Integral Development and Transformative Leadership

Applying the Art and Science of Integral Transformation to Regenerate our Humanity, our Institutions and our Home Planet

Alexander Schieffer and Rama Mani

A Seven-Week Online Course

About this Course

Earth, our shared home planet, is on fire. Humanity is at a perilous yet promising crossroad. Despite the alarming degeneration of our politics, economy, environment and culture, we have the potential to reshape our shared future by embodying our full humanity and taking creative response-ability for our Earth home.

This course is an invitation to develop your capacity as a transformative leader with the consciousness, creativity and courage to co-pioneer integral development at this crucial time of planetary transition. You will engage with the theory and global praxis of Integral Development, addressing the interconnected realms of human life: humanity, nature, culture, education, systems and unity. This course based on a ‘whole life-whole person’ pedagogy combines personal transformation and societal impact. This course supports and mentors you to shape your individual purpose and collective contribution to a regenerative Earth Civilization.

You will:
  1. 1. Apply the Art and Science of Integral Transformation to:
    • Script and enact your Integral Manifesto of transformative leadership, enabling you to embody and express your unique and authentic humanity.
    • Shape your own integral development initiative to contribute to systemic change and societal regeneration.
  2. 2. Experience the integral campus of Home for Humanity and the praxis of developing our personal, organizational, societal and planetary homes into seedbeds for individual and collective renewal.
  3. 3. Engage with an inspiring and diverse transcultural community of pioneering transformative leaders and integral development organizations on all continents, belonging to the Earth Alliance of Home for Humanity.

"An inclusive Earth Civilization rises from our conscious and courageous actions for a just and regenerative future for all beings."

—Humanity Charter

Course Faculty

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.


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.

Teaching Methodology

A Whole Life-Whole Person Living-Learning Laboratory – An Immersion in the Art and Science of Integral Transformation

This course offers an immersive ‘whole life-whole person’ approach to embodied and experiential living-learning. The course is based on the Art and Science of Integral Transformation, grounded in the paradigm of the interconnected wholeness of existence, which represents the powerful fusion of two integral methodologies for transformation.

  • The ‘Integral Worlds Theory and Practice’ was developed, taught and implemented globally over the past two decades by Prof. Alexander Schieffer and Prof. Ronnie Lessem, the co-founders of the “TRANS4M Academy for Integral Transformation” ( Integral Worlds draws on the disciplines of economics, organisational change, human development, cultural renewal, systems change, corporate leadership and business management, among others, and on first-hand experience with TRANS4M’s community of integral transformative practitioners and pioneering integral organizations, across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

  • ‘The Theatre of Transformation Methodology’ for Transformative Leadership was developed by Dr. Rama Mani over the past decade at the University of Oxford’s Enacting Global Transformation Programme (, and taught worldwide to UN and international leaders, policy makers, practitioners and civic leaders. It draws on the disciplines of politics and international relations, global security, peacebuilding, justice, global governance, civic and political leadership, culture and the performing arts, and on direct experience in crisis-affected areas in diverse cultures on all continents.

Course Participants immerse themselves in the Art and Science of Integral Transformation, and engage in an interactive experience of co-learning, knowledge-creation, experimentation, embodiment and creative expression.

Course Modules

Week One

HUMANITY: Coming Home to our Humanity – The Transformative Leadership Journey to Integral Development Begins

  • Overview: Introduction to the Art and Science of Integral Transformation
  • Integral Theory: Integral Development in Theory and Practice: an Overview
  • Personal Embodiment: Enacting Global Transformation: the Transformative Leadership journey
  • Societal Actualization: Humanity’s Quest to ‘Come home’ to our ‘Humanity’ on four levels – inner home, outer home, organisational home and planetary home

Week Two

NATURE: Living as an Earth Community – Nature, Community and the Ecological Regeneration of our Planetary Home

  • Integral Theory: Nature, Ecology and Community – the ‘southern dimension’ of Integral Development
  • Global Praxis: Engaging with pioneering leaders of ecological regeneration from Home for Humanity’s Earth Alliance
  • Personal Embodiment: Witnessing Reality as Transformative Leaders
  • Societal Actualization: Seeding planetary regeneration as interconnected ‘homes for humanity’

