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A Look Back at the NESA 2022 Fall Leadership Conference & Gallery

NESA school leaders gathered in person and together again at the 2022 Fall Leadership Conference in Abu Dhabi. The seaside InterContinental Hotel provided an elegant setting for sharing, laughing, re-thinking, reflecting and learning with and from each other what makes our NESA community special.

Recent NESA school graduate (ACS Beirut) and Harvard student Said El Kadi launched the FLC by focusing on student voice in his opening keynote, “School Coherence: Value Propositions in Education - Shaping conscious influencers in our communities”. Rosalind Wiseman explored how to create a culture of dignity in school where everyone feels a sense of belonging in, “Courageous Discomfort: How to have hard conversations with skill, capacity and dignity”. In Saturday’s keynote, “The Collective Journey to Maintain a Goldilocks Climate, and Our Role as Educators,” Peter Kelly-Detwiler addressed how climate change in education can be a catalyst for positive change. On Sunday, keynoter Derrick Gay wrapped up the conference with, “Making Sense of It All: Leveraging Intercultural Competency to Drive Inclusion and Belonging Across NESA Schools,” synthesizing conference insights so delegates could design actions to foster inclusion and belonging in their schools.

At NESA, we name collaboration as the cornerstone of our success. Day 1 included one-hour specialist- and school-presented Share the Journey Workshops, reflecting on our experiences of the last three years of disruption and change. Topics ranged from mental health, global citizenship and sustainability, and redefining diversity, to school operations, and differentiating instruction with mastery learning. School teams presented sessions about action research on intellectual curiosity, facilitating change through Global Advocacy and design thinking, and cultivating leadership at all levels.

Nineteen General Interest Workshops presented by NESA Affiliates augmented the FLC22 program. They shared resources, best practice, effective programs and initiatives, and cutting-edge innovations in a spirit of collaboration.

Throughout the conference, several keynoters and specialists led group activities with “Share the Journey” card decks, gifted to each delegate. NESA leaders relaxed and socialized at Thursday’s Welcome Reception, held poolside at the InterCon’s Bayshore Beach Club, and at Saturday’s “Sunset Gathering” in the Marina Garden.

Our hopes were for delegates to be inspired by the speakers, delighted by the company (NESA friends!), and emboldened to transform their schools. All opened their Heads, Hearts and Hands to ‘Share the Journey’.

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