March 07th 2024

Reflections from the impactful 5 workshop: A Journey Towards Responsible Leadership Education

Julia Waldegger shares her insights gained during the two-day workshop in Cologne

Last week, I participated in a two-day workshop in Cologne, dedicated to responsible leadership education. This highly interactive workshop, organized and facilitated by Prof. Tim Breitbarth and Marina Schmitz, deepened my understanding of the philosophical assumptions underpinning responsible leadership education and how to implement the assumptions in teaching practices.

The workshop brought together a diverse group of participants, all reflecting on the philosophical assumptions underlying the Responsible Leadership Education framework. The discussions were rich, challenging, and illuminating, prompting us to examine our own assumptions and consider new perspectives on leadership and education.

The i5 program aims to set a significant global agenda for valuing pedagogical approaches in educating innovative leaders. At a time when the value of pedagogical innovation is often overlooked, the i5 program champions the systemic impact of playful learning in leadership education. By focusing on the development of a holistic skill set encompassing cognitive, emotional, creative, social, and physical skills, the program promises to cultivate future leaders equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern world.

The Impactful Five (i5) program

The i5 program is built on five pillars that are crucial for meaningful learning:

  1. Make Learning Meaningful: By honoring and emphasizing the existing knowledge and experiences of students, the program provokes critical reflection on relevant topics, ensuring that learning is deeply connected to the learners' lives and challenges.
  2. Facilitate Active Engagement: The i5 approach creates conditions that motivate students to participate actively and invest their energy personally, making learning an engaging and dynamic experience.
  3. Design for Iteration: Incorporating cycles of performance and feedback, the program encourages risk-taking, experimenting, learning from mistakes, and making changes in thinking and actions. This iterative design is crucial for developing resilience and adaptability.
  4. Develop Supportive Social Interaction: By establishing a community of learners, the i5 program fosters an environment where students can effectively communicate and collaborate with others, enriching their learning experience with diverse perspectives and cultures.
  5. Foster Joy and Well-being: Recognizing students as whole persons, the i5 program infuses the educational experience with joy, satisfaction, and well-being, making learning not just a task but a delightful journey.

Prof. Tim Breitbarth and Marina Schmitz facilitated the workshop and brought these concepts to life. One of the most enriching aspects of the workshop was the opportunity for participants to share best practices and provide valuable feedback to one another. This collaborative atmosphere fostered a sense of community among us, as we delved into discussions about our experiences, challenges, and successes in implementing responsible leadership education. The diversity of perspectives and backgrounds in the room led to an incredibly rich exchange of ideas, enabling us to learn from each other's achievements and setbacks. Whether it was innovative approaches to fostering active engagement or creative strategies for designing for iteration, each shared practice added a new layer of understanding and possibility to our collective knowledge. This mutual support and feedback mechanism was not only instrumental in enhancing our learning experience but also exemplified the i5 program's principle of developing supportive social interaction. Through these exchanges, we not only gained insights into effective pedagogical techniques but also built lasting connections that will continue to inspire and influence our work in the field of education.

The i5 workshop was not just an academic exercise; it was a call to action for all of us involved in education. The principles and practices of the i5 program offer a blueprint for nurturing leaders who are not only skilled and knowledgeable but also emotionally intelligent, creative, socially aware, and physically grounded.

I am grateful to Prof. Tim Breitbarth and Marina Schmitz for their guidance and to my fellow participants for their insights and contributions. Together, we are on a journey to transform leadership education, one playful, meaningful step at a time.

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