Dr Rama Mani
Co-Founder, Home for Humanity; Founder, Theatre of Transformation Academy and Enacting Global Transformation Initiative, University of Oxford and Bern University
Dr. Rama Mani is a transformative leader, educator, peacebuilder, poet and performance artist whose life, work and art are devoted to human and planetary transformation. She received the Visionary Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award from the Visioneers International Network in Canada in 2020, the Excellence in Leadership Award of the Global Thinkers Forum in the UK in 2018, and the Peter Becker Peace Prize in 2013 in Germany. She was elected a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences in January 2021.
Rama is the Co-Founder, with her husband, Professor Alexander Schieffer, of Home for Humanity: a trans-cultural movement of pioneering changemakers, organizations and places with a shared vision and mission to transform our divided world into a just and regenerative home for humanity in unity with all life.
Dr. Rama Mani is the Founder of Theatre of Transformation Academy, whose purpose is to champion and support the creative power of humanity to shape our shared future.
She is the Convenor of the Enacting Global Transformation Collaborative Initiative, initiated in 2014 at the University of Oxford’s Centre for International Studies, which seeks to redefine paradigms of power, and shape creative and humane responses to current global crises. The Initiative is now also hosted at Bern University, by the Media Lab in the Critical Sustainability Unit of the Geography Department.
Both initiatives are grounded in the Theatre of Transformation artform and methodology, developed by Rama, based on her 30 years of expertise in peacebuilding, leadership and governance, with inputs from diverse scholars and decision makers. Rama offers enthralling tailor-made transformative performances, keynotes and academic courses on all continents, igniting diverse audiences to become co-creators of our shared future.
Rama teaches transformative leadership based on this methodology to global decision makers, including to the UN Senior Leaders Programme of the UN System Staff College, and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy’s courses for senior diplomats and policy makers, as well as to several universities. Rama is regularly invited by the United Nations and international organisations to offer Theatre of Transformation performances, leadership seminars and keynotes at global summits and conferences. All Rama’s performances and seminars create circles of solidarity between people and cultures, and support grassroots partners in crisis areas.
Rama is a Councilor of the World Future Council which protects the rights of future generations and awards the Future Policy Awards. She was a Jury member of the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ or Right Livelihood Award.
Rama was the Co-Founder of Rising Women Rising World, together with Prof. Jean Houston and Dr. Scilla Elworthy, a global group of women leaders whose aim is to ‘co-create a world that works for all’.
Rama was earlier Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka’s pre-eminent policy and research centre addressing conflict, peace and human rights.
She was the Director of the Global Peace and Security Course for senior diplomats, military officers and international policy makers at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
She served as Oxfam GB’s Africa Strategy Manager, addressing conflicts across the continent while based in Addis Ababa and Kampala.
She was the Senior External Relations Officer to the Commission on Global Governance, responsible for integrating international, civic and academic inputs to its report, Our Global Neighbourhood (OUP 2005) and for preparing the report’s global launch at the UN’s 50th anniversary.
She has served on the Board of prestigious international foundations including Foundation for the Future, Academic Council on the United Nations, UNESCO-International Centre for Human Sciences, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and on the Academic Advisory Board of NATO Defence College.
Rama authored “Beyond Retribution: Seeking Justice in the Shadows of War” (Polity/Blackwell: 2002/2007) and co-edited “Responsibility to Protect: Cultural Perspectives from the Global South” (Routledge: 2011).
Rama has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Cambridge, UK, an M.A. in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University, USA, and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College USA in Politics and French Literature. She is a French national and an Overseas Citizen of India, where she grew up.
She is a Councillor of the World Future Council.