International Leadership Association's

24th Global Conference

Online October 6 & 7, 2022, and/or
Onsite in Washington, D.C., October 13-16, 2022

Wisdom in Times of Crisis

The 24th Annual International Leadership Association Global Conference theme invites an inquiry into how wisdom might catalyze transformation in global systems contributing to environmental, social, economic, and political crises.

The Chinese hanzi for crisis consists of two components: danger and crucial pivot point. The crucial pivot point is a moment in time — a moment when a leader takes some action to address the crisis or challenge. In that moment, information is incomplete and/or missing, and indeterminacy prevails. In that moment, speculation on a certain outcome is futile, and it is easy to see the danger of a wrong decision. But in that moment, that crucial pivot point, a leader has the potential to make a difference. How can we help leaders — as well as followers — stand and meet that important moment?

Rumi, a renowned 13th century Persian poet, wrote about the connection between changing the world and wisdom. He was believed to have written “Yesterday, I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself.

Hidden in that message is an implicit connection between changing the world and changing oneself. In today’s historical moment, we might think of this as the connection between our inner wisdom and our ability to wisely understand and see the systemic and reciprocal relationships between business, politics, economics, public health, the environment, and other world issues.

However, this is difficult to do. Business as usual demands leaders to make daily and often rapid decisions at work, in communities, and in schools. Leaders of various levels respond and react and engage in the dynamics of trying to meet multiple stakeholder needs. Followers also respond and react and engage in the dance of the push-pull of power and authority. These responses and reactions are based on the logics of our current economic, social, and environmental systems—and these logics, we suggest, need to change. That is where wisdom comes in.

The current logics underneath ‘business as usual’ often value human desires over planetary flourishing, economic indicators over individual wellbeing, and perpetuate a world that is becoming more and more fractured, polarized, and polluted. New logics, narratives, and qualities of leading and following are needed to heal, restore, and repair the systems that are currently in place. The new logics must rise above the either/or polarization to see the larger wholeness and interdependence of all systems, of all peoples, and of all nature.

This is where wisdom comes in. Wisdom offers us exciting possibilities to see opportunities in crises, paths forward in complex systems and unpredictable dynamics, and wholeness in times of fracturing. Wisdom is creative inner work with outward manifestations that allow possibilities for systems flourishing. Wisdom is deep listening, or what some call ‘with-nessing’ in community. Wisdom is more than intellect and cognition—it is a way of being and relating to the world and to oneself that heals, brings joy, and offers compassion and dignity to all.

Ultimately, wisdom offers hope for a better future, and we invite conference submissions to help us engage in this exciting conversation with ILA members and friends from around the world by addressing these broad questions:

  • What is the role of wisdom in leading and following in this historical moment?
  • How does one become wise?
  • What are the practices, attributes, and characteristics of wise leaders? Of wise followers?
  • What ways can leadership development increase access to and utilization of personal and shared wisdom?
  • What are the conditions that support wisdom?
  • What is the role of a leader or follower in cultivating, developing, and sustaining the conditions where wisdom can flourish?
  • Can an organization be wise? If yes, how?
  • How might Indigenous and other non-Western wisdom traditions contribute to large systems change?
  • How might we (both followers and leaders) create opportunities to cultivate, nurture, and catalyze system change? What is the role of wisdom in the emergence of these opportunities?
  • How might leaders and followers become more aware of their highest inspirations – beyond logic – that can inform creative and generative futures?

#ILA2022Global will offer an expansive space for exploring wisdom and its role in this historical moment, in this historic place. The largest gathering of those who research and study leadership, teach and develop leaders, and engage in the practice of leadership will gather to share creative new ideas, cutting edge practice and theory, hopes, innovations, and suggestions for the future. Come with your ideas and leave inspired!

Why Attend

400+ Presentations & Workshops

Engage in interactive, live workshops, symposiums, panels, presentations, roundtables, and posters with presenters from around the world. Sessions are divided between days in Geneva and days in the virtual realm.


Expand your global network through special networking activities including member community events, receptions, and the exhibit hall. Meet old friends and discover new colleagues who share your commitment to leadership. The virtual realm allows you to schedule video chats on the conference platform!

Plenary Sessions With Top Leaders

ILA's signature bridging of theory and practice brings together top leaders and thinkers to discuss complex leadership questions.

16 Streams & Specialties

ILA's unique cross-sector, cross-disciplinary conference invites you to explore topics organized across 16 themes and specialties.

ILA Global Participants
Global Conference Attendees

#ILA2021Global Conference Co-Chair Amanda Ellis, Executive Director of Global Partnerships at ASU’s Global Futures Laboratory, discusses the critical importance of Reimagining Leadership Together, the big conversations that will take place at this year’s conference, and why everyone’s voice is needed.

Find out why Dr. Konstantin Korotov, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Faculty Lead of the Executive MBA Program at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Berlin), is bringing 40 students to this year’s ILA Conference!

What is the most important word in Reimagining Leadership Together? Peter Cunningham, #ILA2021Global Program Chair and Head of Leadership at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, shares his thoughts and why he’s so excited about this year’s conference.

Plenary Speakers

Plenary sessions (Keynotes & Keynote Panels) bring together top leaders and thinkers to discuss complex leadership questions with ILA’s signature bridging of theory and practice. They challenge us to think more creatively and inspire us to reimagine leadership together. Additional plenaries plus dates and times of each will be announced soon. Please note: All plenary sessions, whether they are given in-person in Geneva or live online, will be recorded and available for registrants to view through the end of the year.  For complete bios, visit our plenary page. 

Scroll Through to See All of Our Plenary Speakers!

International Student Case Competition

Compete in Undergraduate or Graduate Division
Team Sign Up Now Open! 
Deadline: Monday 27 September

Conference Theme

Reimagining Leadership Together

Together, how can we more fully unleash the abundant potential of people, including ourselves, to collaborate across today’s many multi-faceted opportunities and complex issues? How can leadership be a greater catalyst for societal and eco-systemic advancement? How can leadership create the conditions for more equitable relationships across divides, even across lines of conflict?

Conference Venue

International Conference Centre Geneva

Visit Center

Hotels in Geneva

ILA is contracting with several hotels in Geneva for special ILA rates beginning at 140CHF (including breakfast, service fees, and VAT) 

Ibis budget Genève Aéroport

Novotel Genève Centre

Ibis Genève Centre Nations

Ibis Genève Centre Lac

InterContinental Geneva

Ibis Genève Aéroport

About ILA

The ILA is the largest worldwide community committed to leadership scholarship, practice, development, and education. We accomplish our mission to advance leadership knowledge and practice for a better world by creating a trusted space for leadership learning and by providing trusted leadership resources. For over twenty years the ILA has convened extraordinary talent across sectors, cultures, disciplines, and generations.

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Contact Bridget Chisholm at or +1.202.470.4818 x103 to discuss your sponsorship, advertisement, or hosted reception today.

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