Creative Conflict-Cultural Transformation with Aftab Omer, Ph.D.

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Omer is a truly a global citizen. He was born in Pakistan and has lived in Turkey, India, Hawaii and now lives in Northern California. His research and life experience has led him to study how we need to move from dysfunctional conflicts to creative conflicts. The problem of our global cultural crisis is not conflict, rather how we handle those conflicts. He says, "We are surrounded by people who perceive differently than us. As long as we're locked into our personal perceptions and cannot broaden out into different perspectives we will be struggling with dysfunctional conflicts rather than creative conflicts." He suggests that the global challenges of diversity, conflict, and chaos can be met through actively engaging these differences and perspectives with openness, fierceness, and curiosity. He shares with us the idea that peace is not sustained though avoidance of conflict, but is sustained through finding ways to engage in creative conflict. (hosted by Tarra Christoff)


Aftab Omer, Ph.D. is president and core faculty at Meridian University. He received his Bachelor's from M.I.T. and his Doctorate from Brandeis University. Formerly a faculty member in both the Psychology and Sociology departments at Sonoma State University, he is currently the President of the Council for Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychologies. Aftab's research has focused on the emergence of human capacities within transformative learning communities and his work includes assisting organizations in tapping the creative potentials of conflict, diversity, and complexity. His published articles include "The Spacious Center: Leadership and the Creative Transformation of Culture" and "Between Columbine and the Twin Towers: Fundamentalist Culture as a Failure of Imagination."

To learn more about the work of Aftab Omer and Meridian University, go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is globalized consciousness and why should we be cultivating it
  • How can we hold the complexity of the Middle East and its cultures
  • How can we move from dysfunctional conflicts to creative conflicts
  • What is the relationship between the imagination and cultural transformation
  • What is leadership and why must everyone become a leader
Host: Tarra Christoff      Interview Date: 4/24/2008      Program Number: 3258