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Integral African Feminine Leadership
by Premie Naicker, South Africa

Premie Naicker, Founder of GreenSkills in Johannesburg South Africa focuses on a holistic approach to feminine leadership and enterprise-in-community, leading to a new leadership framework for integral feminine leadership and integral enterprise in community for the 21st century.

Calling: Unearthing Authentic Feminine Leadership Principles to CARE-4-All

The burning issues underlying this research-to-innovation addresses the challenges of women empowerment, diversity and inclusion in corporate South Africa.  The rising levels of unemployment and economic inequality amongst women and youth due to the lack of proper education and skills development both from a technology and social innovation perspective.  Furthermore it addresses the lack of authentic feminine leadership skills in business and in the information technology space.

Innovation Ecosystem: A highly engaged local team, spanning Enterprise and Community

From the outset, of the PhD and the big PHD (Process of Holistic Development) Premie Naicker built up a strong innovation ecosystem, comprising of both women and men entrepreneurs, business people and academia across multiple sectors to engage with her in a co-creative process for social transformation through consciousness raising and collaborative empowerment.   This focus group served as the foundational community-of-practice to collaborate and co-create programmes and support structures for African Feminine leaders within the new institutionalized integral GreenSkills Enterprise-in-Community (iGEIC) research-to-innovation container. 

Integral Innovation: Working towards a dual system of Integral African Feminism, through a dynamic fourfold process of integral development

Premie Naicker considered how the dual systems of integral African Feminine Leadership and integral Enterprise-in-Community could be combined in practice by applying them to GreenSkills. This integration took place through a dynamic fourfold process, called the four A’s of Assessing, Aligning, Augmenting and Applying.  This process served to practically bring together and activate the concept base developed in this research-to-innovation into a new integral African Feminine Leadership (iAFL) framework to release the Gene-i-us of the African Feminine Leader depicted by the mythical Sankofa bird as an African symbol of feminine renewal and leadership. In addition, such steps helped to work consciously and collaboratively towards institutionalising the integral GreenSkills Enterprise-in-Community framework and creating a support structure for women in leadership.

The SANKOFA – A Symbol of an iAFL

 An Evolving Integrated Model of a SANKOFA iAFL

I have expanded the SANKOFA to symbolise the shared findings and the key principles that the CI group jointly identified and then integrated it into the evolving model of an African feminine leader’s search for freedom and knowledge by:

S – Starting with Self-awareness and Consciousness through Empathy and Humanness

A – African Ubuntu Community Building 

N – No more Ego more Negotiation and Collaboration and Dialogue

K – Knowledge from Action and Reflection for Social Innovation

O – Openness and Oneness leading to Social Cohesion

F – Feminine Leadership embracing the Masculine leading to Interdependence

A – Authenticity as the Core Foundation of an iAFL

Integral Impact: A new integral feminine leadership framework and a new integral enterprise-in-community through GreenSkills

Premie Naicker’s research-to-innovation led to the creation of a new organisational structure for GreenSkills which will house various programs for integral African feminine leadership. From a local group of like-minded men and women, integral GreenSkills enterprise-in-community (iGEIC) is becoming a voice and a platform for men and women to engage in meaningful dialogue, to collaborate and co-create innovative solutions to change the current status quo around gender, inclusion and diversity in South Africa. In the CI group, Premie followed Heron’s four modes of learning and consciousness, namely experiential knowing, imaginal knowing, propositional knowing and practicalknowing complimented by a dynamic spiral process such as our GENE rhythm where Southern grounding (experiential) needs to build cumulatively on the Eastern emerging (imaginal) and Northern navigation (conceptual) and the Western effecting (practical).  The Figure below highlights these four modes of knowing, as well as the main spiral characteristic of each mode and its relationship to the core iAFL framework which are:

  1. Building Supportive Ecosystems and Communities of Practice
  2. Collaboration Conscientisation and Dialogue
  3. Creating New Knowledge and Social Innovation
  4. Transforming Education and Enterprise

Four Ways Four Worlds Spiral Knowledge Transformation for an iAFL