Thriving on Complexity

Sacred Purpose and Professional Practice

Transformative Learning Labs

Register for the Lab

“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity. But I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Justice, US Supreme Court

Complexity is the very essence of the world we seek to navigate in Transformative Learning Labs.

These labs are geared to help participants harmonize the interplay between internal and external complexity, aimed at aligning our skills with the world's demands and discovering "the simplicity on the far side of complexity."

The challenges facing humanity are so intricate that our era is sometimes termed a crisis of complexity. This underpins our current ecological, economic, and social upheavals. In every scenario, what humanity needs to bring to the table is more intricate than our prevailing perspectives can grasp. Even our own creations—technologies, cultural memes, and organizations—are growing in complexity, amplifying the demands of daily life.

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Professionals across all sectors like business, healthcare, governance, psychology, and education are urgently seeking methods and practices that respond to the crisis of unprecedented and accelerating complexity. The old rules are obsolete, and the new ones are still in the making. What has been called the meta-crisis or poly-crisis calls for professionals to be integral practitioners who can facilitate the development of whole-persons and whole-systems at all system-levels, including individuals, teams, organizations, communities, and societies.

We often find ourselves engulfed, weighed down by the requirements of our daily and professional existence. The labs teach us how to manage and transform complexity, both within ourselves and in our external environment, in a way that can enrich our lives and amplify our professional impact.

Thriving in complexity entails more than merely coping: it calls for abilities to perceive, comprehend, work with, and transform complexity.

The Transformative Learning Labs offer a holistic, transdisciplinary, and practitioner-centered approach to thriving on complexity.

See Upcoming Labs

Who is the Transformative Learning Lab for?

The Transformative Learning Lab is designed for aspiring and early career practitioners to be guided by senior and distinguished practitioners towards connecting purpose with emerging possibilities for professional practice. Participants are guided through experiential explorations that open windows into purpose-driven possibilities for professional practice.

As “Practitioners” we include: coaches, consultants, educators, therapists, generative entrepreneurs, managers, intrapreneurs, and facilitators. In an AI-first world, these practitioner roles are becoming even more complex.

What do Integral Practitioners do?

Integral practitioners foster the development and transformation of individuals, teams, organizations and social systems by empowering the whole person and the whole system. In domains such as education, business, healing, coaching, and the arts, integral practitioners bring imagination to complex challenges in the service of transforming mindsets, cultures and social systems.

"My work is loving the world."
Mary Oliver

Integral Practitioners catalyze development in multiple domains of professional practice through facilitating transformative learning at different levels: individuals, teams, organizations, and social systems.

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Why and Who

We are living in a period marked by cultural and climate crises, as well as accelerating change. Everyone faces profound complexity and challenges. This situation particularly affects aspiring and practicing coaches, entrepreneurs, therapists, managers, and facilitators who are searching for ways to align their life purpose with their professional practice. These practitioners are not only under pressure to develop their own capabilities for handling complexity, but they must also assist their clients in navigating the complexity challenges they encounter.

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What and How

The Transformative Learning Lab introduces practices designed to develop the ability to handle complexity. These practices enable practitioners to effectively link what is most deeply meaningful to them with their professional work. Each module in the lab introduces a core learning activity aimed at serving this purpose and facilitates the emergence of a transformative community of practice.

What will Transformative Learning Lab participants do?

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Experience a diverse community of inquiry and practice.

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Connect with other aspiring and emerging practitioners.

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Explore the core consciousness capacities vital for Integral Practitioners.

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Engage with established Integral Practitioners from around the world via live video regarding their professional work and learning journeys.

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Collaborate with others in prototyping your professional practice ideas and initiatives.

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Discover the distinct web of competencies required for realizing your unique vision of integral practice.


Do you aspire to be a practitioner who coaches, leads, manages, innovates, and facilitates?

The Transformative Learning Lab is about how to succeed professionally in coaching, leading, facilitating, managing, innovating, and entrepreneuring in the midst of local and global complexity upheaval.

Headshot of — NIKOS KAZANTZAKIS
"The ultimate, most sacred form of theory is practice."
— NIKOS KAZANTZAKIS
Headshot of — KURT LEWIN
"There is nothing so practical as a good theory."
— KURT LEWIN

Convening Faculty


Aftab Omer Headshot

Aftab Omer

Aftab Omer, Ph.D. is the president of Meridian University which offers degree and professional programs globally, emphasizing the power of transformative learning.

