2016 Plenaries

Plenaries at ILA conferences offer a first-hand opportunity to hear the leadership perspective of prominent scholars and practitioners and learn how their approach can be integrated into your own work. The speakers themselves have contributed significantly to the field through their work and exemplary leadership. The plenaries at ILA 2016 Atlanta will be no different.



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Ajay Bramdeo
African Union
Ambassador to the
European Union

Keynote Address

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Ron Heifetz
Harvard Kennedy
School

Keynote Address

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Gill Robinson Hickman
Jepson School of Leadership Studies

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
     

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Derreck Kayongo
Center for Civil and Human Rights

Conf. Welcome & Keynote Address

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George A. Papandreou
Former Prime Minister of Greece (2009-2011)

Keynote Address

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Barbara Kellerman
Harvard Kennedy School

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient


Derreck Kayongo
Center for Civil and Human Rights
November 2 | 17:00 - 17:30
Conference Welcome & Keynote Address


The ILA is pleased to announce that Derreck Kayongo, CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta will be helping to open ILA’s 18th Annual Global Conference in Atlanta this November by welcoming delegates to our historic conference locale. After the opening plenary, Kayongo will lead the march to the Center for Civil and Human Rights a few blocks away, where the conference’s opening reception will take place. 

Derreck Kayongo is a well-known speaker on the subject of Inclusive Leadership, the theme of this year’s annual conference. In his role as CEO of the Center, Kayongo speaks and acts on broader issues that affect the economic and physical health of diverse communities. In May of this year, former President Jimmy Carter interviewed Kayongo on “Citizen Participation in the Political Process for Change,” as part of the National Archive’s series of National Conversations on #RightsAndJustice, which is part of their Amending America Initiative.

Kayongo was born in Uganda under Idi Amin’s brutal regime, became a refugee in Kenya, and then immigrated to the United States. 

Inspired by his experiences as a refugee, Kayongo founded the Global Soap Project, an organization that collects discarded soap from hotels, reprocesses it, and distributes it to vulnerable populations worldwide. This simple idea fights the #1 killer of children in many at-risk communities: hygiene-related disease. In 2011, Karyongo was named a CNN Hero for his life-changing idea. View his TEDx talk, “Simple Solutions for Colossal Problems,” to learn more of his life story and the Global Soap Project. 

Kayongo holds an honorary doctorate from Oglethorpe University and is a graduate of the prestigious Fletcher school of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. 

 

Ajay Bramdeo
African Union Ambassador to the European Union
November 3 | 9:00 - 10:15
Keynote Address


Ajay Bramdeo is the African Union Ambassador to the European Union. Hailing from Durban, South Africa, Bramdeo was active in student politics, community organizing, and — as a founding member of the Durban Branch of the Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO) — the struggle to end apartheid. He spent the early part of his career teaching secondary school before joining the South African diplomatic corps in 1995. Over the past 21 years he has served in South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation working to bring African solutions to the challenges of inclusive economic development and the creation of democratic governance. His roles included, among others, Counsellor at the South African embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, High Commissioner to the Republic of Seychelles, and leader of the Southern African Development Community Election Observer Mission in 2005 to Mauritius. In his current position as the AU Ambassador to the EU, Bramdeo is working to overcome the historical legacy of relations between Africa and Europe in order to establish more mutually beneficial exchanges between the two continents, particularly, in recent years, in terms of migration. He is also engaged in ensuring that Africa's voice carries weight within larger global systems of governance such as the United Nations and global conversations around peace and security.

 

Gill Robinson Hickman
Jepson School of Leadership Studies
November 3 | 9:00 - 10:15  
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient


Compelling common purpose. These three words are at the core of Gill Robinson Hickman's institution building work in leadership studies, her life, and her research. As one of the inaugural faculty members of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, one of the first institutions in the world with a multidisciplinary faculty devoted to the study of leadership, Hickman joined forces with her colleague to build a leadership studies program from the ground up. A former higher education administrator and professor of public administration, Hickman's background was ideally suited to the early work of structuring Jepson's overall program. At the more granular level, Hickman and her colleagues not only created syllabi, lessons, and lectures from scratch, they had to write the textbooks they needed to teach their courses. Hickman's own publications, Leading Organizations: Perspectives for a New Era and Leading Change in Multiple Contexts, have since become standards in a field that has experienced incredible growth since those first Jepson faculty gathered with their compelling common purpose more than 20 years ago.

