Social Initiatives Forum 2019 in Egypt: TRANS4M contributes with an Integral Perspective to this Year’s Forum Focussing on “Unfolding Individual and Societal Potential”
12 to 15 December 2019: This year’s highly informative and transformative SIF took place at Sekem and Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development in Egypt, a long-term integral partner organisation of TRANS4M.
The Social Initiatives Forum is an international network of educators, curative educators, social workers, researchers and individuals interested in holistic education & sustainability. In this year’s annual Forum the network met at SEKEM in Egypt to share ideas on creative pedagogical practices that can help build a sustainable future. Some 300 participants joined this interactive and dynamic learning event – that combined community learning events with inspiring keynotes, skills workshop, artistic workshops and a large variety of networking and cross-pollination.
SIF Egypt 2019 with its guiding theme of “Unfolding Individual Potential for the Future” focussed on enhancing the Self to engage in community development through an integral, socially-relevant & artistic approach. This included education on different levels (formal schooling, higher education, informal skills training & the practice of self-development), as well as potential-unfolding activities within economic, agricultural & cultural settings.
TRANS4M participated via its co-founder Alexander Schieffer – who contributed two workshops and a keynote speech. During the TRANS4M workshops entitled “Unleashing Human Gene-ius – A Workshop for Integral Worldmakers”, participants were guided through the five steps of the GENE-IUS model, aligned with the five dance rhythms by Gabriele Roth. Combining conceptual input, a practical tool, introspective questions and dance turned out to be a highly transformative format, that resulted in deep personal insights into the “unfolding of individual potential” of participants, as well as in the collective co-creation of a shared Mandala, summarizing key findings. In the workshops, TRANS4M was strongly supported by Martina Dinkel, SEKEM’s director for Eurythmy & Performing Arts.
The subsequent keynote speech focussed on a set of main principles of TRANS4M’s work that seemed particular relevant for the conference theme which were: our integral emphasis on a whole life perspective, the inner purpose, cultural rootedness and transcultural interaction to stimulate social innovation. These principles were illustrated through a set of international cases from the TRANS4M body of practice: from Sekem in Egypt; to the Agents of Transformation Course at the Swiss University of St. Gallen; to Sadhana School in India; to Integral Green Slovenia; and, as a culmination, via the work TRANS4M has been doing in 2019 in Egypt, with the EGIC Egyptian Genius Innovation Community (a video on the latter will soon be released). With Mohamad El Sayed Khalil and Mohamed El Banby, two members of the core team of EGIC were present at the SIF Forum, offering also active support to the TRANS4M workshops.
A highlight of this year’s Forum was the level of ownership, enthusiasm, creativity and professionalism that a team of youth organisers, led by Sekem’s Nana Woo, was showcasing throughout the four-day event – a major ingredient to its success. Furthermore, the Forum was deeply enriched by being embedded in the innovative organisational and educational showcases of Sekem and Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development. In turn, the dynamic, innovative and transcultural spirit of the Forum brought many evolutionary impulses back into Sekem and HU. A tangible win-win organisation, that made participants and organizers leaving the Forum enriched, energized and further enabled to make his or her contribution to a more sustainable future.
Fotos by Sekem, Mohamed El Banby & Narimeh Paeplow