Learning. Life. Work. Conference


Living | Life

A track led by the California Institute of Integral Studies | CIIS


One thing we can forget about education is that we are living (are alive) in the experience, and it can alter/change us. We can live in the educational experience as we do in the rest of our lives. We can play, feel joy, take risk: Mary Oliver’s writes: “Building my house, or anything else, I always felt myself becoming, in an almost devotional sense, passive, and willing to play. Play is never far from that impress of the creative drive, never far from the happiness of discovery.” It can mean investigating the life, the origin stories that frame, limit, or prevent our learning; Edwidge Danticat calls ‘to create dangerously.’

Living also means literally how to build, shape, sustain a life in art and design or other professional fields, and hybridity is also a focus here. Building a hybrid life is often important—streams of income from various sources (contract work, one’s art, design or professional practice, teaching, consulting, coaching, providing workshops, associations with not-for-profits or other organizations) or building a business from one’s own practice. Living the practice also asks us to be reflective on our values, create a vision, and strategically plan for material needs and develop networks/teams through which we design a life as well as body of work. Perspectives come from professional development courses, internships, mentorship, community engagement and exposure to varied practices.

Examining ideas related to these questions, this key theme will offer a varied take on the ideas of Life, Work and Learning.


Part of the conference: Learning. Life. Work.

California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)

California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) is an accredited university that strives to embody spirit, intellect, and wisdom in service to individuals, communities, and the earth. CIIS expands the boundaries of traditional degree programs with transdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and applied studies utilizing face-to-face, hybrid, and online pedagogical approaches. Offering a personal learning environment and supportive community, CIIS provides an excellent multifaceted education for people committed to transforming themselves, others, and the world.

Integral Education

Integral studies are a response to the growing need to synthesize the fragmentary aspects of contemporary thought and culture into a meaningful whole. The integral outlook, envisioned by the founders of CIIS as embodying a creative synthesis of the highest values of East and West, has grown to encompass the study of traditions and experience from around the globe. Integral studies at CIIS encompass all aspects of learning: the intellectual, the experiential and the applied.

Providing an integral education for a changing world, the Institute creates and integrates knowledge beyond the confines of traditional academic disciplines. CIIS values cultural diversity, multiple ways of knowing, spirituality, a sense of community, emancipatory ideals, and ecological sustainability, developing a reflective and innovative learning community. In exploring the interplay of mind, body, and spirit, integral education connects the spiritual and practical dimensions of intellectual life. The integration of the wisdom traditions presents an evolution of consciousness that has never been more relevant and crucial than it is today.


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Other Tracks:  Living-Life | Teaching-Learning | Enquiry-Inquiry | Practice-Engagement | Academia-Work | Intersection-Integration

Image: Photo by Edwin Andrade