Collective Trauma and Integral Transformative Justice

Rama Mani and Alexander Schieffer

A Six-Week Online Course

In this time of turbulent global transition, this course underscores the importance of unlocking the transformative potential of trauma for redemptive and transformative action in the face both of historic and current injustice. We will seek to develop an integral, inclusive, and system-wide perspective towards healing trauma and restoring justice in crisis-affected communities.

A basic premise of the course is that trauma can serve as a potential source for individual transformation, and that the so-called ‘victim’ can be a potential agent for societal regeneration. Participants will engage in an integral approach to transformative justice in its interconnected dimensions: systemic, socio-economic, cultural, ecological, epistemic, human, and spiritual.

Faculty will draw from their extensive experience and research in crisis-affected countries over the past three decades. Real-life testimonies will be enacted, and case stories of collaborators in crisis-affected countries across diverse cultures will be discussed. What were once ‘victims’ of trauma have emerged as pioneering societal leaders who have made vital contributions to systems change and societal renewal. The course seeks to cultivate the potential within each of us - and in our diverse cultures - both for ourselves to journey from trauma to transformation as well as to assist others to do the same.

Course Faculty

Headshot of Rama Mani, PhD
Rama Mani, PhD

Meridian University faculty, Rama Mani is a transformative leader, peacebuilder, poet and performance artist whose life, work and art are devoted to human and global transformation.

Rama is the Founder of Theatre of Transformation Academy, and the Convenor of the Enacting Global Transformation Collaborative Initiative at the University of Oxford’s Centre for International Studies. Both initiatives are grounded in the Theatre of Transformation artform and methodology, developed by and based on Rama’s 30 years of academic and professional experience in peacebuilding, leadership and governance. Rama teaches Transformative Leadership based on this methodology to global decision makers, including the UN Senior Leaders Programme of the UN System Staff College, and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Rama is regularly invited by the United Nations and international organisations world-wide to offer Theatre of Transformation performances, leadership seminars and keynotes at global summits, conferences and cultural events.

Rama is the Co-Founder, with her husband, Alexander Schieffer, of Home for Humanity: A global vision, transcultural alliance and catalytic home campus for integral transformation, to enact a just and regenerative future for all life on our home planet.

Rama was the Co-Founder of Rising Women Rising World, together with Jean Houston and Scilla Elworthy, aiming to “co-create a world that works for all.” Rama was earlier Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka’s pre-eminent policy-research centre addressing conflict and human rights. She was the Director of the Global Peace and Security Course for senior diplomats, military officers and international policy makers at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. She served as Oxfam GB’s Africa Strategy Manager, addressing conflicts across the continent while based in Addis Ababa and Kampala. She was the Senior External Relations Officer to the Commission on Global Governance, and helped prepare and launch its seminal report Our Global Neighbourhood (OUP 2005) at the UN’s 50th anniversary.

Rama is a Councilor of the World Future Council. She was the Vice Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations, and served on the Boards of prestigious international organisations including Foundation for the Future, UNESCO International Centre for Human Sciences, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and the Academic Advisory Board of NATO Defence College.

Rama authored “Beyond Retribution: Seeking Justice in the Shadows of War” (Polity/Blackwell: 2002/2007), co-edited “Responsibility to Protect: Cultural Perspectives from the Global South” (Routledge: 2011), and numerous articles on global issues. Rama has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Cambridge, UK, an M.A. in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University, USA. Rama received the Peter Becker Peace Prize in 2013 in Germany, the Excellence in Leadership Award of the Global Thinkers Forum in the UK in 2018, and the Visionary Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award from the Visioneers’ International Network in Canada in 2020. She was elected Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences in January 2021.


Headshot of Alexander Schieffer, PhD
Alexander Schieffer, PhD

Meridian University faculty, Alexander Schieffer is an integral philosopher and transformative educator, scholar, activist and poet, whose life is dedicated to integral transformation for cultural renaissance. He received the Visionary Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award from the Visioneers International Network in Canada in 2020.

Alexander co-founded TRANS4M Academy for Integral Transformation in 2006, a local-global movement for integral transformation, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with an active, interconnected community of transformative scholar-practitioners spread on all continents. With his colleague, Ronnie Lessem, Schieffer developed the ‘Integral Worlds Theory and Practice’ and offered a unique impact-driven global Ph.D. Program on Integral Development, catalysing local changemakers to generate culturally-relevant responses to burning issues on the ground across Africa (from South Africa to Zimbabwe to Nigeria), the Middle East (Egypt, Jordan, Palestine), Asia (Sri Lanka, India), Europe (Switzerland, Germany, UK), South America (Brazil) and the USA.

He is the co-founder, with Dr. Rama Mani, of Home for Humanity, an integral campus in rural France that convenes and catalyses a transcultural community of pioneering transformative leaders across continents, disciplines, and generations around the collective vision of ‘co-creating a just, inclusive and regenerative Earth Civilization’. Home for Humanity received the ‘Project of Excellence’ Award in 2020 from the Visioneers International Network in Canada.

Alexander is a graduate of the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, where he completed his doctorate on leadership personality, and where he remains a highly popular lecturer to this day, teaching Integral Development, and Self and Societal Transformation.

