A Global Village of Visionary Leaders in the Philadelphia Region

Philadelphia’s rising prominence as a global city is showcased through numerous events and organizations that highlight our region’s diversity and international connections. The Greater Philadelphia area is one of the most internationally-oriented, economically competitive, and forward-thinking regions in our nation, and much of that success can be attributed to our local globally-minded initiatives. We can find one such initiative just about an hour outside of the city, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The Iacocca Global Village for Future Leaders at Lehigh University is a yearly program that aims to nurture the global professional leaders of tomorrow. Over the past 21 years, this intensive program has hosted over two thousand participants representing some 139 different countries. These “Global Villagers” spend five weeks developing proficiencies in cross-cultural leadership, interpersonal communication, interdisciplinary teamwork, business knowledge and entrepreneurial skills. Through the program, they also have a chance to hone in on their career goals and create a strategic plan for professional success.

The Global Villagers are as diverse as the name suggests – they come from a variety of geographical regions, sociocultural backgrounds, and academic and professional experiences. They meet in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to live and learn together with some 60-90 other peers from 35-45 other countries. What they all share, however, are key characteristics of curiosity, open-mindedness, empathy, tenacity, service, and a desire to embrace growth.

Lehigh University’s five-week immersive Global Village encourages participants to seize the chance to grow their leadership abilities in the global dimension. Moving beyond traditional lectures and classes, the program emphasizes interactive workshops, site visits, and real-life client projects. Global Villagers customize their workshop offerings and tailor these to their particular career aspirations. They visit local businesses, organizations, and corporations to learn about best practices in the industry.  They also engage in consulting projects for real clients, where they might identify issues or opportunities for growth and propose strategies and solutions through deliverables presented directly to professional clients.

One of the uniquely positioned features of Iacocca Institute’s program are its Social Culture Nights, where Global Villagers present their countries’ cultures, heritage, and traditions, pitching the best practices as opportunities for investment. After the program, participants join a supportive alumni network of more than 2,000 leaders, visionaries, and entrepreneurs.

This year, the Global Village program will be held from June 22 to July 27. For more information and application instructions, click here to visit the Lehigh University’s Iacocca Institute webpage.


All images courtesy of Lehigh University Iacocca Institute -- https://global.lehigh.edu/iacocca-institute/global-village/experience.

Article written by Cristina Serban on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association