Partners and Contributors

Peter Senge

Peter Senge is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Sustainability at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL).

The Journal of Business Strategy named Senge one of the 24 people who has had the greatest influence on business strategy over the last 100 years. Senge is the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization.

Dr. Senge has lectured extensively throughout the world, translating the abstract ideas of systems theory into tools for better understanding of economic and organizational change. His areas of special interest focus on decentralizing the role of leadership in organizations so as to enhance the capacity of all people to work productively toward common goals. Dr. Senge's work articulates a cornerstone position of human values in the workplace; namely, that vision, purpose, reflectiveness, and systems thinking are essential if organizations are to realize their potentials. He has worked with leaders in business, education, health care and government.

Peter Senge received a B.S. in engineering from Stanford University, an M.S. in social systems modeling and Ph.D. in management from MIT. He lives with his wife and their two children in central Massachusetts.

Otto Scharmer

© Sven Nieder Photography

© Sven Nieder

Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at MIT, and founding chair of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program and co-founded the Global Wellbeing Lab. He also is Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Leadership. In his books Theory U and Presence (the latter co-authored with Senge, Jaworski, and Flowers) he introduced the concept of “presencing” — learning from the emerging future. His new book Leading From the Emerging Future: From Ego-system to Eco-system Economies (2013) applies mindfulness onto the transformation of business, society, and self.

Dirk Messner

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner, born 23.04.1962; has been Director of the “Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspoltik / German Development Institute (DIE)” since 2003 and he is  teaching at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Dirk Messner is Co-Director of the “Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR)”, University Duisburg-Essen, which was established in 2012.

He completed numerous research stays in Asia and Latin America in the past 20 years, directed many international research programs and thus created a close international research network.

He is Co-Chair of the “German Advisory Council on Global Change” (“Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen” (WBGU)) and member of the “China Council on Global Cooperation on Development and Environment“. He is also a member of the “Global Knowledge Advisory Commission” of the World Bank and member of the European Commission's Scientific Advisory Board for EU development policy”.

Maja Göpel

Maja Göpel heads the Berlin office of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Her work focuses on transformation processes and the role that mindsets play in these. Preceding this she helped start up the World Future Council and its campaigns on climate/energy and finance before launching and directing its Future Justice program with a focus on the representation of future generations and long-termism in current governance structures. Maja has a PhD in political economy but her path was one of constant discipline and sector bridging, lecturing at universities while working in NGO networks on linking ecology, globalization and justice.

Dr. Hermann E. Ott

Dr. Hermann E. Ott has, for the last four years, been a Member of Parliament in the German Bundestag. There he served as spokesperson for climate policy and as a member of the Parliamentary Commission on "Growth, Prosperity and Quality of Life", where he headed a working group on the decoupling of economic activities and resource consumption. Before, he headed the Climate Policy Division of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and founded its Berlin Office. Among his works are a PhD thesis on "Environmental Regimes in International Law" and a treatise on "The Kyoto Protocol" (Sebastian Oberthür / Hermann Ott. Climate Policy for the 21st Century. Springer 1999). He also edited a collection of essays on climate policy ("Wege aus der Klimafalle" with Heinrich Böll Foundation) and wrote numerous peer reviewed and other articles on environmental, climate policy and on global governance.

Sascha Wolff

Sascha Wolff is an independant consultant and lecturer for human-centered research & cross-secctor collaborative design. He studied philosophy, political sciences, environmental education and design thinking in Potsdam, Berlin and Bordeaux. As co-founder and partner of DARK HORSE INNOVATION he gained extensive expertise as coach, consultant and mentor in co-creation projects working with global companies, SMEs, NGOs and universities worldwide. Sascha Wolff lives in Berlin.

Mary Alice Arthur

Mary Alice is a Story Activist, specialising in using story in service of positive systemic shift and to access and create collective intelligence on critical issues. Her art is creating and hosting spaces for wise action, and narrative practice forms a key part of her work, focusing both on Storytelling and StoryWork and the emergent space in-between. Her powerful results from a telecommunications merger project were written up in the 2006 book Wake Me Up When the Data is Over: How Organizations Use Stories to Drive Results (ed: Lori Silverman). Now, she is researching how the finding and awakening of positive systemic stories can help accelerate change. She is an Art of Hosting Steward and works under the auspices of her own company, SOAR (Significant Orientations, Amazing Results).  These days she is also an intentional nomad, living and working all over the world.

