Spotlight Session

All spotlight sessions are included in registration and are part of a program of 400+ presentations, panels, roundtables, and workshops offered at the conference.

What Is Generating the Shift Toward Authoritarian Leadership — and What Can We Do About It?

MONDAY, 9 NOVEMBER, 13:15 to 14:30 EST

In many parts of the world, the last decade has seen the rise of leaders with a strong authoritarian style backed up by the divisive, anti-pluralist policies and propaganda that are straight out of the authoritarian playbook. The panel will discuss the appeal of authoritarianism, the economic forces contributing to its rise, new frameworks for thinking about authority in society, and the importance of alternative ways of being, relating, and thinking. It brings together four scholar practitioners who each approach authoritarian leadership and its prevention from a different perspective.

Max Klau

Session Chair
New Politics Leadership Academy

Kerubo Abuya

Empower Change Leadership Circle, LLC

Riane Eisler

Center for Partnership Studies

Alfonso Montuori

California Institute of Integral Studies

David Peter Stroh 

Bridgeway Partners

  • Max Klau is the Chief Program Officer at the New Politics Leadership Academy, a non-partisan non-profit that is dedicated to recruiting and developing military veterans and alumni of national service programs to seek political office. Before stepping into this role, he was the Vice President of Leadership Development at City Year, Inc., the national service program headquartered in Boston. Max received his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is the author of Race & Social Change: A Quest, A Study, A Call to Action
  • Kerubo Abuya, PhD, is Principal with Empower Change Leadership Circle, LLC. She is an organizational, leadership, change and transformation scholar-practitioner. As a social scientist, educator and activist-scholar, she utilizes transformative pedagogies and interventions to develop or enhance leaders’ capacity to lead transformative social systems change and cultural transformation. She has published some articles in scholarly journals and blogs, and is working on a book project based on her dissertation's participatory action research, which entailed developing and utilizing a transformative change leadership development framework to enhance women's capacity to lead transformative change for the advancement of their human rights. She is also a consultant, coach, and volunteers at the Tabaka Ward Uongozi Wa Utu community based organization in Kenya and the Federation of Women’s Groups, where she serves as Programme Director and Principal Researcher. She earned a PhD in Organizational Systems (Organizational Leadership & Transformation) from Saybrook University.
  • Riane Eisler is President of the Center for Partnership Studies (CPS), Editor-in-Chief of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, and author of The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future; Sacred Pleasure, Tomorrow’s Children; The Power of Partnership; and The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics. Her most recent book is Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future. She has authored over 500 articles for outlets including The Christian Science Monitor, Human Rights Quarterly, and International Journal of Women's Studies.
  • Alfonso Montuori has been researching authoritarianism for over 30 years, in politics, organizations, and in its psychological dimensions, and most notably in the ways it can be counteracted by creativity. He is a Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he teaches in the Master’s degree in transformative leadership and the transdisciplinary Ph.D. He has published numerous books and articles in well-known scholarly journals. Montuori is also a consultant and has worked as a coach with corporations as well as artists for the last 25 years.
  • David Peter Stroh is a Principal with Bridgeway Partners, the author of the book Systems Thinking for Social Change, and was one of the founding partners of Innovation Associates, the consulting firm whose work formed the basis for fellow co-founder Peter Senge’s management classic The Fifth Discipline. The focus of his consulting is on enabling leaders to apply systems thinking to achieve breakthroughs around chronic, complex problems and to develop strategies which improve system-wide performance over time.

Thank You for Sponsoring!

Builder Sponsors

Antioch University – Graduate School of Leadership and Change 

Aperian Global 

Indiana Tech, Ph.D. in Global Leadership

Friend Sponsors

Emerald Group Publishing

Alliant International University

Book Launchers

College of Education at Seattle University

Ivey Publishing

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