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Featured Speaker: Ryan Burke

Leading by Design

As a school leader, you are working to create a program that is innovative, adaptive and evolving at the pace necessary to keep up with the world. This is exciting work—though also challenging, requiring a varied and potent skill set, including the ability to have effective conversations that move the needle forward despite differences of opinion and potentially deep emotions. Many of these conversations can be difficult and test your resolve, particularly as you work to remain grounded and strive to build relationships.

Over the course of the seminar, you will explore the intersection between human-centered leadership skills and a designer's mindset. Working in an engaging, activity-oriented, “lab-based” environment, you will practice critical conversations, participate in a mini-design challenge, and try on the mindset used by designers. You will be invited to share case-studies and define your signature presence—that is, a unique and potent way of being in which you exhibit behaviors that feel authentic to you and others, and enable you to achieve powerful results that align with your goals and vision. You will also integrate the latest research in change management to understand your school-based challenges. Further, you will explore the conversations that, while needed in every school, do not always happen effectively. 

As the symposium concludes, you will explore your school-based challenges through a “system's thinking lens” that will give you an opportunity to plan forward and identify points of leverage back in your school. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Build connections and create conversations between school leaders
  • Experience a mini-design challenge and reflect on how a designer's mindset can inform and enhance your professional work
  • Practice, build, and reflect on critical conversation skills
  • Build a signature presence profile and set goals as to how to use it to solve problems
  • Increase awareness of best practices regarding change management, innovation, and systems theory 

Ryan BurkeRyan Burke (@RyanmBurke) is co-founder of Leadership+Design, an organization that helps schools and school leaders build capacity and create conversations and connections. He is also head of the Upper School at Allendale Columbia School in Rochester, New York. In 2011, Ryan was on the leadership team of TEDxOverlake. Later that year, he co-founded Leading is Learning, an educational collaborative which later evolved to become Leadership+Design. Ryan is currently facilitating workshops for educators on the topics of Critical Conversation Skills, Design Thinking, and Innovation in Schools. He has worked with students, faculty, boards, and families both in schools and as a therapist. Ryan is a parent of 3 children and lives and works in upstate NY. He holds an MA in Applied Behavioral Science from Bastyr University.

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