Here you will find the framework for how Boreas, as a co-curricular leadership development program, is run. While Boreas has been created as a co-curricular model, leadership development can be part of graduate education in many different ways. Learn more about how Boreas approaches leadership development through our leadership philosophy and choice to be a co-curricular program. You can also read about how we staff the program and approach teaching.

At Boreas, we are interested in promoting a culture and practice of leadership development in graduate school training across many universities. While this curriculum has many tools to help you offer programming, Boreas is available to offer more resources and support. Get in touch to discuss how Boreas can help your institution create innovative and meaningful curriculum to develop change makers.

Program Operations

Boreas Leadership Philosophy

Boreas begins with the ideas that society needs more and better leadership to make progress on sustainability and environment challenges, and graduate school is a useful place to develop this leadership. The program’s explicit focus on leadership development distinguishes Boreas program offerings from other co-curricular opportunities available to graduate students such as academic and professional development. Emphasis on leadership development is important for program culture and impact. By focusing on leadership development, students are asked to envision themselves as leaders now and in the future and to seek out opportunities to practice and develop their leadership capabilities.

Boreas works to develop leadership capacity in individuals and more broadly, rather than developing individual leaders. By focusing on leadership, Boreas communicates the idea that making progress on sustainability challenges will take many people acting as leaders, both in traditional positions of power as well elsewhere in society. Boreas explicitly values leadership action from people in whatever role they are in.

Boreas also believes leadership is a practice – something one can do, reflect on, and get better at over time. This focus on the practice of leadership helps the program work effectively with students who may not yet see themselves as leaders in positions of power or influence. Leadership as a practice is further empowering because the idea encourages students to try out acting as a leader in the contexts they are in, whether it’s taking on leadership of a lab group or submitting an op-ed to the local paper.

Boreas draws from several leadership theories that are particularly effective for addressing today’s complex societal challenges. These theories share a common idea of the need for more leadership coming not just from individuals, but out the collective. In other words, the most effective leadership actions promote the opportunity and ability of others to offer leadership.

Boreas offers a workshop on integrative leadership, which emphasizes the importance of working across sectors and boundaries to make progress on the common good. This workshop also draws on ideas of collective leadership and adaptive leadership. Collective leadership studies seek to identify how to draw out and promote more leadership from groups to facilitate leadership impact from the whole that is more than the contributions of individuals. Adaptive leadership aims to help groups do the work that needs to be done to make progress on adaptive challenges. Adaptive challenges require more than the application of technical knowledge, they require changes in perspective, culture, or practice that allow groups to adapt to different conditions.

Boreas also offers a workshop on systems thinking and tools, which applies the ideas from systems dynamics the practice of leadership in complex societal systems. System leadership is a relatively recent leadership theory, and it builds on work around collective impact. Collective impact, which is a method for different organizations to come together to contribute to solving a social problem

Boreas offers specific workshops delving into these leadership theories, and it works to infuse other aspects of programming with the ideas of building leadership of individuals and the collective. While there are nuances among these different leadership theories, they share commonalities and tools for developing program participants’ capability to act as leaders in different contexts in ways that promote and support others acting as leaders as well.

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Program Management

From our experience at Boreas, we’ve identified five key areas of program management:

  1. Program vision and overall management
  • Articulating the vision and purpose of the program and ensuring it is clear to staff, partners, and participants
  • Identifying and pursuing strategic partnerships, directions, and opportunities for the program
  • Maintaining relationships with key university and external partners

2. Communications

  • Making the case for programming value for different audiences and in different venues (including participants, funders, partners, and more)
  • Maintaining a clear, engaging, and easy-to-use program website
  • Building and maintaining email list of potential participants
  • Planning and writing email communications strategy for increasing program awareness and recruitment
  • Communicating with program participants about specific workshops and events prior to event and in follow-up emails and surveys

3. Program Operations

  • Scheduling, planning and managing program events
  • Inviting/managing speakers and facilitators
  • Recruiting students
  • Managing student participant lists
  • Budgeting and budget management
  • Accounting tasks, including ensuring payments are received and distributed

4. Stewarding Community

  • Connecting with participants regularly, advising especially engaged students
  • Fostering a culture of connection and relationship-building
  • Identifying community/networking event topics, supporting students to make these events successful

5. Development

  • Identifying and securing financial resources to support program. Depending on development strategy this could include grant writing, donor stewardship and management, fostering university relationships and more

Program Teaching and Facilitation

Teaching and facilitation stand out as a particularly important component of what makes Boreas a successful leadership development program. Because the program is co-curricular, and students choose to add it to their graduate education experience, workshops must be useful, fun, and worth students time. All of this requires effective teaching and facilitation.

For teaching and facilitation Boreas relies on a mix of program staff (who have leadership experience inside and outside of higher education), external facilitators, faculty, and practitioners invited to sit on panels and coach students.

Key Teaching & Facilitaing Tasks:

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    Tamquam voluptaria interpretaris eum no, ex ludus officiis vis. Duo vidisse commune adipisci no, ei usu nostro labitur, erat lucilius honestatis mel id. Ex usu agam euripidis inciderint, nec cu prima euripidis. Theophrastus reprehendunt te vim, vis elit assum argumentum an, dolor oporteat ex est. Ne per mazim affert, has vidit integre ei, tation causae vis ea.

    Boreas helped us envision and create a dynamic approach to our leadership training.
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    Mary Testimonial

    Director of Graduate Studies Stanford University