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AIS Graduate program: The 1st generation is born

The vision of the Academy of Inner Science is to combine the wisdom of the inner world with the knowledge of the outer world, and has made a big step towards realization! The first year of students in an interdisciplinary PhD program is starting. On the one hand, they are part of an academic university structure and will attain a normal PhD degree – and at the same time study “Inner Science” and mystical principles under the roof of the Academy of Inner Science, led by Thomas Hübl.

The Academy cooperates with professors from these six universities for this purpose: University of Witten/Herdecke (Germany), Technical University Braunschweig (Germany), Ubiquity University (online, USA), Meridian University (California, USA), European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder, Germany), and the City University of London (England).

PhD program students

There were 17 applications – seven students were accepted. This is the first generation:

  • Wouter Extercatte (Netherlands)
  • Lukas Herrmann (Germany)
  • Laura Madsen (Canada)
  • Ralph Saathoff (Germany)
  • Simon Spire (USA)
  • Adrian Wagner (Germany)
  • Linda White (USA)

The PhD-students will come together with their peers, with the members of academic board and with Thomas Hübl. They will deepen their scientific and discipline-specific, their personal and spiritual development, and will get inspired by the collaboration.

Here we present the PhD students and their research projects:


Wouter ExtercatteWouter Extercatte (Netherlands): “Ethics, action, dialogue: a theoretical exploration for the purpose of a bottom-up redesign of society”

The formidable task of redesigning Western societies from the bottom-up has inner dimensions which are not yet well understood (and which are vitally important to its long term success). This research project crafts a set of conceptual tools around the important topics of ethics and dialogue. These tools will help clarify the parameters of systems change in its inner dimensions and will benefit both the benefactors and those actively working in the field.

Wouter Extercatte received a Master of Arts at the University of Amsterdam in language and literature studies. He is engaged with grassroots forms of activism for societal change on several scales (local, national, international).


Lukas HerrmannLukas Herrmann (Germany): “Collective trauma and generative fields: Uncovering societal blind spots as support for transformation”

In the face of the global challenge to evolve and transform our societies towards deeper cooperation and sustainability, the project aims to understand how the integration of collective trauma may foster the emergence of generative social fields and a shift towards new future possibilities. Building on insights from the Pocket Project for Collective and Intergenerational Trauma Integration. This research endeavor investigates social fields – the conscious and unconscious social fabric which also carries the historic imprints of collective trauma, particularly.

The projects focuses on how our social fields can transform into generative social fields and what the characteristics of such shifts are to this end. Mixed methods are integrated into an awareness based action research paradigm with Social Presencing Theater as one main tool which enables an embodied diagnosis of collective trauma and a (micro-)phenomenological inquiry into
emerging future possibilities.

Lukas Herrmann received his Masters in psychology at Humboldt-University Berlin. He has worked for Tania Singer at the Max-Planck Institute. Department for Social Neuroscience focusing on the plasticity of social cognition (empathy, compassion, perspective-taking) and published the results of his master thesis in an article together with Prof. Singer and others (“Learning to understand oneself increases the ability to understand others”. Journal of cognitive enhancement. 1/2017).


Laura MadsenLaura Madsen (Canada): “Discovering and Integrating the Soul’s Nervous System through Inner Constellations and Sound”

Experience and exploration within the realm of Stillness and Silence have revealed the vast potential for a more compassionate and understanding relationship with our inner-aspects. Through a collective Inner Constellation practice and exploration of vocal Sound as a tool, the integration of conditioned (human, time-bound) and unconditioned (Soul, timeless) inner-aspects is an exciting path of discovery.

The intention behind the year-long PhD project is that, through group Inner Constellation practice and individual Sound sessions, each research participant will experience the powerfully transformative awareness and experiential integration of these inner-aspects.

