Witness, Awaken, Enact!

Dr. Rama Mani is an expert in international peace and security, a poet and a performing artist. She is a Senior Research Associate of the University of Oxford’s Centre for International Studies, a Councilor of the World Future Council, and Co-Founder of Rising Women Rising World. Based on her extensive experience in governance and peacebuilding across diverse cultures, she developed Theatre of Transformation as an innovative vehicle to address critical global challenges and catalyze positive change.

“Rama Mani, a true global citizen, inspires greatly with her immense knowledge and wisdom. With her dedication, ethics and outstanding personality she brings courage and hope for the future.”
- Helen Eriksen (Denmark), Founder & CEO of BEYOND.

“Rama relates her real-world experiences in a way that engages and captivates. She connects on a deep personal level with her audiences, and leaves them not only astounded, but also elevated and wiser.”
- Swami Agnivesh (India) Winner of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize and the Anti Slavery International Award

“Rama has devoted her life to enhance peace and support people in conflicts. She captures the hearts of everyone she meets, and interacts with new audiences as if she has known them for a long time.”
- Zahira Kamal (Palestine), former Minister for Women’s Affairs of the Palestinian Authority.

“When Dr Rama Mani speaks not only do people listen, they also immediately understand the relevance and the importance of what she is saying. She has a rare gift and it is one that should be treasured.”
- Brig. Gen. Gerd Bischof (Germany) Academic and Policy Director, NATO Defense College.

Theatre of Transformation is an innovative interactive forum
to address critical global challenges and shape our shared future.

Theatre of Transformation invites us
to witness what is, to imagine what can be,
and to enact the change we need in our lives and in the world.

It combines the Power of Art with the Power of Politics to catalyze our capacity for societal and personal transformation,
through an engaging process of testimony, dialogue and creative interaction.

"Redefining Power to Build Peace"

United Nations Geneva, International Peace Day, 21 September 2015

Testimonies that Transform

Theatre of Transformation uses the medium of enacted testimonies and poems to bring to life the critical global issues we face, and unveil possible pathways of transformation. The testimonies and poems are based on real people Rama has collaborated with and situations she has encountered in conflict-affected areas and diverse parts of the world. The testimonies reveal the reality of man-made destruction as well as the capacity of the human spirit to transcend and transform suffering into strength. They indicate that transformation is always possible, whatever the circumstances.

Target Audiences

Theatre of Transformation is designed for:

- Leaders in politics, business, international and civic organizations;
- Policy makers, academics, and professionals;
- Women pioneers and change makers;
- Youth, students and transformation agents;

- Humanitarian workers, peacemakers, and international professionals;
- Survivors of violence;
- Communities in crisis;
- And all Global and Local Citizens who care about our shared future.

The Impact

Participants from highly diverse backgrounds are lastingly impacted by sessions of Theatre of Transformation. They experience awakened empathy, heightened creativity and revived commitment as they witness the causes and consequences of today’s crises on distant others and their own lives. Through the facilitated process of creative interaction and integral dialogue following the enactment, they discover the potential for change in their own lives, organizations and communities. They begin to forge innovative and collective responses to transform crises to opportunities and shape new possibilities for the future.

Events and host organizations

50 events of Theatre of Transformation on diverse global themes were offered in 2014-2015 in countries all over the world – including USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, Switzerland, France, Norway, USA, India, and South Africa. Host and partner organizations ranged from United Nations agencies, international and humanitarian organisations, universities, policy institutes and cultural and diplomatic institutions. Audiences and participants included political leaders, diplomats, business leaders, international professionals, women change makers, journalists, scholars, humanitarian workers, war-affected populations, survivors of violence, refugees, women and peace activists, and youth host organizations.


Leadership for the Future

Portrays new models of leadership and reshaped paradigms of power emerging across sectors around the world, and nurtures creative and collective stewardship of our shared future.

Film: "The Art of Leadership"

at the Human Resources Summit, Istanbul, February 2015
The Art of Leadership

Poem: "Reshaping the Future"

Women for the World

Celebrates and supports women and marginalized people who have transcended barriers to rescript history into OURstory, and evokes creative collaboration to co-create a world that works for all.

Film: "Women Redefining Power to Build Peace"

United Nations – Geneva, International Peace Day, September 2015
Women for the World

Poem: "Rewriting HerStory"

From Conflict to Coexistence

Honours the courage of extra-ordinary people and communities who’ve transformed violence to peace and suffering to strength, and fosters the creative transformation of conflicts in our lives, organizations and societies.

