Prof. Alexander Schieffer (Germany)
Co-Founder, Trans4m Centre; Lecturer St Gallen University
“Transformation is all about what we represent together. It is about not only bringing the East and West now together, but also the South and North, and the middle, the Middle East. If the center is not at peace, the world won’t be at peace. If the center is not alive, we cannot dance, we cannot play. Life is a beautiful dance, a beautiful play of oneness, in which we continually experience the oneness of our existence within ourselves, and between us as nations and societies. We are moving from a fragmented space in the world to an integrated space: of all of us being integrated in a world that dances together”.
Born in Germany, Prof. Alexander Schieffer studied economics, business and social sciences at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. His doctoral thesis, also at St. Gallen, addressed new styles of individual and organizational leadership (“Führungspersönlichkeit”), with a particular focus on personality development.
In Alexander’s young adulthood, he began exploring the world, extensively – initially, during his university years, with internships in Mexico-City, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Paris and New York. It is during those years that his understanding of the rich cultural diversity of our planet began to strike him as an incredible treasure and a key to the healthy development of humankind. Alexander began work life in International Investment Banking in Frankfurt, and then in Media & Communication with the media giant Bertelsmann in London. From there, he moved to Singapore where he co-founded and built up First Asia Publishing into a leading special-interest publisher. In 2002, his co-founder and he decided to sell the company to a Chinese media conglomerate, as Alexander increasingly felt a need to participate in addressing the transformative challenges of our time.
From this point onwards, Alexander pursued his passion of bringing about transformation in the economic, social, cultural and spiritual sphere. Together with Ronnie, they established the Trans4m Center for Integral Development in 2006.
Core to his motivation to co-found Trans4m, is Alexander’s belief that an integral perspective to life holds a key to the survival of humanity and planet. Applying such a perspective, in locally relevant and resonant ways, can bring solutions to humanity’s most burning issues, and provide a viable platform for the imminent and necessary evolutionary leap of our species.
In addition to co-creating a new integral knowledge and practice foundation, another particular interest of his is to bring out and work with the uniqueness of each person, each context, and each culture. Driven by the guiding image of “unity in diversity”, Alexander continuously seek for the most transformative educational space to nurture the full potential of participants, their communities and organisations. Education, to him, is hence not a means in itself. Rather, education needs to be related to the potentials and challenges that we encounter, locally and globally. Its role is to stimulate continuous personal and collective transformation in service of sustainable livelihood, as well as sustainable organisational, community and societal development.
In that spirit, Alexander developed and teaches integral curricula in international development, organisational and societal transformation, and culturally and spiritually conscious leadership. He leads courses at universities around the world, including St. Gallen University (Switzerland), University of Johannesburg (South Africa), Hope University (UK), Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development (Egypt), and Meridian University (USA). He holds visiting professorships at the University of Staffordshire in the UK and with Da Vinci Institute in South Africa, in addition to an honorary professorship with Liverpool’s Hope University in the UK.
A published poet, Alexander is deeply immersed in developmental psychology as well as in many of the world’s wisdom traditions. He is married to – and frequently work together with – peace-builder and poet-performer Dr. Rama Mani. They live in the French countryside, near Geneva, where they are building up the “Home for Humanity”, serving also as the main global seat for Trans4m.