Laura has always been a mystic looking for a home in everyday life. Her search has led her through a career in Psychiatry, teaching energy techniques, shadow-based psychotherapy, a Bhakti (devotional) path, and singing. She views Academia as an opportunity for “landing” mystical experiences within an acceptable cultural framework. Laura’s early love of Scripture led her to the completion of a Master’s degree from the Vancouver School of Theology (University of British Columbia) in 2011. The MA thesis included eight research participants exploring the application of Psalm 46 “Be Still and Know that I am God” in everyday life. The thesis was entitled “Surrendering to Silence: A Heart Centred Practice.”


Ralph SaathoffRalph Saathoff (Germany): “High Intelligent Cruise”

“What fascinates me about my topic is to explore the mystical principles that biological and ‘electronic’ life forms follow together.

I would like to use these principles to find out in which ways the electronic life form ‘autonomous vehicle’ can cooperate with a human being in his vehicle.”

Ralph has been a developing engineer in the field of automotive electronics for more than 10 years. In this role he was able to experience up close how evolution works when it is accomplished by man himself. In addition to this technically creative activity, he spent many years dealing with unconscious patterns of human behaviour, and in this way found a connection to the ideas of Eastern spirituality. He is uniting these three levels of information.


Simon SpireSimon Spire (USA): “Second-Tier Systems of Economic Organization: Emergent Principles and Collective Coherence”

“My life has been informed by explorations into both the frontiers of human development and the evolution of more life-supporting economic dynamics. I’m very excited to explore the interplay between these two domains as I aim to further discoveries into how we can support the emergence of higher-functioning economic ecosystems and sense evolutionary directions in collective organization. I also intend to examine what the lenses of collective trauma, collective coherence, and contemplative capacities may reveal, as well as investigating the relationships that may exist between fuller conceptions of human development and healthier economic dynamics.

I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to pursue these inquiries with the support and unique wisdom of the Academy of Inner Science.”

Simon studied economics and finance in New Zealand. Further stations in his life include a career as a songwriter and recording artist based in Los Angeles and New York, graduate studies in psychology, and years of study and practice in contemplative methods and self-inquiry.


Adrian WagnerAdrian Wagner (Germany): “Collective trauma integration and the great transformation towards sustainability”

Adrian is analyzing collective trauma integration in the context of the transformation towards sustainability in the context of the Pocket Project for Collective and Intergenerational Trauma Integration. His burning questions is how Global Social Witnessing is experienced. What underlying principles, practices and methods can be extracted from the Pocket Project training and how it relates to collective Trauma integration. In addition, he is engaged in the Pocket Project incubation through awareness based action research to support participants and the global field to tune into its evolutionary purpose.

Adrian Wagner has been consulting and facilitating workshops for international organizations such as the Red Cross, Caritas, Foreign Ministry of Germany, Goethe Institute and UNAOC, and the European Commission. He was engaged in several initiatives such as Reinventing Brussels – a project started after the 2016 terror attack to envision a more inclusive and sustainable city.

Lately, he has been working as a researcher on global governance innovation and citizen participation with the Global Cooperative Trust. Adrian Wagner is part of the Institute for Global Integral Competence and studied Public Policy at the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance in Berlin and has trained as a mediator at the Humboldt Law faculty.


Linda WhiteLinda White (USA): “Evolutionary Recovery & Psychotherapy”

A creative collaboration which explores the cultural shadows and invisible existential wounds residing in the collective unconscious of American society. Building upon the wisdom and safety of the therapeutic container and the integral and evolutionary potential embedded within the life saving program of Alcoholics Anonymous this inquiry invites safe practices and processes to facilitate collective awakening, cultural recovery and a realignment of the collective will.

Transcending and including the confidentiality and anonymity of the therapy and recovery rooms with the processes of transparent communication we explore the “pockets” of unresolved war trauma, the collective roots of addiction and the sensitivity and vulnerability embedded within symptoms of post traumatic stress. Myriad forms of collective addiction based on the economy of love are navigated with a conscious shift from an “economy of power” based on control to an “economy of care” based on love and service.

Linda is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), and a New Zealand Registered Psychologist


The application for the academic year 2019 will open on October 1st and the deadline of the application will be on March 15th, 2019.

Here you find more information about the program and what is needed to apply

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