The Providence Institute of Transformative Leadership

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The Providence Institute of Transformative Leadership is a site of collaboration and programming to help leaders and community members develop leadership capacities and practices for personal and social transformation. The Institute branches out of the Providence School of of Leadership, Ecology and Equity, sharing its vision of whole-person transformative learning that leads to positive and sustainable systemic change: diverse, caring and inclusive workplaces and organizations that uphold principles of social justice and partnership; social structures that support well-being and flourishing for all.

Our vision:
We create processes for the integral development of leaders capable to transform organizations for social justice and collective flourishing.

Our mission is to create training opportunities and collaborations that cultivate self-awareness, agency, courage and empathy for leaders, leading to social transformation: the creation of diverse and inclusive workplaces, learning communities, organizations that foster collective well-being and creativity.

Our activities will cover five areas:

  1. Professional development programs
  2. Outreach
  3. Consultation and collaboration
  4. Practice-based learning site for graduate students
  5. Action-research

Target audience

The Institute works with partners in diverse fields such as education, non-profit, health-care, arts sectors, who are seeking to enhance individual and collective practices of transformative leadership in the areas of emotional intelligence, equity diversity and inclusion, personal and organizational well-being and more.

Transformative learning relies on the critical, self-reflexive examination of learners’ worldviews, values and meaning-making system. It develops critical consciousness and a complex worldview that leads to personal and social transformation. It creates openness, flexibility and the integration of emotions and imagination with intellectual knowledge. This type of learning implies a search for meaning, for discovering who we are and what is our purpose, empowering people to see themselves as active subjects in the world. The outcome of transformative learning is a self-reflexive mindset free from dual thinking and adaptable to new levels of complexity. The self-reflexive mindset does not passively accept cultural norms but reworks them in alignment with values, meaning and ethical concerns.

Transformative leadership has its roots in transformative learning, as a critique of inequitable systems, social divisions and hierarchies, experiences of suffering and the limitation of human potential. Transformative leadership seeks to create democratic systems, re-distribute power in equitable ways, bridge social divisions and create social spaces that nurture well-being and lead to human flourishing and creativity. It is a framework of leadership situated between critique and promise, the critique of injustice, inequality, structural violence, and the promise of emancipation, democracy, human dignity and wholeness.

Leadership capacities: emotional intelligence, systems thinking, generative communication, self-reflection, empathy, creativity, conflict management, creation of inclusive and healthy workplaces, empowerment of employees, elaborating a shared vision that creates connection and purpose, leading change with Theory U and Immunity to change, justice-based activism.