SwitzerlandCommunity = Co-Creating Ecosystems | Trans4m Junior Fellows

Silvan Büchler:
A Desire for Integral Education

“For me applying the integral perspective means to not only include different viewpoints equally, but to interconnect seemingly segregated parts into a coherent whole, allowing us to deal with the complexity generally inherent in most development issues, individually and collectively.”

Silvan Büchler - Trans4m Junior Fellow

I am a student of International Affairs at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and have a burning desire for holistic and transformative forms of education. This passion arose out of my own educational encounters where I often experienced a lack towards the holistic personal development of students and felt the need for a more practise-oriented educational paradigm. In order to apply my theoretical knowledge gained at the university in practise, I conducted an internship at a community-based organisation in rural India in 2014. This transformative experience not only awakened my interest in grassroots approaches towards creating livelihood opportunities, but made me question the prevailing economic driven approach of international development, often following a one-sided western approved track without having a profound understanding of the local context one operates in. However, I first-hand witnessed the power of local traditions and beliefs, the importance of indigenous knowledge in resolving existing problems, the significance of relationships amongst people and the meaningfulness of a life in harmony with nature.

It were then also these holistic values that Trans4m stands for in combination with its focus on transformative education and research for innovation that drew to the organisation and its integral approach.

Since 2015, I have been a Junior Fellow of Trans4m and spent six months with its partner organisations S.P.J. Sadhana School and Om Creations Trust in Mumbai, India. I thereby used my Bachelor Thesis “A Holistic Approach to Education – The Transformative Application of the Integral Development Framework and Process at S.P.J. Sadhana School in India” as a transformative tool for organisational renewal, which allowed me to genuinely contribute to Sadhana School’s long-term sustainability.