Rajeswari Gorana

Rajeswari Namagiri Gorana is a Programme Coordinator at Centre for Environment Education, a Centre of Excellence of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. She works with the Group, Children’s Media Unit, which focuses on developing teaching and learning support material and capacity building. She has jointly worked on ten publications for teachers, has developed three educational games, and is currently co-editing a publication for Easter Springer—Reorienting Educational Efforts for SD; Experiences from South Asia., a children’s website run by the Group was a finalist for the Stockholm Challenge Award 2008 in the Environment category.

Rey Danilo Lacson

Rey Danilo Lacson is the Cultural Information Management and Performance Evaluation Specialist of the IPDEV Project of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) based in Cotabato City in the Southern island of Mindanao, Philippines. The IAG works to expand and consolidate the network of organizations and leaders to promote autonomy and self-determination as a means of addressing the causes of conflict in the Southern Philippines. It has endeavoured to engage the Armed Forces of the Philippines in meaningful Security Sector Reform. ReyDan Lacson has 13 years experience in Peace and Conflict Transformation projects. Since 2007, his peace advocacy focused on conflict management, clan-based conflict resolution, and inter-cultural and interfaith relations.

Rob O’Donoghue

Rob is an Associate Professor in the Environmental Learning Research Centre at Rhodes University, South Africa. He has given close attention to working with diversity across indigenous knowledge practices and environmental learning in post-colonial curriculum and community contexts. His work on the intermeshed bio-physical, social, economic and political dimensions of environment provided an orientating perspective in environment and sustainability education, and his text on ‘active learning processes’ is a guidelines document for environmental learning in Fundisa-for-Change. His recent work on scientific knowledge and social change draws on historical sociology after Norbert Elias, the CoP work of Wenger, CHAT after Engestrom and the realist turn after Bhaskar and Archer. His most recent collaboration is on "African Heritage Knowledge and Social Innovation," an e-book launched at the World RCE Congress in Nairobi in November 2013.

Susan Piver

Susan Piver teaches people how to live with purpose, find balance, and overcome the fears that prevent genuine communication.  She is a 20-year meditator and founder of the Open Heart project, a virtual mindfulness community with close to 12000 members worldwide. A speaker, teacher, media coach, Susan is the New York Times best selling author of seven books. She has spent her life employing and perfecting the art of communication, whether by helping couples to discuss their relationship, families to visit end-of-life issues, authors to present their ideas in public, or professionals to break down workplace conflicts and ennui.

Peter Gotsch

Prof. Dr.-Ing. MSc Peter Gotsch is an urban researcher, planning expert and registered architect. During his 15-year career, Prof. Gotsch has lectured and researched at Columbia University New York, TU-Darmstadt, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Free University of Berlin and the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt am Main. He has completed more then 30 international missions and has lectured in many institutions worldwide and has also served bilateral and multinational organisations such as GIZ, UN-Habitat, and the World Bank among others. Most recently he has concluded a background paper on an urban approach to urban safety for the South Integrated Development Framework on behalf of the South African Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. He is currently working on a guideline for safer parks and public spaces for the Johannesburg City Department of Parks and Zoo.

His research portfolio includes community-driven responses to violence in sub-Saharan Africa, strategies for the sustainable growth of the future megacity Hyderabad (India), and comparative research on a new typology of privately planned cities. Prof. Gotsch is co-editor of the Trialog journal and the Trialog network and is also a member of the board of the Network-Association of European Researchers on Urbanization in the South. He is also a registered architect and a member of the International Network for Research and Action (INURA).

Prof. Gotsch is currently Associate Professor for International Cooperation in Urban Development at TU-Darmstadt. He is coordinating the post-graduate Mundus Urbano programme and lectures on integrated planning, urban safety, project design, research and design tools, urban heritage preservation and evaluation methods in the urban field. He also supervises several masters and doctoral theses and is the representative on international strategies on behalf of the Faculty of Architecture at the TU-Darmstadt.

