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K-State Today

July 21, 2015



Staley School of Leadership Studies to host Leading Change Institute

By Ryan Haxton

In August, the Staley School of Leadership Studies will host its first Leading Change Institute. Modeled after the Aspen Institute and the National Endowment for Humanities, these institutes are designed to generate and collect creative, collaborative thinking from globally recognized leaders and scholars. The institutes will yield clear and tangible solutions to the grand challenges of our time.

This year's Leading Change Institute is titled Ethical Global Partnerships, Learning and Service. While considerable benefits may accrue through international volunteering and service partnerships, leading child well-being organizations such as UNICEF and Save the Children have raised concerns about volunteering in orphanages and other short-term work with vulnerable children. The 25 participants represent diverse perspectives from around the world, coming from applied, academic and policy circles in the private and nonprofit sectors, and they have each demonstrated particularly innovative leadership in this area.

The institute's structure explicitly recognizes that our most challenging problems are multilayered, cross-sector, and interdisciplinary. Since spaces to engage challenges in a way that honors that complexity are rare, the Leading Change Institute is not simply a forum to present the respective expertise of each participant, but rather, their expertise will be engaged in a dialogue to develop and harness new thinking, generate connection and seed collaboration with other individuals attending from around the world.

The goals of this year's institute are:
• Harness creative, collaborative thinking from globally recognized leaders addressing real issues with tangible strategies for moving forward.
• Generate connection, seed collaboration.
• Mobilize dialogue to reach decision-makers related to international volunteering and global service learning, including teens.
• Ensure the results of this particular dialogue reach higher education, Kindergarten through 12th-grade leaders and practitioners in particular, as well as nonprofits and companies working in this area. These include educational tours, service tours, service-learning partnerships, volunteerism and voluntourism.
• Coordinate nongovernmental organization partners, academics, and other stakeholders to envision relevant, applied, multi-institutional research that will help answer the often advanced question: Where is the rigorous community impact assessment?

The institute will begin 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, and concludes at noon Friday, Aug. 14. During and after the Leading Change Institute, the participants and the Staley School of Leadership Studies will employ various forms of media to mobilize our conversation and expand the dialogue even further.

Leading Change Institutes at Kansas State University are supported by the David and Ellie Everitt Endowment for the Leading Change Institutes. For more information, see a list of this year's attendees

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Eric Hartman at 412-225-3699 or ehartman@k-state.edu.