Global Institute for Leadership and Management Development
UVI launches summer program to provide new perspectives on leadership
By Shawn McCoy - Daily News staff
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
St. Thomas -- to become a global leader in turbulent times, one must bear ones ego, learn from mistakes and develop a powerful vision for the future. University of the Virgin islands, president emeritus Orville Kean, delivered that message -- illustrated by examples from movies, novels and powerful world leaders -- Tuesday morning during the keynote speech of the official opening of the 2003 Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders in the Caribbean.
And on the first day of the two-week program, inquisitive young minds wasted no time challenging the message.
"Most of the world's leaders don't bury their key goal or learn from those who came before them," countered Jo-zette Dick, a Morgan State University student originally from Trinidad.
Keane's reply -- that is why fictional leaders from films such as "the matrix" often make more sense than a real-life heads of state -- brought roaring laughter from the students.
But the frank discussion buzzing in the room afterward was downright serious. And it was just what institute directors had hoped for when they change this year's camp from a lecture-based curriculum to one featuring workshops and forums.
"The major change this year is in the way we impart knowledge," said institute director Solomon Kabuka. "Our mission is to equip students with knowledge and skills about dynamic elements in the community that shape revolutions, economies and socio-cultural change”. This year, colleges from across the Caribbean, United States and Europe handpicked 45 students to attend the camp. They will be challenged, guided by ambassadors from three Caribbean nations in a World Forum and forced to think in unconventional ways.
"We have 45 young minds, each with their own idea of how the world should be," said UVI President Laverne Ragster. "We want to them to leave here beginning to develop their own sense of leadership and an improved understanding of how to fit into the world."
With students from around the world speaking in myriad native tongues, there will be no shortage of new perspectives from which to draw.
"I hope to gain a better understanding of the Caribbean perspective of globalization," Dick said. "The cultural experience -- with Americans, Europeans and all -- is amazing."