Susanne Maria Weber

Susanne Maria Weber is professor of Social, Political and Cultural Conditions and Contexts of Education in international perspective at Philipps University of Marburg, Germany and Adjunct Professor of the Global Education Program at the Centre of Global Studies in Education at the University of Waikato, Hamilton (New Zealand). As academic supervisor, she leads the Marburg research team of the cooperative research project „TRAJECTORIES in the academic field“. Cooperatively realized by the Universities of Marburg and Augsburg (Dr. Anna Brake), the joint project is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (2013-2016).

She obtained a PhD from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main (Germany) with her genealogical-discourse-analytical and empirical research on „Organization Development and Gender Mainstreaming“ (1997) analyzed within the organizational types of „bureaucracy“, „clan“ and „market“ (1997) in the german private sector.

Martin Kalungu-Banda

Martin is a consultant in organisation and leadership development; a designer and facilitator of innovation and organisation change; a trainer and coach. Since September 2010, Martin has been serving as an adviser to the Africa Governance Initiative of the Tony Blair Office - playing the role of Thinking Partner with Chiefs of Staff to a number of Heads of State in African. Martin has conducted leadership-training and mentoring programmes for the cabinets and senior executives of the governments of South Africa, Namibia, Rwanda, Liberia, Libya, Ghana and Zambia.

Martin is the author of the bestseller "Leading Like Madiba: Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela" (2006) which has been translated into eight languages including Dutch and Hindi; and "It’s How We End That Matters: Leadership Lessons from an African President" (2009). The manuscript for his third book, "On the Wings of Others: How to Access Life’s Greatest Opportunities," is in the process of publication.

Josette Cole

Josette Cole has been a land and housing activist and community development practitioner for more than three decades. During her career she has co-founded numerous organisations including: The Ecumenical Action Movement (TEAM), Surplus People Project, Western Cape (SPP) and MANDLOVU Development Initiative / Trust. She is also the author of Crossroads: The Politics of Reform and Repression (1987), Behind and Beyond the Eiselen Line (2012) and has written extensively on a range of topics - life under apartheid and reflections on the current South African democratic transition. She is currently an Honorary Research Associate at the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative (UCT) and a PhD Candidate in Historical Studies at UCT.

Kai Straehler-Pohl

Kai Straehler-Pohl is a development and health financing advisor at the GIZ, who has worked with several African governments on health financing reforms. He got into this field when, as an economics student, he interviewed poor people in Indonesia what insurance they needed most to protect them against life risks. Nearly all people were most worried about the costs of falling sick. Universal Health Coverage means that no one has to worry about this – and this is the dream Kai is working for.

Marielle Heijltjes

Marielle's professional interest and expertise revolve around questions that relate to the functioning of (top) managers and (top) management teams: What drives their behaviour, when is it effective, when is it responsible and sustainable and what explains the dynamics in (top) management teams? In addition to an academic interest in managerial behaviour, she enjoys working on these themes together with companies and consultants and has over the years gained extensive experience in doing so. In her roles of associate dean and director of postgraduate education she furthermore gets ample opportunities to implement her own ideas and findings in the context of Maastricht University School of Business and Economics.

Mark Drewell

Mark is a thought leader and practitioner of future normal. He has combined a successful business career with engagement in societal transformation across the world. Born in the UK, he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University then started his business career in mining finance in the City of London. He moved to South Africa in 1989 and joined international diversified industrial company Barloworld Limited. Starting out in the steel and ferrochrome business where he was deeply involved with South Africa’s political transition, he then moved to cement business PPC, and then for a decade headed of Corporate Affairs, Investor Relations and Group Marketing where amongst other work, he led the company’s move into sustainability. In 2009 he moved to Europe and took on his current role in the GRLI having previously been its founding Chairman.

John North

John North is an integrational entrepreneur working at the interface between society, business and academia. He was the founding head of Accenture's sustainability practice in Ireland and now lives in his home country South Africa where he combines community work in the Garden Route, an advisory role at the University of Pretoria, and an international role as Projects Director of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI). He is currently focused on a series of implementation projects of the 50+20 Agenda - Management Education for the World - of which he is a lead co-author.