He is a sociologist, psychologist, developmentalist, and futurist. Raised in Pakistan, India, Hawaii, and Turkey, he was educated at the universities of M.I.T, Harvard and Brandeis. His publications have addressed the topics of transformative learning, dialogic capability, developmental power, cultural leadership, civil society, generative entrepreneurship, and the power of imagination.

Aftab’s advising work focuses on team development and on leveraging the creative potentials of conflict, diversity, and complexity. Formerly the president of the Council for Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychologies, he is a Fellow of the International Futures Forum and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Aftab Omer Headshot

Aftab Omer

Aftab Omer, Ph.D. is the president of Meridian University which offers degree and professional programs globally, emphasizing the power of transformative learning.

He is a sociologist, psychologist, developmentalist, and futurist. Raised in Pakistan, India, Hawaii, and Turkey, he was educated at the universities of M.I.T, Harvard and Brandeis. His publications have addressed the topics of transformative learning, dialogic capability, developmental power, cultural leadership, civil society, generative entrepreneurship, and the power of imagination.

Aftab’s advising work focuses on team development and on leveraging the creative potentials of conflict, diversity, and complexity. Formerly the president of the Council for Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychologies, he is a Fellow of the International Futures Forum and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Contributing Faculty


Jean Houston Headshot

Jean Houston

The Chancellor of Meridian University, Dr. Houston is a visionary researcher who has authored over 40 books and worked intensively in even more cultures, lectured in over 100 countries, and worked with major organizations such as UNICEF and NASA. She has been an advisor to numerous world leaders, and the past international consultant for the United Nations. Dr. Houston's book, A Passion for the Possible, was an expansive compliment to her inspiring PBS special of the same name. Dr. Houston has served on the faculties of Columbia University, Hunter College, Marymount College, The New School for Social Research, and the University of California. She holds doctoral degrees in both psychology and religion.

Khaled ElSherbini Headshot

Khaled ElSherbini

Dr. Khaled ElSherbini, a faculty member at Meridian University, is a transpersonal psychologist and former aerospace scientist. As the visionary founder of "The Consciousness Academy", he dedicates his expertise to the realms of awakening, personal development, and transformation, while leading the Academy as its chairman.

With an eclectic academic background, Dr. ElSherbini holds advanced degrees in Psychology, Business and Innovation Management, Sustainability and environmental sciences, and Engineering. Beyond this, he is a credentialed ICF PCC coach, a Spiral Dynamics Integral practitioner, and an internationally recognized Enneagram Professional.

His global contributions include the creation of widely-respected programs such as "Awaken through Enneagram", "Integral Enneagram", and "Conscious Coaching". In these offerings, he masterfully blends various modalities, drawing from the Enneagram, Spiral Dynamics integral, the Integral Consciousness framework, contemporary psychological insights, and the profound teachings of Sufi spiritual philosophy and psychology, to shed light on the evolution and development of human consciousness.

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Rica Viljoen

Dr Rica Viljoen’s research on inclusivity, which was a significant aspect of her doctoral thesis, gained widespread recognition for its potential impact in the field of Management, Spirituality and Religion. In 2008, the Academy of Management acknowledged her model as one of the ten most promising contributions to the field. Since then, this approach, which emphasises listening to the voices of the entire social system, has been successfully implemented in 42 countries, engaging more than 100000 participants.

Due to her contributions, Rica received the prestigious CEO award from the Institute of People Management (IPM), both nationally and internationally. She was further recognised by the South African Board of People Practices for her contribution to the field of study. She is an associate with the Da Vinci chool for Business Leadership and Regenesys University. She supervised more than 100 PhDs and Masters Studies.

Apart from her academic endeavours, Rica was the founder member of Mandala Consulting a respected organisation dedicated to organisational development and research. She worked closely with the late Dr Don Beck and Dr Loraine Laubscher on geo-political trends and their impact on individuals and the organisations they belong too. She established the Centre of Human Emergence: Africa and has become an international recognised thought leader in spiral dynamics and integral research.

She serves on the board of the SABPP as vice chair for the last two terms and was recently selected to the international board of the International Society for the Psycho-analytical studies in Organisations. She also joined the board of the Don Beck Spiral Dynamics Integral with the purpose to further the field of study and is a senior research member in a project to revisit the Graves archives.

Rica published 9 books of which the book Spiral Dynamics In Action is translated in 9 languages. She consults to organisations in relation to Inclusivity, Culture and strategic HR issues. Rica is a sought after Jungian and Integral Executive Coach.

Her purpose in life is to listen to untold stories and facilitate healing.

