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Online Colloquium No. 24: Integral approaches to intentional community

Datum und Uhrzeit
2 Stunden

Dr. Iris Kunze, IFIS


Integral approaches to intentional community

It seems that, while in former times, people were born into communities and the challenge was to develop their individuality, today we are rather born as individuals and have to find or create our communities. What is the notion of community today in individualized, free societies allowing us to live our own life style? Humans are social beings and cannot sustain themselves; they need others or at least technology made by others. Therefore, mutual dependency cannot be avoided. We will have a look – based on empirical studies – why free, individualized people are longing for community and why so many initiatives pop up in the last decades. Can a transmodern community of responsible, free humans be an answer to create a more flexible and free society? Aspects of the character and best practices of such ‘post-individualised’, transmodern communities including spiritual and personal growth will be introduced based on selected examples. The participants of the colloquium are invited to share their own experiences aiming at the main question of: What kind of ‘communality’ can integrate individual freedom and collective responsibility and cooperation? What are the foundations and best practices of a community X.0? And how can it be created?


Iris Kunze (*1976) has been experiencing and researching communities from multiple perspectives since the late nineties. Inspired by community empowerment, she moved into a local eco-project in 1998 during her studies, while starting to work with meditation and integral methods. Then she approached the topic of community academically, writing her master and PhD thesis on models for eco-social sustainable living, based on participant observation in several intentional communities. Iris cofounded the community research project at the sociology department, University of Münster, Germany, and also taught on this topic. Since 2011, she is affiliated with BOKU University Vienna, Austria, researching the transformative potential of community and other social movements for societies in larger EU projects. She is part of the Pioneers of change network, Vienna. Iris co-founded the Institute for Integral Studies in 2008 and has been one of its board members since then. She bridges research and practice by coordinating the Global Ecovillage Research platform while having lived in the ecovillage community of Sieben Linden in East Germany for three years. Personal website: http://www.community-research.eu