Transformative Spaces: A milestone in a transformational journey

IMG_0093 In 11th grade, our English teacher from Canada assigned the class an essay and her feedback to me post grading the paper was, “I’m not critiquing your work as an 11th grader but as a future author.” Her words have remained with me throughout my growing as  my aspiration to share through the written word evolved. And so I am happy and thrilled to announce the birth and publication of Transformative Spaces – Enabling Authentic Female Leadership through Self-Transformation : The Case of AWiB  – what I envision to be one of many more books to come.
How the book became:
2010 was an epic year for me in my encounter with one of my experiences of deeply transformational spaces. That was embodied in my graduate school in Austria as I took a poke at a second graduate degree in an unconventional academic setting. What started as an academic adventure at the University of Innsbruck evolved into a transformative journey that has continued shaping and carving my path to this day. At the time i embarked on an entirely different thesis topic and with a return ticket to Canada where i was residing, dear friends and an amazing advisor nudged me to head  to Ethiopia instead to undertake my research. With a single backpack filled with a few t-shirts and jeans, a head full of ideas and curiosity, and heart a tad bit afraid, I jumped on a plane to Addis Ababa with the intention of staying only for three months to finish my thesis and head back to Canada. This happened exactly four years ago today on September 30th, 2010 yet life and it’s gifts of many faces would have me traverse so many spaces and face so  many transformative experiences back in Ethiopia. The most that has impacted me being AWiB.
The Book:
Transformative Spaces is the 10th volume of the University of Innsbruck Peace Studies book series and edited by the university’s UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dietrich. Originally written as a Masters thesis and later adapted and edited into a book, Transformative Spaces was  published in May 2014 through a German publishing house – LIT Verlag GmbH & Co.
What is it about?
The book explores the principles of the newly emerging field of ” authentic leadership” and how it can be developed among urban Ethiopian women to affect social change. Set within a context that is not yet fully conducive to women’s accelerated climb up the positional ladder and decision making authority, I  share a perspective  that spaces like AWiB can be powerful transformative spaces enabling women to collectively challenge and address cultural factors that impede their leadership potential. Through a personal story of self-transformation weaved in with accounts of other Ethiopian women’s perspective about and experience with AWiB, I  propose that developing and sustaining such spaces is important towards initiating self-transformation for social change. Ultimately, Transformative Spaces is a mix of poetry, a personal story and theory on how women-centric organized spaces can cultivate authentic female leaders by initiating self-transformation.
How can you buy it?
Amazon: they don’t have it in stock yet but you can source it through the options they propose.
Lit Verlag: the publisher is selling it on their own site in paper back or e-book version here  for those in Europe.
Angus & Robertson: they don’t have it in stock but you can put in an order for buyers in Australia.
International Specialized Book Services: for buyers in the US and Canada only.
*Note: The book is not yet available in Ethiopia*
Buy it! Gift it! Share it!
Love & Light

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  1. Congratulations Belen for your contribution in documenting your experience and perspectives. This is one of the most significant contribution is building of social capital particularly of the Ethiopian women. I cannot wait to read your book. Thank you very much for sharing us your ways. God Bless!

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