Conference Theme & Seminar Topics

e-Conference on the Evolution of Individuality (CEI)
– Theme & Seminar Topics

Conference Theme

Individuality is the crown of human evolution and the catalyst for social progress, yet there are very different conceptions of what constitutes true individuality, the relationship between the individual and society, and whether humanity is inevitably evolving toward higher levels of individuality. This project will explore the essential nature of individuality, the social and cultural factors that foster it, its role in social development, its myriad expressions in the original thinker, creative artist, political leader, entrepreneur, inventor and social innovator, and the means available to society to foster it.
Seminar Topics

The e-conference will include discussion groups on the following topics:

S1. Conceptions and Characteristics of Individuality – Definitions of individuality, individuation and individualism and how they relate with concepts of leadership, entrepreneurship, personality, character, identity, independence, self-reliance, imagination, original thinking, uniqueness, rationality, egoistic vs. unselfish individuality, society, culture, psychological maturation, self-actualization, and spiritual realization; distinguishing characteristics of individuals who make a significant contribution to society; stages or levels of individuality; individuality as a stage of self-organization, personal maturation or self-realization; relationship between individuality and transcendental values such as dignity, respect, honor, rights, love and salvation; individuality as a static vs. evolutionary concept.

  • What is individuality? 
  • What distinguishes the outstanding creative individual from other members of society? 
  • What is the relationship between individuality and personal identity? 
  • What is the relationship between individuality, egoism, selfishness, social responsibility, altruism and idealism?

S2. Role of Society and Social Capital Formation in Individuation – The various types of social and cultural forces shaping the evolution of individuality, including the impact of different types of social-cultural milieu, and its relationship to development and to local-global crises. Conditions under which individuality develops; cultural variations in emphasis on individuality vs. conformity; process of differentiation of the individual from the collective; individuality and globalization; conflict and complementarity between the individual and collective; legal, political and social conditions conducive to the emergence of individuality; emergence of individuality in social evolution; relationship between freedom, democracy, education, mind and individuality; promoting individuality as a strategy for social development.

  • What is the relationship between social capital and individuality formation? 
  • What is the role of society and culture in the fostering and formation of Individuality? 
  • What is the impact of democracy, education, technological development, information, prosperity, travel and other social advances on the process of individuation? 
  • What is the relationship between individuality and social networking? 
  • What is the role of multi-cultural social environments, globalization and international experience?

S3. Role of the Individual in Social Advancement – Pioneers, innovators, entrepreneurs, creative artists and original thinkers as conscious agents of social progress; reconciling individual freedom with collective welfare and progress; legal, political and social conditions conducive to creative social contributions by individuals.

  • What is the role of the individual in social development and evolution? 
  • What is the relationship between individuality, social responsibility and human values? 
  • Is there a relationship between individuality and the propensity for mass movements? 
  • What is the relationship between individuality and global problems such as climate change, the financial crisis, social unrest and terrorism? 
  • What is the relationship between individuality, unemployment, self-employment and the future of work? 
  • What is the relationship between individuality, world peace and social harmony?

S4. Individuality & Personal Achievement – Relationship between individuality and personal and social accomplishment.

  • What is the relationship between individuality and accomplishment? Leadership? Entrepreneurship? Creativity? Original thinking? 
  • How does individuality foster accomplishment in intellectual discovery, artistic creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, personal relationships, romance, and spirituality? 
  • Do highly individuated people achieve more? If so, why and how?

S5. The Emerging Individual – Relationship between development of civilization and emergence of individuality; role of society in fostering emergence of individuality; physical and biological aspects of evolution in terms of ‘speciation’ of functional diversity and their impacts in ecological evolution; ways of fostering constructive forms of individuality that promote self-actualization and social advancement; individuation and personal fulfillment.

  • Are the younger generations becoming more or less individualistic? 
  • Is Individuation an evolutionary direction? If so, what is its significance? How can it be fostered? 
  • How can each person best foster his/her own individuality and the individuality of others? 
  • How does individuality develop in a person, community and society? 
  • What are the factors that determine it? 
  • What are the stages through which it passes? 
  • Is increasing individuation of its members an evolutionary movement of society?

S6. Varieties of Individuality – Expressions of individuality in contemporary life, biography, history and literature. Distinctions between masculine and feminine as well as mental, social and physical expressions of Individuality.

  • What are the similarities and differences between expressions of individuality in different fields of life? 
  • How do masculine and feminine expressions of individuality differ? 
  • What impact does culture have on the nature of individuality and its expressions?

S7. Individuation, Consciousness & Spirituality – Relationship between individuation, self-actualization, a widening of consciousness and spiritual experience.

  • How does individuation alter relationships and connectivity between people – both conscious and subconscious? 
  • How does individuation influence our perceptions of the world around us and the nature of reality?