and societal change from MIT;
Thomas Hübl and his community; Tom Steininger and Elizabeth Debold from Evolve and One World in Dialogue; Circling Europe and the global Circling community; John Dupuy and the whole team from iAwake Technologies; Non Violent Communication; environmental activists;
Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga and other yoga people; followers of Jean Gebser’s worldview stages; Zen, Vipassana, and Tibetan Buddhists; Christians and Christian mystics; followers of Sufism, the mystic tradition of Islam; native Hungarian shamans and other shamanic traditions and energetic approaches; near-death experience experts;
Enneagram experts; next stage technology and AI people; collective consciousness and We-Space practitioners like Integral Flow and other Constellation methods; ecology and sustainability practitioners; artists, painters, musicians, and actors inspired by the integral approach – all of these and many others join together at IECs. Contributions range from academic presentations to general lectures, a great variety of experiential workshops, transformative processes, and all-community socializers.
We welcome you all at IEC 2023, which serves as a meeting place for the European, South and North American, Middle Eastern, African, Asian, and Australian integral communities to come together in a huge global gathering, providing an opportunity for the world’s integral movement to convene, get stronger, and grow more connected!
You will meet many people whom you have heard about already; it is a delight to meet our heroes, friends, and colleagues in person. You’ll also meet a bunch of interesting people you weren’t aware of before. You may discover a global community that is richer than you thought! Nothing compares to the excitement of a real, live, pulsating integral community buzz that goes on for days in a fun and well-equipped proper venue. Finding and meeting our “global tribe” are often reported to be one of the most satisfactory experiences of IECs. It shapes our identity and creates a sense of place in the world, a sense of belonging. Also your presence is important because it co-creates the future of the global integral movement. In our communal events during IEC, presenters and participants leave our roles and come together in one big unifying process of maximum flow, creativity, fun, and true human connectedness!
IEC’s Call for Presenters attracts an overwhelming amount of experts, practitioners, leading-edge thinkers, and change agents from dozens of fields and nearly 50 countries. To accommodate and manage this immense value, we have developed an innovative format which gives presenters the highest chance of contributing. We like to offer the stage to as many people as possible, across a wide spectrum of subjects, countries, continents, cultures, and gender. Around 180 people will be accepted as a presenter and have a slot to contribute in. We do our best to give presenters their dream slots, but due to the big number of players and richness, we kindly ask presenters to accept the given slot that we manage to offer, which at times might be just what the presenter wanted, and at other times might be shorter or put on a different day. Each applicant will be notified of their acceptance and the exact day and time of his or her presentation.
For practical reasons, we call all contributors „presenters,” whether they deliver a talk (usually called „presenter”) or lead an experiential process, artistic performance, etc. (usually called workshop facilitator, psychotherapist, coach, healer, spiritual teacher, artist, etc.). Each presenter will appear in two ways: in the given time slot, which is the actual presentation, and additionally, each presenter is invited to the main stage on the morning of his or her presentation to do an elevator pitch. This is a 30-second flash presentation, when the presenter stands in front of all the conference attendees (600-700 people) on the main stage and announces his or her presentation that will follow that day. In this way, we manage to give an equal chance to all presenters to be seen and heard by the entire conference audience. We support this 30-second elevator pitch with a slide projector that will show the title, time, and room of the presentation.
Please note: these following instructions apply to all of the contribution formats.
Whether you decide to offer informative keynotes, engaging workshops, morning practices to start the day; artistic performances to bring us into awe; visual posters in the lobby, or promotional tables in the main communal areas where everybody passes daily.
Instead of the application form, we started a membership site.
After registration you will get an email with your username and password.
(If you have attended IEC before, you will not be able to register again with the same email address. In this case, please write an email to email@example.com)
Add one or more “presenters” where you enter your name, address, long and short biography, and photograph.
You can also add one or more “events,” which are your proposals for section presentations, workshops, etc.
Please read the instructions below carefully, so that you understand the structure of IEC.
If you run into any problems, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send in your application by the 15th of February, 2023. Later submissions may be reviewed but the likelihood of admission drops by 80% after the deadline, since available slots will likely be taken. The deadline for handing in papers in the academic track after your contribution has been accepted is also the 15th of February, 2023. If you apply in the academic track and have already produced a paper, you are invited to send it in along with your formal application.
