Jaap Geerlof, graduate of the online PhD in transformative studies at CIIS Jaap Geerlof

Transformative Studies, Ph.D.

University teacher, consultant and writer


I could never have imagined the breadth of knowledge and the insights Transformative Studies has offered me. At CIIS I met the most incredible people, who are like-minded in their quest to change the world into a better place for all living creatures and diverse in their background and research projects. The course and the community changed me. I have a better understanding of how our world got to be this way, how it (dis)functions and how leadership can be an agent of change. My own leadership has evolved well. I teach leadership theory and practice at a Dutch university. My consultancy has become transformative: I support my clients (mostly alderman and secretary generals of municipalities) in their endeavour to embrace and practice "complexity governance and active participation". Last but not least I have become another writer. I have published several articles in scientific journals. The book I am working on "On becoming a transformative leader" could never have been written without a Transformative Studies background.

Window of hope: Transformative Public Leadership in the age of an Emerging New World Order

With the analytic lens of complexity my transdisciplinary research theorizes about the public leadership required to guide humanity into the direction of a participatory world order founded on socioeconomic equality and ecological sustainability. Harbingers of a participatory world order exist as new ecologies of ideas, policy proposals, and niche-innovations. The emergence of this world order partly depends on the future public leadership presence. Transformative public leadership is ontologically based on a participatory worldview, and epistemologically grounded on transformational and transformative leadership theory, complexity leadership theory and a multilevel perspective of leadership development. Although theoretical in approach the research culminates in a practical contribution to transformative public leadership development.

Stay Connected to CIIS