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Leadership: Courage Required

Call for Proposals Opens: 15 November 2018

We live in a time of turmoil, beset by pressing issues and calamities both large and small. While courage has always been an essential element of effective leadership, what is different now is our heightened awareness of what’s at stake and our increased recognition of the potential costs of courageousness to leaders and followers. The future requires nothing less than leaders and followers at all levels and in all locations acting courageously in their lives, in their communities, and in their organizations.

Of course, the specifics of what courage means and what it means to be courageous, are different for each of us. Our understanding of courageousness depends on our background and experience; on our gender and age; on our race, ethnicity, and culture; and on our relationship to power. However we understand or define courage, how do we answer its call? How do we move beyond and embrace the inherent difficulties and fear that accompany change? How do we nurture the spirit of adventure and the moral compass residing inside each of us? How do we support and encourage courageousness in all of us?

No matter what your pathway is, no matter what your work, courage comes into play.  It takes courage to be a leader acting out in front and it takes courage to be a follower acting with integrity and holding leaders accountable. It takes courage to be innovative, to assess the effectiveness of one’s work and research, and to discuss what went right and what went wrong. It takes courage to be a mentor, a teacher, and a student.

We are delighted to invite you to Ottawa for this important exploration. Ottawa is particularly well-suited for a conversation that evokes many different perspectives. As the capital city of Canada, it has both a national and international perspective. Its name comes from the Algonquin word “adawe” (to trade) – which speaks to both Ottawa’s indigenous heritage and its history as an important business center. It has the most educated population among Canadian cities and is home to a number of post-secondary, research, and cultural institutions, as well as numerous national museums. Nearly half of its population is under the age of 35, making it a vibrant city focused on the future. It also sits at the confluence of three major rivers: the Ottawa River, the Gatineau River, and the Rideau – metaphorically representing the many streams of the ILA community working together at the intersections of leadership and practice to make a difference.

The International Leadership Association calls for contributors to submit courageous proposals to its 21st Annual Global Conference to be held in Ottawa, Canada, 24-27 October 2019. The ILA invites you to propose panels, presentations, poster sessions, roundtables, symposia, and workshops, that are interdisciplinary, that are multi-sector, that transcend national and cultural barriers, that explore new theories and innovative practices, and that take advantage of knowledge and traditions from other disciplines and groups.

Join us for this important dialogue. Submit your presentation proposals by 1 February 2019 to further our understanding and support of Leadership: Courage Required. The call for proposals system opens 15 November 2018 at

Daina Mazutis, 2019 Conference Convener; Endowed Professor of Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability (ERS), Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa

Glen Orsak, 2019 Conference Convener; Director, Telfer Executive Programs, Telfer Center for Executive Leadership, University of Ottawa

Ingrid Richter, 2019 Conference Convener; Executive in Residence, Telfer Center for Executive Leadership, University of Ottawa