The CELA Summer Leadership Workshop
At the heart of the program is the flagship event of the CELA calendar: the annual 11-day leadership Academy held every July in Istanbul. About forty participants, four from each country, are invited annually on the basis of a competitive application process, working in diverse fields of government, business, media, NGOs and civil society. There is an innovative, culturally diverse curriculum taught by almost two dozen multinational faculty and facilitators and a roster of internationally renowned speakers. There are hours of intensive breakout sessions where small groups of participants and facilitators dig into the details of leadership and jointly explore similarities and differences in approaches. Held at Koç University in Istanbul, one of Turkey’s premier institutions of learning, with a campus overlooking the Bosporus and Black Sea, CELA’s leadership Academy assembles a wealth of talent from Central Eurasia that continually inspires enthusiasm and optimism for the region’s future.
The CELA leadership Academy agendas are designed by Faculty Director Bill Starnes (formerly a Partner, Trammell Crow International).
While some of the topics covered in the CELA program may appear familiar, the CELA Leadership Academy is unique in the way that these topics are presented and integrated with other elements of the program. As befits a regional initiative, there is a focus on cross-cultural communication and leadership styles. You will have the opportunity to practice what you have learned about yourself and how you interact with others through a series of role playing exercises, simulations, case studies and team presentations.
A key part of the Academy curriculum are the learning groups. Material may be introduced in structured modules in plenary session, but no module may be said to be complete until its material has been thoroughly discussed and tested by participants in small breakout groups overseen by facilitators. The groups allow participants to talk and interact more meaningfully with one another: for it is one of the axioms of CELA that some of the most valuable teaching the course can offer will result from participants learning from one another.
Leadership is about meeting challenges in the real world – and no amount of instruction can fully capture the myriad problems real leaders face. So CELA invites internationally renowned leaders to discuss challenges they have faced in their own careers and debate their choices with the participants. Speakers are as diverse as Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, Bill Dearstyne Senior VP of Johnson and Johnson and Ahmet Bozer, now Senior VP of International for Coca-Cola. These sessions, coupled with the deep interaction with facilitators and faculty give the participants a safe environment to discuss their lives, challenges and try out new skills and thinking.
All participants, faculty and facilitators live together in the dorms at Koç University, and share the same cafeteria, lounge and recreational facilities as peers. This 24/7 interaction allows everyone to become comfortable and develop the close friendships and trust necessary for long-lasting.