HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, consultant to the British Royal Family, and Sylvanus Vortia, doctor and entrepreneur, head MCI symposium and promote courage, creativity and functioning networks as a basis for successful projects in the nonprofit and health sector.
The MCI Department of Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management recently hosted a three-day symposium on the topic of leadership, providing its Bachelor’s students with insights into international leadership expertise. The focus was on the exchange with graduates and stakeholders as well as the exciting keynotes of Helen Nellis and Sylvanus Vortia, who also moderated the event. Expert talks, panel discussions, interviews with alumni and experts offered the students a platform for exchange and inspiration for their Bachelor’s theses. In addition, the third day of the event even included a yoga session, providing the participants with renewed energy to focus on the last day of the symposium.
Helen Nellis, internationally renowned leader, personnel consultant and executive coach in the nonprofit and health sector, chaired the symposium for the second time. In 2012, Nellis was appointed by HM The Queen as Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and, thus, became the first woman to hold this position in her county in over 500 years. By appointing Nellis as her representative, the Queen honored her extraordinary international career, considerable expertise and passionate work for the British and international health and education systems, as well as her 35 years of privately funded services in Ghana.
Nellis’ extensive work in Ghana also made it possible to have another leadership expert on board as co-host for this year’s symposium: Sylvanus Vortia. Vortia grew up in poor conditions in Ghana, but managed to become a successful dentist and entrepreneur. He owes this to his exceptional entrepreneurial thinking and behavior, as well as his family’s special relationship with the United Kingdom and, in particular, the Nellis family. As CEO of the software company Axon Information Systems, Sylvanus Vortia strives to close the gap between different cultures and business traditions. He also seizes every opportunity to improve the social and economic conditions in his home country.
The motto of the three-day summer symposium was “Leadership in the nonprofit, social and health sector”. In their opening speeches, both hosts emphasized that leadership, or the leading of people, had a lot to do with relationship work and teamwork and that good leaders should try to attract the right kind of people for their company. They reminded their audience that even in a leadership position you never stopped learning: “Observe, listen and learn from your colleagues!”
“Helen Nellis’ comprehensive understanding of leadership in politics, business and society, but also Sylvanus Vortia’s very special approach to leadership in Ghana impressed the students and all other participants,” emphasized Head of Department Siegfried Walch, who organized the symposium together with his team.