The Integral University in Paris is born the 28th February 2008.

This launch was not planned a long time before.

Actually, the idea appeared in January during a meeting of the executive committee of the Club of Budapest in France. The focus of this meeting was about the vision and the future of the Club of Budapest in France for the next years.

Michel Saloff Coste, founder of the Club of Budapest, France, suggested this idea for different reasons.

First, the ten years of the activities of the Club of Budapest in France had shown a difficulty to explain the philosophy of the Club of Budapest.

Second, the name “Club of Budapest” was not really meaningful to explain the philosophy and the activity of the club, mainly because this activity and philosophy was not obviously linked to the town of Budapest and even the notion of club.

Third, looking at the encyclopedia on Wikipedia in English, it appeared that Ervin Lazslo, initiator and founder of the Club of Budapest worldwide, was mainly considered as an integral philosopher, and that integral philosophy was considered in the English Wikipedia encyclopedia as a special branch/approach/movement of which history roots in the early 20th Century and linked to more than thirty different authors.

Fourth, it appeared in France, in the French Wikipedia, that the integral approach was still not explained as a branch/approach/movement at that time, which was linked to the fact that compared to Germany, England, or even India or Asia, the integral approach was still quite unknown or misunderstood.

Therefore, for all these reasons, it was meaningful to launch an integral research and education center in Paris to promote and communicate around integral philosophy that was becoming a worldwide and important movement. It was also a way to clarify and make transparent in France the epistemological paradigm which was the root of the Club of Budapest in the way the Club of Budapest considers the planetary global issues and its own more specific points of view. The launch of an integral research and education center in Paris was all the more meaningful if we consider that some of the most important thinkers and philosophers considered as in the integral international movement were French philosophers such as Teilhard de Chardin, Edgar Morin and in a different way, Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, to mention a few among a larger list.
Paris has always been a historical place where philosophy was a field of importance and discussions. Launching an integral university in Paris was a way to recognize the growing influence that the integral approach has in the contemporary epistemological debate worldwide.

To do something quickly and pragmatically, Michel Saloff-Coste suggested to the French executive committee of the Club of Budapest to develop one-day seminars every quarter in which we explore the main ideas, places and people linked historically to the integral approach. The first day of those inaugural “days” was dedicated to explain in general the integral approach. The second day was around the issue of the integration of the integral approach and philosophy in real life. The third day was about integral education. This very special day was a good way to explore the theoretical and practical epistemological question connected with the specificity of the wish to build an integral university. The fourth day was an application of integral thinking to the analysis of the contemporary, sociological, economical and ecological crisis, and solutions of this analysis. The fifth day was about sustainable development and what the integral approach can bring in terms of integral ecology, society and economy. The sixth day which clotured the cycle of those inaugural days was more connected with future studies and futurology. The title was “Civilization of the future and future of the civilizations”. This title was important to underline the necessity to think in terms of cultural unity but also diversity.