Leadership Diploma for School Children

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Leadership Diploma for School Children: Developing the Leaders of tomorrow

GreeceThessaloniki, Greece
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Greece is in crisis. However, there are charismatic Greek children who have the potential to be agents of change and leaders in business, politics, and society. We have developed a Leadership Diploma for schoolchildren that seeks to imbue future leaders with an awareness of social justice.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we developed children as future leaders and imbued them with the idea that improving social justice should be the goal of all organizations?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Greece is experiencing a significant economic and social crisis. The future is bleak, and the majority of young people believe they should leave Greece. This brain drain perpetuates a self-fulfilling prophesy, whereby the talented and brightest want to leave Greece. Finally, there is a widespread belief that corrupt systems can't be easily changed.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The biggest problem in developing leaders is imbuing people with the appropriate ethical outlook. We have developed a Leadership Diploma for Children to; (1) give young Greek people the opportunity to experience themselves as having agency to change things, (2) demonstrate to them the benefit of leadership that contributes to social justice, (3) our leadership school also includes individuals from marginalized parts of Greek society, so children have the opportunity to work with diverse members of the community. The program involves experiential and active learning methodologies that engineer scenarios where school children are provided with an opportunity to take a leadership role.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We have recently completed the first year of our program. I will provide two examples of projects the children were involved with. The students facilitated communication with business leaders and non-profit organizations, with the aim of coordinating an event to question whether social responsibility policies help or hurt charities. Secondly, the students created three new political parties and presented them to the local media as an alternative to mainstream political parties in Greece. Their new parties were so interesting that they were interviewed by a national TV station in Greece (SKAI TV).

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We have finished our first year. We have witnessed the impact that this program has had on the 18 school children that attended the course, their parents and the schools they attend (which were partners in the project). The impact of our program can only evaluated in the long term, but the immediate impact has been that students have experienced themselves in a leadership role. Thus, we only have the qualitative feedback of the children and their families/teachers to indicate this impact. The course has received good media coverage, so the message that positive things are happening in Greece for children is being circulated. The fact that our program includes school children from diverse backgrounds (i.e., public schools, private schools and marginalised communities) has generated considerable interest from the educational community in Greece.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our strategy for scaling-up the leadership diploma covers the period November 2013-November 2018. Short-term: We have finished piloting the program with two cohorts; a junior class with 9 children (ages 13-14) and senior class 9 children (ages 15-16). The program started in November 2013 and ended in July 2014. Mid-term: We intend to have 60 children in the period Nov 2014-Nov 2016. Long-term: In terms of scalability, we intend to role the program out in the North/North Eastern Greece. We will train program leaders (2014-2016 period) and establish courses in 4 new Greek cities.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The project is presently run on a voluntary basis. We need funding to employ 2 full-time admin staff. Our financial sustainability can be insured by having 50% students fee-paying and 50% sponsored by industry. We are actively approaching organizations to fund a scholarship via their social corporate responsibility programs.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In Greece, there is a huge market in after-school activities for children that address both educational needs and hobbies. However, our program is the first one in Greece that uses university professors/business leaders/social leaders to develop children in leadership.

Founding Story

Anthony Montgomery, the founder, is an associate professor in Organizational Psychology. He has been involved in adult leadership development since 1999, but always believed that developing leadership in school children was the way to go. In 2013, he organised an international conference in Greece and invited schoolchildren to make a presentation in how they would reimagine their schools (if put in charge!). That experience gave him the "Aha" moment when he taught, we should develop a leadership training program for schoolchildren.


Dr. Efharis Panagopoulou is a clinical health psychologist. She is the head of the progam, and focuses on emotional leadership and communication. She is part-time and her contribution is voluntary. Ms. Karolina Doulougeri is the administrator, she is part-time. Ms. Katerina Georganta and Ms. Despina Karagianni are part-time volunteers that contribute to coordination of the program. All members of our team are registered psychologists.
About You
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About Your Project
Organization Name
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Organization Country

, Thessaloniki

Country where this project is creating social impact
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Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Businesses.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

We are partnered with the following organizations:
The Ideas Foundation, London, UK http://ideasfoundation.org.uk/
The Center for Talented Youth, Dublin City University, Ireland http://www.dcu.ie/ctyi/index.shtml