4 March 2017: Nine Participants of the Trans4m Da Vinci PhD Program on Integral Development met in South Africa to strengthen and deepen their individual and collective research-to-innovation journeys

The reunion took place at the seat of Trans4m’s partner organisation, the Da Vinci Institute in Modderfontein, near Johannesburg. The first four days of this 2nd module were marked by an intensive exposure to the TIPS (Technology, Innovation, People, Systems) content of the Da Vinci Institute, provided by Da Vinci faculty. The remaining 2.5 days, moderated by Trans4m’s Alexander Schieffer, focussed on the integration of the new content and the overall deepening of the integral research-to-innovation journeys of each participant.

PhD Participants (coming from diverse countries, such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Jordan, UK, and Canada) represented a rich array of research-to-innovation foci – each one addressing a specific burning issue in enterprise or community, each one actively engaging with the specific socio-cultural context in which the research is embedded.

The module focussed on revisiting the opening part of the PhD, with a special emphasis on the inner (individual) and outer (collective: organizational / societal) calling – as well as on the work each participant has already done with regards to so-called “Community Activation”. Such Community Activation represents the first step (C) of Trans4m’s C-A-R-E Process – geared to enable each participant to sustainably manifest and actualize his or her innovation, in a personal and institutional manner.

Furthermore, participants presented their emerging perspective on the entire PhD journey, and explored ways to strengthen their respective innovation ecosystems, to offer mutual support and to engage in potential collaboration.

Impressive to see was that already at this early stage of this PhD group, a number of institutional innovations are shaping up among participants: for example a Kuona Center for Integral Enterprise in Zimbabwe and AFLEAD Africa Center for Local Economic Assisted Development in South Africa. Furthermore, during a Skype Call with Trans4m Senior Fellow Father Anselm Adodo, a Pan African cooperation between these newly emerging centers with Father Anselm’s Nigeria based ACIRD Africa Center for Integral Research and Development was discussed.

New in this particular module was, that two of the researcher-innovators were accompanied by a colleague from within their respective organization, functioning as co-researcher. Both co-researchers, in turn, also presented their particular role and contribution, and it was remarkable to see how the research-to-innovation, in each case, had been actively translated into the organization, thereby visibly increasing the potential for authentic transformation to take place.

For the Trans4m community, the module thereby was also a further confirmation of the importance of our parallel Phd/PHD process, whereby the (more individual, and more academic) PhD with a focus on theory development is complemented and enriched by a PHD (Process of Holistic Development), designed to expand the radius of each PhD into organization, community and society, with a focus on maximizing impact.

In summary, these seven days proofed to be highly productive, not only in terms of individual progress of each participant, but also in strengthening the close-knit community, jointly committed to effecting large-scale transformative impact, through new integral theory and practice.

Trans4m Co-Founder Ronnie Lessem could unfortunately not join the module, due to an open heart surgery . However, participants connected with him via Skype after the successful surgery – and wished him well for a quick recovery.

2017 03 04 PhD Module Johannesburg Cohort 4 Group 7

2017 03 04 PhD Module Johannesburg Cohort 4 Group 2


List of PhD Participants who joined this module:

  • Laila ABDUL-MAJEED, Jordan
    • Councillor and Research, ASG Ahliyyah School for Girls & Bishop School for Boys, Amman
  • Franceska JONES, UK-Canada 
    • Development Adviser, Department Trade and Industry, UK
  • Sara Khan, UK – South Africa
    • Associate, Investment Support, Oasis Group Holdings, South Africa
  • Wellington Muvengwa MUTYANDA, Zimbabwe
    • Econet Franchise Partner, Harare
  • Chipo NDUDZO, Zimbabwe (joined by colleague & Co-Researcher Thomas CHIBATEBATE)
    • Managing Director, Providence Consulting, Harare
  • Premie NAICKER, South Africa
    • CEO, Green Skills, Johannesburg
  • Emil NOTHNAGEL, South Africa (joined by colleague & Co-Researcher Lucinda SCHOLTZ)
    • Co-Founder AFlead / Partner, Clean Energy South Africa, Johannesburg
  • Sister Esther SHEBI, Nigeria
    • Head of Paxherbal Clinic, Jos
  • Smart ZONGOLOLO, Zimbabwe
    • Senior Executive, Schweppes, Zimbabwe