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Masterclass: Inclusive leadership for Depolarisation

Inclusive leaders contribute to organisations where individuals feel welcome and where they can be themselves.

Inclusive leaders create welcoming environments where everyone can be themselves. However, polarisation poses a major challenge. This way of thinking promoting simplistic 'us vs. them' thinking. In this three-days masterclass, we explore the causes and impact of social polarisation and improve your skills for engaging in dialogue with individuals whose views differ from your own.

The first two days cover the concepts of polarisation and depolarisation from various fields including: anthropology,  political science, computer science and psychology. The masterclass will be led by depolarisation expert Dr.  Maja Nenadovic and our Senior Programme lead in Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Kate Kirk.  There will be keynotes from computer scientist Dr. Cynthia Liem over the role of AI in polarisation and political scientist Dr. Femke Bakker on the role contemplative practices can play in depolarisation.  Participants will engage in practical exercises in small groups, enjoying a serene natural setting. Then, they will develop plans to apply their learning in their own organisations.

On the third day, at our historic  university building  in Den Haag, participants will practice their depolarisation skills with actors. Professor Marieke van den Brink  will also share strategies for managing resistance and polarisation in Diversity and Inclusion policies.

Polarisation is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. It is characterised by black-and-white thinking, reducing the multiplicity of social differences to a few dimensions of us and them. This arises from the misunderstanding that individuals and groups can be completely separate and opposite. (Social) media can reinforce polarisation by emphasising perceived characteristics of being different.

Inclusive leadership requires cognitive flexibility, opening the mind and heart to nuanced perspectives, and embracing our shared humanity. In depolarizing social discussions, we can connect with people whose opinions differ from our own, while remaining connected to our own feelings, needs and values.

The masterclass is designed for professionals working in diverse environments, preferably with some knowledge on Diversity and Inclusion.  This course is taught in English, so it is important that you have at least (Cambridge) 'Business English, B2' and preferably 'Business English C1 or C2 level'. Are you unsure if your English is sufficient? Or do you lack experience in the field of diversity and inclusion? Please contact us, we can answer any questions you may have and decide if this course is the right fit.

Dr. Kate Kirk

Dr. Maja Nenadovic

Dr. Cynthia Liem

Dr. Femke Bakker

Prof. dr. Marieke van den Brink

Ruud van Andel

Jos Velhuizen

Spring start date:
3 days: 20 June, 21 June, 19 September
Cost: € 2250
Location: Leiden University, The Hague (and at external location)
Participants: 16


Register for this three-day English-language masterclass. Keep in mind we will review your registration and see if it is a good fit before we confirm your participation, send you the payment instructions and the details for this masterclass.


For questions about this masterclass, please contact Kate from the Centre for Professional Learning:

E: learning@fgga.leidenuniv.nl
T: 070 800 9504


We will contact you after you fill in the registration to see if it's a good match. If it is, we will send you a payment link and all the necessary information to get started in June.

Register for this masterclass
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