SOURCE: Institute of Noetic Sciences
September 16, 2010 19:44 ET
New Transformative Learning Network & Free IONS Membership Expand Access to Noetic Sciences Tools
PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwire - September 16, 2010) - The proliferating number of people pursuing growth opportunities in life-skills, career, and spirituality can enjoy greater promise of meeting their goals with the help of a new transformative learning network that launched today when the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) completed beta testing of its new website. IONS also announced a new free membership model to make the network's enhanced content and learning tools accessible to more people, especially those involved in transitional or global crisis practices such as healthcare, education, the environment, and business.
"As one of the world's leading science centers rigorously researching the connection between mind and body, consciousness and matter, we have retooled our organization to bring collective learning and community support to more people," said IONS President and CEO, Dr. Marilyn Schlitz. "At a time of intense global transition, trends indicate that people from all walks of life increasingly are seeking the most trusted science-backed sources to help them more fully engage in the world transforming around them."
Free Membership Model
Recognizing that future funding of its laboratory science and applications research depends on responding to new online donor behaviors, IONS has revised its philanthropic model to invite significantly more participation in its online network. Entry-level membership, which used to cost as much as $120 a year, is now free. It allows wider access to IONS' archives, enriched and upgraded with more published papers, seminars, conference proceedings, and multimedia resources in transformational studies. Free membership also allows participants into online discussion forums. Funding from the new model will come from generous member donations, value-added member levels, and fee-based programs that provide deeper consciousness science instruction. Members at donating levels have access to more learning tools and events as well as discounts on products, e-learning programs, and the Institute's biannual conference (scheduled for San Francisco in July 2011).
The New Noetic.org
Sporting IONS' new logo, a vibrant blue/green pallet, and photography that conveys wellbeing, human spirit, and the beauty of planet Earth, the website -- www.noetic.org -- completed its beta testing and was formally launched today. Designed by Brick Design Inc. of San Francisco, the site catapults IONS' identity from a traditional academic institution to a dynamic global network where people connect, learn, and transform through noetic sciences. It consolidates IONS' former public and member-only websites into a single, easy-to-navigate, interactive hub. Using more robust software solutions, the website allows IONS to offer more online education programs, deeper and easier access to consciousness science resources, and social discussion forums. It also features a new E-store for IONS' books, DVDs, eBooks, and audio sets.
New Website Elements
Noetic Sciences Publishing
Building on the respected tradition of its industry journal, Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness, and its predecessor, Noetic Sciences Review, IONS will continue covering cultural and scientific issues in the broadening field of consciousness studies with a new online section called Noetic Now. It will feature new and archived articles, excerpts from new books, and reviews. Blog posts by IONS scientists and guest experts in transformation and consciousness will cover topics in science, healthcare, education, global issues, media, and business.
Education and E-Learning
With its improved membership model, IONS now can structure its educational programs to support the needs of more people looking for advanced-level transformative learning as well as those using the Internet to expand their skills. Headlining the new programming is IONS' teleseminar series, a popular forum for consciousness explorers to discover and discuss developments in the noetic sciences. Teleseminars now are offered as structured 13-week courses with downloadable support material and online discussion. Available to "Partner" and above donors, each course will explore "Big Questions" from noetic science research. The fall 2010 series, "Essentials of Noetic Sciences" will start with the big question on the lips of anyone new to the field, including the millions reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol for the first time -- "What in the World is Noetic Science?" This series will coincide with the four million copy paperback release of The Lost Symbol.
The transformative learning network also includes online classroom solutions. IONS will offer CEC courses for professionals interested in bridging consciousness studies with current social trends. Courses in nursing and worldview literacy will inaugurate the program. Other online learning tools will include webinars and interactive engagement activities such as games and assessment.
Social Noetic Network
To give the public a more personal experience with the noetic sciences, IONS' new website introduces a social community with profile sharing and discussions that, prompted by the "Big Questions" explored in its teleseminar series, encourage collaborative exploration. Research findings and follow-up questions will fortify community discussions. The new IONS site also features improved integration of other social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube into its transformative learning network.
The self-improvement market perpetuates growth, meeting the needs of people seizing opportunity in good times as well as those practicing resilience in tough times. Despite the current recession, for example, the market for holistic institutes like IONS grew 11 percent, and Americans spent $11 billion on self-improvement books, CDs, seminars, coaching and stress-management programs -- 13.6% more than they did back in 2005, according to Marketdata Enterprises. The independent Tampa-based research firm forecasts 6.2% annual market growth through 2012.
"If we are going to continue to fund our scientific mission while serving people seeking transformative support, we must think charitably, but act entrepreneurially," said Dr. Marilyn Schlitz, IONS president and CEO.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences is one of the world's leading science centers rigorously researching the connection between mind and body, consciousness and matter. Its trusted laboratory and applications research fuels an expanding global learning community helping people to transform their lives and the world around them. IONS hosts one of the most active research-fueled networks of live and online resources, community, and learning experiences. It also operates the EarthRise retreat center, which, together with the IONS research facilities, is located on a rolling woodlands campus in Petaluma, California.