Shaun McInerney
Keynote Abstracts

Rethinking Leadership to meet the needs of our time

The need to prepare young people for a rapidly changing world is evident; how we do this is
less clear. The transformative potential of education remains a latent force. Despite the
recent rhetoric around reforming education to be more relevant, responsive and resilient,
post-pandemic, this has yet to be translated into practice. In most contexts, education
leaders have limited opportunity to engage with holistic, transformational and
transformative models of leadership, at a time when they are needed most. Rethinking
leadership development so educators can connect with their purpose, their agency and
their influence is a good place to start. We share one example of this ‘new capabilities’
approach based on some emerging practice from the UK. Considering the capacities and
conditions needed to lead change from the levels of ‘Self’, ‘School’ and ‘System’, enabled
leaders unlock their own potential and create conditions for colleagues and young people to
develop. We will unpack an underlying methodology for this: ‘The Togetherness Practice’.
Drawing on NGO Ashoka’s network of social innovators, this supports school leaders to
develop colleagues to lead change in service of a more equitable and sustainable world.
Rethinking leadership in this way may offer us hope that educators can build regenerative
capabilities as they renew our schools to prepare all young people to flourish on a thriving
planet. This points towards an emerging ecosystem for developing educators that is
‘bottom up’ and powered by relationships, role and contribution rather than public policy.
We invite you to join us in becoming ‘the change you want to see in the world’.

Shaun McInerney