Skills-Building Workshops


The 2018 Summit featured a series of Skills-Building Workshops, which aimed to expand Fellows’ experience with 21st-century skills and approaches through intensive, hands-on sessions led by leaders and innovators in diverse fields.

Workshops focused on enhancing Fellows’ technical skills, relevant no matter which professional track or technical sector they are in, and embraced a blended learning approach that combined substantive presentation and information sharing with participatory components. Facilitators were encouraged to share tools that Fellows can access anywhere, which they could bring back to their home institutions to share with colleagues and incorporate into their individual or institutional approaches where relevant.


Workshops and Facilitators

Adaptive Project Management
Ryan LaPrairie, Mission Critical Development

Adaptive Project Management employs real world examples, insights, tools, templates and tips to assist managers and leaders in their daily supervisory work whether managing a program/project or your unit team. This is a participatory course filled with opportunities to apply new learning to overcome challenges and issues in managing successful projects and building successful organizational strategies.


The Art of Public Speaking
John Watkis, Global Public Speaking LLC

Whether you are a leader in government, a business owner, or the head of a civil society organization, public speaking is essential to exercising leadership. Public speaking skills will help you run for office, pitch for funding, or inspire an audience to change the world. In this interactive skill-building session, you will learn immediately applicable techniques to speak with confidence and authenticity and you will be inspired to find your authentic voice and your courage to speak.


Data Visualization
Tanya Sethi and Soren Patterson, AidData

Whether working in the public, private, or non-profit sector, the ability to convert data into insights through creating powerful visuals is invaluable. Through this Data Visualization session, Fellows will learn the varied approaches to visualizing statistical information, from graphs and charts to geo-spatial maps. The session will introduce relationships between different types of data and focus on simple yet effective data visualization techniques in excel. The hands-on session will include exercises for both basic and advanced learners and Fellows will have the opportunity to practice visualizing data using excel or another free online resource (e.g., Tableau Public).


Designing Your Life: Creating Visions of the Future with “Design Thinking”
Eugene Korsunskiy, Dartmouth College

In this interactive, hands-on workshop, Fellows will learn several tools and techniques from the design thinking methodology, focusing specifically on how these methods and exercises apply to personal and professional development of creativity and leadership capacities for change-makers. Fellows will learn how to generate many ideas quickly using the technique of “mind-mapping,” and practice creatively envisioning different life trajectories. This session will draw from the popular “Designing Your Life” course at Stanford University, which Eugene Korsunskiy has co -taught for several years.


Grant Writing
Dr. Jesse Lutabingwa, Appalachian State University

Access to funds and lack of diversification of funding sources are significant challenges to continued professional and organizational growth, as previous Fellows have consistently shared. Strategic and specific grant-writing helps align identified organizational needs and clients/beneficiaries with funding sources, whether foundations, government agencies, corporations, or individuals. Through hands-on activities, this workshop will offer a guide to the technical details of grant-writing. The workshop will also outline the stages of grant-writing and highlight grant-writing best practices. Fellows will be provided a Resource Directory, Funding for Community Development Projects in Africa, compiled by Dr. Jesse Lutabingwa.


Managing Diversity for Better Profits, Better Outcomes
Sheila Scott and Emily Koppelman, IREX

Whether public or private sector, a startup or a non-profit, all organizations can benefit from “diversity dividends” that boost profitability, improve service outcomes, and much more. Join us to explore why incorporating diversity and inclusion is both the right thing and the smart thing for organizations to do. Leave with the knowledge and skills to become a diversity and inclusion (D&I) champion within your own organization, including specific tools to build a more inclusive and high-performing organization.


Understanding Storytelling
Vijai Nathan, Story District

Story District— named the “Gold Standard in Storytelling” by The Washington Post— introduces participants to storytelling techniques that can help them improve internal communications within an organization; foster teamwork and understanding; and create presentations /communications that are authentic, memorable, connect to target audiences, and create buy-in. During this interactive workshop, you will learn why telling a “story” (first-person narrative) is the most effective way to build trust and have your message connect with an audience as well as the elements of a good story and how you can use them to create engaging presentations that inspire your audience to take action. Participants will also discover how to structure a narrative arc and practice sharing stories with peers/the group, and have the opportunity to volunteer to get on-the-spot coaching from the trainers by sharing stories based on personal work experiences.


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