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In partnership with the University of Michigan's Weiser Center for Europe & Eurasia and the William Davidson Institute, we are excited to launch another NGO Leadership Workshop, a distinctive NGO capacity-building program. Our current focus is on supporting NGOs in Ukraine.

Tailored for NGO leaders and activists, this workshop sharpens skills in leadership, strategic decision-making, emotional intelligence, stress management, resilience, and conflict resolution and negotiations to enhance impact. Our dynamic four-day workshop combines live sessions and e-learning, fostering deep connections and collaboration opportunities among participants.

We look forward to hosting civil society activists and NGO leaders committed to making a difference through humanitarian efforts and memory work in Ukraine for this transformative journey, aimed at amplifying the impact of their invaluable work.

Learning outcomes


Master human-centric leadership to inspire, connect, and navigate NGO challenges.


Deepen understanding of emotional intelligence to improve communication, manage stress,

and foster leadership resilience.


Develop strategic decision-making skills to maintain resilience

and accuracy under pressure during crisis situations.


Identify and mitigate burnout risks while building personal

and organizational resilience

through practical wellness strategies.


Utilize advanced negotiation and conflict resolution techniques to forge sustainable agreements and manage disputes effectively.

  • How to register?
    Please fill out the application form and send it to us no later than February 20, 2022. Together with partners from helping organizations, the media, and donors of the program, we will select the participants of the 5-day program. The exact number of participants will depend on the current anti-pandemic measures. We will inform you about the result by February 28. You can register for our webinars, workshops, and other activities at any time during the year.
  • Anti-pandemic measures
    Our event will take place in accordance with valid anti-pandemic measures. Since the rules may change before the event, we will send specific information and requirements to the selected applicants at the beginning of March. We will also provide self-tests during the event.
  • Do you need more information?
    If you want to ask something, share ideas or give us feedback, write to Ivka at
  • How much will it cost?
    The program is free of charge. We will also pay for your accommodation and meals (breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks). Just come! V prípade otázok napíš Ivke na
  • What do we offer?
    This program is about your talent and skills. That's why it's called Boundless - to realize your enormous potential and endless possibilities. Boundless Academy offers a unique 5-day educational program. Our inspiring lecturers will guide you through "soft skills" training, i.e., soft skills, such as presentation and communication skills, leadership, cooperation, courage, and accepting challenges, but also building self-confidence and resilience. In addition, you will become part of a community of young female leaders ready to be a positive driving force in society, whatever path they choose! The event will take place on March 23-27, 2022, in Bratislava. If you are interested in the program, follow our social networks! We also have webinars and lectures at schools that will start your career and personal development. To bring you the best, we teamed up with the University of Michigan and Slovakia experts to create content. Top experts from responsible companies, the media, the state sector, and civil society will share their experiences with you.
  • Who is the program for?
    You can sign up for the Boundless program if you are 18-25 years old and a university student in Slovakia or abroad. It doesn't matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert, decisive or hesitant! The important thing is that you want to improve your skills and talents, be part of an inspiring community, and are ready to learn to overcome obstacles on the way to fulfilling your potential. Since one day of the training will be led by a professor from the University of Michigan, you should have English at a communicative level (B1/B2).
  • Why only for women?
    Competencies are not divided into male and female. But what is divided is the freedom to manifest these qualities. For example, society tends to reward men positively for being ambitious or assertive, but these qualities are not valued in women. On the contrary, women are expected to be gentle or emotional, but we rarely highlight these manifestations in men as a society. Such a stereotypical view often makes young people afraid to express themselves freely, which prevents them from fulfilling their full potential. In working life, in addition to mastering skills, women must learn to cope with stereotypes and double standards. The most striking evidence is that women earn 18-21% less in Slovakia than men. Surveys say that young women's self-confidence in Slovakia is below the average of EU countries. A well-known study by KMPG showed that men only need to meet 60% of the criteria to decide to apply for a job. Women need to fulfill 100%, sometimes even more. Let's change it and believe in each other more!
  • Participant selection
    This year, our workshop is open exclusively by invitation to selected organizations. This decision comes as a result of our efforts to identify and select organizations that are engaged in meaningful work and stand to gain substantially from our program. We believe that this focused approach will foster a more cohesive and beneficial environment for all participants, allowing for the deepening of existing relationships and the forging of new ones within a context of shared value and purpose.
  • Costs
    Participants will receive the training at no charge. Hekima will cover participants' accommodation and meals and reimburse their travel expenses (ground travel).

Program outline

The 4-day workshop is a blend of in-person sessions complemented by self-paced e-learning modules to provide a comprehensive learning experience. Participants will engage in interactive sessions led by seasoned instructors, crafted to foster meaningful connections. Beyond skill building, the workshop is an opportunity to forge new partnerships and collaborations, offering a unique platform for NGO leaders to network and explore synergies.

Recognizing the importance of well-being in sustaining leadership effectiveness, the program includes time for participants

to rejuvenate, ensuring they return to their organizations recharged and ready to implement their new insights and strategies.

Program kickoff: Evening reception in Warsaw on Monday, October 7

Day 1

Effective Leadership

Trainer: Julie Felker, Faculty Affiliate at the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, USA

Leadership skills are critical for the success and sustainability of NGOs. Often it is assumed that leaders are born. That is not necessarily true. While there are "born leaders" with innate talents, leadership skills are also a set of learned competencies that can be developed and strengthened over time. These skills are essential for establishing strong relationships with stakeholders and partners. Good leaders set the tone for the organization's culture and influence its ability to achieve its mission by bringing out the best in others. Strong leadership allows an NGO to navigate complex challenges and maximize its impact. This workshop session will focus on human-centric leadership. It will offer practical tools and insights to empower NGO Leaders in fostering meaningful connections, driving satisfaction and engagement, and inspiring others. 