Jepson was not the first place Hickman experienced a compelling common purpose. Growing up Black in Birmingham, Alabama during the Civil Rights era, Hickman experienced the power of people coming together in common cause to advance the work of change. She witnessed the fruitful outcomes of people of all ages voluntarily giving of themselves to challenge the entrenched system of segregation. Hickman credits this experience with fueling her lifelong passion for collective work and co-creative partnerships. Building from practice into theory, her writing and research into the relationship between leaders and followers in organizations is infused with this idea. Hickman's recent co-creative, co-authored book with Georgia Sorenson, Invisible Leadership, fleshes out this theory and argues that dedication to compelling common purpose or "the charisma of purpose" is the motivating force in leadership. Retired from Jepson, Hickman's work continues to examine the interplay between purpose and leadership.

 

Ron Heifetz
Harvard Kennedy School
November 4 | 9:00- 10:15
Keynote Address


The ILA is pleased to announce that Ron Heifetz will be keynoting the 18th annual conference, The Dynamics of Inclusive Leadership in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. this November. A long-time supporter of the ILA, it is fitting that Heifetz, who served on ILA's first advisory board and who gave a plenary at our first annual global conference in Atlanta in 1999, will take up the mantle of keynote speaker as the association returns to the city.

In his recent foreword to Leadership 2050 (a volume in ILA's Building Leadership Bridges series, Emerald Publishing, 2015), Heifetz writes that as we face the demands of our world over the next 35 years, "[W]e need a theory and practice of leadership available to citizens from all walks of life. We need to educate children and adults to see that leadership as a practice is available to them simply because they care and engage, regardless of their social dominance or authority." Bringing this and other aspects of his work to bear, Heifetz will give an engaging talk around the theme of inclusive leadership.

His best-selling Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading, and The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World are go-to guides for organizations and societies looking to build their adaptive leadership capacity — something that extends into his work as a consultant and co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates. Leadership Without Easy Answers, his first book, is widely used in introductory leadership classrooms and Heifetz's own courses at Harvard Kennedy School, where he is King Hussein Bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership and Founder of the Center for Public Leadership, are so inspiring that his methods were captured in the book Leadership Can Be Taught.

 

Barbara Kellerman
Harvard Kennedy School
November 4 | 9:00 - 10:15   
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient


Barbara Kellerman is a quintessential scholar of leadership. Approaching leadership from multiple disciplines, she delights in poking and prodding to see what turns up and then synthesizing her observations and analyses into books filled with big ideas discussing overarching, sweeping trends in leadership and followership. Throughout her career her books have challenged existing orthodoxies and created new contours to guide the field forward. She wrote Bad Leadership when books promoting good leadership were de rigueur. Women & Leadership challenged male-normed leadership models. Leadership argued for and presented a canon of leadership literature going back several thousand years and the End of Leadership provided an insightful critique of the leadership industry. Her recent fashioning of leadership as an interconnected triangular system of context, followers, and leaders is explored in Followership and Hard Times.

Kellerman, who frequently earns titles like "Top 50 Business Thinkers" (Forbes.com) or "World's Top 30 Management Professionals" (Ranked 13th by Global Gurus), is a sought after speaker around the world. In addition to writing her own leadership blog, Kellerman is a regular contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and the Harvard Business Review and she frequently appears on the BBC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and NPR.

Inspired and encouraged early in her career by another quintessential scholar of leadership, James MacGregor Burns, it is apropos that she holds the position of James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School where she is also the Founding Executive Director of the School's Center for Public Leadership. Prior to her work at Harvard, Kellerman held many academic appointments including Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Leadership at the University of Maryland's James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, where, in a monumental act of imagination mirroring her books, she cofounded the International Leadership Association.

 

George A. Papandreou
Former Prime Minister of Greece (2009-2011)
November 5 | 11:45 - 13:00
Keynote Address


As Prime Minister of Greece from 2009 to 2011, George A. Papandreou understands leading in turbulent times. A public servant for many years, he served, among other posts, as Minister for National Education and Religious Affairs and as Minister of Foreign Affairs before following in his father and grandfather's footsteps to become Greece's Prime Minister. His election to office after the devastation of the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 came with a mandate to increase transparency and reduce corruption in Greece's government while humanizing globalization and its economic effects on Greek citizens. Challenged by time and global financial markets, he made the difficult decision to implement austerity programs and cuts that appeased the Eurozone and the pressures of the global economy. For his work in 2010 of "making the best of Greece's worst year," Foreign Policy Magazine named him a Top 100 Global Thinker. His experiences on the front lines of the Eurozone crisis provide an important lens for understanding Europe today and the continuing struggle, globally, to build inclusive, humane economies. As President of the Socialist International, a worldwide organization of progressive political parties, Papandreou continues to work on globalizing democratic institutions to meet the global economic challenges and challenges of the imagination that impede a fairer, more just world.