Tag Archives: TSIBA

28 Days of Inspiration – Day 27: Radical you

Radical you

Your journey into tomorrow

What shape
waits in the seed
of you to grow
and spread
its branches
against a future sky?

The 6heads crew hope you’ve enjoyed and been stimulated by the past month of daily future-focused inspiration.  6heads is about sharing inspiration, and also it’s also about encouraging action and supporting positive change where we can.

It seems appropriate to end our month with a question for you:
What are you going to do next to shape a sustainable future for yourself and the people and things you care about?

Creating change means courage to show personal leadership. We’re inspired by the people who help others to grow, take a leap into the unknown and become more than they thought they could be.  From the amazing vision of Tsiba (who Nicola is a trustee of) in delivering transformative education in South Africa  to our friend Darius Norell and his Spring Project’s brilliant Radical Employability and UnRecruitment work in London, many people are doing fantastic work in this space.  A particularly relevant example for people interested in sustainability and transformative personal leadership is The Journey 5-day, residential programme run in Embercombe near Exeter.

Wherever your path takes you, we hope the past month has inspired you, caused a few smiles and maybe even challenged how you think about the future and what is possible. Create the tomorrow you want!

Tomorrow is our last post – please do have a look on 6-heads for a last blast for Feb…


28 Days of Inspiration – Day 25: The power of one

Daring to be great

Today’s inspiration is about those people who have chosen a different path – one of making a real difference in the world. They’re just normal people doing something they believe in, day after day…


A question we often ask is “Where best to intervene in a system to create significant change?”. Paul Dickenson saw a pressure point in the role of shareholders. He is Co-founder and Chief Executive of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which provides a coordinating secretariat for 330 investors with assets of over $40 trillion who request information on greenhouse gas emissions from over 2,400 corporations. With more than 1,300 large corporations reporting through CDP, the CDP web site http://www.cdproject.net is the largest registry of corporate greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

There are lots of lawyers – most propping up the status quo, Polly Higgins talks of love and leadership, and runs a strong campaign on eradicating ecocide, fighting for its legal status to be enshrined by 2020.

A co-founder of Tsiba University, Leigh Meinert set-out to provide education opportunities to deserving youngsters from impoverished backgrounds – fundamentally changing society in South Africa. 5 Mandela Rhodes scholars produced in 4 years means she and fellow luminaries are doing something right.

Many people travel through communities facing extreme struggles to survive – few do anything. Alison Hall is different, after a trip to Uganda she set-up Seeds for Development which started off advancing funds to farmers in post-war Uganda to enable them to buy seeds and other farming equipment. Today they support around 15 000 people.

Miriam Turner, Carmel McQuaid, Tom Domen, and many others aren’t names you’ll necessarily recognise. They are are corporate intrepreneurs. All have an agenda to introduce and scale change to make their organisations ‘future-fit’. Often their resilience is tested – just like the entrepreneurs mentioned above. Yet, their efforts allow the organisations they are part of to take that different path and pioneer new ways of doing things.

There are many, many more ordinary people each in their own way daring to do extraordinary things… What are you choosing to do today? 


Transformative education: Teaching for tomorrow Part 1

If education is the foundation for how our society evolves into the future – then how do we align this important system to our emergent needs?

Leigh Meinert, co-founder and executive director of the innovative education institution, Tsiba in South Africa, reflects here on “What is transformative education?”.  This is one of three guest blogs that explores Tsiba as a model for changing education.   www.tsiba.org.za


What is transformative education? How do we teach, and learn, so that individuals are renewed and inspired and societies, ultimately, are changed?

Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that our “modern “day education system was designed to serve an industrialising society. We needed factory workers and so our schools were essentially designed like sausage machines. In the industrial world you gained a head start in life by knowing a great deal of content knowledge – facts and theories. Indeed, the more knowledge you had the more power you had and you would probably end up being the boss of the factory.  Today all of that knowledge is available online and the challenges that we are facing are more complex. The knowledge that we teach will be obsolete in a few years but our outdated education system still lines people up in rows and tells young people what we think they need to know.

What we need today – more than ever before – are leaders and entrepreneurs. People who are creative and visionary. People who make jobs and don’t just take them. In order to navigate through a rapidly changing world, young people don’t only need facts and theories, what they really need to know is themselves, their values, their passion and their purpose. This is what gives them a head start and transformative helps them to find this.

Secondly, we need to recognise that knowledge about ourselves and what is important to us cannot be found in books or even online. Knowledge about ourselves comes through engagement with the world and reflection upon this. As educators and parents, we cannot give our children these answers. We cannot teach them that which they now most need to know, we can only ask them good questions that promote good thinking.

Today we need to equip young people for a world where there are no longer any easy answers, but as educators we are not comfortable with open ended questions. To teach in this way requires a radical change in our understanding of what it means to be a teacher.

And so, thirdly, transformative education requires teachers to be mentors and coaches. Instead of being the people at the front of the classroom with all the answers we need to sit alongside our students and help them find their own answers.  When we think back on our own formative years, what really engaged us about the teachers and adults who inspired us was not what they taught us but who they were. They made a difference in our lives because they cared about us, because they listened to us and often, because they were leading purposeful lives themselves.

To summarise then, transformative education has three significantly different elements to it:

  • It is education that helps people to find their purpose.
  • It is education that asks more questions and gives fewer answers and,
  • It is education that requires teachers to become mentors and coaches.

In my following blog post, I will provide an example of an undergraduate business school called TSiBA where these elements are applied with transformative effect.

 TSiBA’s CEO and fellow co-founder, Adri Marais, talk at the ‘Transformative Education’ event held at London Business School on 29 October 2013. There is limited availability. For more information and to book your place, please visit http://transformativeeducation.eventbrite.co.uk/