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How can universities develop leaders for social change?

As part of its Transformative Leadership series published in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, University World News is joining DrEducation to host a free international webinar on 8 February 2017 at 9am New York time, 2pm London time and 4pm Johannesburg time.

The debate topic is “Are universities crucibles of transformative leadership?”.

Transformative leadership is broadly defined as a process of generating positive and lasting change. What would our university campuses look like if the transformative leadership were to become core fabric of the student life? How do we infuse transformative leadership into academic programmes and campus experiences? How do we measure and assess its impact on individuals, universities and societies?

What is the role of university administrators and academics in modelling or leading the change we would like to see in our students and societies? Are universities willing and ready to bring a positive and lasting change as the crucibles of fostering transformative leadership skills within students?

There is a rich line-up of international speakers including two TED Fellows who are playing a leading role in preparing the next generation of African leaders, the former head of Oxfam GB who is president of an all-women Cambridge college, and a Kenyan-born MasterCard Foundation Scholar studying in Costa Rica who has founded a project to help pastoralists in northern Kenya.

Moderator: Dr Rahul Choudaha

The webinar will be moderated by Dr Rahul Choudaha, principal researcher and CEO of DrEducation, a global higher education research and consulting firm. As a social entrepreneur, he co-founded interEDGE.org, an online platform focused on international student success. He holds a doctorate in higher education from the University of Denver in the United States and moderated our first two webinars, which attracted more than 1,800 registered participants between them.

Speaker: Patrick Awuah

After working at Microsoft for almost a decade, Patrick Awuah returned home to Ghana and co-founded Ashesi University, a small liberal arts college that aims to educate Africa's next generation of leaders. A private, not-for-profit institution in Ghana specialising in economics and computer science, its first class of students graduated in 2006. Awuah, who has a BA in engineering and economics from Swarthmore College and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley in the United States, is a TED Fellow.

In 2004 Swarthmore College awarded Awuah an honorary doctorate in recognition of his leadership in African higher education. He was also nominated a Young Global Leader 2007 by the World Economic Forum, and was awarded membership of the Order of the Volta by President John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana.

He is a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative, a member of the United States Council on Foreign Relations, and the United States Tau Beta Pi honor society for excellence in engineering. In 2015 he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation ‘genius grant’ for his work at Ashesi in trying to develop Africa’s next generation of leaders.

Speaker: Lucia Lebasha

Lucia Lebasha is a Kenyan MasterCard Foundation Scholar and a student at EARTH University in Costa Rica, where she studies a licenciatura degree in agriculture, equivalent to a BSc(Agriculture).

Moved by the effects of hunger in Kenya’s northern regions she obtained a greater passion for agriculture, especially for the arid and semi-arid lands. She is focused on using the knowledge she learned at the university to transform these areas. She strongly believes in the possibility of farming in northern Kenya and expresses her thoughts and opinions through writing of blogs and by writing in two local monthly newsletters in Kenya.

Lebasha is the finance manager and co-founder of JUSE, a company at EARTH University which is dedicated to agro-tourism and offers educational workshops on agriculture and animal production to both local Costa Ricans and also international visitors.

She also is the founder of Save The Pastoralist Initiative which is aimed at improving the lives of the pastoral communities of northern Kenya through merging of the pastoral way of life with arid agriculture, with an aim of enhancing food production in these areas and reducing deaths due to hunger and malnutrition. She will be graduating in December this year.

Speaker: Dame Barbara Stocking

Dame Barbara Stocking was elected as president of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom – an all-women’s college dedicated to producing outstanding, independent-minded women from all backgrounds – in 2013. Previously she led Oxfam GB as chief executive for 12 years, the first woman to lead the charity, one of the UK's most successful and best known international development organisations.

During her time at Oxfam revenue doubled from £187.3 million (US$230 million) to £385.5 million (US$474 million). She led Oxfam’s campaign on Make Poverty History, which achieved significant debt relief for some poor countries, and more recently their work on climate change and the GROW campaign on food justice in a resource constrained world.

Dame Barbara spoke regularly at major global meetings. In 2008 she was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British. A graduate in natural sciences from Cambridge University, she was previously honoured in 2000 for her work for the National Health Service.

Speaker: Fred Swaniker

Fred Swaniker is founder of the African Leadership Academy. The full-time residential co-educational boarding school based in South Africa teaches leadership and entrepreneurial skills to outstanding students from across Africa while preparing them for universities around the world.

Approximately 80% of graduates from the Academy attend top universities in the USA such as Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Cornell University, Princeton University, University of Notre Dame and the University of Rochester. By 2017, almost 1,000 future leaders had joined the ranks of the Academy. For most students, tuition is waived, provided they promise to return to Africa after graduating from college.

He has extended his vision to create a network of 25 African universities to groom three million leaders by 2060. The first two campuses have opened in Rwanda and Mauritius.

Swaniker’s work as an educational entrepreneur has been praised by former US president Barack Obama. He has been recognised as a TED Fellow (2009) and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2012). Swaniker has an MBA from Stanford University in the United States.

To register for participation click here.
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