Developing Self, Contributing to Society: A transformative Program in Egypt

20 October 2018: Under the stewardship and upon invitation of the Goethe Institut in Cairo and the Tahrir Lounge, Trans4m was invited to conduct a three-days workshop for young Changemakers from Egypt – supporting them to articulate and shape their  contributions to Egyptian Society.

Under the title “Develop your Self, Contribute to Your Society” this workshop, led by Trans4m’s co-founder Alexander Schieffer, took some 20 changemakers from all over Egypt on a journey to uncover their personal calling. Participants represented many facets from society – from university to journalism, from corporate sector to cultural institutions, from education to non-governmental sector.

Based on the Integral Worlds approach, a Transformation Agent Map guided participants through the process. The workshop was highly interactive, and helped participants not only to surface their own personal calling and contribution, but also to create a dynamic support and innovation ecology for each other. All of the emerging changemakers participated with enthusiasm, and delved deep into their personal story, as well as into the cultural wisdom and historical narrative of Egypt – with a view to open up imagination and opportunties for contributing to the future of the country.

Participants were exposed to the Integral Worlds approach as a unique tool for holistic personal, organisational and societal development. From the outsset, the three days were designed as a transformative journey, building concretely on the real life work context and actively working with the burning issues that participants encounter, on a personal, organisational and community level. The workshop flow followed Trans4m’s “GENE” – rhythm as a process to “Release (Y)Our GENE-IUS” – thereby providing a direct experience of the integral model and process. Cases from Egypt, such as SEKEM, and from around the world were enriching each step of the integral journey.

Participants actively developed an integral perspective and holistic solution map for their concrete burning issues – linking their personal developmental requirements with their aspiration to effectively contribute to the development of Egyptian society.

The workshop ended with a shared call for continuity – as participants articulated the need for an ongoing support on their transformative journey, as individuals, and as a group.

One of the participants, Mohamed Sayed Khalil from the Ministry of Culture,  offered the following reflection on the workshop: “Developing Self, Contributing to Society” was an amazing workshop  because it resonated deeply with my beliefs that in order to make a contribution to society “I have to start with myself” –  and to do that, one needs to go back to the roots, understanding who one truly is. That is the way to find one’s identity, to build one’s personality, and to develop knowledge – all required to meaningfully serve society. …. A very interesting part of this workshop was when Prof. Alexander shared with us the story of  Dr Ibrahim Abouleish, Founder & Chairman of SEKEM. Abouleish started his journey, and that of SEKEM, from his own roots, and, based on the knowledge he gained, he then developed society … It was so  helpful to hear about successful examples from around the world, but especially from our own society. From my heart I thank and appreciate Prof. Alexander for his time, knowledge and feelings.

Copyright of most Photos = Goethe Institut Cairo

Photographer = Islam “Shady” Safwat