Make an Impact // Networking & Professional Development

Leadership Development - StartingBloc

StartingBloc offers a new paradigm of leadership for a decentralized, sustainable and just world. Leadership that is self-aware, mature, competent and connected.

What does StartingBloc do?

Since our founding in 2003, our programs have reached 3500+ change leaders in 56 countries. 44 StartingBloc Institutes have been held in New York, DC, LA, New Orleans, Boston, Raleigh-Durham, and London. Over the past fifteen years, we’ve helped entrepreneurs, activists, and other change leaders learn the skills, obtain the resources, and find the allies they need to craft thriving movements and organizations — and we’re just getting started.

How does StartingBloc do this?

We run highly-rated leadership institutes in Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham and New York that reach more than 300 civic leaders, educators, activists, freelancers and entrepreneurs each year. These serve as the launching event into the lifelong Fellowship. The curriculum focuses on adaptive/emergent leadership, transformative justice and restorative practices, and a respected leadership tool called Polarity Mapping, which allows people to hold and integrate paradox and divergent perspectives.

We bring that same content and expertise out into teams, organizations and civic groups through our consultancy work. Since launching in 2018, we’ve supported teams at Facebook, Red Bull, the American Heart Association and the University of Chapel Hill in shifting culture and developing their leadership talent.

We are an inclusive organization – 65% of our Fellows are people of color, 55% are women, 20% are international, and last year we awarded more than $100k in scholarships to make the Fellowship program socio-economically accessible.

We’re experts at building and sustaining high-trust community. Our Fellows continue to work together, share resources, coach each other, start projects, and engage in StartingBloc’s chapters for years after their Institute.

To what end?

We believe that growing transformative leadership is one of the greatest leverage points across all systemic challenges: climate change, social justice, poverty, education, and more. Leaders shape public narrative, organizational design, and more broadly, cultural norms. We believe that investing in people, both their personal development and their professional skill set, is how we might accelerate the pace of cultural shift towards a more life sustaining, thriving world.

We’re moving out of the Industrial Revolution and into forms of being and living and working together that are, as the philosopher Joanna Macy says, “life sustaining”.

We can see a path forward – but our progress has been slow, stifled by existing power structures and outdated bureaucracy, and both the process of change and its outcomes remain inequitable and unjust.

We were taught to lead and make choices through formulaic, prescriptive “styles” of leadership. We have a leadership culture built on scarcity, fear, and hyper focus on growth.

We’re trying to use this same style of leadership to move us into new structures and systems and it’s not working.

Here’s the good news. Our cultural norms around what makes a “good” leader were made up. So, we can change them.

StartingBloc offers a new paradigm of leadership for a decentralized, sustainable and just world. Leadership that is self-aware, mature, competent and connected.

We’re building a network effect: finding high potential leaders, shifting their perspective on what it means to lead well, and connecting them in to a community of support.

We offer leadership development Institutes; once you attend an Institute, you are a part of our lifelong, global Fellowship community. We also offer workshop facilitation with organizations.

We do this because we believe leadership needs to change. Let’s shift the culture of leadership together.

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