The 2011 Mandel Graduates Conference will focus on the Professional Identity of Mandel Graduates – entrepreneurs and leaders striving to transform the field of education and society in Israel and in the world. The conference provides opportunities for the continued development of the Graduates’ professional identity through reflection and the acquisition of knowledge and tools – all these in the aim of consolidation of a vision, leadership empowerment, entrepreneurship encouragement and leveraging organizational management. The conference components are designed to create an additional dimension to the professional Mandel Graduates community that focuses and operates in the educational and social fields.
Mandel Graduates, in leading and managing educational and social organizations, are often faced with challenges connected to their professional, individual, communal or organizational identity. Professional identity is part of a mosaic of identities that exist in everyone simultaneously. For this reason, during the conference we would like to provide the opportunity for a shared examination of the components of professional identity at various levels: individual, organizational, communal and national – in aim of creating and obtaining new knowledge and skills and to increase their capacity to create change in the educational and social fields. The choice to focus on the Professional Identity question reflects the Mandel Foundation’s vision and the Mandel Graduate Unit’s mission to advance the long-term professional development of Mandel Graduates, through dialogue and the examination of essential theoretical and practical aspects of education and society. In addition, the conference aims to facilitate and further strengthen connections and collaborations amongst the Mandel Graduates Community.
As in previous Mandel conferences, the basic assumption at the 2011 Mandel Conference is that change begins with the individual, expanding to and influencing organizations, communities and Israeli society. The Graduates’ social and educational actions can be enriched by understanding global changes and trends and, most importantly, by transforming theory into practice. The conference reflects on a variety of aspects of this process, through workshops (facilitating individual and communal processes); introduction to educational and social initiatives of Mandel Graduates; and exposure to world-renowned experts in the field of management, community and leadership.
What is in the program?
The conference will open with a workshop led by Prof. Robert Kegan of Harvard University, which will examine the “Immunity to Change" theory underlying his research and its effects on the professional identity of managers and leaders in organizations.
During the three pre-conference workshops, Mandel Graduates were invited to reflect on the various facets of their professional identity through the perspectives of art, writing and ethics. The outcomes of the workshops will be presented at the Professional Identity panels. During these panels we will present the various languages which can be used to examine and explore the term of Professional Identity. During a parallel panel we will also focus on Jewish identity, communities and organizations in times of change.
Later, Dr. Etienne Wenger and Ms. Beverly Trayner will lecture on “Community of Practice.” During the lecture we will deepen our understanding regarding the concept of “learning citizenship” and examine its meaning in the twenty-first century and for Mandel community. Among other things we will examine the concepts of "spaces of practice" and the “borders” which define how learning spaces can be created as a means of empowering a learning community and as a means to increase its’ influence. In this way the participants will be exposed to the concept of “learning citizenship” as a form of leadership based on professional identity. The aim of the lecture is to create a common base of concepts and language, which will allow further community discussion. The discussion following the lecture, which will be moderated by Dr. Etienne Wenger and Ms. Beverly Trayner, will use participatory methods by which the concept of “learning citizenship” will be acquired in order to design a new vision for the Mandel community. The uniqueness of the Mandel community lies in its members' commitment to one goal: the promotion of education and society. During the conference the Graduates will be given the opportunity to brainstorm, present and discuss their various visions.
The conference will be sealed with a lecture by Prof. David Dery who will focus on the central role played by leadership and entrepreneurship in shaping the professional identity of Mandel Graduates. In direct line with this lecture, a Social and Educational Initiative Fair will take place, in which Mandel Graduates will present their new social initiatives and will be given the opportunity to leverage and promote them with partners and stakeholders. During the preparation period before the Conference, Mandel Graduates were provided with individual coaching and presentation skills in order to support them in realizing their vision.