The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation and its inaugural Jeanne Sauvé Public Leadership Program invest in next generation public leaders to help solve global challenges.
This program year (2015-17), the Sauvé Fellows are collectively re-imagining the role of public leadership in culturally diverse societies.
Since the launch of the program this August, the Fellows have been busy crafting public narratives and calls for social change, refining their public speaking skills through personalized coaching, and engaging in professional development workshops and leadership encounters with prominent figures from the worlds of academia, advocacy, the arts, business, media, politics, and philanthropy. Furthermore, they have also been auditing courses at McGill University and Concordia University, benefiting from the guidance of academic mentors, pursuing collective online learning about systems innovation, and receiving individual support from personal life coaches.
In September, the Fellows identified four interrelated shifts occurring globally – inequality, security, human mobility, and climate change – that demand the urgent attention of public leaders today. They have since been reflecting on these four pivotal challenges as opportunities for bold, innovative public leadership.
Throughout the autumn, the Fellows also focused much of their collective effort on designing a team project based on a real-world diversity challenge. They engaged in various consultation processes, creative visioning exercises, and group coaching from team dynamics experts in order to determine one specific challenge around which to organize their collective efforts.
The Foundation is thrilled to announce that the Fellows have chosen to explore the public leadership challenge of refugee integration in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This issue is both timely and important as the Government of Canada has committed to accepting 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. A significant number of these displaced individuals will be settling in Quebec. The success of our refugee integration efforts matters, not only for the arriving refugees, but for all Canadians. If this country is to live up to its professed commitment to the values of pluralism and multiculturalism, then we need to get this right.
And doing so is neither simple nor easy, as the Fellows are learning. They have spent the first six weeks of the New Year engaged in a “deep dive” in order to absorb as much as possible about the issue of refugee integration. To advance this learning, Fellows led a critical reading group, conducted site visits, and met with a wide range of relevant experts, including Syrian refugees. As a team, they’ve investigated root causes of the current conflict in Syria, international humanitarian law, comparative refugee integration policy, transcultural psycho-social support services, and more.
The team’s goal is to develop and pilot an approach to refugee integration in a holistic, practical, and prismatic way that uses both impact and thought leadership, while espousing their core values of agency, inclusivity, fairness and cultural sensitivity.
The Fellows are building partnerships with multiple stakeholders and community leaders to better support and serve the local refugee population. Their objective is to open a dialogue for shared experiences while also delivering resources, outreach activities, and support services.
Throughout this process, the Fellows have also been exploring how their individual areas of expertise can allow them to contribute to a deeper, collective understanding of this complex issue. In doing so, they’ve been developing their ability to communicate, learn, and work across cultures and disciplines- skills we believe to be essential to addressing all major social, economic and environmental challenges in an interconnected world.
The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation will continue to support the processes, learnings, and actions that shape the Fellows’ innovative leadership journey. The Fellows will be sharing their learnings going forward: they will publish biweekly reports on the project’s evolution on our blog. The project will also be featured prominently on the Foundation’s social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
In June, at the end of the in-residence phase of the program, the Fellows will present their key takeaways, deliverables and recommendations at Sauvé House, in Montreal. We hope to see you there!