In Retrospect Series: The Post-Secondary International Network (PIN) Leadership Summit at the 2023 World Congress

Written by Phil Ker, Executive Director, PIN.

This second PIN-WFCP Leadership Summit was built around the theme of transformation, with excellent presentations on how leaders themselves can be transformative, how leaders can transform their institutions and how leaders can lead their institutions to help transform society. We also had a case study on how not to go about an institutional transformation, as well as one on a truly transformational (for the learner) approach to learning and teaching. The presentations can be accessed here:

The Summit kicked off with a well attended PIN social event the evening before. Our usual PIN “rolling round tables” networking process was so successful that participants were still going strong half an hour after the event officially ended and the drinks had run out!

The Summit, by design,  had a professional development flavour to it. This was appreciated by the participants, many of whom commented on the group based coaching model presented by Michael Seguin and Bianca Briciu. The model incorporates generative dialogue to stimulate reflection on important issues brought to the group by one of its members.

I personally appreciated the articulation of taking a systems approach to transformational change. This means mapping key relationships and interconnections in the change journey and through that identifying leverage points to prioritise action.

Another gem for me came in Bianca‘s opening keynote address: “listening is the most underrated leadership skill ‘’. As we all know, effective leaders are good listeners, but for transformative leaders,  “changing how you listen means that you change how you experience relationships in the world, and if you change that, you change, well, everything”.

Feedback at the end of the Summit was very positive indeed, with participants particularly enjoying the opportunities to network, and the practical activities that were built into the programme. Comments were very favourable on the relevance and range of the presentations, being real life case studies of transformation across all of the conference themes.

Some snippets from the feedback:

“It is clear that transformation success depends on doing some basics really, really well”.

“Allow yourself to embrace failure and celebrate the survival of your failings”.

“The Summit reminded me about meeting the learner where the learner is. This is really what being learner-centred is all about”.

Participants were asked to provide suggestions for the next Leadership Summit, intended to be in Jamaica in November 2024, again prior to the WFCP World Congress. Suggestions, which we will take on board, included:

  • Future trends – what’s coming round the corner next.
  • Artificial intelligence and its impact on and implications for post-secondary education in the future.
  • More on reflective practice and particularly how to build reflective practice into everyday leadership.
  • Even more opportunities to network, and if possible in a social context as part of the Summit.


All in all another successful Leadership Summit. My personal thanks to those who presented, and to all who participated.

PIN Summit Participants listen with rapt attention during one of the presentations

PIN Summit Participants listen with rapt attention during one of the presentations

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics organizes a World Congress every 1-2 years. The international gathering attracts 1000+ experts and professionals in the field of professional technical education and training from all continents. The WFCP 2023 Congress was held in Montréal, Canada, from April 23– 25, 2023. Hosted by Colleges and Institutes Canada, the Congress’ theme of ‘Collective Intelligence’ resonated with the amazing host city, Montréal, renowned as a hub of cultural, environmental, social and artificial intelligence!