18. August 2015

ITC 2015 — Notes From the Field

ITC, I am coming!
The Integral Theory Conference 2015 (ITC) was the fourth of its kind (after 2008, 2010, and 2013) and was held in California, like its predecessors. This time, it took place in Rohnert Park at the Sonoma State University (SSU), surrounded by a beautiful campus setting with plenty of recreational opportunities.

Participants were able to cluster together in vacant student houses, which amounted to a bit of a village feel and infused the evenings with student party appeal — altogether a rejuvenating experience for the global integral family. In the evenings, people would browse different house parties, have a beer or two (or more), and engage in conversations that you can only have in integral circles (including topics like Integral Methodological Pluralism, Reinventing Organizations, climate change, meditation, post-capitalist society, NFL gossip, and plenty of silly jokes).
Welcome to Integral Village!
I was even able to detect the source of that ecstatic blues-jazz improvisation noise coming from one of the participant’s village houses: it emanated from the Integral Recovery Institute folks John Dupuy (blues guitar) and Dr. Bob Weathers (percussion), supported by jazz legend and professor of music Ed Sarath on trumpet. John later told me he wants to make a recording with these guys and call the combo “Integral Fusion.” Nice.
 
John Dupuy, Bob Weathers and Ed Sarath

Self-Disclosure and Disclaimer

As you can tell by now, I don’t hide the fact that my article is a pretty subjective snapshot of this event. Nevertheless, I hope to be able to provide some serious 3rd person reporting as well. I took some more or less comprehensive notes of the sessions I participated in and tried to reconstruct their meaning in hindsight as best as I could to unfold them here for you. I missed out on some program slots, because I was busy preparing my own presentation though. I also write from the perspective of being one of the co-directors of the Integral European Conference, with specific attention on the conference design principles that were applied here. Please also note that I come from Germany where the words “How are you?” represent a genuine question, not a mere greeting formula — a constant source of intercultural irritation, despite knowing better. So much for cultural conditioning… I provide this info to help you locate the “Kosmic address” and various background contexts from which I offer my observations and experiences. Feel free to give me feedback on misunderstandings or share diverging opinions.

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