Trans4M has been a vital organization assisting local communities of social innovators with processes of research-centered development for more than twenty years. Formerly based in Geneva, in recent years Trans4M has operated in a range of places – in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, South, and West Asia and Europe – to catalyse local teams of scholars and enterprise change agents. This work of catalysation has been focused on assisting with the co-creation of social innovations for ‘releasing the economic genius of local cultures’, towards the regeneration and transformation of entire regions and societies.
The principal starting point of Trans4M has been to reject the widely held assumption that there is only one way to generate economic or indeed enterprise, management or business development. Trans4M points beyond the dominant ‘Western’ model of neo-liberal Capitalism, entrepreneurship or leadership, to help communities to recognise their distinctive cultural forms of economy and enterprise that have the capacity to change particular organisations and societies, thereby promoting social innovation. The model is one of working from grounding-to-effect, related, in turn, to research and development, macro-economy and micro-enterprise.
Cultures are grounded in local communities, which reflect their nature and earthing in the natural world. They reflect local cultural consciousness, values and ‘spirituality’, which need to become emergent if local grounding is to become activated. Equally, there are distinctive forms of knowledge, technologies, and systems present in these local cultures which may have been neglected or forgotten, to help navigate their communities towards indigenous patterns of research. Once these are utilised, a path from research-to-innovation opens up. This is the GENEtic process of dynamic social innovation, for which Trans4M is widely known.
In 2019, Trans4M has arrived at an exciting new moment. Its former work is to become divided between two complementary organisational ‘wings’. These are “Trans4M Home for Humanity”, with a particular focus on the re-GENE-ration of self in the context of organisation and society, led by Alexander Schieffer, operating out of his home base in Southern France, at Hotonnes; and “Trans4M Communiversity Associates” (TCA), with a particular orientation towards the re-GENE-ration of contextualised knowledge-and-value, hence social innovation, in the context of self, organisation and society. This will be led by a local and global team including Anselm Adodo, Aneeqa Malik, and Ronnie Lessem, globally, and relevant others, locally, from our four worlds-and-center, which is to operate from a new location in London, U.K.