Leadership training is important for NGOs to thrive in today's competitive landscape. It supports a culture of learning and continuous improvement. Training that emphasizes the people side of leadership offers numerous benefits to NGOs by expanding their capacity to fulfill their missions, respond effectively to challenges, and embrace opportunities. Attending the NGO Leadership Workshop requires a significant commitment.  However, the training allows participants the time and space to learn, reflect and share ideas and experiences. It is an investment that is well worth the time and effort.  The specific leadership topics discussed in the Workshop will be tailored to the needs and goals of the participants.

Day 2

Resilience / Strategic Planning in Crisis

Trainer: Eric Fretz, Lecturer, University of Michigan

The day will begin with an Introduction to Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which will cover basic to intermediate EQ concepts. Participants will engage in an introductory assessment activity and will receive a four-quadrant handout to use during group discussions. The discussions will analyze real-life examples of high and low EQ, providing valuable insights into effective emotional management.

The next session will cover Managing Complex and Contradictory Cultures and Expectations. It will explore how high EQ leaders prioritize curiosity over judgment to navigate cultural clashes and differing expectations. Participants will share experience and benefit from guided facilitation, discovering practical tools and mental habits for building flexible connections across diverse regional cultures and service levels, essential in high-stress environments.

In the Planning in Crisis session, strategies for making sound decisions under pressure with limited information will be developed. This session will include activities designed to simulate crisis conditions, enhancing decision-making skills in real-time scenarios. The final session of the day will focus on Resilience. It will emphasize caring for oneself and others under stress, incorporating insights from Professor Fretz's extensive expertise in mental health first aid. Participants will learn to manage stress and build resilience, with a special focus on common mental health issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse disorder, particularly relevant in high-stress work environments.

Day 3

Preventing Burnout by Building Resilience 

Trainer: Julie Felker, Faculty Affiliate at the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, USA

In the dynamic world of NGOs, where passion often drives the work, leaders are particularly susceptible to burnout. This session is specifically designed for leaders navigating the unique challenges of the NGO sector. Through interactive sessions

and practical exercises, participants will explore the specific stressors inherent in NGO work, learn to recognize the early warning signs of burnout, and develop resilience building strategies to safeguard their well being, and the well-being of organizational members. 

Day 4

Negotiations & Conflict Resolution

Trainer: Iryna Tymoshchenko-Petrova,

UCU Business School

This training revolves around the Harvard negotiation model, renowned for its practical approach to resolving disputes and achieving mutually beneficial agreements. Participants will have the opportunity to delve into the intricacies of negotiation with hands-on practice, gaining valuable insights into effective communication and conflict resolution. Participants will learn how to identify and capitalize on mutually advantageous opportunities during negotiations, fostering cooperation and sustainable agreements. The training will also address the complexities of managing conflicts during negotiations, drawing insights from the work of Glazl. Understanding the underlying causes of conflicts and learning effective conflict resolution techniques are essential skills for participants, enabling them to navigate challenging situations and maintain productive dialogue.

Our instructors


Eric Fretz
Lecturer, University of Michigan

Dr. Eric Fretz is a professional educator and coach who focuses on personal development, emotional intelligence, and resilience. He teaches full-time at the University of Michigan at the undergraduate and graduate levels in four different departments/colleges. The undergraduate Entrepreneurship program he created/teaches the core course for was rated #1 in the nation recently. He does extensive, and mainly volunteer, work with the Veteran community, holding three substantial volunteer leadership positions and running two 501c3 charities. He is retired from 24 years of service in the US Navy, deploying 3 times to the combat zone across two wars with 25 personal awards and 4 unit awards. Dr. Fretz has multiple graduate degrees in education, psychology, and training.  He also owns and manages two medical clinics (with his physician wife) and holds a GS-15 Federal appointment as the Director of the Selective Service System for the State of Michigan. In his spare time, he tries to get his three adult children to complete degrees and leave home, he's one of three on both counts so far, but the number should rise soon!

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Julie Felker
Faculty Affiliate at the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan &  Professor of Human Resource Management at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management

Julie Felker is a Faculty Affiliate at the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan. She develops and delivers management education and provides organizational development capacity-building expertise in transition and emerging economies to strengthen educational and economic infrastructures and promote positive social change. She has worked on a variety of projects around the world, including in Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Philippines, Algeria and Bahrain. Dr. Felker also serves as the Academic Director of the Master in Management Program at the Luxembourg School of Business where she is responsible for strategic and administrative leadership in developing and maintaining educational programs of exceptional quality. She recently received coaching certification from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.


Iryna Tymoshchenko-Petrova
UCU Business School

​Iryna Tymoshchenko-Petrova is the Director of the MA program in Human Resources and Organization Development at the UCU Business School. She has 18 years of managerial experience and is an expert in strategic planning and organizational development. With 8 years of experience in HR and management competency development, Iryna is also the Director of Organizational Development and co-founder of the Strategic Support Bureau Superwise. She co-authored the long-term social project “Your Family Doctor” and authored the management development program “Business Strategy Marathon” at LvBS. Iryna is a certified facilitator, trainer, coach, and NLP master practitioner.


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