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DDI partners with Germany for an experiment in multistakeholder dialogue training across North Africa and the Middle East

Dr. Max Schupbach, President, DDI

Over these last 9 months, we have had great discussions with friends in different EU countries regarding changing approaches in leadership development worldwide. Many of us experience difficulties to lead and facilitate in complex fast changing environments and how to facilitate the inclusion of more collaborative leadership styles into organizations and teams that have a classical hierarchical tradition. We thought that the deep democracy approach could be really helpful in many of these situations. It allows for staying close to one’s own vision, while also appreciating the role, structure, and presence of other viewpoints. The complex views of sensitivity to initial conditions and nonlinear development are included when formulating the more deterministic aspects of roles structured as a field in which we facilitate unpredictable and innovative solutions. It has real-time engineering tools for social and collective transformation, not only points of philosophical or mathematical theory. Requiring no ground rules, it facilitates large groups without having to gain consensus, and without breaking them down into smaller groups of like-minded people.

Some of these discussions have led to a joint project with the Global Leadership Academy, a new initiative commissioned by BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) and conducted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). As a federal enterprise, GIZ supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and is also engaged in international education work around the globe. DDI was approached as one of the early partners (among the other partners is MIT) and we are thrilled to have jointly developed an exciting pilot year, starting this November 2012 in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, with participants from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

From our joint invitation:

“Politics and Passion Lab—Shaping society and policy through creating real time projects based on my passion and ideals: A multi-stakeholder dialogue process for leaders and change agents focusing on countries in the Arab world.” A four module course to be held in Morocco and Tunisia, Italy, and other Mediterranean countries. Above all, one question led us to this cooperative idea, “How can I, as a leader or change agent, shape policy and society based on my passions, visions, and deepest ideals?”

The invitation to the participants read:

In our view, managers and change agents need, in addition to expertise, a talent for viewing the challenges they currently face systemically, to find innovative responses and to implement solutions successfully with sufficient leverage. This is where the Global Leadership Academy together with the Deep Democracy Institute comes in, offering a cross-sectoral and transnational multi-stakeholder dialogue process for leaders and change agents to help build leadership skills and at the same time develop innovative solutions for current challenges.

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