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Emerging Leaders Session Descriptions 2016







Town Hall Meeting: Exchanging Ideas, Experiences and Common Challenges

Entrepreneurial spirit is often unanimous within emerging talent especially throughout their careers, and demonstrated through their ability to significantly and positively impact the environments in which they work in. This exercise aims at providing the opportunity to present and pitch project ideas and concepts (oriented in business or nonprofit) and receive constructive feedback from a diverse crowd.

Emerging Leaders will have the opportunity to volunteer and introduce in brief, a short mission statement, vision, or proposal on a component of their work and discuss the obstacles and challenges they face. After each short presentation, the group will provide constructive suggestions that aim to explore the wide array of ideas and common challenges that occur across different backgrounds, and discover the common perceptions and interpretations that can help advance the presented projects.


Evening Conversation: Navigating Through People, Networks and Society

In today’s globalized world, leaders often face the challenge of navigating through the complex and multifaceted society we live in– often becoming disconnected and on the periphery of key issues driving unrest across the globe. Today, more than ever, it is vital to steer through the challenges and obstacles that leaders face by exploring the value of working and engaging across sectors, bridging the generational divide and looking forward to the new leadership being formed. As the former special representative for global intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of State, during the Obama administration, Ms. Reta Jo Lewis, director of Congressional Affairs at the German Marshall fund of the United States (GMF) has navigated and driven these initiatives through her immense experience with leadership development, outreach, programming, and thought pieces on global engagement strategies to strengthen the next generation of transatlantic leaders. Since beginning her tenure, she has been very active in engaging Congress through GMF’s Transatlantic Congressional Staff Salon Series, briefings on Capitol Hill, study tours, testimony from GMF experts, and engagement with European Parliamentarians.

 Guiding Questions:

  • What are some of the common challenges that our generation face today compared to before?
  • What is the role of globalization, interconnected technologies, and networks, and how do they affect how we relate to one and another?
  • What are some tools that leaders need in order to navigate today’s challenges?

Ben Guerir Green City Immersion: Ecosystems at the Heart of Innovation, Growth and Development

Innovation and sustainable economic growth stand as two of the most important and vital pillars needed in developing countries today. In order to address future challenges within resilient economies, developing countries must develop models and networks of their own capacity in order to achieve these targets – often by creating the infrastructure themselves. Launched in 2009 by His Majesty the King Mohammed VI under OCP’s large-scale strategic projects, The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is a future world-class university located in the Green City of Ben Guerir, offering an exceptional way of life in an ecosystem of knowledge. The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, which is at the heart of this new Green City, will play a major role in the national industrial emergence initiative due to its educational programs, and contribution to research and development through its industry oriented scientific research center, and start-up incubator. Together with the Green City, they offer a model where knowledge, innovation, entrepreneurship, and environmental best-practices are at the heart of the city’s values, set to promote urban, economic, and social development.


Exploring Diverse Leadership Styles: Strategies for Maximizing your Impact, Career Growth, and Networking

Effective global leadership in today’s world requires a keen sense of one’s own leadership style and strengths, and the know-how to navigate and innovate in the face of unexpected challenges. Some of these challenges are embedded in the ability to adapt leadership styles to include diverse and inclusive issues, while maintaining professional and personal objectives, and circumventing unconscious biases. The ability to go beyond these barriers and work across sectors, countries, and nationalities is key to maximizing leadership impact, career growth, and networking abilities.

This simulation aims at exploring and employing different expertise and tools to address various matters such as gender, disability, religion, education, LGBTQ, race/ethnicity, and nationalism – all issues of diversity and inclusion found across the Atlantic. Drawing on the Emerging Leaders’ diverse set of experiences and backgrounds, this session will facilitate learning and professional development through group exercises.


Design Thinking: Innovation Ecosystems Across the Atlantic

When design principles are applied to strategy and innovation, the success rate for innovation dramatically improves. Design-led private sector organizations such as Apple, IBM, and Nike, have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past 10 years by an extraordinary 219 percent, according to a 2014 assessment by the Design Management Institute. Design thinking is at the core of effective strategy development and organizational change. It has also been used to address one of the most pressing issues of our time, achieving sustainable growth. Whether they are public sector operators, business leaders, or academics, growth – in the broad term- has become one of the priorities.

Global economies are grasping for new ways to operate more inclusively, create jobs, raise productivity, and elevate standards of living. But why do certain communities like Silicon Valley generate so much wealth continually over time, while other places—even those with talented people, capital resources, valuable assets, and free markets—languish?

To attempt to provide an answer to this complex issue, experts have observed an emerging model of economic thinking characterized by the following five features of human interaction: social networks, teams, trust, identity, and environmental conditions. This workshop will aim to explore the implications of an ecosystem-based approach for leaders to design sustainable projects, and to value a new economic framework—one that respects the role of individuals and their interactions with one another in shaping their ecosystems.

Guiding questions:

  • How can policymakers focus less on controlling economic assets and think more about how to design systems that foster valuable interactions among its actors?
  • How can leaders engineer serendipity and nurture more connectivity and diversity to achieve sustainable growth?
  • How can leaders foster trust across social barriers, particularly those that inhibit cooperation?