Notification of acceptance (or rejection) is continuous and we hope to complete it by the end of February. However, if you have not had any communication from us by then, please write an email asking for the status of your application.
There is no additional fee to present at IEC. All applicants are required to register for the conference separately through our webshop. Registration is available here.
If a presenter has financial difficulty and this would discourage him or her from applying, we suggest the person let us know about it, so that we can see if we can help, individually. If this is your case, don’t hesitate to write to us.
Another difference to previous IECs is that you need to book your own hotel and food options; this is no longer linked to registration with IEC.
Please choose from the following formats when you fill out the application form. If you want to apply for more than one contribution, you can do that by creating a separate application for each contribution.
Each presenter is invited to do a 30-second pitch on the main stage on the morning of their activity. You will all get a chance to be seen and heard by the entire conference audience (600-700 people), supported by a projector that will show the title slide, time, and room of the presentation.
Theoretical and research paper written in academic style. Academic paper required.
For academic presentations we invite integrally informed scientists and researchers from all faculties to apply for 20-minute TED-Style academic presentations and submit academic papers. We have developed the Academic & Research Forum for 2023 to strengthen scientific presence and to promote academic and research collaboration between integral practitioners, theorists, and researchers. To accomplish this we are building an International Consortium of Integral Scholars (The Consortium).
If accepted, your presentation will be one of three presentations from the Academic or General Track about the same topic. Please check off all topics that your presentation would fit, see your contribution in the larger context, and remain open for new emergence. The dialogue is not a Q&A, so you should allow for that within your 20 minutes or create opportunities for Q&A during the breaks.
Topics may cover:
In our selection process for this track we generally prefer:
International Consortium of Integral Scholars
In addition to the International Consortium of Integral Scholars, the Academic & Research Forum is undergoing an expansion of the Academic Committee that selects both the Best Paper Awards & Honorable Mentions you have seen in the past. If you are academically qualified in peer review processes and would like to help ensure the high quality of papers submitted to the conference, we invite you to join the Academic Committee for IEC 2023. Please send us an email with your curriculum vitae and other documentations supporting your qualifications for this task.
*If you have interest and are qualified to join the International Consortium of Integral Scholars, contact the Chairperson, DrTomHabib@gmail.com.
Theoretical and practical applications. Paper not required.
Here applicants are not asked to write a scientific paper (though they may), but to apply for a 20-minute, TEDx-style presentation within a thematic section.
Topics may cover:
We expect that. It is preferable but not necessary to use the terminology in your presentation, but you need to understand how your topic fits within the integral movement.
In our selection process for this track we will generally prefer:
Presentations will be grouped into 10 parallel thematic sections in the late morning hours before lunch, when the mind is still fresh and receptive for thinking.
Three presentations of 20 minutes each will take place in the same section room, one after the other, followed by a facilitated dialogue amongst the entire audience that was drawn to that subject.
We invite you to not only think together with fellow integralists about presentation formats but also to get into learning-by-doing practices in workshops and experience transformational processes in we-spaces and group practices. You are welcome to bring known approaches or your new developed one.
We expect you to be able to relate your workshop into the integral models in a non-superficial way. The workshop slots are limited, so we advise you to apply for a general presentation as well. Workshops will be offered after lunch, shifting comfortably into the state of relax-digest. Some examples:
Workshops will be categorized according to their level of depth (A/B/C), as well as length (Short/Long).
Is intensely experiential, deeply engaging for potential breakthroughs, emotional processes, etc.
Is experiential requiring more involvement,
Is dialoguing or presenting a subject that requires minimal and easy involvement,
The short format is 60-75 minutes for lighter and more introductory workshops.
The long format is 2.5 hours as a special container for deep group work to occur.
In our selection process for this track we will generally prefer:
Pre-conference workshop slots (half day and full day versions) on Tuesday and Wednesday are given to both famous, experienced therapists and also to some applicants who did not qualify for the main conference.
Please don‘t forget to indicate in the comments if you would prefer to be placed in the pre-conference period, and also if you are not available during that time.
In our slot before breakfast, you can apply to host meditation, yoga, Tai chi, voice practices, bodywork, chanting, or any other type of spiritual, health, or holistic practice – or any other technique suitable for a maximum of one hour. These can take place in one of the section rooms or outdoors in the garden, at the lake shore, or even in the lake!
