Audio Recordings

Conversations on Transformative Learning

Meridian's Center for Transformative Learning will be hosting a series of virtual conversations. These conversations will take place in September and October as we approach the 10th International Transformative Learning Conference - A Future for Earth: Re-Imagining Learning for a Transforming World held in San Francisco in November 2012. We invite you to join us and participate in this exciting series of conversations!

Schedule of Conversations

Hosted by Courtney Lubell

Associate Director, Meridian's Center for Transformative Learning


Please note that the times and speakers are subject to change, so please check regularly for any changes in programming.

September 13, 2012, 11:00am - 12:15pm
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The Transformative Potential of Film and Television
Moderated by Christine Jarvis, Ph.D.

Christine Jarvis, Ph.D.

Christine Jarvis, Ph.D.,(Moderator): Christine's research focuses on fiction and education; she recently completed an article on fiction and empathy for the International Journal of Leadership in Education, contributed a chapter, 'Fiction, Film and Transformative Learning' to Cranton and Taylor's Handbook of Transformative Learning and co-authored Education and Popular Culture (Routledge) with Roy Fisher and Ann Harris.

Dr. Paul Armstrong

Dr. Paul Armstrong has taught and undertaken research in university adult education for many years at the universities of Hull, Birkbeck, London, and Leeds. His main teaching interests have been in media; in recent years he has been teaching education and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) courses at Hull and Leeds Trinity.

Michael A. Arnzen, Ph.D.

Michael A. Arnzen, Ph.D., is Chair of the Humanities and Professor of English at Seton Hill University, near Pittsburgh, PA. A four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, Arnzen's latest book is Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction (Headline Books, 2011).

Michele Paule

Michele Paule is a Senior Lecturer in Communication, Media and Culture at Oxford Brookes. Her research interests focus on youth and media engagement, particularly with regard to gender and class. A former secondary school teacher, she is committed to widening participation and inclusive pedagogies and she has held two teaching fellowships.

Libby Tisdell

Libby Tisdell - Dr. Elizabeth ("Libby") Tisdell is Professor of Adult Education at Penn State University - Harrisburg. Her research and publications have been in the areas spirituality and culture in adult education as it relates to transformative learning for diversity. She is the author of Exploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education, and the co-editor of Adult Education and the Pursuit of Wisdom.

September 14, 2012, 9:30am - 10:45am (PDT)
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Transformative Learning through Aesthetic Experience
Moderated by Alexis Kokkos

Alexis Kokkos

Alexis Kokkos (Moderator) is Professor of Adult Education at the Hellenic Open University and Chairman of the Hellenic Adult Education Association, which was the host organization of the 9th International Transformative Learning Conference. His research focus is on the use of aesthetic experience in unearthing critical thinking.

Laura Formenti

Laura Formenti is Associate Professor in General Pedagogy and Family Counselling, Università Milano Bicocca (Italy). Psychologist, systemic therapist, PhD in Adult Education, she researches adult learning and identity using cooperative inquiry, autobiography, aesthetic experience, reflexivity. She is co-convenor of the Life History and Biography Network of ESREA (European Society for Research in the Education of Adults).

Georgia Mega

Georgia Mega is Head Deputy of the Elementary Department at Helenic American Educational Foundation (HAEF). Her Masters Degree (University of Crete) in Pedagogy has been focused on methodology of research, statistics, and Comparative Pedagogic. For her Ph.D. (University of Crete), she studied the role of Arts in Teaching Literature and specially how Arts can promote critical thinking. She has a special interest on subjects that concern critical thought, multiple intelligence, and intellectual thought (visible thinking).

Kathleen Taylor

Dr. Kathleen Taylor’s award winning book, Developing Adult Learners, describes best practices in the teaching and training of adults. Her areas of research include adult development, adult learning, and how understanding adult brain function can enhance faculty and curriculum development. She currently teaches in the EdD in Educational Leadership program at Saint Mary’s College of California.

September 20, 2012, 11:30 am - 12:45 pm (PDT)
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Changing White Consciousness about Privilege and Racism as a Living Practice in Transformative Learning
Moderated by Elisabeth Kasl
Our group of white adult educators will be talking about our experiences of learning about white identity, racism, and white privilege. We will talk about why this kind of learning can be characterized as transformative and describe how the inquiry processes we use are particularly effective in fostering transformation.

