COVID-19 Info

26 June 2020 (COVID-19 Conference Update Message #5)

I want to share some exciting news about ILA's first live online virtual conference and some decisions regarding Leading at the Edge, our annual global conference this November.

ILA's 5th Women and Leadership conference, our first virtual conference, was a resounding success. In seven weeks, the conference was transformed from a face-to-face conference into a live virtual event to rave reviews.

From the vantage of attendees:

Loved the diverse presentations and amazing speakers.

My favorite thing was the fact that it was virtual so I could afford to attend as I live in England!

It's ironic, but the virtual platform actually felt more intimate than a conference hall or classroom.

I was able to make connections even though we didn't share meals or coffee breaks.

It is especially heartening to know attendees felt that not only was the content stellar, but the quality of interaction was on par with what we expect at an ILA conference.

As we look to November and our annual global conference, our ability to forecast the future of the pandemic has become cloudier, not clearer. With the success of the women and leadership conference in mind and with so many unknowns regarding the ability to safely travel and gather in November, we have made the decision to take Leading at the Edge 100% into the virtual realm as well. We'll be sharing more details shortly regarding the exact timing and flow for ILA's virtual annual global conference!

As we work with the planning team, ILA member communities, and presenters to create an extraordinary experience this November, we will hold these core organizing principles in mind:

We are confident that our innovative programming and delivery modes will offer you the quality learning and networking experiences that you expect from the ILA.

I hope you and your loved ones and colleagues are in good health and spirits, and I look forward to seeing you later this year at Leading at the Edge!

Cynthia Cherrey
ILA President & CEO

27 May 2020 (COVID-19 Conference Update Message #4)

Dear Worldwide Colleagues,

Depending on where you are in the world, you may be feeling pandemic fatigue, anxiety over an uncertain future, cautiously optimistic, or all the above.

I am encouraged by the creative ways we have remained connected, whether it's online scrabble with one's extended family, a zoom graduation ceremony, or a parade of cars welcoming a friend home from the hospital. I have enjoyed connecting with ILA Board Chair Mike Hardy in London with a cup of morning coffee for me while he enjoys his afternoon tea. It is uplifting to see how the human spirit transcends spatial distancing.

The ILA has continued our work of bringing people together for better leadership now. If you haven't seen it yet, our new blog Leadership for the Greater Good: Reflections on the 2020 Pandemic, brings together thought-leaders from around the world to share their views on leadership during this time and as we see our way forward into a post-pandemic planet. With new postings every week, you're sure to find something that speaks to you.

As you know from previous messages, ILA's Women and Leadership conference this June has shifted to a virtual event. Around the world, women are taking the lead in many ways in responding to the pandemic. The conference provides an excellent opportunity for presenters from around the world to explore new ideas and best practices. With special events such as "Conversations With" prior ILA Lifetime Achievement award recipients and other notable women leaders this conference will be informative and inspirational.

Some of you have asked if we would try to shift our upcoming Leadership Education Academy (LEA) to an online environment. Because of the intensive, interactive, cohort nature of the program, we have decided that it makes more sense to reschedule LEA. Mark your calendars for 1-5 August 2021! In the meantime, we will have a complementary virtual summit this July on addressing the challenges and opportunities of teaching, learning, and practicing leadership in a virtual age. More information on this event will soon be available.

Lastly, I would like to update you on status of the global conference scheduled for November in San Francisco. We will be sending out acceptance notifications to presenters by the first of June. As the session proposal review process has been moving forward, so too has the conference planning team in developing a robust set of concurrent sessions, provocative keynote panels, and other events. At this time, we do not know what format the conference will take — on site, virtual, or a combination thereof. We will be flexible and make decisions as the facts and circumstances become clearer. We will keep you posted as the situation continues to evolve. Our goal is to support the efforts of our members to gather safely in order to share insights, knowledge, and best practices on leadership in this new reality and many other topics related to the conference theme of Leading at the Edge.

We will be leading at the edge for years to come as the impact from this global crisis unfolds. It has the capability to transform higher education, our global economy, our care for the environment, and how we lead. It has amplified the strengths and weaknesses in our governments and health systems.

Now, more than ever, your ILA membership is important. As we search for new ways of leading and living, our personal and professional networks are essential lifelines. In this time of transition, the ILA will continue to support our members and make sure we can continue connecting, convening, and collaborating with each other.

As we step into this unknown future, it helps to remember the power of the human spirit.

The human spirit will endure and become stronger.

Stay safe and well for you and for the greater community.

