leadership program
The Path to Engaged Leadership
The Foundation’s Leadership Curriculum is designed to support a new generation of Scholars who not only excel as thinkers and researchers, but who have the potential to become inspired agents and catalysts for positive change in society. The Foundation’s Leadership Program enriches the academic experience by preparing and empowering Scholars as Engaged Leaders who will have meaningful impact in their institutions and communities.

Our Leadership Program proposes a path to community engagement by exposing Scholars to challenging debates, and a diversity of perspectives, and by moving outside their traditional comfort zone through engagement with self, others, systems, and the environment.
The program builds on the following components and objectives:

Engagement: To support a cohort of Scholars to engage in and interact with the increasingly complex social, cultural, economic and political environment in which they operate, including by engaging with a plurality of perspectives

Skills: To equip Scholars with a set of leadership skills and competencies that expand their ways of knowing, being and doing

Network: To facilitate the development of Scholars’ networks across the private, public and social sectors that will enable them to excel as engaged civic leaders
We need engaged leadership that is committed to connecting with diverse talent and communities, capable of thinking beyond tired clichés, adept at envisioning alternative possibilities, and able to design and advance strategies and policies for more equitable and sustainable futures.

Malinda Smith

2018 Fellow
Building Brave Spaces: The Path to Engaged Leadership

The Foundation believes that exposure to diversity brings excellence by broadening one’s understanding of the world and encouraging dialogue and engagement across difference.

The Foundation believes that exposure to diversity brings excellence by broadening one’s understanding of the world and encouraging dialogue and engagement across difference. The ability to relate across difference, to cultivate diverse networks, and to establish respectful relations within different environments is essential to Engaged Leadership. 

To successfully address Canada’s social, political, cultural, health, economic and environmental issues, and build a more prosperous, harmonious, and sustainable co-existence, leaders must work in an environment marked by a plurality of perspectives.  

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s desire to develop Engaged Leaders reflects a 21st-century vision of leadership that expands radical curiosity about people and ideas and encourages a willingness to be challenged and take risks while learning how to collaborate across a plurality of perspectives.  

The Foundation’s unique Leadership Curriculum seeks to build on Scholars’ existing skills and strengths by offering opportunities that are stimulating, challenging, and purposefully move outside of one’s traditional comfort zone. This approach presumes all Scholars have room to grow as leaders, and is centered on building healthy relationships with self, others, society, and the natural world, in the pursuit of imagining shared futures, including with those who hold opinions and goals you may not necessarily espouse. 

Six key leadership concepts

The Engaged Leadership program is anchored to six key leadership concepts:   

The Engaged Leadership program is anchored to six key leadership concepts:   

  1. Audacity & Resilience: developing abilities to take risks, to go beyond one’s comfort zone, to manage fear and failure   

  1. Communication & Knowledge-Sharing: learning strategies for effective communication with diverse audiences   

  1. Creativity & Innovation: exploring creative practices and ways to foster individual and collective innovation; engaging in creative ways of disseminating ideas   

  1. Diversity: fostering radical curiosity about diverse people and ideas, and the ability to engage respectfully across difference, including with those who hold different opinions and ideologies  

  1. Collaboration: strengthening the capacity for effective collaboration with others across disciplines and sectors  

  1. Duty of Service: acting in service to the community and enacting values in the public sphere.  

The Leadership Journey of the Scholar

By fostering these key competencies and values, the program seeks to develop three dimensions of Scholars’ leadership:   

By fostering these key competencies and values, the program seeks to develop three dimensions of Scholars’ leadership:   

  • Leadership of Self: self-awareness, self-management, and self-development, and the way these principles relate to one another   

  • Leadership Among Others: abilities to work effectively with others toward shared aims, to influence others, and to create with others  

  • Leadership of Systems: systems thinking and insight, capacity to navigate and act within complex systems, and cultivating networks and allies to influence public policy  

In addition to content focusing specifically on leadership, Scholars will benefit from learning content on the cyclically designated Scientific Theme.   

Learning formats

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s Engaged Leadership program embraces a holistic approach to learning. 

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s Engaged Leadership program embraces a holistic approach to learning. The leadership development of Scholars is supported by Fellows and Mentors and relies on various learning formats. These include, but are not limited to:  

  • Facilitated workshops  

  • On-site visits  

  • Scientific discussions   

  • One-on-one coaching  

  • Personal assessments  

Scientific Cycles 

The Foundation’s Leadership Development Program builds on Scientific Cycles.

Scientific Cycles 

  • The Foundation’s Leadership Development Program builds on Scientific Cycles. Hence, the three-year leadership journey of each cohort of Scholars is contextualized by a scientific theme that has interdisciplinary dimensions and reflects a timely and significant set of issues for the future of Canada and the world. The scientific theme is not a substitute for the Foundation’s Four Themes; rather, it provides the lens through which these four fundamental themes will continue to be explored. 

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