In collaboration with Reboot the Future, Franklin University Switzerland’s Master of Science and Arts students last week engaged in a series of workshops, seminars and guest lectures under title of “Golden Rule Leadership Masterclass”. Graduates students reimagined collaboration, social design knowledge and nature-inspired leadership in a 4-day laboratory of ethical and values-based conversations, where the Golden Rule standed for "treating others and the planet as you would wish to be treated."

The explored themes and topics were:

  • Leadership & Nature, on Tuesday, in which Barbara Bulc, Ambassador Reboot the Future and Founder, Global Development Impact & SDG Cola, introduced the quadrilateral model of leadership – responsible, collaborative, compassionate and courageous – additionally professor Darja Dubravcic, PhD (Biologist / Biomimicry Expert / Circular economy & Systems thinking specialist – Founder and CEO of Wild Innovation Agency) connected remotely to explain what nature inspired leadership stands for, practices for the wellbeing of people and planet;
  • Nature, on Wednesday, an immersive day in the Swiss natural landscapes on top of Monte San Salvatore, accompanied by Anthony Bennett, CEO Reboot the Future, and Kim Polman, Co-founder Reboot the Future, who examined and lectured on the relationship between nature, the Golden Rule, and the practical applications of how the Golden Rule relates to professional lives and the search for leadership;
  • Golden Rule in Leadership, on Thursday, exploring individual core leadership values with Philip Clothier remotely (who has worked with corporations, governments and NGOs around the world and been an advisor on National Values Assessments in over 25 countries.
    His main focus now is inspiring and supporting leadership development and cultural transformation in service of the UN SDGs. He believes that the main purpose of business (and all organisations) is to do no harm, alleviate suffering and facilitate healing and thriving, and understanding what values-based leadership looks like in practice and ways to nurture it in personal and professional life. John Perkins, an American author (his best known book is Confessions of an Economic Hit Man), also joined in to outline the Values of a Life Economy.
  • Conversation Metholodology, on Friday, where students were empowered to lead conversations differently, followed by practical experimentation with different techniques and structures. In the afternoon, Paul Polman, former Procter & Gamble president for Western Europe, and former CEO of the British consumer goods company Uniliver, gave a guest lecture, opened to the Franklin community and external guests, on Net Positive, setting out the principles and practices that will deliver the scale of change and transformation the world so desperately needs.

"In our master programs our intention is to go beyond educating for knowledge and skills. Our ambition is to support the adult development and transformation of our students. This is particularly important in a Leadership course. Leadership and the Golden Rule provides the students with a new awareness and compass to decide what type of leader they want to be. How can they serve others and society? How can they create positive impact? How can they exercise their leadership not as a transaction but as a way of being the positive change they want to see for the world?" commented Carlo Giardinetti, Dean of Executive Education and Global Outreach.

Franklin's master students are also looking forward to the Global Issues and Responsible Leadership course which will take place on campus on November 2 - 5, 2021. In this course, students will be immersed in a real company facing a sustainability challenge, focusing on transition risks that climate change creates for companies, enabling them to develop different solutions and strategies, thinking about their implications, and then presenting their results to a panel of experts. The class will be highly interactive, requiring students to think critically about responsible leadership of the individual and organizations in the context of corporate responsibility and the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, the course will mainly be delivered by Jonas Haertle, Chief Office of the Executive Director at United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and Beat Stettler, Founder and Managing Director of Innotain Suisse.