The AIM Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership (AIMTEC) successfully concluded the delivery of Workshop 1: Ownership of the Future Bridging Leaders Program (FBLP) 4 last July 9, 2021.
The FBLP 4 is a component of the Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) Fellowship, which forms part of the five-year program, Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed). Amongst over 300 applicants, 30 fellows from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao surpassed the rigorous selection process, and were given the opportunity to enhance their leadership capabilities, and spark meaningful innovations in their respective communities, through the FBLP 4.
Workshop 1 sessions of the FBLP 4 were facilitated by AIM faculty and resource persons, led by Prof. Manuel De Vera as FBLP 4 Program Director and AIMTEC Executive Director, Prof. Nieves Confesor, Prof. Ronald Chua, Prof. Antonio Ma. Perez, Prof. Federico Macaranas, Prof. Milagros Lagrosa, and Dr. Timothy Ting. Community development practitioners Jay Jaboneta and Ricky De Castro also took part as resource persons in the program along with AIM Bridging Leadership Fellows Dr. Sherjan Kalim, Rogerine Miguel, Earwin Belen, Jannah Basman, Jamico Jamlang, Isaac Linco, and Bernadette Roxas.
Workshop 1 was designed based on the Ownership phase of the Bridging Leadership (BL) Framework, which allowed fellows to deep dive into their leadership intentions, investigate their values, assess their leadership capital, and position themselves accordingly amongst existing and emerging societal divides in the community that need immediate and appropriate response.
Fellows were also taught to espouse the propositions of Theory U by Otto Scharmer on the levels of change to successfully lead transformation in the 21st century through suspension of old habits of judgement, deep self-knowing, and enacting of change vision.
Guidance on self-mastery, merged with tools on systems thinking, problem tree, SWOT, and PESTEL analyses, as well as powercube dynamics, provided the fellows profound awareness and understanding on how to initiate their change prototypes.
During the discourse on power, Riz Supreme Comia expressed the significance of forging partnerships: “As Bridging Leaders, we are in a good position to enact change, but we need credibility and legitimacy, so we have to borrow these agencies from power bearers.” When asked what resource made them feel powerful, Samuel Madriaga pointed out that youth idealism provides him confidence to pursue bold ideas, while Alexander Miguel Tianco said that trust from colleagues that he can accomplish crucial tasks bring him a sense of power. “Not all forms of power are dictated by having a high status or expertise – some need further navigating to understand its power source”, Patricia Matute added.
On the last day of Workshop 1, it was emphasized that in co-ownership, fellows are not only supposed to engage multiple stakeholders but also endeavor to help these individuals to recognize their power within. Only through harnessing the BL potential of the collective will a community be able to truly see and effect changes in their society. “In dialogues, we may acknowledge that we have our own experiences, but we must be careful not to be limited by these. We must keep in mind foremost how the group wants to frame the discussion to ensure a clear and common goal”, Shaine Solidum said.
After the workshop, the fellows were tasked to conduct Rapid Area Assessments (RAA) in their communities to gather more information on the societal gaps they are trying to address through their change prototypes. Following the completion of the RAA, fellows will be participating in Workshop 2: Co-Ownership of the program by November this year.
Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed) is a project of the United States Agency for International Development and The Asia Foundation.
To learn more about AIM’s Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership, click here.