This Course matters more than ever.
Globally Certified Executive Leadership Education that helps you un-learn.
The highly acclaimed DSIL Course invites 20 maximum leaders from around the world to dive into un-learning the ways we have been taught to lead, strategise, build, and "be" in the world.
In this course, you will be invited to dive into a dedicated practice of developing massive mindsets shifts in ourselves so our systems have a shot at no bullshit change. You will be invited into uncomfortable questions that are relevant and alive in our world about equity, power, privilege and all the ways it shows up in the sectors you dedicate your life to and live under— no matter what level of leadership you find yourself at. You will navigate that complexity with a group of humans unlike you, purposefully put together so the "classroom" mirrors the real world.
You will build both a breadth of knowledge and depth of wisdom in this way; learning to pay attention to the nuance and context of every situation while leaning into 100-year strategy thinking that will shape the kind of ancestors it is our choice to become. The DSIL crew are expert emergent facilitators, experiential educational designers and accredited coaches that will challenge you and equally support you to evolve as the course progresses.
Your unique cohort will S T R E T C H your current perspectives of the world and the stories you tell about yourself, in hopes of showing the path to a very possible new frontier— where every voice is heard, equity is at the center, people come before process and conflict is seen as a strength at every turn. To do this we need to re-learn to listen to what needs attention in each moment. By the end, you will have changed internally, becoming more aware of who you are now, and leave with the practical tools you can put to use after every session is over.
"The DSIL Course to this day is still the most powerful program I have ever taken. Years after, I am still often reminded of my unique practice I uncovered of not just talking about new ways of being and doing that we learned, but embodying it so my teams and those that surround me might have an example of what possible future (and real leadership) can look like. My cohort is still there for personal and professional support and we grow together too because as the world change, that's what we also must do."
Let's cut to the chase and use an analogy that our team has been embracing for a while now- a garden! Thanks, Biomimicry! The way we were taught to design/lead in our relationships to self, our personal lives, our work, our "management" of people, ideas, innovation, and our companies/organizations (the list is endless) was to have everything "under control". This is especially true if you are identified as a leader. Leaders are like gardeners so it's unnatural for things to look pristine like the illustration shows. It feels uncomfortable because it is not natural! We were taught to be gardeners looking over a garden and making decisions for it. We know that this type of approach restricts so many of the crucial elements of life necessary for a vibrant and healthy group of people to grow too! Many of which we can't see, but we can absolutely feel. Take communication or trust, for example.
The truth is, if we want to move beyond surviving and into a thriving world we must learn to let go of control, realize we are a part of the garden (yes! even as a gardener), and that the more we let in, the more vibrant our lives, teams and solutions become. We realize, we no longer have to limit ourselves or others in ideas and our sense of a better direction for a world that is dying. DSIL doesn't have to yell this from the rooftops anymore- we can see it right in front of us. The time to make the shift into the garden is now.
Where do we begin? This feels like a really big task! It is, and it's a lifelong commitment to learning. The answer to where we start is: with the smallest microelements! The atoms that make up YOU. We consciously begin with ourselves. Everyone who comes to the course is already up for that and has done work that helped them land here.
Understanding and sense-making need to be constantly cultivated. Integrity is grown from the choices you make every day and those are crucial to every layer that moves outward. Who we are impacts those immediately surrounding us. That impact influences the systems we live in because we are the system. Self to Systems conversations are a key element you will see weaved throughout the course.
We will all take radical responsibility as humans. We will uncover what we do that is getting in the way of generating a new world, as well as noticing the unique strengths we each have to get us there quicker. Some think of this as pulling unconscious and learned patterns to a more conscious place while others just need to know new ways of being and start from there. This course has room for all of that and for most of us, it's a mixture of both. You won't be alone. Growing a garden is challenging and we will be challenging for one another so we can grow. However, support is abundant in the DSIL Community.
The mantra of "people before the process" has led our work and our own development inside the company. That is exactly what we will do when the course begins with the DSIL Virtual Loom. Practically, it gives us a chance to weave the relationships that are essential- between each unique cohort. We will see who we become together through self-discovery in groups, engaging in a variety of classrooms with diverse speakers from around the world. The plus side is that we can do all of this while showing you what is possible in making the 'virtual world' both more human and alive! So that's a bonus in this COVID world. Great programs do many things at one time, and that's true here.
What You'll Learn, Re-Learn and/or Un-Learn
The path forward is ready for a re-design, we need to make it a future we are proud of.
The Unique Course Design Teaches Too!
It's nothing new that we don't know what's coming next. Let's be honest, the earth and the conditions in it have always been evolving beyond our control. This is how we know we are alive! Knowing this, our team can promise that we have designed the most relevant and powerful learning conditions without taking unrealistic shortcuts. We need time to create change and transformation.
We are all teachers and learners in this garden and in the world! So, how we will learn really matters. The team integrates various ways of learning alongside different facilitators and speakers, with each bringing their own unique style. Our only bottom line is that it's 70% minimum interactive! This includes inviting in your voice and experiences, woven throughout the journey. Your real-life and your work will become a part of the curriculum at times and will plop you right in the conditions where you need to be to practice.
So come with your sleeves rolled up!
2022 Virtual or In-Person Immersion Course
Dates + Costs
2022 Virtual Executive Course starts October!
The Experience of the DSIL Team
"The DSIL lead team is what separates this course from all others, the stories and well of knowledge they pour in makes me feel like I advanced my career 10 years in 8 days."
- 2016 Alumni
Great educators do the work to know and understand the individuals as much as the content.
You'll be led by a team of diverse thought leaders with expertise in facilitation, progressive education, human-centered design and equity-based design, code-switching skills (being able to adapt to shifting cultures), business design, leadership, organizational culture change, executive coaching and systems strategy. Plus, we have the world in our cozy pocket. We have had more than 100 speakers on our interactive virtual classrooms for the past 6 years.
Our DSIL Alumni network is made up of powerful doers and movers as well and this trust built community will also support in the areas of learning that make the most sense for your cohort in 2020.
Co-Founder, DSIL Course Lead, Executive Coach
Katy Grennier is one of the most fierce and supportive humans you will meet and the one of the original designers of the course 8 years ago! This year will be her 13th cohort and for her this is her work home; where she invites participants, the team and her to come as we are and find our way with powerful questions our team is grappling with. As a leading practitioner in the field of design and leadership for the past 15 years; her foundations of curiosity and care are threaded throughout all of her work in emergent strategy and facilitation, executive coaching and interactive program design. A provocateur that challenges many outdated theories to evolve, Katy and the team are continuously experimenting with how to embed new tools and ways of being on ground where real impact is felt.
As the CEO of Designing for Systems Innovation and Leadership that means ensuring groups learn to repair the harms that have been caused in our collective past and present while non-negotiably moving away from toxic systems that maintain the status quo and keeping culture and context in the center. Much of who Katy is comes from her own powerful story the beginning of her life has handed her. She has been invited to over 30 countries and works with the largest and smallest mighty organizations in the world from IDEO, Microsoft, The Gates Foundation and the United Nations to tackle some of our most complex challenges together.
Course Co-Facilitator and Coach
Frieda is a transformative coach and mediator, creative consultant, and serial entrepreneur with a passion for supporting women and dancing like nobody’s watching. Frieda helps visionaries, small-business owners, and intrapreneurs find clarity and fulfilment, while holding them accountable to their goals, no matter how big or small. As a passionate feminist and coach, she aspires to uplift humanity and break down the barriers that keep so many from stepping into their full potential – through tough love and accountability. As a narrative nonfiction writer, she aims to cultivate compassion, strength, and a greater sense of connection, particularly for and amongst women.
Frieda brings her insane curiosity and a soothing calm to the Course. She holds an MA in social work and conflict management from Berlin’s Alice Salomon University, a dual BA in psychology and anthropology from Johns Hopkins University, and is a certified Executive Coach from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and a dual certified mediator from the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and the Center for Dispute Resolution. Frieda lives in Oakland, California.
Course Co-Facilitator and Coach
Gareth is all about that sweet spot where design, meets leadership, meets global public health. Every immersion Gareth leads, starts with his stories of working in family planning and sexual health and how it shaped his worldview; and the importance of Voice, Choice, Safety and Fun. It doesn’t matter if Gareth is running a leadership program or a clinic – everyone should have a voice, a choice as to how much or how little they participate, they should always feel safe (noting that comfortable doesn’t equal safe) and we should be having fun (encouraging play).
When he is not teaching on the course or coaching participants as part of their journey, you’ll find him designing age-friendly cities and communities with 79-year-olds in the Philippines or designing care pathways and service improvement innovations with young key populations affected by HIV. For Gareth, equity-centered design, emergent facilitation and leadership are intertwined yet discrete disciplines, and it’s an honour for him to have been able to forge a career where he can utilize, and teach forward all three.
Course Co-Facilitator and Coach
Melina is a global citizen, social entrepreneur and coach with a passion for facilitating groups and individuals to do great things. Named an ADC Future Leader by the Australian Davos Connection (ADC), Melina has 15 years experience working on the development of entrepreneurial networks and ecosystems to deliver social and environmental impact across the Asia Pacific region. She also has a passion for being deeply embedded and creating grassroots impact. In her Cambodia years, Melina co-founded two social enterprises, now locally owned and operated, and internationally recognised for their excellence in sustainable tourism and human development. Back in Melbourne, Melina took the helm of one of Australia’s original coworking spaces, Inspire9, supporting the growth and amplification of a lively community of startups, freelancers and creatives, birthplace of CultureAmp, Rome2Rio and landing pad for many international startups such as Eventbrite and Etsy.
Mel currently serves as a coach, mentor, advisor and board member to a range of startups, social enterprises and organisations, and supports program development at SecondMuse, a global innovation and ecosystem building organisation. She enjoys a well-mixed cocktail, discovering new challenges and changemakers, and learning new languages.
DSIL Quick Videos
Scroll and take a peek at the course and the impact it has in these short videos. From them, we hope you get a feel for the dynamic learning environment the course creates and the tone of the people who commit to this learning dive.
The #dsilstory series will tell you how the course created impact for 3 specific alumni.
Sawako, Japan + USA
Sawako came to learn about creating innovative solutions using co-creation. She learned how to integrate this into her own classrooms and how to change the lecturing style itself with tools she learned about facilitation.
An Intrapreneur and problem solver already in the field of innovation, Mansi came to focus her learning on building her self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and connection to her authentic self.
As an Entrepreneur and Creative working at
NYU, Chris came to DSIL to learn about the practice of Human-Centred Design in the real world.
Get a taste of HOW we teach!
We spend 100's of hours designing free, open-sourced resources, available to everyone inspired by the course design. We all learn in different ways, and we wanted a toolkit that allowed for it all.
Learn more about design thinking, human-centred design, building cultures of co-creation, conscious leadership, business innovation and more through our selected DSIL Virtual Classrooms and DSIL Open-Source Curriculum. Get the learning party started!
Interactive and Open Source Virtual Classrooms since 2014!!
A series of live, interactive, 60 minute online sessions
Hosted by thought leaders, practitioners and innovative problem solvers from every hemisphere, speakers have been carefully selected to expedite high-level understanding by exploring critical issues, recent experiences in the field and emerging learnings. Past speakers include disrupters from around the world including leaders from the Stanford d.school, MIT D-Lab, IDEO, IBM and THNK School of Creative Leadership. DSIL releases classrooms to the public each year after the course closes to encourage the world to learn!
DSIL Open Source Curriculum
An open-source curriculum by progressive educators
Pushing the boundaries of how we learn and bring in different opinions on topics, you'll find a variety of engaging ways to learn and hands-on challenges to spark thinking and practice skills in the DSIL Curriculum. The curriculum was designed to let you start learning where and how you want. It pulls in hundreds of voices so you can expand your perspective while learning to listen to other views.
This is a free resource and we invite you to share it with everyone!