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Martin Ucik

Martin is a NARM Trauma Informed Integral Relationship Author, Trainer, and Consultant who supports singles and couples in co-creating healthy integral love relationships that make the world a better place.

He moved from Germany to California in the 90s where he trained with Eckhart Tolle as a group facilitator and later became an avid student of Ken Wilber's Integral Philosophy. This allowed him to integrate his relationship experiences into his three books “Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men”, “Sex, Purpose, Love: Couples in Integral Relationships Creating a Better World”, and "Integral Relationship Practice: A Manual for Singles, Couples, Helping Professionals and Group Facilitators" which Wilber calls terrific and groundbreaking. Martin currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey, and California, and consults and teaches online and facilitates experiential workshops and trainings locally and worldwide.

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Maria Bakari

Maria is an Organisational Psychologist, passionate about activating the magic and catalysing power of synergy in teams and organisations as well as within, as a place of perception, interdependence and action. She is deeply connected to her Hellenic roots while working in multicultural contexts for many years. She designs and artfully applies participatory processes that create conditions for collective creativity, collaboration and transformative learning in organisations and community. Maria is the initiator of Synergy – Rhodes and co-founder of the Next Stage World initiative as well as a constant learner and practitioner of systemic change and radical, profound hospitality.

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Markos Perrakis

Markos Perrakis, PhD, is leadership development & process facilitator, psychologist, speaker and founder of Fractality -EU Training & counselling provider. During the last 20 years he has been working with eclectic systemic appreciative approaches, participatory design methods and Spiritual Intelligence worldwide. He is also Scientific Assistant of SOL (Society of Organisational Learning) and EUMU (European Union of small and medium enterprises) in issues of Strategic Planning, Human Resources Development, Dynamic Governance and European Programs in Greece. He provides training, supervision and facilitation for Professionals, HR Experts, local communities, politicians and NGOs, helping citizens express and transform themselves to a co-creative transition. His works with people who are sensitive with environmental and societal issues with values and their actions bring a positive social impact to the world.

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Pier Luigi Lattuada

Pier Luigi Lattuada, MD, PhD, PsyD, a faculty member at Meridian University, is the President of the Integral Transpersonal Institute and the Director of the Transpersonal Psychotherapy School in Milan, Italy. He is a Medical Doctor with a PhD in Behavioral Studies and a PsyD in Clinical Psychology. Additionally, he is a Psychotherapist and the founder of Biotransenergetics. The Transpersonal Psychotherapy School in Milan has been recognized by the Ministry of Education University and Research since 2002.

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Paddy Pampallis

Dr. Paddy Pampallis, a faculty member at Meridian University, is an educationalist, integral psychologist and IntegralU coach who has immersed herself in human consciousness and development. The founder/CEO of Integral Africa (Institute); The Coaching Centre (TCC, 2003); Integral African Conference (2019 IAC) and Ubuntu Coaching Foundation. She partners Susanne Cook-Greuter co-teaching on Leadership Maturity globally. Her unique application of Wilber’s AQAL theory, into the IntegralU Practice of Leadership & Coaching™, from an Africa perspective, has met with Wilber’s acclaim. Hundreds of students have graduated through the ICF accredited programme (IPCP), and many leaders have benefitted from integrative transformational work with individuals, teams and organisations towards consciousness, mastery and impact.

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Marco Robledo

Marco Antonio Robledo Ph.D. is a faculty member at Meridian University, where he teaches courses on entrepreneurship and the transformation economy. Marco is a Professor at the Department of Business and Economics at the University of the Balearics where he serves as the Director of the MBA Program, Director of the School of Tourism EUTFM, and Vice-director of the Laboratory of Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation.

Transformation is the common thread in everything he does. In fact, he defines himself as a change agent that helps organizations and individuals in their transformation towards higher levels of development and consciousness.

His research focuses on Strategic Management, Quality Management, and Organizational Theory with a special interest in the study of New Organizational Paradigms and the Future of Work. His expertise includes perspectives and models such as teal organizations, holacracy, sociocracy 3.0, conscious capitalism, the economy of the common good, and B corps.

In 2020 he published a book on 3D Management which pioneers the application of Integral Theory to business. His theory of 3D-Management is the first integrally evolved management metatheory. This disruptive theory denies the imperialism of the bottom line and replaces it with a harmonic triumvirate that takes equally into account profit, people, planet, and purpose.

Finally, he is a pioneer in the study of the Transformation Economy, which empowers the consumer’s need for self-actualization through authentic and meaningful experiences that makes them stretch, learn, and grow into new ways of being and engaging with the world.

