Novalis Ubuntu Institute

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"The Novalis Ubuntu Institute was founded in Durban in 1983 by Dr. Ralph T. Shepherd and a group of conscious friends with the purpose of making a creative contribution to the educational, social and cultural challenges of our times.

"The Institute is named after the German poet, philosopher and geologist Friedrich von Hardenberg (1772-1801) who chose the pen name of NOVALIS (i.e. “that which is of the future” in Latin) and the African philosophy of UBUNTU (a philosophy based on oneness and selfless giving described at length by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela). The combination of the two words can thus be interpreted as “Oneness as the Way of the Future”.

"The Institute’s operation is two-fold. First, it designs and implements holistic training programs that benefit underprivileged sectors of the South African society such as The Orphans and Vulnerable Children Support Program (OVC), The Beautiful Schools Programme, The Ubuntu Spirit Leadership Training Programme, and the Youth Initiative Programme. Secondly, the Institute provides innovative holistic educational experiences (workshops, trainings, conferences & retreats) to the adult learners of the local community of Cape Town.

"The Institute is located in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town in the municipality of Wynberg, just 15 minutes away from the Cape Town City Center. The dome-shape building in which the Institute operates was designed by architect Brian Johnson and was built thanks to a grant given by the governments of Germany and Japan in 1996. This humanistic building contains a large assembly hall, four large classrooms, a library, a kitchen, and an administrator’s block, and beautifully landscaped gardens. The land where the building is situated is part of a 25-year lease from the City of Cape Town." [1]

In 1987 "The Foundation founded The Novalis College for Adult Education, which opened in January 1988. The College offered adult education courses based upon the Emmerson College model in England, in the spheres of sciences, philosophy, arts and crafts, plus educational programs for practicing teachers. In 1992 The Novalis College became a separate legal entity, no called the Center for Creative Education." [2]


Accessed October 2013: [3]

Advisory Board

Accessed October 2013: [4]



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Novalis Ubuntu Institute About, organizational web page, accessed October 13, 2013.
  2. Novalis Ubuntu Institute History, organizational web page, accessed October 13, 2013.
  3. Novalis Ubuntu Institute Board, organizational web page, accessed October 13, 2013.
  4. Novalis Ubuntu Institute Board, organizational web page, accessed October 13, 2013.