After working initially in the banking, investment and media industries in Europe, he ran his own publishing company ‘First Asia Publishing’ in Singapore, managing a diverse portfolio of publications and clients spread across Asia and Europe, before establishing TRANS4M and Home for Humanity.

Schieffer is co-author, with Lessem of, among others, Integral Development, Integral Research and Innovation, Transformation Management, Integral Economics, Integral Dynamics. As Series Editors of Routledge’s Transformation and Innovation Book Series, Schieffer and Lessem have published over 30 volumes written by pioneering integral development practitioner-scholars from literally all continents. An accomplished poet, Alexander has published two poetry books, the latest being Firebird - A Poetic Journey of Awakening the Inner Fire.

Enriched by his culturally immersive experiences and committed to integrate a fragmented world, Alexander is wholeheartedly passionate about turning education and research into vehicles for holistic transformation and innovation, with the aim of supporting humanity’s transition to an integral paradigm.


The course is designed as a transformative, participatory, multi-cultural learning journey for course participants, to reflect on and evolve their understanding and praxis as scholar-practitioners of justice, healing, and transformation in a world in turbulent transition.

This course draws on the Theatre of Transformation Methodology developed since 2013 at the Oxford Enacting Global Transformation Programme at the University of Oxford’s Centre for International Studies, and at the Theatre of Transformation Academy. Dr. Rama Mani is the founder of the Theatre of Transformation Academy and Dr. Jean Houston has served as mentor and co-founding member.

The theoretical framework and transformative process-practice of Integral Transformative Justice is rooted in the Integral Worlds Theory and Integral Development Approach of TRANS4M Academy for Integral Transformation, co-founded by Dr. Alexander Schieffer.

The course is grounded in direct integral field experience and practice through:

  • Real-life transformative testimonies of individuals and communities who Dr. Mani has personally met or collaborated with in war-torn countries since 1995; and
  • Case stories of individuals and organizations who transcended trauma to pioneer paradigm shift and systemic change, and who have studied and practiced integral development with Dr. Schieffer over the past decades.

Students are invited to adapt and apply the integral framework, practice, and process of Integral Transformative Justice to their own context, scholarship, and work. Drawing on their own experiences and the learning materials in this course, participants will develop an integral perspective and personal testimony to steer them in their onward journeys as scholar-practitioners of social healing and transformation of collective trauma.

Course Modules

Week One

Dimension One:

  • Metaphysical or Spiritual Justice
  • Coming Home to Our Humanity

Week Two

Dimension Two:

  • Ecological Justice
  • Witnessing Reality and Grounding in our Context

Week Three

Dimension Three:

  • Cultural Justice and the Arts
  • Awakening Possibility and Expanding Creative Potential

Week Four

Dimension Four:

  • Epistemic Justice
  • Envisioning Change and Navigating Innovation

Week Five

Dimension Five:

  • Socio-Economic and Political Justice for Systems Change
  • Enacting Transformation and Effecting Systems Change

Week Six

Integrating all Dimensions:

  • Synthesis, Commitment and Manifestation
  • Integral Transformative Justice to heal our divided world and co-create an Earth Civilization as Humanity in Unity

Online Course Format

Course Structure
  • Six-week online course through May 1, 2022
  • Six live 75-minute Zoom sessions with faculty held Thursdays at 9:00 am PT (Pacific Time) and recorded for participants who cannot join every session live
  • Resources, networking, and emergent community outcomes
  • Content and collaboration via Meridian's social learning platform
Course Schedule
  • March 17 at 9 am PT - First live course session
  • March 24 at 9 am PT - Second live course session
  • March 31 at 9 am PT - Third live course session
  • April 7 at 9 am PT - Fourth live course session
  • April 21 at 9 am PT - Fifth live course session
  • April 28 at 9 am PT - Sixth live course session
Course Fees

$250, including the synchronous course video calls (with recordings), online learning platform access, participation in the course learning community, plus course resources and written activities.


Meridian University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) - a higher education accreditor recognized by the United States Department of Education. WASC is also the accreditor for Stanford University, UCLA, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Frequently Asked Questions

Meridian’s online courses are conducted via the University's own learning platform, Pivot, as well as the Zoom video conferencing system.

Our online courses promote community learning, through strong interactive engagement with fellow students and faculty as well as live video sessions with faculty.

You will need an email account, a high-speed internet connection, and access to a computer, iOS or Android device.

If you are planning to attend the course video calls live, you will need a webcam and microphone for your device. (Course video calls are conducted with participants video-enabled.)

Live 75-min video sessions with faculty and fellow students will be conducted throughout the course. Each week's live video call will be recorded and posted on the course platform.

Video presentations, readings, discussions and learning activities will be accessible asynchronously and may be completed on participants' own schedule. Course resources and recordings will remain available up to 30 days after the close of the course.

Full refunds are available until two (2) days before the course begins, by request via email.

You do not need to apply to a Meridian graduate degree program to take this online course. This course is one of Meridian’s open-enrollment courses

The course support team will be available to assist from start to finish. Please send your questions/requests/issues to

Convening faculty generally lead each live session. Contributing faculty typically contribute in one of the live course sessions. Course resources address the work of both convening and contributing faculty.

Meridian has institutional and federal financial aid options for our graduate degree programs. This open enrollment course does not have financial aid or payment plans available.

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