Melissa Schwartz Headshot

Melissa Schwartz

Melissa Schwartz, Ph.D. is the Chief Academic Officer at Meridian University where she guides integrally-oriented programs in Education, Business, and Psychology. The Director of Meridian’s Center for Transformative Learning, Melissa is dually licensed as both a psychologist and as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). She serves as a reviewer for the American Psychological Association’s Journal, Psychology of Women Quarterly, and the California Psychological Association’s Office of Professional Development. As well, she serves as a Subject Matter Expert for California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences in the continual development of the state’s MFT licensure examination. Melissa’s research interests are in the areas of adult development, the psychology of women, integral transformative assessment, and the role of culture in transformative learning.

Maud Raber Headshot

Maud Raber

Maud Raber is an Integral Master Coach, seasoned embodied leadership and Teal organising facilitator, and a trainer of embodiment coaches. Maud supports individuals, teams, organisations and systems grow to the next stage of their inner development, such that they are more able to navigate and integrate complexity and collaborate to solve the wicked questions facing societies and the planet. She has been training, certifying and mentoring embodiment coaches globally (Europe, United States, Russia) for the last 7 years.

A former co-anchor of the Integral European Conference (IEC), track host at the Embodiment Conference, former core team member of Next-Stage World, she also co-founded Working @ the Next Stage, a boutique consultancy bringing Teal self-leadership and wholeness practices at the workplace to enable the Future of Work.

She currently brings Integral inner development to executives through 1-1 coaching, developmental executive assessments, leadership development workshops, team development journeys and culture transformation programmes.

Dumisani Magadlela Headshot

Dumisani Magadlela

Dr Dumi Magadlela is an internationally accredited executive coach, team coach, coach trainer, leadership development facilitator, and organizational ‘people whisperer’. He currently works for the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) designing and delivering leadership, coaching and other people development skills courses across the African continent. Dumi is a regularly featured speaker and panellist on coaching, leadership, and people development. In 2021 he featured as one of the speakers in a TEDxUniversityOfSouthAfrica TEDx event.

Dumi serves on the Global Board of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) as Vice Chair. He co-founded the Ubuntu Coaching Foundation (UCF) at The Coaching Centre (TCC) with one of the leading coaches in Africa, Dr Paddy Pampallis. He has been part of Senior Faculty at The Coaching Centre: Integral Africa, for over fourteen (14) years, where he regularly delivers a module on “Coaching in the African Context”. An Integral approach which is inclusive of our African wisdom is the work of Integral Africa.

Dumi is part-time faculty at the University of Stellenbosch Business School’s MPhil in Management Coaching, where he teaches “Ubuntu Team Coaching”.

He is part of the international faculty at the WBECS’ Global Team Coaching Institute (GTCI), where he co-designs and co-facilitates Team Coaching training as part of an international faculty. He is accredited by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) as a Senior Practitioner in Team Coaching. Dumi is currently working towards his ICF PCC credential.

Dumi currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and works globally.

Gabriel Powell Headshot

Gabriel Powell

Gabriel Powell is an Integral Master Coach and conscious practitioner with 20 years of experience as a senior consultant, facilitator, and coach—serving diverse cultures across multiple continents. He empowers leaders and teams to tap into their deeper purpose through coaching and transformational workshops.

Known for his vibrant energy, heartfelt dedication, and rigorous approach, Gabriel's clients appreciate his clear guidance and outstanding ability to help them develop the capacities and capabilities that allow for more effective leadership, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and the ability to navigate complexity and adaptive leadership challenges more skillfully.

Gabriel's extensive career has spanned three countries, reaching over 100 organizations throughout Europe, North America, the Middle East, and India. He has made significant contributions across several sectors, including UN organizations, technology, publishing, printing, software, and education.

https://gabrielpowellcoaching.com/

Claudia Gross Headshot

Claudia Gross

Dr. Claudia Gross is a soulful Business Humanist, Consultant and Trainer.

Since 1998, she facilitates transformations in organizations, teams and individuals mainly in Germany, the Maghreb, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa and now online around the world.

She offers coaching, consultation and online courses regarding a wide variety of topics within the areas of HUMAN futures of work*ing and collaborating. She supports teams in transforming, healing, evolving and ultimately liberating their organizations. She facilitates purpose-driven planning workshops, team building retreats, multi-stakeholder processes and events.

Claudia is both the founder of human-centered Organizational Governance (www.hcOrG.com) for which she is curating the Life at Work // Weekly newsletter, and the initiator of speakGreen which is offering an intentional, life-affirming language for the future (www.speak-Green.com).

