The Center for Creative Leadership and Design Impact collaborated with WeSchool and iFEEL to develop the Global Citizen Leaders (GCL) program. The program was designed to develop leadership, innovation and social engagement in the next generation of business leaders in India. Some 260 business school students participated in the program, which challenged them to apply their learning via dozens of social innovation projects spanning rural entrepreneurship, clean water, sanitation, education, agribusiness, healthcare, financial inclusion, and other domains.

Students were positively impacted in multiple ways by the GCL program. For instance:

  • Students reported gaining skills associated with both leadership and innovation components. For example, increased self-awareness and improved observation skills were among the top two areas of growth.
  • Other top areas of development included experimentation, generating new ideas, insightfulness, connection with others, and empathy.
  • Students formed strong associations between leadership and innovation. Both rely on understanding others better, the courage to take risks, and persistence in the face of adversity.
  • Students described the powerful impact of participating in field work with people from diverse backgrounds. They spoke about seeing people differently, being more open to getting to know others, and moving from a cognitive understanding of a social issue to a genuine emotional connection to it.
  • Students reported changing the way they approach and tackle problems, becoming more effective working in teams and more motivated to improve and address societal issues.
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