The Global Leadership Challenge (GLC) aims to help emerging leaders to grow in the wisdom and character required for responsible leadership that makes a difference in the world —leadership that doesn’t simply seek to fulfil personal ambition but furthers societies’ sustainable development. GLC is a joint initiative of the University of Oxford (Social Sciences Division and the Oxford Character Project) and the St. Gallen Symposium, supported by the Lemann Foundation and the Templeton World Charity Foundation.
From 9 - 15 December, GLC 2021 focused on the "Power of Purpose" as its core theme.
Stretching back to the ancient world, questions of how to live a meaningful and satisfying life and how to further the good of society have occupied the leading thinkers of each generation. The acquisition of wisdom has been at the heart of a quest that is not simply about gaining knowledge but about becoming a better person by following a path where a deep sense of purpose intersects with the needs of others. How can we develop a deep sense of purpose that drives and directs our actions? How can we turn our desire to make a difference into the kind of commitment that will make you a responsible leader? How can we incorporate purpose in our action, aligning our personal values and professional aspirations?
To tackle these questions, GLC 2021 convened 100 promising young leaders to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time by integrating responsible leadership and practical actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Integrating character education and design thinking, the week-long challenge equiped young leaders with the values and skills needed to build a sustainable future.
SDGs in Focus at GLC 2021
Throughout the week-long challenge, GLC participants engaged in cross-generational dialogues with senior leaders, learned from a diverse group of peers, and developed a wide range of action projects focused on one of four Sustainable Development Goals that directly impact their communities around the world.
Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Good Health and Well-Being
Health and well-being form the foundation of flourishing lives and thriving societies. However, the world is currently facing a global health crisis unlike any other – the COVID-19 pandemic has spread human suffering and upended the lives of billions of people. Developing and low-income countries in particular are struggling with inadequate health facilities, diminishing medical supplies and a shortage of health care workers. In this context, how might we create timely interventions to ensure health coverage for all, restore the lost health gains, and revive communities?
Education empowers people to choose their own path in life, to be active citizens and to embrace the opportunities of the digital revolution. In the wake of COVID-19, schools and universities across the globe had to close - disrupting the education for students and wiping out 20 years of global education gains. At the same time, the pandemic has created new opportunities through an accelerated digitisation of learning worldwide. How might we help educators, parents, and students adapt themselves to the new realities to ensure inclusive and equitable education and lifelong learning opportunities for all?
Women’s equal economic, societal and political participation is crucial for Covid-19 response and recovery, but gender parity remains far off. Globally, women represent 25.6% in national parliaments, 36.3% in local governments and 28.2% in managerial positions. Unpaid domestic and care work, the gender pay gap, as well as violence against women are only some of the most pressing challenges to be addressed. How might drive concrete actions that empower women and girls and help to make gender equality a reality?
As extreme weather events such as storms, heat waves and floods increase in frequency and intensity, communities around the world already experience the catastrophic impact of climate change. Yet, the climate crisis remains largely unabated, and the world is woefully off track to stay at or below the 1.5° degrees target, as called for in the Paris Agreement. How might we accelerate climate action by businesses and governments, help consumers to adopt more sustainable practices and assist communities to adapt to a warming climate?
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A New Framework For
The most pressing challenges of our time require system-level analysis and action for impact. Building on research at the Universities of Oxford and St. Gallen, we have developed a new framework for responsible leadership combining three essential components of responsible leadership needed to address global challenges.