As a young adult growing up in the UK, I was troubled by the lack of meaning in the limiting zeitgeist of modern life that seemed to lie ahead of me. I was drawn to eastern philosophy from an early age. My father was a modern architect, so I also loved modern inventiveness and scientific precision. But it was the answers to the big questions about the purpose of life that Eastern wisdom introduced to me, which excited me the most. They provided another order of meaning to existence.
I skipped university and travelled several times overland to India, through Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. I had the rare opportunity to meet and study with several enlightened masters of different traditions. On my return to the UK, I studied psychology and worked as a social worker, counselor, and then as a psychotherapist. But the desire to find a radically different way of life eventually led me to join a spiritual community. This took me on an adventure that lasted almost thirty years.
My life has been about exploring the relationship between the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer’, the individual and the collective – social change through human transformation. It is my conviction that we have the capacity for continual development and creative integration, not only technologically, but also through the expansion and deepening of consciousness.
After graduating from the Australian National University in South Asian Studies and Philosophy, I was still searching for answers to some of the big questions in life. I spent seven years in India studying under various teachers and personally exploring the foundations of human consciousness in extended solitary retreats.
3rd Space consists of a group of connected friends and colleagues from around the world.
Rajan Venkatesh is a former journalist with the Times of India. He taught journalism in Mumbai and New Delhi. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of community, he later left the city and became an educator within SIDDH, an innovative project working in rural mountain villages. In 2013, to further understand the principles behind the functioning of traditional Indian society and its livelihoods, Venkatesh went on to become a farmer in southern Maharashtra. He is the editor of Raibar, a bi-lingual publication exploring global issues. His insights into community building in rural India offer glimpses into how India can survive the juggernaut of modernity, with its soul and community intact.
Chris Parish is a writer and organic gardener with an abiding passion for nature and our ecological selves. With an initial university background in Zoology, he spent many years studying and then teaching meditation and communication in a number of countries. In recent times, he has increasingly become concerned with speciesism and especially with our climate and ecological emergency. Currently this has led him to be an ecological activist with Extinction Rebellion.
Doctoral candidate of Thomas Hübel’s AIS Graduate Programm, Social Worker, Political Scientist and co-founder of Teal Wave Consulting. In his dissertation Adrian is researching the Pocket Project with awareness based action research methods based on Presencing and Theory U. As part of the Institute for Integral Global Competence he is engaged in the preparation of the first Global Social Witnessing Lab in 2020. Adrian has published in various magazines about young leaders, collective transformation and social change. He currently lives and works in a community in the Black Forest where he co-founded the co-working space waldraum e.V. He loves Japanese Martial Arts, body based meditation, poetry and dancing tango.
Graduate and Master of Architecture and Urbanism at the Universidade Federal da Bahia – UFBa, Brasil, (1987 & 1993). PhD in Urbanism at the University of Paris, (1988). Post Doctorate in University Extension at the University Lumière Lyon II, (2008), and Post Doctorate in City History in Bangalore University, India (2015), and Future Cities in Pondicherry University (2019). Professor at Universidade da Estado da Bahia (UNEB), since 1999, in Urbanisation. She has published books and papers about Participatory Management, Solidarity Economy, Conscious Consumption, and New Models of Citizen Politics. She is founder of the NGO Network Professional Association for Citizenship Solidarity, and the School of Integral Sustainability. She is also engaged in the international network Dialogues en humanité.
Katrin Karneth is a creative educator, cultural trainer and German language teacher. From a very young age onwards she was passionate about the spiritual dimension of life. Exploring and sharing this with others has been a key part of her journey, which also had led her eventually to India. She has lived for many years in India; working and volunteering at various institutions and NGO’s. She has taught and facilitated empowerment programs to children and adults in Germany and India.
Sushri Mishra is a well-known poet from Odisha – an Eastern Indian State, writing in Odia and English. She had her first anthology of poems published in 1974, called ‘Words From Silence’. While the essence of her poetic voice is philosophic and metaphysics, many of her poems deal with social issues, such as poverty, polarity, prejudice, ignorance and anarchism. Among other awards, she has received the Shreekshetra Award for her contribution in the field of literature. She currently lives in Chennai, a southern state in India, along with her family, and serves as a corporate professional in the Banking and Financal Services industry.
Lukas Herrmann is an action researcher and PhD student with Heidelberg University, Germany. He worked at the Max-Planck-Institute for Social Neuroscience, and published on the contemplative training of perspective-taking and empathy. He studied psychology in Freiburg and Berlin (Humboldt University), Germany, and is a trained family therapist. As a facilitator and trainer, Lukas’ interest is to shift social fields to a deeper, more generative level. As a member of the Institute for Global Integral Competence and 2018 Fellow of the CMM Institute for Social Evolution, Lukas co-organizes the Witten Lab for Global Social Witnessing, bringing together scientists, artists, and activists to explore awareness-based practices for global citizenship at Witten-Herdecke University, Germany, in March 2020.
Together we are creating alternative environments for the purpose of the free exploration of divergent worldviews and how they can apply to modernity today.