Partnership Systems


Concentration Description

World-System and cultural crises are unfolding around the world in communities and societies at an intensifying rate. On a long journey of perhaps 200,000 years, humans have structured their collective lives within what could be understood as either partnership systems, or domination systems. Both types of systems can take less or more forms of complexity.

An understanding of partnership systems has been substantially articulated and affirmed by the work of Riane Eisler as well as the research and scholarship of others, for example: David Loye, Marija Gimbutas, Ruth Benedict, Douglas Fry, David Korten, Jean Baker Miller, Nancy Folbre, and Nell Noddings.

Partnership System Practitioners are needed at scale to respond to these cascading crises.

Partnership Systems Practitioners facilitate the development of partnership capabilities within intimate systems, teams, organizations, communities, and societies. The Partnership Systems concentration is intended for Master's and Doctoral students in the Psychology and Education programs who aspire to be Partnership Systems Practitioners in the context of their professional goals.

Practices, methods, ideas, and topics engaged within this concentration’s courses, by way of example, include domination hierarchies & actualization hierarchies, affective neuroscience, relational & emotional development, collective trauma, gender, childhood development, economics, synergy, interdependence, mutuality, accountability, regenerative practice, cultural leadership, coalition building, and restorative justice.

"Stripped to its essentials, the central human task is how to organize society to promote the survival of our species and the development of our unique potentials. A partnership society offers us a viable alternative."


Sample Courses

  • Consciousness and Partnership Capabilities
  • Caring and the Spectrum of Partnership Systems
  • Moral Codes and the Evolution of Partnership
  • Theories of Cultural Transformation
  • Spirituality and Cultures of Partnership

"An essential tool for government leaders, politicians, economists, and everyone looking for ways to halt environmental destruction, eradicate poverty, stabilize population, and build a better future."


Academic Structure

Meridian’s academic structure gives students the flexibility to navigate the University’s curricular architecture in ways that match their passions, professional goals, and other life commitments.

The structure is designed to serve a diverse student body, who live around the globe, have varied cultural and clinical visions for their careers, and are at different stages in their professional journey.

Students enroll in a degree program, can elect a concentration, and register for one or multiple courses each quarter. In addition to core courses for the specific degree program and anchor courses that represent the Transformative Learning intent of Meridian’s curriculum, students select elective courses that align with their Meridian concentration, background, and career path.

Learning Formats

Hybrid Format

Meridian’s hybrid learning format combines online courses with weeklong onsite labs. The hybrid learning format is designed to enable students to pursue their graduate education at a flexible pace, combining asynchronous coursework via the University’s custom social learning platform, Pivot, live course video calls with faculty, synchronous student community engagement, and one-week onsite labs. By combining innovative online education methodologies with rich video calls and deep onsite connections, the hybrid format enables students to contribute locally and perceive globally.

Each quarter, students take one or multiple seven-week online courses. This schedule provides students with time between quarters to rest, engage, and prepare. Additionally, students attend at least two weeklong onsite labs per academic year. Labs run Monday through Friday throughout the year, with onsite labs taking place at Meridian’s Bay Area Center and other globally distributed locations.

Online Format

In Meridian's online learning format, students can complete 100% of their coursework degree requirements online. Online labs are also available for students who choose not to travel to onsite labs. Students can select lab dates, locations, and formats based on their personal circumstances and professional aspirations

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