European American Collaborative Challenging Whiteness

European American Collaborative Challenging Whiteness is a group of six white adult educators who have been working together since 1998, using a variety of inquiry processes to learn about themselves as white people and about how they can be more effective in helping themselves and others interrupt white privilege and racism. Members, who came together through a cultural consciousness project at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, are: Carole Barlas, Elizabeth Kasl, Alec MacLeod, Doug Paxton, Penny Rosenwasser, and Linda Sartor.

We use a name that identifies our collective, rather than our individual names, because this collective identification reflects our understanding of the way in which knowledge is constructed. Find further information at our website:

September 21, 2012, 10:00 am - 11:15 am (PDT)
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Using the Arts to Catalyze Transformative Learning
Moderated by Victoria J. Marsick
Transformative learning is often catalyzed by a disorienting dilemma that involves strong feelings, yet is hard to make sense of in the moment and even more difficult to put into words. Victoria Marsick, who researches informal learning from experience, will host a panel discussing research and practices that stimulate transformative learning through the arts.

Victoria J. Marsick

Victoria J. Marsick (Moderator) is Professor of Adult Learning & Leadership at Columbia University, Teachers College. She holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.P.A. in International Public Administration from Syracuse University. Victoria's research and publications focus on informal, team, and organizational learning.

Janet Ferguson, Ph.D.

Janet Ferguson, Ph.D. facilitator and biographical researcher is inspired by the work of Augusto Boal (Theatre the Oppressed). She is the (part-time) Executive Director of the Seniors Learning Centre at the Bermuda College and is currently completing an audio documentary study of apprenticeship learning at the Bermuda Royal Naval Dockyard in the 1950's.

Nancy Goldman, Ed.D.

Nancy Goldman, Ed.D. A former television development executive and professionally trained coach, Nancy is currently the job developer at the "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program. In addition, she facilitates workshops in personal storytelling and teaches communications at Manhattan College. Her Doctorate in Education is from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Lynda Hallmark, Ed.D. candidate

Lynda Hallmark is an Ed.D. candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. Combining her passions for Philosophy, Art (particularly performance), and Education/Learning, Lynda's dissertation is inspired by Marina Abramovic's performance art work, "The Artist is Present" and is focused on the experience of the aesthetic of learning. Lynda holds an M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College and a B.A. in Political Philosophy from University of Houston.

Dorothy Marcic, Ed.D.

Dr. Dorothy Marcic is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, a former Fulbright Scholar at the University of Economics in Prague and the writer of 12 books, including Understanding Management, as well as the musical Respect, which has played in 21 cities, and Sistas, playing Off-Broadway for a year.

Lyle Yorks, Ed.D.

Lyle Yorks, Ed.D. is Associate Professor of Adult and Continuing Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Director of the Adult Education Guided Intensive Study doctoral program (AEGIS). Among his research interests are holistic learning and the application of Presentational Knowing for bringing tacit knowing into cognitive awareness and collaborative inquiry.

October 2, 2012, 9:00 am - 10:15 am (PDT)
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Indigenizing Education for Wisdom and Transformative Learning
Moderated by Edmund O'Sullivan
Educators from black, yellow, white, and red peoples speak to learning as if Earth and Spirit matter. Moderated by Ed O'Sullivan author of Transformative Learning; Educational Vision for the 21st Century, Belvie Rooks, Satish Kumar, Eimear O'Neill and Four Arrows discuss the crucial cultural transformation towards all peoples being educated as Earth indigenous. Inclusive of diversities, in terms of peoples, ways of knowing, wordviews and wisdom traditions, they celebrate diversity as a primary resource. They suggest that the fittest to survive are those who best collaborate. We are, therefore I am. Such an approach challenges assumptions of western supremacy, rekindling indigenous spirit in terms of connection to peoples and place and encouraging much more multi-modal learning. Awareness of ancestral histories, ecological and power literacies, as well as honouring the wisdom of the more-than-human world, are just some of the transformative shifts explored.

Edmund O'Sullivan

Edmund O’Sullivan is Founding Director of the Transformative Learning Centre at OISE / UT He is the author of Transformative Learning: Educational Vision for the 21st He is the driving force behind the four Spirit Matters Gatherings sponsored by the Transformative Learning Centre in 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2011. It is his web of personal relationships with indigenous wisdom leaders and international scholars around the planet that enabled these events to happen.

Four Arrows

Four Arrows, of Cherokee/Irish ancestry, is faculty at the College of Educational Leadership and Change at Fielding Graduate University. Formerly dean of education at Oglala Lakota College, he has authored many publications that use Indigenous perspectives to counter dominant cultural imbalances, especially those encouraged by educational hegemony.

Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar A former Jain monk and a long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. Since 1973, Satish has been the editor of Resurgence magazine, This year the magazine joined with The Ecologist to become a planet-wide source of inspiration. Satish has been shaping a transformative learning praxis infused with Spirit from all four directions.

Eimear O'Neill

Eimear O'Neill is a psychotherapist, educator and consultant in transformative processes at the levels of community, culture and the personal. Affiliated with the Transformative Learning Centre, her arts-based research, workshops and doctoral supervision are international. Eimear's work can be found most recently in Radical Human Ecology (Ashgate 2012), and in the Spirit Matters gatherings Her website is

Belvie Rooks

Belvie Rooks' work weaves the worlds of spirituality, ecology, feminism, cosmology, and social justice. She is co-founder of Growing A Global Heart, a memorial tree planting project to honor victims of slavery and creator and host of ConverZations That Matter. As an educator her groundbreaking work and vision is featured in the educational DVD series that accompany's the Emmy award-winning documentary, Journey of the Universe.

October 4, 2012, 10:00 am - 11:15 am (PDT)
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Cultivating the Adaptive Leadership Capacity of Millennials Through Transformative Learning
Moderated by Jason Christopher Meek
This panel brings together educators from Sweden, Denmark and the United States, all of whom are prototyping innovative curricula specifically designed to cultivate the adaptive leadership capacity of Millennials. We will share experiences and approaches to fostering transformation among our students in ways that help to bridge distinct ways of knowing. We also will explore the nature of our "learning spaces" and the relationship between these environments and the inquiries posed by adaptive leadership challenges.

Jason Christopher Meek

Jason Christopher Meek is CEO of The iDeal World, a collaborative learning and creative problem solving firm focused on complex emerging challenges. He facilitates negotiations, multisector projects, peace, and organizational change initiatives using awareness-based approaches that engage participants developmentally. A scholar practitioner, he serves as adjunct professor at Berkeley Law and UC Hastings Law.

Jessica Holmes

Jessica Holmes (Director of MiddCORE and Associate Professor of Economics) has been a member of the Economics Department at Middlebury College since the fall of 2001. She teaches courses in microeconomics, health economics, the economics of social issues and the economics of sin. Jessica also directs MiddCORE, a leadership and innovation program at Middlebury College designed to build skills, create opportunities and expand networks for tomorrow's leaders.

Tracy Meisterheim

Tracy Meisterheim is Program Director and Senior Lecturer for the Master's in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden. With over 25 years in the field, Tracy specializes in strategic facilitation of change toward sustainability including stakeholder engagement, process facilitation and design, leadership and organizational development.

Dana Pearlman

Dana Pearlman, MA, M.SLS, designs and facilitates action learning experiences for accelerator programs and organizational teams through public leadership intensives. Her academic background is in clinical psychology and strategic leadership towards sustainability. She uses participatory learning processes and powerful questions to enable deeper learning that engage people in body, heart, mind, and spirit. Her sweet spot is at the intersection of authentic leadership, sustainable development, and community building to accelerate profound transformation towards a thriving and connected world.

Hannie van der Windt

Hannie van der Windt is a lecturer at University College South Denmark. Teaching areas include: Personal Leadership, Change Management and Innovation Management. Educated within Organizational Communication and Human Relation Development. She is a Theory U facilitator with many years of experience in management and leadership, including as CEO of a communications company. Her main focus is to develop individual and collective potentials through Participatory Leadership.

October 10, 2012, 10:00 am - 11:15 am (PDT)
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Experiential Wisdom and Transformative Learning
Moderated by Marti Spiegelman

Marti Spiegelman

Marti Spiegelman, MFA is a consultant and founder of Awakening Value™. She trains leaders and innovators in applying the core principles of consciousness. The unique quality of her work stems from her 40+ years of business experience woven with her knowledge of science and initiations in the indigenous technologies of consciousness.

Jerry Michalski

Jerry Michalski is the founder of a think-and-do tank called REX, which stands for the Relationship Economy eXpedition. He mixes a technology background -- twelve years as a tech industry analyst -- with insatiable curiosity about how the world works and great respect for ancient wisdom.

October 17, 2012, 9:30 am - 10:45 am (PDT)
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Transformative Learning in the Artistic Domain
Moderated by Randee Lipson Lawrence
This panel challenges the dominant paradigm of learning as a primarily cognitive process. We emphasize the extra-rational dimension of transformative learning through various art forms including drama, storytelling, and using works of fiction to consider transformative experiences. We also look at how the arts can be a way to work through disorienting dilemmas that may lead to transformation.