Art is more than just decoration or design. If it is well done, it can be a powerful gateway for transforming our consciousness, transmitting the state of consciousness of the skilled artist, challenging our identity, opening up new horizons, or confronting us with the immediacy of our subjective experience. Let’s find out and enjoy how integral consciousness expresses itself through you in the aesthetic dimension.
If you are an advanced practitioner of any major art form, we encourage all Integral Artists to bring, exhibit your contributions: your paintings, photos, sculptures, (The transportation of artwork, instruments is self financed) or consider performance art, dance, music or other means of aesthetic expression. Earlier IECs mainly hosted painting and music, but we are always open for a surprise.
Music “plays” an important role at IECs, and usually there are two or more bands who play and a communal musical jam session is organized. If you are a musician or singer and would enjoy joining the musical aspect of the conference, let us know. Other forms of art at IECs might include dance, theater, poetry, photography, or any other art that fits the program. Paintings, music, dance, poetry, etc.
“Open Mic” Integral community jam sessions: either on the serendipitous evening of the Gulyás (Goulash) party around a bonfire, or at the Gala Dinner on Sunday. Come and show your musical side whether you are a professional or an amateur enthusiast.
Instruments: We also invite you to play the guitar, violin, flute, rattles, hand drums, or any other instrument you might bring. At previous IECs, both the Gulyás Party and the Gala Dinner on the final evening became amazing, spontaneous, open mic stage shows and drumming circle tribal events that exceeded any expectations of organizers and participants. Please indicate if you are willing and able to play and become part of IEC’s musical world.
Dance Performance and Poetry: So far, the conference format has only allowed for workshops and communal dance events, even though there are often many professional and evolutionary dancers and poets amongst the presenters and the audience. If you have been to IEC at Hotel Azur before and are familiar with the schedule and the premises, we welcome your ideas on how to fit such performances into the overall design, to enhance and enable spontaneous emergence.
The IEC will feature a constant poster exhibition in the lobby, where people pass by daily. One poster slot is free for each applicant (even if you do not get a presentation slot). Posters can be handed in independently or additionally to your contributions in any other format.
The first two evenings are free for mingling and networking, and the creators of a poster usually stand next to it to be available for questions and discussion of their topic.
Our venue has portable wooden paravans for vertical (portrait) posters in A0, or two horizontal ones in A1, or a collage of smaller elements. If you need more space, you can apply for a promotional table. It is not necessary in your application to send us the actual poster. But you need to apply for a poster presentation so that we know about your poster and its content. Please bring it with you or arrange for it to be printed at the local copy shop.
If you’d like to maximize your (organization’s) physical presence at IEC, it’s great to have your own table, whether it is a passive or active table.
An active table has the same elements plus you or your representative’s personal presence to interact with people, plus books and/or artifacts to sell. This is a great opportunity for book signing and promoting courses, programs, and services.
A passive table (only) has your flyers, rollup, and promotional materials in a well-positioned, visible spot, in the main common areas.
For any of these options, please write to our representative email@example.com.
Presentations will be grouped according to their themes. For example, if three presenters hand in applications on coaching, then we create an integral coaching section and have those presenters present in the same section room, one after the other, followed by a facilitated dialogue amongst the entire audience that is drawn to that subject. These presenters will appear in section rooms in the late morning hours before lunch. Each day we will have 10 thematic sections in parallel rooms, with three presentations in each section. Workshops that take place in the afternoon are not grouped into sections, so it is not necessary to tick matching categories for workshop applications.
By submitting your academic papers and bringing a poster you might also get the chance to win an award for the best contribution. At some IECs we organize the IEC Awards Ceremony, depending only on the organizing capacity of the team. We are not yet sure if we have the capacity for 2023.
By handing in your proposal, you automatically agree to grant us the right to document your contribution by photo, video, or audio. If you don’t want your presentation to be recorded, please let us know when you hand in your proposal. By applying you also grant us the right to share and distribute any of the texts, images, or slides you use for your contribution.
Since this is in our mutual best interest, all contributors are expected to reach out to their networks and actively support the marketing efforts of IEC 2023 in order to get the word out. Our marketing team will contact you with the respective material and requests. You can also download material like banners from our website. We thank you for your enthusiastic cooperation toward a more conscious, integral world!
Please send any questions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.