Sekem in Egypt Reloaded: Successful PhD of Max Abouleish turns out to be Milestone for the renewal of Sekem’s approach to Integral Human Development

5/6 June 2018: Two days of Phd Vivas, Workshops and Future Council Meetings mark the end of the PhD of Max Abouleish, while opening a new era for Sekem’s renewed approach to Integral Human, Organisational and Community Development

Exactly on the first anniversary of the passing of Sekem’s late founder Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish, his grandson and Trans4m Fellow Maximilian Abouleish-Boes presented the findings of his research-to-innovation journey. His five year PhD journey took place with the direct and indirect participation of many of Sekem’s companies and initiatives, Heliopolis University (HU) for Sustainable Development, the HU Social Innovation Lab, and a number of Trans4m Junior Fellows, in particular Annina Hunziker, Laurence Kaufmann and Anthony Dharan.

Max Abouleish managed to present a highly complex yet applicable approach to Human Development – internally coined as “SekemSophia” – aligning and integrating a large number of theories, concepts, tools and practices – appropriate to the philosophy of Sekem focussing on interconnecting, holistically, all human spheres.

The successful PhD Viva was immediately followed by a workshop, purposefully opening a new chapter in Sekem’s history, with a view to taking the eminent findings of this collective PhD journey further. This conversation was also advanced in a subsequent Sekem Future Council meeting that followed the day after the Viva.

The culmination of the PhD journey also inspired a 3 hour world café, during which  over 70 participants, primarily from Heliopolis University, explored the outlines of an ideal “university design” to be realized in the forthcoming forty years – a university that can function as an authentic driver of the integral approach to human development, presented by Max Abouleish.

In summary, the revised and expanded, as well as more collaborative, approach to human development shaped under the innovation leadership of Max Abouleish, carefully building on Sekem’s original approach, had also a huge symbolic significance for Sekem. Given that 2017 marked not only the 80thbirthday and the passing on of Sekem’s founder, as well as the 40thbirthday of the Sekem Initiative, this PhD is helping Sekem and HU to shift into a new era.

Sekem’s CEO Helmy Abouleish, who was, together with his parents a “man of the first hour” of Sekem, congratulated Max Abouleish on behalf of the entire Sekem Community. Helmy emphasised that this renewed approach to Human Development will be one of the three keynotes – together with the Economics of Love and Social Innovation –  for Sekem to pursue in its forthcoming 40 years, as it envisions to spearhead the sustainable development of Egypt and the region. Trans4m was invited to give further consideration to all three keynotes.

We shall soon publish on this website a full innovation profile of Maximilian’s integral innovation.

Most Fotos: Rene Floride, Sekem