Senior Leaders' Experience

April 16 – 17, 2020 | Virtual Experience

With support from Brent Martini


As with the Ashoka U Exchange, Ashoka U is conducting its eighth annual Senior Leaders’ Experience (SLE) virtually this year. Times of complexity and challenge such as we are facing now only increase the need for innovation and systems leadership rooted in changemaker values and content and community to support it.

This two-day track is designed for senior leaders (from associate dean and above) together with ecosystem and thought partners in higher education. Participants will explore how to deepen their personal and institutional social impact and the kind of leadership to do so.

Being a leader of changemaking in the best of times is difficult and even exponentially so now amidst rapid change and complexity. We are all being called to express new levels of empathy, agility, and creativity. Keeping abreast of and responsive to changes in society and across higher education can be both daunting and exhausting. Yet, as systems change leaders, we can become even more attuned, energized, and equipped to lead the changes that are needed in ourselves and across our teams, institutions, and sector to innovate together for impact.

This year’s Senior Leaders Experience is designed to help participants:

  • reconnect with their changemaker purposes
  • identify how social innovation and changemaking can position their institutions amidst sector trends; and
  • cultivate the leadership needed to rewire systems and the sector.


Agenda at a Glance

We have streamlined the agenda to respect your time in this especially demanding season while also adding additional opportunities to connect. Check out the Agenda-at-a-Glance below learn about the incredible line up of topics and speakers. You can view the full agenda here.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Theme: Making Sense Of Our Changing Landscape – exploring the internal and external drivers for change, including our personal leadership values and external trends impacting higher education

  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Welcome & Cultivating Relationships
  • 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm: Keynote: Thinking Global, Acting Local
  • 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm: Connecting with Our Changemaker Stories
  • 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm: Exploring the Relationship of Higher Ed Trends and Dynamic Innovation


Friday, April 17, 2020

Theme: Preparing to Lead Systems Level Change – exploring what it means to be a systems leader and how to lead changes within ourselves and across our campuses and the sector.  

  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm: In Pursuit of a Virtuous Cycle for Social Impact: Aligning Campus-wide Strategy, Rankings, Accreditation, and Recognition**
  • 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm: Keynote: What the World Needs is Love: Changemaking Across Differences in Divisive Times
  • 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm: Systems Change Leadership in Action
  • 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm: Peer Insight Exchange

Note: Times are US EDT and subject to minor change.
** Also available to any general Exchange attendee.

This new virtual schedule is anticipated to be easy or relatively accessible to approximately 95% of our SLE attendees (at the time of announcing the move to virtual format). We also anticipate that sessions will be recorded and accessible to all participants.

Additional Opportunities to Connect

In addition to the SLE programming, we will be offering attendees the opportunity to be listed in a post-even SLE Participant Directory. This is anticipated to include, for example, name, title, brief bio, contact information, and interest areas, to enable self-organization and connections on areas of mutual interest. In addition, we would be happy to help foster introductions where feasible.


Leaders from over 100 organizations have previously participated.  Previous participants from colleges and university have included:




For all logistical details, see the Exchange FAQ & Logistics page. Or contact Emily Lamb at