From November 8 to 10, PhD students from our TRANS4M Da Vinci Integral PhD Programme from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Jordan and Egypt came together for the module on “co-creation” in Jordan – with a special focus on the theory and practice of an Integral Economy, Integral Enterprise and Integral Education.
The module was locally hosted by the FICRI Feminist Integral Center for Research and Innovation, founded by Mayyada Abu-Jaber as a result of her integral PhD journey.
Hence, on Day 1, Mayyada Abu Jaber and her committed team took us on a field trip to Southern Shouneh in the Jordan River Valley – where she is co-creating with local communities and pioneering women entrepreneurs the design and practice ground for an integral eco-feminist economy in Jordan.
On Day 2, we experienced an impressive showcase of an Integral Enterprise, as we visited MEDLABS – one of the largest medical laboratory groups in the Middle East. Zeina Sahyoun, Medlab’s Chief Community Development Officer, gave us an impressive presentation. Medlabs, a longstanding integral partner organization of TRANS4M and Home for Humanity, is now in the process of founding the MedLabs Academy; one of its focus will be the further evolution and dissemination of the theory and practice of an Integral Enterprise.
Part of Day 2 was also a co-creative conversation on the possibility of an Integral Jordan – whereby protagonists of a Jordanian Integral Economy (Mayyada Abu Jaber), an Integral Enterprise (Zeina Sahyoun) and of Integral Education (Laila Abdul Majeed) joined us to explore the possibilities of co-creation and pollination across diverse sectors of society, towards a shared common good – using the integral theory and practice as a common ground.
On Day 3, we joined the Ahliyyah Mutran Schools in Amman, a role model for Integral Education, for a Roundtable on Transformative Education, followed by the Community VIVA of the PhD of our programme participant Laila Abdul Majeed on Integral Community Engagement.
In addition to these highly immersive experiences of real-life integral case studies, all participants shared, in depth, their own progress in their research-to-innovation PhD journeys.
This excellently made little video provides a sense of the first two days of the module – with a particular focus on the Integral Eco-Feminist Economy Fieldtrip.
In the following, we share a reflection on the module by one of the participants: Isheunesu CHAKA, Zimbabwe, Dean of Student Services, Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences, from Zimbabwe:
“I am a firm believer in Co-creation, The idea that one can, single-handedly create a functional entity to represent others is an illusion. In Jordan, I learned that co-creation allows us to derive value in each other. No one can outsmart the other because of the inherent value and uniqueness of “the other” which makes co-creation critical.
The module on co creation (emancipatory navigation) allowed me to appreciate that a co-created "creation" built on mutual respect and trust has to come into effect " collectively as a matter of urgency in the back drop of climate change.
One of my lessons from Jordan is that we cannot ignore the human factor, in all our emancipatory efforts hence a humanistic grounding of co-creation, which yields genuine empathy. The ability to co-create allows us therefore to balance our diverse needs . As I observed in Jordan and concluded, co-creation is an art. This art of co-creation needs a conscience of the "language of LIFE" that is the language of being human a oneness. The extent of the oneness will allow us to utilize the knowledge we have and co-create a shared future.
The module also exposed the current distrust epistemically and ontologically within the conventional way the world is operating. I observed that communities are willing to tolerate some BUT not all the disrespectful current pedagogical shortcomings within current systems.
The Integral PhD students in Jordan are orchestrating a critical change thorough the power of Co-creation, using our own examples. There is history in the making in Jordan on how we generate knowledge. The different conceptual divide gap of education itself in Jordan is being challenged. Co creation is essential to reduce the ambiguity WITHIN the current research and educational system.
The module and interactions in Jordan showed me that we have to show dignity and respect in our collective emancipation journey. The level of cynicism within our current pedagogical models STILL has to come to terms with the Realities on the ground for co creation to make an impact. The idea that the current university has a monopoly on knowledge generation indicates an unbalanced monopoly on virtues divorced from reality, taking communities for granted.
The university currently pivots without 'thinking' of co-creation, creating a world unto itself, hence greater uncertainty within our educational systems. WITHOUT co creation we are taking the easy way out focusing on aspirations first before focus on collective substance.”
ALL PARTICIPANTS OF THE PHD MODULE
Mayyada ABU-JABER, Jordan: CEO, JoWomenomics, Founder of FICRI
Isheunesu CHAKA, Zimbabwe: Dean of Student Services, Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences
Lanre KAZEEM-ABIMBOLA, Nigeria: Deputy Manager, Bank of Industry
Patience MAGODO, Zimbabwe: Managing Partner, Tafadzwa Ne Chiedza Development Trust
Mohamed MONGY, Egypt: Co-Founder, The Nile Forum
Sibonginkosi MOYO, Zimbabwe: Providence Consulting
Wellington Muvengwa MUTYANDA, Zimbabwe: CEO, Weph Commercial Agencies Private Limited and Weph International Services Private Limited
Tafadzwa SIHLAHLA, Zimbabwe: Providence Consulting
Smart “Phiri” ZONGOLOLO, Malawi/South Africa: Senior Executive, Food & Beverage Industry
MODULE DESIGN AND CATALYSATION
Alexander SCHIEFFER, France / Germany: Co-Founder, TRANS4M and Home for Humanity (Geneva/Hotonnes)
Ronnie LESSEM, UK / Zimbabwe: Co-Founder, TRANS4M and Trans4m Communiversity Associates (London)