Building generational commitment to serving the Common Good
- INSTITUTION(S): ESADE
- COUNTRY(IES): Catalonia, Spain
- CONTACT: Josep M. Lozano
- ADACEMIC PROGRAM: VICENS VIVES PROGRAM: VALUES, COMMITMENT AND LEADERSHIP
In the Vicens Vives Program, we focus on developing young professionals who have around five years management experience in a variety of sectors, from business to politics, and NGOs to unions. No one can apply for the program in the usual way – all students have to be recommended by their CEO or HR department. All our students have strong academic backgrounds and successful careers thus far, as well as a commitment to their social, cultural and natural environments, and a real desire to gain deeper self-knowledge, and to develop their reflective, creative and critical capacities.
The aim of the program is to develop and extend these qualities and engender a generational commitment to rectifying the worldwide problems of the twenty-first century. The thirty or so students on each year-long course work together to try and find answers to questions such as ‘What world and what country do we live in?’ and to suggest ways in which the world and country can be improved. The three areas of focus are technical-economic, socio-political and culture and values.
Because the program is led by just three people, all members of the group quickly build strong relationships based on trust, where they can exchange ideas with a view to working together, not competing against one another. Sermons, calls for volunteers and indoctrination are absent from the program. Instead, learning comes about through debate – whether strictly objective or more subjective – and the strong relationships at the heart of the program which enable influence to flow without ulterior selfish motives.
As well as weekly classes, the program involves three weekends away, where participants have time for deep personal reflection on what it is they are doing, why they are doing it, and how they could do it better. All this will help them to develop as leaders, enabling the organizations – business or otherwise –to serve the Common Good.