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Innovative and Entrepreneurial Leadership

Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada

2021 (TBC)

Commonwealth Leaders Dialogue Canada in partnership with Acadia University is delivering the this innovative program along the shores of the Minas Basin, in Wolfville and Halifax.

Today's leaders operate in increasingly complex environments. Organizations today need leaders who can look at challenges in new ways to find innovative solutions. Learn from leaders and through peer-to-peer dialogue how to create new ideas, leverage unexpected opportunities, and act quickly to effect change with lasting results.

Through this leadership program, participants will experience how organization leaders are implementing strategies that transform traditional thinking in order to achieve sustainable growth in urban and rural centres. Participants will engage with leaders and organizations that are encouraging innovative and entrepreneurial strategies to enhance regional economic prosperity.


The program combines three proven leadership learning components:

LEADERSHIP MODULES - Led by Acadia University facilitators, participants experience workshops and team discussions, on key leadership competencies and are challenged to review their own leadership styles.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING - In small groups, participants engage in-the-field over 3 days with senior leaders of business, labour, government, and civil society organizations, learning about sectoral leadership challenges, diversity, and best practices for success.

PEER LED DIALOGUES - Throughout the week, participants, build trust in themselves and lead dialogues on some of the most challenging issues that are encountered within workplaces, organizations and communities.

"[CLD] programs strike the right balance between structured and experiential learning and draws participants into thought provoking discussions, and encourages critical thinking, and innovative problem solving. I would recommend the [CLD] programs for anyone interested in developing their leadership skills."

- Jason Quinn, P.Eng. Senior Environmental Advisor, Natural Resources Canada


Commonwealth Leaders Dialogue Canada has been at the forefront of unique leadership programing in Canada for the past decade. Acadia University, founded in 1838, is one of the oldest and most respected liberal arts universities in Canada, and is known for its research and development initiatives.

Together they present an outstanding program that provides:

Leadership learning that builds confidence in collaborative, diverse and ethical decision-making

A focus on innovation and thinking across boundaries

Participation in an alumni network that provides opportunities to connect and grow with leaders in all sectors.

"[CLD] Canada offers an excellent program to foster leadership from many organizational perspectives. Not only was the program content relevant and of high standard, the relationship building and dialogue between participants is where the real learning happens."

- Chelsea Quirke, Manager, Environmental Waste Management Programs, Air Canada


  • A diverse range of leaders from business, labour, government, Indigenous communities, public administration, and NGOs.
  • High-potential emerging leaders and star talent being developed for roles of increasing responsibility.
  • Mid-career executives and front line managers who are expected to take on more complex decision-making in a rapidly changing organizational environment.

"The opportunity to spend a full week with emerging leaders from a cross section of industry and government was priceless. An excellent mix of classroom and hands on learning."

- Shayla Point, Director of Market Development, Laws & Stakeholder Relations, First Nations Financial Management Board

REPORTED outcomes

Alumni from recently held Dialogues have reported:

    • Positive impact to their capabilities as leaders, with 88% affirming their expectation of the experience had been met;
    • Recurrent descriptor of leadership learning among alumni are "communicative, common ground, collaborative and connective";
    • Alumni describe key outcomes as a renewed understanding of authenticity in leadership, engaging across diverse perspectives to build trust and empathy, and a broader understanding in a collective quest for solutions to local challenges;
    • Alumni reported increased professional duties but also took up key responsibilities in their communities and among their peers - bringing change and innovation to these contexts.

During this unique in-field experience, participants develop key competencies in:

    • Diversity and cultural intelligence
    • Complex problem solving
    • Collaborative negotiation
    • Promotion of innovation
    • Inclusion and competitiveness
    • Ethical decision-making
    • Conflict management

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