Randee Lipson Lawrence

Randee Lipson Lawrence (Moderator) is an associate professor in Adult Education at National Louis University in Chicago. She is the editor of "Artistic Ways of Knowing: Expanded Opportunities for Teaching and Learning" and the recent publication "Bodies of Knowledge: Embodied Learning in Adult Education" as well the author of several publications which exemplify her practice of incorporating affective, cognitive, somatic, and spiritual dimensions into her teaching.

Shauna Butterwick

Shauna Butterwick is a professor at the University of British Columbia where she coordinates and teaches in the Masters Adult Learning and Education program. Much of her research is community-based and has explored women's learning in various contexts including government training programs, workplace learning, and arts-based learning in social activism.

Chad Hoggan

Chad Hoggan is an Assistant Professor of Adult Education at North Carolina State University. He has an Ed.D. in Adult Learning and Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. His research has focused on the wide variety of contexts in which transformative learning occurs, such as anti-racism education, breast cancer survivorship, and through arts-based learning encounters.

Dr. Soni Simpson

Soni Simpson is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Elmhurst College. She has developed a series of courses and seminars in Creativity and Leading Change. Soni is co-editor of “Creative Expression in Transformative Learning” and has presented at numerous conferences within the innovation, adult learning and management areas. Her current research is examining the intersection of creativity, change, innovation and learning within both individuals and organizations.

Jo A. Tyler, Ed.D.

Jo A. Tyler, Ed.D. is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the M.Ed. program in Training and Development at Penn State, Harrisburg. Building on her experiences as a corporate practitioner, her research interests focus on storytelling, listening, and visual arts in organizational settings.

October 22, 2012, 10:00 am - 11:15 am (PDT)
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International Education and Transformative Learning: Voices From the Field
Moderated by John Dirkx
Based on our own research and experience as participants, we will explore the experiences and potential outcomes associated with education abroad from the theoretical perspective of transformative learning, and the implications of this perspective for the design and facilitating of education abroad programs, activities, and experiences. In addition, we will discuss what our research and experience suggests for our emerging understanding of transformative learning. This focus will be approached from several viewpoints, including that of the institution, faculty leading study abroad groups, U.S. students abroad, and Asian students within the United States.

John Dirkx

John M. Dirkx is Professor and Mildred B. Erickson Distinguished Chair of Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University. His current research focuses on the transformative dimensions of international education and professional development for postsecondary institutions in developing countries. He is current editor of the Journal of Transformative Education.

Dr. Dennis Dunham

Dr. Dunham holds a PhD. in Educational Psychology and Technology, and a Master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. from University of Oklahoma, USA. Dr. Dunham's professional experience also includes Director of ELS Language Centers and service in the Peace Corps.

Julie Sinclair

Julie Sinclair has worked in the field of international education for nearly 20 years and is currently a doctoral candidate in higher education at Michigan State University. Julie is also an international education consultant, a member of the Graduate Learning Experiences and Outcomes (GLEO) project research team at MSU, and serves as Managing Editor of the Journal of Transformative Education.

Dr. Qi Sun

Dr. Qi Sun is an Associate Professor of adult Education at the University of Wyoming. Her research and teaching focus on adult learning and transformative learning, Eastern philosophical perspectives on education, and international and comparative (adult) education. She conducts lectures and workshops, and presents papers on both East and West perspectives adding efforts to bridge the merits of both.

October 23, 2012, 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm (PDT)
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Somatic Perspectives on Transformative Learning
Moderated by Eleanor Criswell Hanna

Eleanor Criswell Hanna

Eleanor Criswell Hanna, Ed.D., is director of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training and editor of Somatics magazine. She is an emeritus professor of psychology and former chair of the Psychology Department at Sonoma State University. She is founding director and distinguished consulting faculty at Saybrook University.

Ronald E. Purser

Ronald E. Purser, Ph.D., is Professor of Management in the College of Business at San Francisco State University and past division chair of the Organization Development and Change division of the Academy of Management. His research areas include mindfulness in organizations, social creativity, Buddhist-inspired social theory, and time and temporality.

Dr. Stephen Sideroff

Dr. Stephen Sideroff is an internationally recognized expert in behavioral medicine, optimal performance, resilience, neurofeedback and alternative approaches to stress and mental health. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA's School of Medicine, as well as the Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics.

Ariana Strozzi

Ariana Strozzi, zoologist and Master Somatic Coach, has been working with individuals, groups, and companies from a non-linear, intuitive perspective for over twenty years. She weaves spiritual somatic practices learned from the animal world into the educational and healing arts, emphasizing a biological perspective and the creation of more spiritual, sensate learning environments.