Matthew Rich-Tolsma

Professional Experience
Matthew is the Chief Learning Officer of the firm. He is proudly South African, but has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, and Europe and is now based in The Netherlands. He believes passionately in the simple truth that education is the key to overcoming the wickedly complex challenges that humanity is facing. He has more than a decade’s experience working in the fields of transformative higher learning and organisational development and has worked with institutions and organisations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. During 2012-2013 he was visiting Research Fellow at the School for Transformative Leadership at Palacky University in the Czech Republic.

Transformative learning and human development are at the heart of Matthew’s work, and his career has included working with children, teachers, academics, business leaders, and a wide range of organisations. For Matthew learning is a process through which people are set free to take control of their lives and find their own meaningful and creative solutions to the pressing challenges that they are facing. It is only through this sort of emancipatory activity that organisations can build true participation and get the most out of the interactions between group members.

Matthew specialises in creating complex change initiatives in organisations, leveraging the transformative power of conflict, and building sustainable collaborative decision-making capacity in groups. Some of his recent, relevant publications include:
– Transformative Leadership and Higher Education: An Encounterbook. Olomouc, Czech Republic: Palacky University Press (2013).
– Leading Transformative Higher Education: Studies, Reflections, Questions. Olomouc, Czech Republic: Palacky University Press (2013).
– Foresight for Development: A meta-analysis and recommendations for an African futures learning repository. Johannesburg: Southern African Node of the Millennium Project (2014).
– The Book of Needs: A Structural Model for Listening. Enschede, The Netherlands: Kommunikasie (2015).
-‘European Academic Trends and Contributions to Integral Studies’ a Special Issue of Integral Review Vol. 11:3 (2015).
– ‘Transformative Learning for Climate Change Engagement: Regenerating Perspectives, Principles, and Practice’ in Integral Review Vol. 11:3 (2015).
-‘Addressing the Complexity Gap: Developing Integrated Thinking Skills at Board Level’ in Board Leadership: Innovative Approaches to Governance No. 143 (2016).

In addition to his work at TSLP, Matthew is a Principal Consultant at RISE Beyond, Ltd., a small UK based consultancy focused on ‘creating conditions for collaboration to thrive’, as well as being a senior Associate at the European Centre for Leadership Practice which uses a number of common tools including Cynefin and sensemaking frameworks, The Leadership Circle, and Lectical assessment to ‘unfold the wisdom of leadership’.

Matthew is presently completing his Doctorate in Management at the University of Hertfordshire Business School, where his research is focused on organisational complexity. He holds a Certificate in Business Management from the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi), and an MA in Psychology from the International Centre for Integral Studies. He is a Master Certified Lectical Consultant, and is trained in the use of a number of other psychometrics including The Leadership Circle, Career Path Appreciation, and Structural Dynamics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Member of the International Coaching Federation, Institute of Coaching, International Leadership Association, and World Future Studies Federation. He works in English and Dutch.