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2 November 2022: “Becoming an Agent of Transformation” – A University of St. Gallen Course at H4H

From 2nd to 4th November, 24 Bachelor students from Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen, came to Home for Humanity for a 3-days intensive of the course “Becoming an Agent of Transformation – The Art and Science of Integral Transformation”. This highly interactive course is for motivated students who are keen to make a meaningful contribution to the world at a time of global turmoil and transition.Participants are supported in identifying their ʺcallingʺ or ʺlife purposeʺ and mapping their own journeys as transformation agents to develop regenerative solutions to key societal challenges.

The course is designed as a ʺtransformative questʺ, where participants engage with pioneering theory, global role models and skill development exercises. Working individually and in small groups, students combine theory and action and learn by being‑and‑doing. Students are also exposed to real‑life stories of inspiring agents of transformation from diverse cultures around the world who have transformed crises to opportunities. The course is based on ʺThe Art and Science of Integral Transformationʺ, combining two cutting‑edge academic and professional approaches to transformation, developed and taught worldwide by the course directors:First, the ʺIntegral Worldsʺ approach developed by Prof. Alexander Schieffer with Prof. Ronnie Lessem at theTRANS4M Academy for Integral Transformation, Geneva, Switzerland. Second, the ʺTheatre of Transformationʺ approach developed by Dr. Rama Mani at the Enacting Global TransformationInitiative, University of Oxford Center for International Relations, UK.

The immersive intensive module provides the necessary experimental learning-living environment, where students directly engage with nature, culture, innovation, and systems change. The course covers all the integral dimensions essential to becoming an Agent of Transformation for the emerging future: environmental responsibility through learning from nature; transcultural competency through engaging with the role of art and culture for societal renewal; innovative engagement with global knowledge and wisdom resources; holistic capacity for self‑development and systems transformation.

In the words of one of the students, Ismea Guidotti from Switzerland, who also served the course as Course Assistant: “From the 2nd to the 4th of November, 24studentsof the University of St. Gallenwere welcomed by Alexander and Rama at the Home for Humanity in Hotonnes to explore how each one of us could contribute to a regenerative future on Earth. The three-day journey introduced usto the theory of Integral Transformation while also giving us the opportunity to apply it to our context so as to identify and develop our own vision. On the first day, after the first logistical challenges were overcome and everyone arrived at the Home for Humanity, we gathered in a circle in the courtyard. There, we explored the first integral dimension, the center, while sharing some freshly homemade bread with each other. We then moved to the southern dimension, grounded in nature and ecology, with a session taking place in the Home for Humanity garden. Eventually, we entered the Home for Humanity and participated in the online session of the course “The Power of Homes to Pioneer Planetary Regeneration”, meeting the Homes for Humanity in Palestine and Morocco. After a delicious dinner cooked by Rama and Mattia, one of the students, we sat in the living room to share our symbols. Taking place in a calm, peaceful, and welcoming atmosphere, this moment succeeded in making the group to feel deeply connected for the very first time and enabled even the most reserved students to open up and share their stories.

The morning of the second day we got to know the stories of various agents of transformation from all around the world through Rama’s Theater of Transformation, while after lunch we dived into the northern dimension of Integral Development. It was fascinating to see how, compared to the opening session and the first day, participants were able to fully immerse themselves in the exercise and set up an open, attentive, and creative atmosphere. Aside from this, one of the highlights of the day was definitely the HumanityCafé, where everyone shared their innovative ideas for “co-creating home on Earth” as well as their favorite taste from their own cultural context.

On the last day, participants first prepared and then performed their final presentation. Here, everyone shared their vision on how to bring about social change (western dimension) in the innovative Earth Parliament. It was extremely inspiring to witness the variety of ideas that were brought forward, but also to realize the linkages between them. Finally, the course journey came to an end with a collective, kind, heartwarming hug.”

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