At long last, our continued emergence from the pandemic heralds the return of in-person convening! After returning from my first post-pandemic conference, I can personally attest to having an even greater appreciation for the energy, creativity, and possibility that are generated when people gather together driven by a common purpose. Two weeks ago, I was honored to represent IONS in Geneva, Switzerland at the annual convening of the International Leadership Association (ILA).
The conference theme was potent and timely: “Reimagining Leadership Together.” Over 400 leadership practitioners, academics, and advisers from around the world gathered to discuss the new skill sets—and mindsets—needed by leaders to advance the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Representing an urgent call-to-action and a collective blueprint for peace and prosperity, the SDGs are aggressively ambitious and non-negotiable: no poverty, zero hunger, climate action, clean water, affordable and clean energy, reduced inequalities, quality work and economic growth, and 10 additional crucially necessary aspirations for our world.
The purpose of the ILA conference was to have a real, frank, and open discussion about what today’s leaders need on a practical level to support the achievement of the United Nations’ SDGs while successfully managing their organizations. Leaders of corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs/nonprofits), and public sector agencies are in a unique position to dramatically multiply impact via their oversight of large staff teams and their influence on vast networks of customers, clients, suppliers, strategic partners, and more. Determined to ask the critical questions regarding what is different for leaders today, the ILA executive team convened a Global Leadership Roundtable, to which I was invited to present as one of five leadership practitioners.
Facilitated by former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell, the Roundtable included Lord John Alderdice, Member of Britain’s House of Lords; Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the International Red Cross; and Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. The comments shared by these dedicated leaders were impassioned, personal, and real. The “expansion of a global consciousness” emerged as the overarching theme, with the following specific capabilities identified as essential for leaders to improve their individual and collective ability to advance progress:
- Lead from a place of compassion and empathy, most importantly toward those we have perceived thus far as our adversaries
- Hold multiple broad perspectives and worldviews
- Navigate multilateralism, engaging in collaborations that leverage the unique strengths of each party and avoid the inefficiency, limited thinking, and even destruction associated with pure competition
- Foster trust and act from integrity anchored in clear purpose
- Embrace inclusive, flatter, and more agile organizational and governance structures that recognize all stakeholders as leaders and invite dissenting voices to the table
When one contemplates the list above, it is striking to see the potential for noetic sciences to increasingly inform, inspire, and ground each of these attributes. At IONS and across our partner network, we are called to be of service to this urgently needed new leadership paradigm. Our ongoing quest to more deeply understand “big C” Consciousness and how we each individually access information and energy not limited by space or time — what we refer to as our unique Noetic Signature™ — promises tremendous potential for today’s leaders to unlock new ways of being and solutions for a thriving, flourishing world. Further, our expanding Noetic Leadership Initiative provides leaders with experiential and contemplative opportunities to explore how to cultivate one’s ability to lead from interconnection and inner wisdom — integrating the rational with the transrational for greater, more purpose-driven impact.
Want to go deeper? Join us for a free
ConnectIONS Live Webinar
The Urgent Need for Global Consciousness in Leadership
Friday, November 19, 2021
11:00 am – 12:15pm (PST)
A panel discussion with
Claire Lachance, Alan Briskin,
Chris Laszlo, and Julia Storberg-Walker
The challenge now upon us is to dramatically scale-up the presence of noetic sciences in crucial conversations — and even more importantly, in the development of practical strategies to ensure the success of the 17 bold Sustainable Development Goals. Please join us in the journey!
I personally invite you to be in touch with me at any time regarding your perspectives and experiences as a “noetic leader” in whatever capacity that might be. Also, please join us on for a free ConnectIONS Live program on November 19th during which we will explore the role of global consciousness in the emerging new leadership paradigm. I will be joined by executive advisor Alan Briskin, Chris Laszlo of Case Western Reserve University, and Julia Storberg-Walker of George Washington University.
In closing, I am reminded that the original vision of our IONS Founder, Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, was not solely to explore the mysteries and mechanics of interconnection — but to do so with a clear purpose: to improve and safeguard life on Earth and beyond. Nearly 50 years later, Edgar’s vision couldn’t be more important.
About the Author
Claire Lachance serves as the CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, leading a team of world-renowned scientists and experiential program professionals in Northern California. Prior to joining IONS in 2016, Claire was founder and president of Inspiration Quest, Inc. where she led the delivery of comprehensive management consulting services to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, foundations, public agencies, and social entrepreneurs. Earlier in her career, Claire held executive positions at Pacific Bell and MetLife. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA magna cum laude in Economics from Tufts University.