The Oxford Character Project partners with the Laidlaw Foundation to launch an Ethical Leadership Programme

Laidlaw Scholars across 17 universities will receive the ethical leadership training as part of the Laidlaw Scholars Leadership and Research Programme, which is designed to develop a new generation of diverse leaders who are skilled researchers, embrace data-driven decision making, and believe that leading with integrity is a moral imperative.

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The Laidlaw Scholars Leadership and Research Programme takes place over the first two years of scholars’ undergraduate degrees. The Scholarship is designed to develop a new generation of diverse leaders who are skilled researchers, embrace data-driven decision making, and believe that it is a moral imperative to lead with integrity. An integral part of this fully funded programme is training in ethical leadership, which seeks to support students to become leaders of good character who are able to apply judgment, make ethical decisions, and act with integrity. In order to develop these qualities and prepare Laidlaw Scholars for their leadership journey ahead, the Laidlaw Foundation is partnering with the Oxford Character Project, an interdisciplinary research initiative based at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, to deliver a six-month long ethical leadership training programme.

Laidlaw Scholars across 17 universities around the world will take part in the Oxford Ethical Leadership Programme. Scholars will participate in six virtual workshops, in addition to an in-person training that will be delivered at the Annual Laidlaw Scholars Conference. The workshops and training sessions will cover a wide range of topics focusing on character qualities that are essential for becoming ethical leaders, such as purpose, growth, love, integrity, and practical wisdom. At the end of each workshop, there will be an ethical leadership challenge for the Scholars to practice what they have learned and exchange ideas with their fellow Scholars. After successfully completing the programme, the scholars will receive certificates and access to additional resources that will help them to integrate various aspects of ethical leadership into their lives. This integration will pave the way for them to become lifelong practitioners of ethical leadership and, eventually, the leaders we want to see in the world.

Dr Edward Brooks, Executive Director of the Oxford Character Project, said: “At the University of Oxford, we are working to develop a generation of good leaders and wise thinkers. This partnership with the Laidlaw Foundation will present new opportunities to share our learnings and help an incredibly talented group of future leaders to develop their character and serve their communities.”

Susanna V. Kempe, CEO of the Laidlaw Foundation, commented: We don’t believe that anyone leaves university intending to lie and cheat once they reach positions of power; and yet in every sector and every geography we see egregious examples of unethical leadership. It is time we are as intentional about building moral muscle, as intellectual or physical strength.”