Week Three

CULTURE (PART 1): Nurturing a Culture of Peace and Integrity – Activating our Creative Potential for Cultural Renewal

  • Integral Theory: Culture, Creativity and Societal Renewal: the ‘eastern dimension of Integral Development
  • Global Praxis: Engaging with pioneering catalysts of cultural renewal from Home for Humanity’s Earth Alliance
  • Personal Embodiment: A poetic journey of integral awakening
  • Societal Actualization: Catalysing societal renaissance through the transformative power of culture

Week Four

CULTURE (PART 2): Nurturing a Culture of Peace, Justice and Humanity – Awakening the Power of Art and Creativity to transform Crisis

  • Integral Theory: An integral approach to conflict transformation and just peace through art and culture
  • Global Praxis: Engaging with transformative artists who’ve transformed themselves and their crisis-affected societies from Home for Humanity’s Earth Alliance
  • Personal Embodiment: Awakening possibility as transformative leaders to transform conflict and injustice through culture, art and creative expression
  • Societal Actualization: Igniting societal renewal through the transformative power of art

Week Five

EDUCATION: Cultivating the Wisdom of Life – Transformative Education and Knowledge Creation

  • Integral Theory: Science, Systems and Technology – the Northern dimension of Integral Development
  • Global Praxis: Engaging with pioneering leaders in transformative education and integral innovation from Home for Humanity’s Earth Alliance
  • Personal Embodiment: Envisioning change as Transformative Leaders
  • Societal Actualization: Co-hosting a ‘humanivEARTHsity’ across our home planet for human and societal transformation

Week Six

SYSTEMS: Pioneering a Regenerative Future – Realizing Ecosystemic Change

  • Integral Theory: Economics, Enterprise and Politics – the Western dimension of Integral Development
  • Global Praxis: Engaging with the Earth Alliance’s pioneering Change Makers across ecosystems, fields and continents to accelerate paradigm change
  • Personal Embodiment: Enacting Transformation as transformative leaders
  • Societal Actualization: Rethinking Economics and Finance as Regenerative Resourcing, Gifting economies and the Economy of love

Week Seven

UNITY: An Earth Agora to Fulfil our Humanity in Unity – Enactment, Integration and Future Building

  • Global Praxis: Co-creating and sustaining our mutually nurturing community of integral practice
  • Personal Embodiment: Enacting my Integral Manifesto as a Transformative Leader
  • Societal Actualization: Presenting my Imago Integralis of Integral Development – My intended contribution to a just inclusive and regenerative Earth civilization
  • Integration and Maintaining Momentum: How we will apply, actualise and deepen our learnings in our transformative leadership and integral practice

Online Course Format

Course Structure
  • Seven-week online course from June 8 through August 1, 2021
  • Seven live 75-minute Zoom sessions with faculty held Tuesdays at 10:00 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
  • June 8 - Course begins, participants begin engaging with course resources and activities
  • June 8 at 10 am PT - First live course session
  • June 15 at 10 am PT - Second live course session
  • June 22 at 10 am PT - Third live course session
  • June 29 at 10 am PT - Fourth live course session
  • July 13 at 10 am PT - Fifth live course session
  • July 20 at 10 am PT - Sixth live course session
  • July 27 at 10 am PT – Seventh live course session
  • August 1 - Course ends, participants continue engagement via learning platform’s social group
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

  • Q: What is an Online Course?

    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.

  • Q: What technology do I need to take an online course?

    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.)

  • Q: Do I need to be online at certain times for class?

    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.

  • Q: What is Meridian's refund policy?

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

  • Q: Do I need to apply to Meridian graduate program to take this online course?

    You do not need to apply to a Meridian graduate degree program to take this online course.

  • Q: How can I reach course support?

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

  • Q: Who will teach each session?

    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.

  • Q: Is financial aid available for this public online course?

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

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