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More than 50 leadership development practitioners from around the globe are coming to Wichita to explore the Kansas Leadership Center ‘big idea.’ When Kansas Leadership Center President & CEO Ed O’Malley participated in a Harvard leadership development seminar last spring, little did he realize that casual conversations would lead to an international gathering this fall in Wichita of people eager to learn about the Kansas Leadership Center. Leadership practitioners from a dozen countries and 17 American states plus the District of Columbia will spend parts of three days (Thursday, November 8 – Saturday, November 10, 2012) in Wichita to explore and foster experiments using large scale leadership development for civic and social change. During those informal conversations, O’Malley shared the basics – that the Kansas Leadership Center equips people with skills to make lasting, positive change for the common good, is unique in the field of leadership development and that we believe that leadership is an activity, not a particular role or position. “These new friends are involved in some sort of leadership development effort in their home counties and communities, but nothing ‘large scale’ like the Kansas Leadership Center,” O’Malley said. “When nearly 50 people from across the globe want to learn how we do this with the goal of replicating it in their own countries, that tells me we’re on to something.” The countries represented include Australia, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Singapore and the United States. From the U.S., participants will travel from California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. The participants include CEOs of for-profit businesses, leaders of faith-based organizations, government agencies, non-profits, economic development groups and a host of other concerns spanning the globe. Attendees will delve into the personal and institutional challenges associated with creating a large-scale leadership development initiative, using the Kansas Leadership Center as a starting point and frame. The hoped-for outcome is for the participants to sufficiently understand the ‘big idea‘ behind the Kansas Leadership Center to better enable them to conceive and design their own experiences and create the beginnings of a large scale leadership development plan in their home environments.