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A Look Back at the 2023 NESA Fall Leadership Conference & Gallery

NESA school leaders gathered in exotic Bangkok for the 2023 Fall Leadership Conference with the theme of “Wayfinding: Sharing the Journey”. The Royal Orchid Sheraton on the banks of the Chao Phraya River provided an elegant setting for professional learning as well as for informal moments of collegiality during the four days of sharing, reflecting and learning with NESA colleagues.

Homa Tavangar, co-founder of The Big Questions Institute, launched FLC23 by challenging leaders to stretch their personal growth mindset toward leading a growth culture. Intercultural Competency Strategist Derrick Gay then provided research-based and pragmatic strategies to frame belonging conversations in schools in his keynote, “From Good Intentions to Informed Practice: Transforming International Mindedness into Effective DEIB Strategy to Foster Inclusive NESA Schools”.

In Friday’s keynote, Charles Vogl, author of The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging, focused on ways leaders can build loyalty, strengthen identity, and create meaning within their culture in his keynote, “Belonging: The Art of Community”.

On Saturday, Elin Kelsey, a scholar in evidence-based hope, invited delegates to adopt a new narrative and environmental approach for hopeful, solutions-focused learning in her keynote, “In an Age of Eco-Anxiety, Leading with Evidence-Based Hope Matters”. Sunday afternoon, Homa wrapped up the conference with an interactive session guiding leaders to synthesize and reflect on their learning in, “True North: Making Sense of It All”.

In the spirit of the NESA belief, “Collaboration as the cornerstone of our success”, Day 1 of the FLC featured one-hour specialist- and school-presented “Sharing the Journey Workshops”. Topics ranged from supporting instructional coherence, Theory U, and the danger and privilege of leadership, to data-informed decision making and how disruptive technologies are impacting curriculum in schools of the future.

Saturday and Sunday, NESA Affiliate Organizations presented 24 Learning Partner Sessions (formerly 'General Interest Workshops') where they shared resources, best practice, effective programs and initiatives, and cutting-edge innovations in a spirit of collaboration.

NESA leaders had a chance to relax together at the two social events: Thursday’s Welcome Reception on the Sheraton’s Riverside Terrace overlooking the water; and the “Saturday Soiree” in the hotel’s ballroom, with an amazing buffet dinner followed by dancing!

Participants left with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to the communities we all serve. Deep learning took center stage as school teams participated in challenging, thought-provoking conversations in the interest of cultivating a learner-centered organization that maintains sustainability while responding to our ever-evolving educational landscape.

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