She is the author of the first speakGreen book “Words Create Worlds: Cultivating a Conscious, Life-Affirming Language”.

Transformative Learning Labs are onsite events. Contributing faculty participation varies by event. Contributing Faculty join either in-person or via video conference.

The Transformative Learning Lab

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Structure and Experience

Meridian’s Transformative Learning Labs are immersive, multi-day events designed to catalyze intellectual growth and personal transformation. Conducted in select cities globally, these labs serve as microcosms of innovation and profound change, based on the University’s over 30 years of transformative graduate education. The structure of each lab is emergently crafted to enable both Meridian students and community participants to deeply engage with the curriculum in a non-traditional, highly interactive setting. Participants dive into an intense, yet enriching agenda that blends rigorous academic discussions, hands-on activities, and reflective exercises.

What sets these labs apart is the context—the unique settings in which they're conducted add an extra layer of learning, be it the historical richness of Cairo, the modern dynamism of Johannesburg, or the philosophical backdrop of Athens. The fusion of locale and curriculum cultivates an unparalleled transformative experience. Moreover, the lab format allows for both structured and spontaneous interactions among participants, nurturing a community of learners who are collectively pushing the boundaries of conventional thought and practice. The end result? A transformative experience that doesn't only impart information but activates your complexity capabilities.

Fees

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$250

The $250 Lab event fee covers the in-person interactive experience, access to the the growing global Transformative Learning Lab online community of practice, and a set of of faculty-selected pre-lab resources, pre-event participant support services, and additional offerings and resources.

The event fee does not include the costs of travel, food, or lodging. Refreshments will be provided free of charge.

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Headshot of — DONELLA MEADOWS, PHD
"You could say paradigms are harder to change than anything else about a system…. But there’s nothing physical or expensive or even slow in the process of paradigm change. In a single individual it can happen in a millisecond. All it takes is a click in the mind, a falling of scales from eyes, a new way of seeing."
— DONELLA MEADOWS, PHD
Systems Theorist, Club of Rome

Register to participate in an upcoming Transformative Learning Lab

Led by a diverse collective of experts and change-makers as Contributing Faculty, Transformative Learning Labs are unique onsite events. Pre-registration is mandatory due to limited seating and to maintain an advanced learning environment. Registrations are screened for admission in the order they're received, and late sign-ups might miss out on assured participation.

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A 50% discount is available for Meridian alumni.

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Contact ctl@meridianuniversity.edu for discount details.

Missed Our Fall Transformative Learning Labs? Spring Opportunities Will Be Announced Soon!

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Previous Labs

Athens, Greece event
October 20 - 22, 2023

Athens, Greece

Join the upcoming Transformative Learning Lab in Athens, Greece. This is a rare opportunity to engage with the Transformative Learning Lab curriculum as part of a unique Mediterranean experience.

Istanbul, Turkey event
October 28 - 29, 2023

Istanbul, Turkey

Join the upcoming Transformative Learning Lab in Istanbul, Turkey. Use this unique setting at the crossroads of Europe and Asia to explore the Transformative Learning Lab experience. The city's blend of old and new offers a diverse backdrop for in-depth curriculum and collaboration.

Cairo, Egypt event
November 8 - 10, 2023

Cairo, Egypt

Join the upcoming Transformative Learning Lab in Cairo, Egypt, starting with an evening session followed by two days. Take advantage of this distinct environment to delve into the Transformative Learning Lab curriculum set against the backdrop of the ancient and evocative North African setting.

Johannesburg, South Africa event
November 25 - 26, 2023

Johannesburg, South Africa

Attend the upcoming Transformative Learning Lab in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 25 - 26 from 10 am to 5 pm each day. Dive into the Lab experience against the backdrop of this vibrant economic hub, which offers a unique intersection of modernity and rich cultural history. The Lab is taking place at Meridian's Johanessburg Center, located at the Atrium on 5th, 9th Floor, 5th Street in Sandton.

San Francisco Bay Area Center

47 Sixth Street
Petaluma, California 94952
+1 (707) 765-1836

Los Angeles: Water Garden Campus

2450 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90404
+1 (310) 876-2001

Athens Center

Ermou 56
Athens 10563, Greece
+30 21 1199 0060

Berlin Center

Greifswalder Strasse 226
10405 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 16637734

Johannesburg Center

Atrium on 5th 9th Floor
5th St, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
+27 31 822 9032

Shanghai Center

501 Middle Yincheng Road
29/F, Shanghai Tower
Shanghai 200120, China
+86 10 5940 7141

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