ViewWhat links here

Integral Studies

The understanding of integral studies shared by the members of the IFIS is informed by a variety of approaches across paradigms, disciplines, cultures and contexts. IFIS, however, is not exclusively bound to any specific stream or lead author. IFIS’ members and partners bring complementary, mutually critical approaches into an ongoing dialogue about the added value of an integral consciousness in research and higher education. A provisional account of IFIS members’ continuous reflection on the essentials of integral studies comprises the characteristics outlined in the following paragraphs.

An integral or likeminded (meta-) approach requires the researcher

  • to simultaneously hold several perspectives (paradigms, theories, lenses, voices, metaphors, categories …)
  • to be aware of how these perspectives arise, and to which extent, in which combination, and under which conditions they enhance or limit understanding of specific phenomena.
  • to engage in dialogues across usual boundaries (of paradigms, disciplines, cultures, languages, institutional roles,  thinking and communication styles etc), and to actually deepen and broaden one’s understanding through these dialogues.
  • to develop an awareness of the possibilities and limits of conceptual-verbal understanding, and creatively include complementary  forms of generating insight and connection.
  • to cultivate an objective-subjective awareness of the research process.

Integral (meta-) studies enacted by a committed research community imply to

  • non-dogmatically honor and consider the rainbow of longstanding traditions, paradigms, disciplines and theories contributing to the process of generating insight from both ends, reductionist and holistic.
  • initiate and organizationally sustain critical dialogue across the above-mentioned boundaries, working towards connections between existing islands of knowledge and knowledge generation in general, and between different types and streams of integral or likeminded approaches in particular.
  • explicate and enact a code of conduct inspired by values of inclusion, integration, and non-fragmentation of phenomena on and between the various planes (consciousness, subjectivities, ideas and concepts, organisms, socio-cultural, ecological and material systems etc).
  • enable the mutual and joint transformation of the researcher, the research approach, and the research output and its use and effects in real world contexts.

The research process of integral (meta-)studies is marked by 

  • a tight connection between the profound real-life problem-solving requirements the current glocalized mega-shift imposes and an ongoing critical reflection on its own foundations and contours as an upcoming academic field.
  • a theory-based connection between a plurality of perspectives, levels and domains of reality, values and concerns, voices and genres, methods and tools …
  • a recognition and consideration of different aspects or qualities of reality some of which can best be grasped as evolutionary, some rather as cyclical and some as non-developmental.
  • its self-reflective contextualization and application onto itself, on the conceptual and social level.

IFIS is a space where the awareness is cultivated that “integral” is just one of many labels actually in use for reflecting the above-mentioned consciousness brought to academic research and higher learning. There are many likeminded streams which are rather deployed as transdisciplinary, transmodern, critical realist, cosmopolitan, (neo-)humanist, meta-systemic, meta-theoretical, unity-in-diversity, complexity, quantum, or under still different labels. Any of these labels generally covers several streams and fine-grained distinctions in itself.
IFIS is honoring this diversity of traditions while focusing much more on the deeper resonance and complementarity between them than on the diverse terminological surfaces.


Nächstes IFIS Online Kolloquium:
Next IFIS Online Colloquium:
14. Oktober, 2020.
Mehr/More info.

Spenden an IFIS hier - vielen Dank!
For donations please click here - thanks. 


2-Tagesworkshop zu Theorie U in Jahnishausen am 3./4.10.2020. Flyer auf Facebook


Tagesworkshop zu Theorie U in Freiburg am 19.10.2019


IFIS has been awarded funding for its Strategic Partnership Leadership for Transition (LiFT) 3.0 - Politics (Erasmus+).


IFIS-Newsletter Nr. 8 (2018/19) ist erschienen, download hier.

IFIS' Newsletter N° 8 (2018/19 - English version) is now available, download here.



IFIS-Newsletter Nr. 7 (2017/18) ist erschienen, download hier.

IFIS' Newsletter N° 7 (2017/18 - English version) is now available, download here.


IFIS goes Facebook


IFIS-Newsletter Nr. 6 (Frühjahr 2016) ist erschienen, download hier


"Learning Transition/La transition s'apprend", LiFT-Workshop Luxemburg, 18.-20.11.2015


Fortsetzung LiFT-Projekts als Strategische Partnerschaft bewilligt! Mehr hier.


IFIS-Newsletter Nr. 5 (Frühjahr 2015), download hier


IFIS-Herbstklausur 2014 "Integrale Konfliktlösung", 28.-30.11.2014, CH-Bassecourt


"The future of organization(s)", LiFT workshop Vienna (Austria), November 21-22, 2014. Read report


"Why School?" A visioning workshop about the future of education. LiFT Workshop Stockholm (Sweden), August 22-24, 2014

For comments see here

Infos zur Diskussion über den ESM 

Börsen-Experte Dirk Müller zum ESM

Interview mit Wolfgang Hetzer zur Finanz- und Schuldenkrise

Benzin aus Sand. Interview mit Dr. Peter Plichta

IFIS-Newsletter Nr. 3 (Januar 2012), Download hier als PDF.


31.5.-2.6.2013: Symposium "Adult Development Research meets Social Sciences – Applications in various disciplines", gemeinsam mit der ESRAD, CfP und weitere Informationen hier


27.-30.9.2012: IFIS-Herbstklausur zum Thema: "Wissenschaft 3.0 - integrales Metakognitionstraining", Saig/Schwarzwald
Information und Anmeldung hier

 3.-6.5.2012: "Integral ecology and ways of sustainable living", Seminar im Rahmen einer Grundtvig-Lernpartnerschaft (Freiburg)


20.-22.4.2012: Arbeitstreffen Methodenentwicklung integrale Hochschulbildung (intern)


IFIS-Herbstklausur 18.-20.11.2011

Symposium Wissenschaftliches Forschen

7.-8.10.2011, Kassel (gemeinsam mit dem Deutschen Kollegium für Transpersonale Psychologie und Psychotherapie, DKTP )


11.-16. Juni 2011
6 Tage integrale Forschung und Begegnung im Südschwarzwald


"Wirtschaft ohne Wachstum?!" Vorlesungsreihe des Studium Generale, Universität Freiburg im SS 2011

IFIS-Februar-Klausur 2011
mit integralem Forschungskolloquium
Freiburg-Schauinsland, 18.-20.2.2011

IFIS-Newsletter Nr. 2

(Dezember 2010)
hier als PDF


IFIS-Mitarbeiter erhält Kapp-Forschungspreis für Ökologische Ökonomie

Mehr Informationen hier


Lernen aus der Krise.
Auf dem Weg zu einer Verfassung des Kapitalismus. Mehr unter:



Nr. 1 (Dezember 2009)
hier als PDF


Ein Aufsteller: