Praxis: Training for Change Agents

Praxis : Training for change agents

You’ve learned about wide-spread issues facing our world today – from climate change to social inequalities – and you’re trying to work on the solutions. But creating change is tough, and it’s easy to stumble over the details. How do we form strong teams who feel connected and dedicated to a collective vision of the future? How can we best raise awareness of our cause? Praxis is a new leadership program by the McGill Office for Sustainability (MOOS), developed for students who have been involved in community projects and want to skill up to the next level. 

Facilitated by MOOS staff, the program consists of 6 workshops, which feature a combination of leadership theory, personal reflection, and case studies of environmental and social sustainability, so you can make real change happen. You’ll learn more about yourself and how to lead change, so you can supercharge the campaigns, clubs, and projects that you love.

Join a cohort of 20 students who are motivated to become effective leaders to create positive change in the world. Participants must attend 5 out of the 6 workshops to receive an attestation of participation.

Applications for the Winter 2019 cohort are now closed. Applicants will be notified shortly about their admission into the program. Sessions will tentatively be held on Thursday evenings (5:30–7:30 pm) downtown.

Sustainability Leadership Training Program

Meet and greet

Come meet and mingle with your fellow members of the first Praxis cohort as we kick off the program. 

Foundations of Leadership in Sustainability (mandatory)

This two-hour workshop will introduce you to the concept of leadership in sustainability, and provide an overview of the skills that are crucial to social change. The workshop guides participants to identify the relevance of leadership in sustainability, assess your strengths and weaknesses, reflect, and begin to conceptualize concrete plans for achieving growth.

Learning outcomes:

  • Explain how leadership is relevant to your involvement in sustainability
  • Assess your leadership strengths and weaknesses
  • Begin the process of self-initiated leadership development

Leading Teams for Success

This two-hour workshop will enhance your understanding of how your approach can ensure a team is concretely advancing sustainability. Leaders will learn about the functions and influences of a team leader, as well as how a group’s norms can help or hinder cohesion. Participants will have the opportunity to practice methods of building long-term engagement. Lastly, they will identify sources of conflict and potential strategies for their resolution.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the functions of teams and team leaders
  • Identify ways to manage group norms
  • Determine effective strategies to manage team conflict

Negotiation Skills

Sustainability is all about getting to a collective vision that resonates with many different kinds of people. But what happens when two parties just can’t agree? This two-hour workshop looks at the components of a successful negotiation and the characteristics of a good negotiator. Leaders will learn several practical tools and practice examples of how to deal with such situations.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the negotiation process and identify negotiation opportunities
  • Apply negotiation models in practical simulations

No session

Motivating and Inspiring Teams

What do you do when your team is feeling blah? In this two-hour workshop, leaders gain a deeper understanding of sources of motivation, as well as the essential components of increasing a team member’s dedication toward a goal. With these building blocks, participants will learn how to leverage motivation to connect to the organization’s sustainability vision.

Learning Objectives

  • Define two sources of motivation for work
  • Describe a leader’s role in communicating a vision
  • Practice effective goal-setting techniques

Solving Problems and Seeing the Big Picture

Sometimes a particular sustainability issue is not really what it seems. Leaders will outline their responsibilities to team members, and reflect on situations where leadership is actually the source of a problem. Participants will learn how to use the Seven Steps tool to assess a problem and seek appropriate solutions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the source of problems
  • Follow seven steps to arrive at adequate solutions

Messaging and Strategy

This workshop will explore how to tell a story and make ideas resonate with the broader community. In this two-hour session, participants will learn about the different elements of building a communications strategy, as well as practice defining the goals, audience, message and tactics that will mobilize people around a sustainability initiative.

Learning outcomes:

  • Define a communications goal, audience, and appropriate tone
  • Identify tactics which can advance a goal
  • Recognize what techniques lead to effective communications

End of term potluck

Come gather in the McGill Office of Sustainability treehouse as we celebrate the completion of the Praxis training program by sharing a meal with friends and colleagues.