Leadership Week 2020: Challenge, create, change

Student Blake Steel has had a busy year helping to organise Leadership Week 2020. In this myView blog he explains what people can expect from the event and how the University’s leadership programmes have enhanced his student experience.

Blake Steele stands in front of a concrete wall.

Signing up for Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s leadership programmes was a no brainer for me in my first year of university. As an aspiring leader in high school, Wellington Plus and Wellington International Leadership Programmes were a great place for me to contribute to our local and global community. Since then I have discovered more about what makes a great leader and how the work of our student leaders makes a difference. I hold a particular interest in ethics, public policy and international affairs and am currently studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and International Relations and minoring in Philosophy. To help inspire student leaders, I have been asked to help organise a series of digital workshops for Leadership Week 2020.

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington students leave campus on their way to Parliament last year during the historic Global Climate Strike march.

Each year the Wellington Plus and Wellington International Leadership Programmes run a campaign to celebrate student leaders and to encourage students to engage with them. In 2019, a series of workshops were held that focused on women in leadership, ethical leadership, and leadership in sport. This year, in partnership with the Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership, VUWSA and other partners across the University, we are interested in trying something different, something that is bigger. We want to inspire leadership and generate discussion about students’ ideas for the future.

We are currently facing a moment in history where we can make real change. We believe that young people should be at the forefront of generating ideas and setting the agenda for the future. Our expectations for change are increasing. For a lot of people, particularly younger people, we want to know how the companies we interact with and our governments are addressing environmental and social issues. As demand for social accountability increases, so does the need for new challenging and creative ideas that will change our world for the better.

Last year’s Women in Leadership workshop led by Vanisha Dhiru. This year’s programme is all online and free for anyone to participate.

In 2020, we invite you to engage in Leadership Week: Challenge, Create, Change. Share your ideas and listen and learn from our line-up of local thinkers, industry leaders and culture creators. The week will provide a series of online workshops and conversations that will focus on topics such as social activism, polarisation, ethics, entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion and democracy. Immerse yourself in ideas and conversations that push the boundaries of conventional thought. We hope to inspire deep change across society. We want our cultural creators and your ideas to set the agenda for the future. Get involved in Leadership Week: Challenge, Create, Change. Get out and vote in this year’s general election!

Blake Steel is a final-year student studying for a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and International Relations, and minoring in Philosophy.