Film: "Fulfilling our Responsibility to Protect"

United Nations Environmental Emergencies Forum, Oslo, June 2015
Fulfilling our Responsibility to Protect

Poem: "Poiesis of Peace"

From Dystopia to OURtopia

Catalyzes our imagination and collective intelligence to co-create a "home for humanity" for all life on earth, and to replace destructive systems and divisive attitudes of "I, me and mine" with an inclusive culture of "we, us and ours".

Film: "Co-Creating Tomorrow Together Today"

TEDX London Museum, May 2015
From Dystopia to OURtopia

Poem: "OURtopia"


1. Public Artistic Performances on Global Issues

In cultural and historic venues, concert halls, museums and festivals, Rama offers performances that electrify audiences and engage them in creative interaction and integral dialogue to shape new directions for the future. Rama’s constantly renewed repertoire of public performances on global issues energize large and diverse audiences by speaking directly to their concerns. Rama often performs with distinguished musicians who share her passion for peace and transformation. She also collaborates with award winning humanist and ecological artists. Following her performances, Rama facilitates dynamic dialogue and creative interaction with the audience to jointly explore innovative and humane responses to the global and personal challenges we face today.

2. Keynote Addresses at Global Summits and Conferences

At global summits and international, corporate and professional conferences and symposia, Rama tailors her enacted keynote presentations to the specific aims of the event. She designs and delivers keynotes afresh for each context, culture and audience. Her evocative delivery and inclusive and dynamic facilitation skills foster vivifying dialogue among participants to obtain the highest objectives of the event.

3. Transformative Leadership Forums and Global Security Seminars

Rama offers tailor-made Forums in Transformative Leadership for decision makers in politics, business and international organizations, to cultivate visionary leadership and conscious governance for our shared future.
A specific focus is to nurture emerging women leaders, pioneering youth and change makers from around the world and especially from countries in crisis.
Her creative seminars for senior policy makers and practitioners engaged in future planning and crisis management catalyse transformative processes by blending strategic thinking with the power of creativity.

4. Global Security Seminars:

Rama offers workshops for communities and individuals facing violent conflict or trauma, and humanitarian organisations serving them. These safe, aesthetic spaces for creative expression enable participants to share their stories, the wisdom of their experiences, and their visions for the future, and accompany them as they forge pathways towards peace and justice.

5. Voices, Visions and Wisdom Workshops:

Rama offers workshops for communities and individuals facing violent conflict or trauma, and humanitarian organisations serving them. These safe, aesthetic spaces for creative expression enable participants to share their stories, the wisdom of their experiences, and their visions for the future, and accompany them as they forge pathways towards peace and justice.

6. Academic Courses:

Since 2014, as Senior Fellow at Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Rama has used the theatre of transformation approach in all her seminars on global security issues in GCSP’s core courses and specialized short courses. These have profoundly engaged and impacted participating diplomats, military officers, policy makers and practitioners, leading to creative interaction, transparent discussions, and innovative exploration of alternative policy outcomes to build global security. Link: www.gcsp.ch

B.A. course on ‘Becoming Agents of Transformation’, St Gallen University since 2014, jointly taught with Professor Alexander Schieffer. Link: www.trans-4-m.com

Creating Circles of Solidarity

A central motivation of Rama’s work is to create circles of solidarity between people in all parts of the world. The honoraria, fees and funds raised through her programmes support the peace missions she undertakes in countries in crisis, and the grassroots and humanitarian initiatives she supports.

Peace missions

Rama undertakes peace, solidarity and fact-finding missions to war zones and crisis areas. In close collaboration with inspiring local leaders and trusted grassroots organisations, her missions support affected communities, especially women and refugees, and chronicle survivors’ stories.

Many of these stories are then portrayed in her performances, evoking the empathy and support of distant audiences, and thus forging new circles of solidarity.

Recent missions have included Palestine with former Minister of Women’s Affairs, Zahira Kamal; refugee camps and villages affected by communal riots in India with Alternative Nobel Peace Prize winner Swami Agnivesh; Turkey to meet refugees from Syria and Iraq and migrants from Central Africa, with International Migration Organization.

In 2016, peace and solidarity missions to India, Palestine, Lebanon and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be undertaken.

Humanitarian Initiatives

Honoraria raised through programmes or donations made at events support global transformation initiatives in which Rama is personally engaged, and courageous grassroots and humanitarian projects she has been deeply inspire by which save lives and sustain communities. Supporters are also encouraged to donate directly to these initiatives.

