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Summer Seminar 2020 (July 7-11)

Summer Seminar


Registration will be open to all current and former International School Heads and Deputy/Assistant Heads.

Next year's Seminar will be held in Barcelona, Spain July 7-11, 2020. Stay tuned for more information!


AISH’s Summer Seminar is a unique opportunity to reflect, connect, and renew. Come to be invigorated, excited, and filled with new ideas!

The 2019 Seminar took place on July 7-11 in Boulder, Colorado. 


In an increasingly complex world, the demands on leaders daily require us to address challenges that have no easy answers. Much of our professional and leadership lives are understandably consumed by what we do and how we do it. Occasionally we are able to consider why we do what we do. Yet seldom if ever do we address who we are as educators and as leaders—our particular way of being from which our best leadership flows. 

We enter education with a vision for making a difference, yet the day-to-day reality of schools, of leadership roles and of life across the years wears us down. It is the rare individual who stands consistently and clearly on a personal foundation of integrity from which to live and to lead. 

Yet we’ve found that when we explore and cultivate this ‘heart of leadership’--mining our own unique stories and inner resources in the company of colleagues doing the same--we find we return to and sustain a deeper source of wisdom and courage that enables us to thrive in difficult roles and to help those around us do the same.

Leading with Heart and Integrity does just this, applying a set of simple practices based on trusted principles that open the way to a room full of leaders to listen, slow down, tend to one thing at a time and refresh and reawaken the core purposes and values that led them into leadership to begin with.

Leading with Heart and Integrity will engage the participants in a retreat format based upon a discrete set of guidelines we call Touchstones. Through the program we facilitate opportunities for:

  • individual reflection based on an evocative reading and questions;
  • being with one or two others, not so much for discussion but simply to listen carefully to what the others (and we ourselves) are thinking;
  • time for hearing the insights, challenges and questions that participants choose to voice to the whole group.
The lives and leadership of the participants form the content of the program. The process allows us to listen to others and to oneself in ways we seldom experience. The expectation is one of gentle invitation. This is never a share or die experience! Unlike many workshops and retreats, the outcomes are not driven by the facilitators but formed by the participants. Yet as a result of such a retreat experience, participants frequently describe: 
  • a stronger sense of purpose and integrity;
  • expanded capacity to be fully present to others in ways that affirm and heal;
  • increased skill in asking the honest, open questions that help others uncover their own wisdom;
  • greater confidence to seek or create communities of support;
  • increased understanding, appreciation and respect for human differences, based in deeper awareness of the identity and integrity of ourselves and others;
  • greater capacity to build the relational trust that helps institutions pursue their missions.
  • Why attend? Come to be invigorated and filled with new ideas. Come to tap the wisdom of colleagues and to deepen relationships. Leave excited about the innovations you will implement in your school with a plan to do so as well as a new network of support.