Agents of Transformation Course at Trans4m’s Home for Humanity: A Deep Journey to becoming Contributors to Society

8 April 2019: A Group of 15 Bachelor Students from the University St Gallen came to Home for Humanity for a four-day Intensive Course on Integral Development.

The lively transcultural group from Switzerland’s University of St. gallen embarked enthusiastically on the transformative educational journey – based on the self, organisational and societal development rhythm as laid out in the Integral Development book of Alexander Schieffer & Ronnie Lessem. That integral transformative process had to be applied then, by five case based student teams, to five integral partner organisations of Trans4m, from five continents. Prior to the course. Prior to the course, each of the partner organisations had articulated a burning issue, faced locally on the ground, to which students had to respond, in small groups, via an integral solution written up in a group paper and portrayed in a short video.

The intensive course was highly interactive, and made full use of all dimensions of Trans4m’s home campus “Home for Humanity”: from the life sanctuary to the earth community hub, from the cultural artelier to the innovation academy, all the way to the impact forum.

The integral partner organisations were:

  • Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka, Asia
  • Sinal do Vale, Brazil, South America
  • NatureTex & Sekem, Egypt, Middle East
  • Pax Herbals, Nigeria, Africa
  • Nostras, Switzerland, Europe

During the course students directly engaged with key representatives from the case organisations, via zoom calls. The CEO of Nostras, Benjamin Foro, who had also been a former Trans4m Junior Fellow, came personally to Home for Humanity to share the work and burning issue faced by Nostras. He also participated actively in the World Humanity Café, which took place on the penultimate afternoon, activating the collective intelligence and solution development capacity of the group as a whole.

The course was led by Alexander Schieffer, in partnership with Rama Mani, and assisted by Trans4m Junior Fellow Christophe Haesler – who conducted Action Research during the course, in relation to his research-to-innovation on Authentic Education.

Rama Mani introduced students to the Theatre of Transformation methodology. On the final day, students shared first findings of their group research and used Theatre of Transformation to enact the envisioned solutions. These enacted performances turned out to be a potent culmination of the four day process.

Students left Home for Humanity with four additional weeks time  to develop their group solutions and videos, which were then presented in early May at the University of St. Gallen, and subsequently shared with all five case organisations.