Co-Founder, Trans4m Center for Integral Development, Geneva, Switzerland


Born in Germany, 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”). He initially worked as an executive in International Investment Banking, and then in Media and Communication with the media giant Bertelsmann. He then moved to Singapore where he founded and built up First Asia Publishing into a leading special-interest publishing house, which he sold in 2002 to a Chinese media conglomerate.

From this point onwards, Schieffer pursued his passion of bringing about transformation in the economic, social and cultural sphere. Together with his colleague, Professor Ronnie Lessem (Zimbabwe / UK), he established the TRANS4M Center for Integral Development (, headquartered in Geneva. The center focuses on “transformational education” and “research for innovation”. At the heart of TRANS4M’s work is its integral approach – a highly innovative, culturally adaptable framework for individual, organisational and societal transformation. Trans4m’s cutting edge programs generate culturally relevant responses to burning issues on the ground. Its programs are spread across Africa (from South Africa to Zimbabwe to Nigeria), in the Middle East (Egypt and Jordan), in Asia (Sri Lanka, India), Europe (Switzerland, Germany, UK) and the USA.

Under Schieffer’s and Lessem’s leadership, Trans4m has grown into a global movement of integral Transformation Agents who are holistically impacting their societies on critical issues: from community development to disaster management; from food security to violence against women; from economic revitalization to corporate social responsibility; from organizational knowledge creation to indigenous healing systems, among others. The scope of Trans4m’s portfolio is diverse: supporting organizations in transformative processes, such as Virgin Money, UK; MedLabs, Jordan; Deutsche Telekom, Germany; designing and delivering a Global PhD Program on Integral Development, accredited by Da Vinci University, South Africa; framing an integral university structure and transformative educational curricula for Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, Egypt.

Schieffer has published extensively. His most recent book is Integral Development: Realising the Transformative Potential of Individuals, Organisations and Society (Gower Ashgate 2014). He is the Co-Editor (together with Ronnie Lessem) of two Gower-Ashgate book series: the “Transformation and Innovation Series” and the “Integral Green Economy and Society Series”.

Schieffer is an engaged and dynamic professor, continuously creating transformative educational spaces to nurture the full potential of participants. He develops and teaches integral curricula in international development, organizational 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).

A published poet, Schieffer is deeply immersed in developmental psychology as well as in many of the world’s wisdom traditions. He lives in the French countryside, near Geneva, where he is building up an Integral Academy for human and cultural awakening, together with his wife, peace-builder and poet-performer Dr. Rama Mani.