Our program makes every effort to cultivate a diverse, widespread, and supportive learning community in which personal and academic growth are valued and embraced. We offer a wide array of extracurricular events that contribute significantly to the richness of our learning environment.
Each semester begins with a party for students, faculty, and graduates.
Our annual retreat has traditionally been a major community-forging event. Students, faculty, and graduates spend a week deeply immersed in a shared space, historically held at such locations as Esalen Institute and The Bishop's Ranch. Retreat activities are cocreated by students and faculty, and include presentations, experiential workshops, excursions in nature, and a closing-night dance celebration.
The PCC Forum
The Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness (PCC) Forum is a transdisciplinary lecture series hosted by CIIS. As a student group stemming from the larger program, the Forum encourages contributions from across all programs, but gives priority to our students. PhD and MA students are given a platform to share and refine their research with the community.
The Forum also hosts presentations by faculty members and graduates, as well as thinkers, artists, and other creative people outside of the university. Events typically last about two hours with the time split between the presentation and the discussion that follows. All events are recorded and uploaded to YouTube for transmission to the wider Earth community.
Curated playlists of past PCC Forums are also available on the PCC Program YouTube.
Our program has organized or sponsored a variety of conferences over the years, from "Meeting the Millennium" and "Evolution and Complexity" to "Planetwork," "The Cosmological Imagination," and "Wisdom and Action." Our program also organized a track at the 2015 International Whitehead Conference. The conference was called "Seizing an Alternative: Towards an Ecological Civilization." Our program faculty and students participated in a track focused on reimagining the metaphysical foundations of late modernity.
Student participation at these conferences—whether as presenters, organizers, or attendees—has been an invaluable element of our learning environment. Since 2008, the student organized "Cosmology of Love" conference has featured presenters that included students, CIIS faculty, and national figures.
Check out our Spring 2021 Newsletter!
An important element in the framing of students' experience of our program is the graduation ritual, where graduates are given space to reflect upon on the successful completion of their journey.