Exploring the South Atlantic’s Potential: Climbing the Global Economic Ladder

The financial and economic crisis that unfolded across the globe after the 2008 sub- prime meltdown was not just another cyclical bump in the conquering advance of modern capitalism. It was — and still is — a symptom of the exhausted 20th-century way of envisioning the best path to economic growth, consumer satisfaction, and efficient production of goods. The other, and crucial, part is the ongoing technological revolution and its impact on manufacturing processes, the organization of production value chains, and on consumption itself. The analogic mechanical conveyor-belt, so prevalent during the last century, is rapidly being superseded by a new digital computational conveyor-belt. The consequences will be huge for the world’s geographic distribution of economic activity as well as for the authority and perquisites of nation-states and governments. The new digital industrial economy will entail a new distribution of wealth and power around the world. Disruptions will indeed be pervasive. The new technological dynamics are already leading to profound changes regarding the beneficiaries of corporate, social, political, and geographical value- added. Countries from the South Atlantic will have to seize this opportunity to climb the global economic ladder and reposition themselves on global value chains.


Evening Conversation: Thinking through the Unthinkable

From the financial crisis of 2008 to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, an unprecedented amount of crises and unforeseen events have erupted in recent years around the world. These events leave us wondering how and why the experts seating at the highest levels of corporate and public service did not anticipate important events shaping the world’s order. The proliferation of these ‘unthinkable’ events has exposed the vulnerabilities of our leaders when it comes to identifying and handling unprecedented situations.

It isn’t due to a decrease in the quality or skills of the people that govern us; rather it is deeply connected to the dramatic acceleration of the pace of changes around the world. In the disruptive age of digital public empowerment, big data, and metadata, leadership has failed to engage these issues in time to find the right answers and solutions.

Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon conducted a series of interviews with 60 of the highest level leaders and their advisers from business and finance, government, the military, and the humanitarian sector, as well as members of the coming generation of leaders, the millennials. The result of these interviews is the report ‘Thinking the Unthinkable: a new imperative for leadership in the digital age’ that tries to find the reasons behind the incapacity of our leaders to address and foresee crises in our time.

Guiding questions:

  • Why are ”unthinkables” not thought about?
  • What are the realities of the new digital public information space?
  • Can new adaptability, mindsets, flexibility, and confidence be created?
  • Scoping the new normative: is it even possible?
  • Are today’s leaders adapting and responding to the challenge?

Breakfast Conversation: Narrating Career Paths: Lessons from Journalistic Storytelling 

Many business, government, and not-for-profit leaders struggle with storytelling. When it’s time to communicate a quarterly report, a drop in revenue or an organizational re-positioning, they freeze. How to tell the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” when communicating to internal and external audiences is not a necessary, skilled craft mastered by many business professionals. Yet the story told will be judged, quoted, and everlasting —especially in the age of social media. But this skill is not only important organizationally. Storytelling when it comes to one’s personal brand is just as important. What is your story? Did you write it yet? Strangely, few of the smartest people do the obvious: write their own story, on their terms. Marketing departments and agencies painstakingly craft a brand story to create an emotional connection between the customer and organization. Yet still, the story lines are confusing. As a network journalist and storyteller for the nation’s leading broadcast companies and as a seasoned voice in business marketing, Richard Lui sits at a nexus of storytelling. Lui explains how to tell stories that deliver impact and emotion, that are practical, relatable, and perhaps most importantly – effective and repeatable.


Bridging the Generational Divide featuring Emerging Leaders Alumni

The road to development takes different paths and is at the heart of the policies of developing countries. This session aims to explore the various aspects of this challenge, and through the voices of our Emerging Leaders Alumni, look at the input that each sector can bring to the table. Having all addressed the issue of development through different mechanisms, they will share their respective expertise and panel a discussion on this topic. With diverse professional backgrounds (private sector, public sector, entrepreneurship, academia), the EL Alumni will be able to provide a complete overview of the role that the leaders of tomorrow can play to shape the development strategies of developing countries.


The Role of a New Generation: Leadership and Governance across the Atlantic

The current political developments around the world have led to the questioning of the contemporary political status quo. Globalization and the ongoing technological revolution have created social and political cleavages that have divided countries on many issues. Age has shown to be a key factor when casting votes in recent significant political events such as Brexit or the U.S. presidential election, illustrating a mutual lack of understanding between young people and the political establishment. Nevertheless, political systems are experiencing changes around the world as people seek for better governance. At the heart of these changes should be a new generation of young initiative-risk takers, problem solvers, and innovators that will challenge the existing frameworks and carry energizing visions. The Emerging Leaders will discuss the issues of governance and leadership across the Atlantic Ocean, emphasizing the potential role that youth should be playing in shaping global agendas with a prominent leader and active citizen.

Guiding Questions

– How to cultivate transformational leadership and impact mindsets while driving long lasting change and impacting governance processes?

– What role can youth play in influencing policymakers and decision-makers at the national and international levels?

– What are the policies that need to be implemented to fully support youth empowerment?