University of Cambridge and ILA Conference in Brussels

A blog post from SOLES PhD in Leadership Studies Ambassador, Ryosuke (Reo) Watanabe

We are finishing the semester now. In retrospect, the highlight of this semester was
LEAD 581i, a global study course to the UK and Belgium. I attended the European trip
led by Professor Cheryl Getz with other ten PhD and Master’s students in October.
Thanks to the long-term relationship between Professor Getz and Professor Georgia
Sorenson, the founder of the academy, we were fortunate to attend the opening event of
the James McGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at Churchill College in University of
Cambridge. The academy organized a weekend leadership workshop especially for us.
We had a great opportunity to learn leadership from the British perspective and discuss
the current issues on leadership with various scholars and the students at University of
Cambridge. We then attended the opening ceremony of the academy with other
outstanding scholars and practitioners of leadership studies gathered from around the
world. Burns is called a founder of leadership studies, and his transformational
leadership theory has made a huge influence on leadership studies, so I was personally
excited to attend the special event.

After the visit to Cambridge, we moved to Brussels to attend the International
Leadership Association (ILA) 19 th Annual Global Conference. There, we as leadership
scholars shared the sense of urgency, because the current world is full of leadership
challenges. The growing global instability was a frequent topic in the conference. As
there were so many sessions during just the four-day period, I was able to experience
only a slight part of it, but was surprised to know that many scholars respected and
referred our Leadership Studies program as the pioneering program in the field. I
appreciate the irreplaceable opportunity of networking with scholars outside SOLES and
learning leadership studies from diversified views.

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