top of page
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).

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


University of Michigan - logo


WDI_CLR_CTR (3).png
Hekima - logo
bottom of page