IFIS's work complies with the usual principles and quality criteria of academic research like
- working on the basis of articulated theories and disclosing the necessary extra-scientific paradigmatic and value choices inherent in the theories-in-use (no unquestionable preconditions = no dogmatism);
- establishing and communicating reusable methods embedded in multiple, complementary methodologies designed to ensure adequacy, rigor and trustworthiness through an integral array of quality criteria (validity, reliability credibility, transferability, dependability, confirmability, fittingness, auditability …)
- striving for simplicity, coherence and beauty in theories and methods, and their presentation.
- interpreting, publishing, and critically discussing results in a peer community of experienced researchers.
- generating and applying knowledge exclusively on the basis of a strong code of conduct monitored by procedures of peer-control and ethical standards.
- recognizing the basically provisional and uncomplete character of academic research and its results.
- considering knowledge as a public good of humanity as a whole and sharing it accordingly.
In addition, the Institute
- applys integral research designs for systematically investigating experiences and "data" in specific areas;
- critically addresses the (pre-scientific or scientistic) blind spots of current scientific agendas and stimulates the inclusion of neglected or rejected areas of reality into accepted scientific research.
- fosters the awareness of the strengths and downsides of totalising attempts in theory and practice.
- is open to dialogue with any willing representative of any serious scientific, artistic and spiritual paradigm and tradition in a spirit of mutual enrichment beyond sterile confrontative debates.
- is non-dogmatic, i.e. independent from political, economic and religious institutions and ideologies and not confined to any single school of thought.
- fosters solidarity and mutual support between its members and partners by catalyzing the complementarity between their unique trajectories, personalities, competence profiles and vocations.
- is a learning organisation applying the principles of organisational learning and of lifelong and lifewide learning of its stakeholders, i.e. the organisation has to be designed in all its aspects to stimulate and integrate feedback loops for integral learning and transformation inside and across levels (small and large group, community and inter-organisational) and areas (business, politics, education …)
- is committed to a permanent critical re-evaluation and (if adequate) revision of its objectives, core concepts, leadership roles, codes, principles, standards and procedures on the basis of an integrally enhanced participatory approach.
- is principally open to the integration of new stakeholders complying with its vision, objectives and requirements and willing and able to contribute to its further development, while taking care to balance this openness with its organisational and community-building capacity in any given moment.
- is combining playfulness and seriousness, flow and joint focus, individual and collective intelligence.
- experimentally puts an integral approach into the practice of its own gatherings.