Cynthia Cherrey
President & CEO
International Leadership Association

14 April 2020 (COVID-19 Conference Update Message #3)

Dear Worldwide Colleagues,

The global pandemic has impacted many parts of our lives—changing how we live, work, and lead in this world turned upside down. It has also changed the way ILA thinks about its role as the convener of trusted spaces for leadership learning.

Toward that, the ILA has made the decision to convene our June Women and Leadership conference, Leading Differently, as a live virtual event. While we wish the circumstances for this shift were different, there is also much excitement among our presenters and members of ILA's Women and Leadership member community about this different way to come together around this important topic.

We will be working hard over the next two months to ensure a smooth transition and to create a virtual community around the conference. As a virtual event, we hope that many more of our colleagues will be able to participate. The new registration fee for the conference is only $329 for ILA members and we are offering a special reduced rate of $199 for members whose financial circumstances have been affected by the pandemic. Visit the conference program page to learn more about the opening plenary, conference schedule, and concurrent sessions taking place.

You may also be wondering about the status of other ILA conferences, particularly Leading at the Edge, ILA's annual global conference this November. At this time, we are planning for our global conference to occur and are strategically considering all options. Our priority is to support our members as they advance leadership knowledge and practice for a better world and to do so in a trusted, safe environment. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to monitor and provide updates in a timely manner as this uncertain situation continues to unfold.

As we all practice spatial distancing, finding ways to maintain social connection is more vital than ever. Providing opportunities for our international network to stay connected and exchange new leadership ideas and practices is at the core of our mission.

I wish you good health during this stressful time we continue to confront the challenges in our personal and professional lives.


Cynthia Cherrey, Ph.D.

ILA President & CEO

16 March 2020 (COVID-19 Conference Update Message #2)

Dear colleagues,

How does our leadership work inform us in times of crisis? The themes from two of our previous global conferences come top of mind. In 2017 we addressed the theme "Leadership in Turbulent Times" and this past year in Ottawa the theme "Leadership: Courage Required." Both are so appropriate for what the world is experiencing today. In the leadership field we know that in today's interdependent and connected world there are benefits and challenging downsides. This is one of those challenges.

As I write this letter, I am sure you have received many letters updating you on steps being taken in response to COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. While much remains unknown about COVID-19's epidemiology and impact, health officials are projecting that we should assume that the virus will spread more broadly despite collective strategies being undertaken to slow the spread of the virus. As of 11 March, the World Health Organization has declared it as a global pandemic that is impacting 100 countries. This is a global crisis not limited to any continent.

Our commitment to our members is to:

At the ILA, we will monitor closely, consult with experts, and revise policies and practices when appropriate. Our goal is to support the mission of the ILA with our core activities of providing trusted resources and creating trusted spaces for leadership learning for our members, partners, and the public. We are continuing to plan, subject to appropriate health and well-being practices, our gatherings unless it is not feasible or appropriate to do so. The ILA has conferences and events beginning in June with the Women and Leadership conference, followed by the Leadership Education Academy (LEA) in July, the Power of Purpose (PoP 3.0) symposium in September, and the annual global conference in November. Mindful that circumstances will continue to evolve we will communicate any changes to our events and related policies in a timely manner.

While the ILA's global conferences and other specialty events provide unique opportunities and benefits to our members and partners, we recognize that these are extraordinary times that require measures for our collective safety and well-being. For that reason, we are looking at creating and supporting alternative approaches of coming together. As an agile organization we will be working to redefine and stretch our understanding of trusted spaces.

"In times of crisis, people reach for meaning. Meaning is strength." That quote by Viktor Frankl resonates with all of us and may be particularly relevant at this time. As leaders in leadership we will look at ways to make meaning and explore ways to leverage our collective knowledge in the ILA community.

I appreciate that this is a difficult time for all of us. I also understand that there will be no single way of responding in which everyone will be comfortable. And yet, I also know that we are part of a larger leadership community that cares for the greater good of all. I thank you for your patience and assistance as we work through this uncertain, ever-evolving situation.


Cynthia Cherrey, PhD

President & CEO

2 March 2020 (COVID-19 Conference Update Message #1)

With the ILA's Women and Leadership conference scheduled to take place at the beginning of June, we know many may be wondering if COVID-19 (Coronavirus) will impact our event.

There are currently no plans to postpone or cancel this event. The ILA team and its partners at the College of Saint Rose are closely monitoring the situation and will post updates on this website and in emails to registered attendees as needed.

We are very grateful for the ongoing support of our sponsors and attendees who continue to register and plan to attend.

As a trusted source of leadership resources, we encourage our members and attendees to bookmark trusted health resources, stay informed, and act with good judgement. Click here for information and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO).

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