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June 13 – June 16, 2023
Bratislava, Slovakia

Apply for the NGO Leadership Workshop
and innovate for impact!

We are excited to announce that we are offering a unique capacity-building opportunity for NGOs in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czechia, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, and Slovakia. In cooperation with the Weiser Centre for Europe and Eurasia at the University of Michigan, and the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan, we are offering a one-week in-person NGO Leadership Workshop for civil society activists and leaders of NGOs, project

and initiatives. The workshop empowers selected civil society representatives to strengthen their leadership skills, fundraising capacities, and innovation acumen to advance the impact of their organizations.


The program schedule will span four business days and will be supplemented by self-paced e-learning modules. In addition

to the in-depth lectures, program trainers will facilitate group exercises designed to create meaningful connections between participants. The program will also create space for establishing new partnerships and cooperation. 

4 days

Networking and partnership building

+ access to an alumni network

Exclusive tailor-made content and Supplementary e-learning modules

Distinguished instructors

Certificate upon completion

By attending this workshop, you will:

Design Studio
Learn about the crucial role of innovation in addressing social challenges and the four stages and tools of an effective innovation process (framing the challenge, idea generation, design, testing, and scaling).
  • 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!
  • Who can apply?
    Leaders of NGOs, projects and initiatives from the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia. More people from the same organisation are eligible to apply. For the first time, we also welcome applications from our graduates to reflect the changing nature of current civil society leadership. Your organization should focus on one or more of the following areas: Human rights, inclusion and diversity (including issues such as inclusion of minorities, migration, gender equality, etc.) Strengthening democracy and rule of law (including watchdog activities) Improvement of education towards critical thinking and democratic values International development Advanced English language skills are required.
  • Costs
    Participants will receive the training at no charge. Hekima will cover participants' accommodation and meals at the training and reimburse all their travel expenses (flight tickets, ground travel).
  • Application process
    The deadline for applying is Friday, March 17, 2023, CEST 23:59. Complete and submit your application here. The link does not allow for saving your information, so you may prefer to fill in the offline Word document linked in the application form, and then copy and paste your answers. Any questions should be sent to with the subject ‘NGO Leadership Workshop Application’. The applications will be evaluated, and participants will be selected by the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia at the University of Michigan, the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, and Hekima. All applicants will have received a response by March 31.

Program outline

The Workshop is structured around presentations by distinguished experts and follow-up interactive small group discussions and Q&A sessions. The organizers will conduct a survey of participants’ needs to guarantee tailor-made content.

Start of the program: Evening reception in Bratislava on Monday, June 12

Day 1: June 13, 9.00 – 17.00


Innovation Process for NGOs


Trainer: Tanya Popeau, Director of Synthesis and Associate Lecturer at Exeter University, United Kingdom

Innovation plays a crucial role in addressing social challenges. It drives effective policies, education, economic growth and tackles socio-economic issues like poverty, health and many more. In this session, you will learn about an effective innovation process cycle, covering its four stages: from framing the challenge to idea-generation, designing, testing, and scaling the solution. You will learn about innovation techniques, skills and tools which have been used globally in the private and public sector. We will draw from real-world global case studies to illustrate how innovation practice can be successfully applied. You will learn how the innovation process was used to solve problems and increase impact, for example: 

  • Developing a platform to up-skill government staff in Fiji

  • Using gamification to change attitudes to gender-based violence in Nepal

  • Creating a tool for reporting corruption via mobile phone in Papua New Guinea

  • Achieving legal justice for marginalized communities in Vietnam

  • Scaling up energy efficient technology in steel mills in India

  • Scaling projects in Chicago to address issues around adolescent health and poverty

You will outline the common challenges and draw from the lessons highlighted by global innovators.

Day 2: June 14, 9.00 - 12.30


Individual Giving for Central and Eastern European NGOs


Trainer: Ryan Turner, Fundraising and Social Impact Consultant, USA and Czech Republic

NGOs traditionally rely on a combination of grants and donations to fund their programs and services. Many organizations only view fundraising in terms of gifts that help to cover basic needs, instead of building relationships towards long-term sustainability and growth. Attracting donations and engaging supporters means investing in good work. This requires organizations to understand the value of their work, communicate their impact beyond the organization, and position themselves to accept support. Participants will explore skills, capacities, and strategies required to create or expand their donation pipelines. You will learn about the main types of underused donation and gift options for organizations to consider, reasons why donation efforts fail, and ways to start and expand giving support. Participants will leave the session with the knowledge of how to develop new fundraising strategies and what key action steps to take to expand their pool of donors. 

Day 2: June 14, 13.30 - 17.00


Effective Thinking and Smarter Decision Making in Leadership


Trainer: Olivia Hurbanova, Chief Thought Provoker at HighBrows, Slovakia

This session will introduce decision-making, reasoning, noise, and bias, and how understanding those concepts can make us better critical thinkers, leaders, employees, parents, and partners. We will also understand what exactly is happening in our brains when we are making decisions and how noise and bias (two different kinds of error) contribute significantly to errors in all fields, including economic forecasting, personnel selection, performance evaluation, food safety, and many more fields. And although noise and bias can be found wherever people make judgments and decisions, individuals and organizations alike are commonly oblivious to the role of chance in their judgments and in their actions. This course will explain how and why we are so susceptible to noise and bias in judgment — and how we can make better decisions, find creative solutions to problems, solve difficult tasks faster, and understand the world better.

Day 3: June 15, 9.00 - 12.30 (followed by an outing trip near Bratislava)

Developing People through Performance Management


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


Strengthening employee performance is an integral component of an organization’s talent management strategy. Employees flourish when they understand how the work that they do contributes to the mission and goals of their organization, when they have the opportunity to develop their skills fully, and by receiving open and honest insights about how they are doing. In this session, we will consider the building blocks of performance management, and why it is important to organizations and employees. Because “people development” is one of the leader’s most important responsibilities, this aspect of performance management will be in focus. Since the most powerful development often comes from on-the-job experiences, we will consider developmental activities in the context of the actual work environment. Employee development is considered a shared responsibility, therefore two distinct, though inter-related viewpoints will be incorporated into discussions and activities; those of both leaders and followers.

Day 4: June 16, 9.00 - 16.00

Providing Support for Growth and Development


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

At the heart of strong performance management is open and honest communication that takes place in an environment of trust. In this session participants will explore what it means to have effective performance conversations, including sometimes difficult conversations, give timely and relevant feedback, and provide support for peak performance. More and more, coaching is becoming an integral part of a leader’s role, therefore special attention will be given to this aspect of performance management. Coaching supports individuals to grow and develop, both personally and professionally. The basics of effective employee coaching, using a strength-based (versus deficit-based) approach, will be introduced and participants will have the opportunity to practice coaching, and being coached. Participants will leave the session with a deeper understanding of moving dialogues from “telling” to coaching, in order to help facilitate positive and lasting change in others.

Our instructors


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