1. Rising Women Rising World: together with Dr. Scilla Elworthy, Founder of PeaceDirect and Oxford Research Group and thrice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and Prof. Jean Houston, Founder of Social Artistry and the Co-Founder of the Human Potential Movement, Rama is the Co-Founder of this new global women’s initiative that aims "to co-create a world that works for all" www.risingwomenrisingworld.org

2. World Future Council: safeguards the rights of future generations by championing best policies and laws to protect humanity and the earth. With fifty distinguished Councilors with diverse backgrounds from all continents, and a highly motivated staff, WFC was founded in 2007 by Jakob von Uexkull, founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize or the Right Livelihood Award. Rama is a founding Councilor and Co-Chair of the Commission on Ending Violence vs Women and Girls. www.worldfuturecouncil.org

3. "Bonded Labour Liberation Movement"and "The World is One Family", India: Rama actively supports award winning peace and interfaith activist Swami Agnivesh in his endeavours to mediate conflict, empower indigenous populations, eliminate child labour and modern day slavery, and foster equity and co-existence between religions and castes. www.swamiagnivesh.com

4. Maman Shujaa, Women Heroes of Congo: is a courageous grassroots organisation started by polio survivor and energetic peace activist Neema Namadamu to support and give voice to girls and women affected by the interminable violence in DR Congo.

5. La Maison Rose Dar as Salam, Senegal: Rama supports this first and only shelter for battered women and abandoned children in Dakar, founded by Mona Chasserio, winner of the Humanity Prize www.lamaisonrose.org

Host Organizations

Since 2014, Rama was been invited by a diverse range of host and partner organizations to offer a total of 50 Theatre of Transformation events on diverse global themes. She has collaborated with:

The United Nations & other international & governmental organizations:

United Nations Office in Geneva; UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Centre for Trade & Development (UNCTAD); UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA); Joint UNEP-OCHA Environmental Emergencies Unit;, International Organization for Migration (IOM); Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU); British Houses of Parliament.

Corporate Leadership Summits and Forums:

Global Female Leaders Summit (Berlin); Human Resources Summit (Istanbul); Global Leadership Network (Rio de Janeiro); World Investment Forum (United Nations, Geneva); TedX Women Covent Garden, (London).

Cultural Institutions and Festivals:

The Oxford Literary Festival; The Ashmolean Museum, (Oxford); Winnipeg Art Gallery; the French Consul and l’Institut Francais in Istanbul; World Women Festival (Oslo); Mahmoud Darwich Museum (Ramallah); Place to B for COP 21: UN Climate Change Conference (Paris).

International Foundations and Non-Governmental Organizations:

World Future Council; Initiatives of Change; Right Livelihood Award Foundation; Women in International Security and Conflict Management (WISCOMP); CORO-India, Vimochana.

Academic and Policy Institutions:

University of Oxford; University of Geneva; Graduate Institute, Geneva; Geneva Centre for Security Policy; University of Dundee; University of Winnipeg; St. Gallen University; Jawaharlal Nehru University; Jindal Global University; Lebanese University; Dar Al Kalima University College, Bethlehem; Indus Training and Research Institute, Bangalore.

Dr. Rama Mani is an expert in international peace and security,
a poet and performance artist.

Based on her extensive experience in governance and security over the past 25 years, she developed "Theatre of Transformation" as an innovative vheicle to address critical global crises. Theatre of Transformation is the art of creative co-evolution. It engages people of diverse backgrounds to transform crises into opportunities by harnessing their individual and collective humanity, creativity and wisdom.

Dr. Rama Mani is a Councilor of the World Future Council, and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford's Centre for International Studies. With Prof. Jean Houston and Dr. Scilla Elworthy, Rama is the Co.Founder of "Rising Women, Rising World", a global innitiative of women leaders committed to "co-create a world that works for all".

She serves on the Jury of the "Alternative Nobel Prize" and as a Senior Advisor to the Right Livelihood Award Foundation. Dr. Rama Mani was formely the Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies(Sri Lanka).

She was Africa Strategy Manager for Oxfam GB, working with policy makers and grassroots communities across Africa's warzones to develop innovative policy responses to war economies and humanitarian crises. She served as Director of the Global Peace and Security COurse at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and Senior External Relations Officer of the Commission on Global Governance.

Since 1992, Rama has partnered with and advised United Nations agencies. She serves on several international boards including the Advisory Board of NATO Defence College, and UNESCO-CISH International Centre for Human Sciences (Lebanon). She 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).

In 2013, Rama received the Peter Becker Peace Prize in Germany for the combined impact of her scholarship and peace activism. Rama has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Cambridge, an M.A. in International Affairs from John Hopkins University. She is a French national and overseas citizen of India, where she grew up.