Water Innovation
Leadership Development
Program

For emerging leaders in water services management

Applications open for 2022! Full scholarships available for Program Fellows.

 

Water Innovation Leadership Development Program

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Full scholarships available for approximately 15 fellows for 2022.


Overview

The Water Innovation Leadership Development (WILD) program is a cohort-based executive education program designed for rising leaders in water services management. Through transformative leadership training, the program empowers rising water utility leaders to embrace new practices and implement innovative, equitable solutions to water infrastructure challenges, particularly in circumstances of change.

Participants

We seek the entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and innovators who are keen to lead water utilities into the future. Applicants should be current employees of a water service provider (water or wastewater utility; water authority; or water company) in the U.S. We particularly seek emerging leaders in small or mid-sized city/municipal water management, and in utilities that primarily work with underserved communities, including majority-minority communities and under-resourced communities.

Benefits of the Program

After completing this leadership program, participants will:

  • –Have improved awareness of new tools and resources for individual leader and team use
  • –Increase their exposure to innovative thinking and creative problem solving
  • –Improve their capacity to advance equity within water utilities and in community engagement
  • –Explore a personal leadership style, development of goals, and self-awareness
  • –Understand frameworks for team building and managing effective teams internal and external to the organization
  • –Join an expanded network of partners and allies across the nation

Upon completing the program, fellows will earn a Certificate of Completion from the Nicholas School of the Environment. 

Topics to be covered include:

  • Personal, Organizational, and Community Leadership
  • Leading for Innovation
  • Leading for Equity and Inclusion
  • Change Management
  • Communications
  • Fellow-led topics of interest

Program Cost

The total 2022 cost of the yearlong program per student is estimated at $14,000. Due to generous support from our funders, we are able to offer full scholarships to all Program Fellows. Scholarships include the tuition for all sessions, as well as travel and lodging for in-person workshops.

Sessions & Workshops

Time Commitment

Duke University chapel

Fellows join a small cohort of 15-20 that will learn together over the course of the program (schedule below). The program format follows a hybrid-learning model based on the top-ranked DEL-MEM distance learning program: in-depth campus workshops supported by facilitated online sessions.

–The leadership cohort will meet in person twice, each time for a three-day workshop held on the Duke campus in Durham, NC*.

–Over the course of the program, there will be approximately six online sessions, each lasting one hour. The synchronous online sessions are led by a program leadership facilitator.

–Work between online sessions is expected to be 5-10 hours per month.

Course Format & Projects

All modules (both in-person and online) will rely extensively on peer-to-peer learning, team-based sessions, and building a community of practice. Fellows will each have opportunities to lead and co-lead sessions and be accountable to each other. 

During the workshops at the Duke campus*, fellows will be fully immersed in the fundamentals of leadership through intensive collaborations with course facilitators and the other fellows. Fellows will consult with peers and experts, particularly through workshopping projects or challenges from their own work.

Online group leadership sessions are designed to support fellows on their journey, help them track their skill development, and provide peer and facilitated support and coaching.

Each fellow would also be responsible for completing a solo capstone project, in line with career goals or their current professional or work projects.

Upcoming Program Dates

Application Deadline: October 15, 2021

Synchronous Schedule

To ensure that Fellows are able to minimize work disruptions, in-person workshops will be held Fridays through Sundays. Online sessions are planned for Tuesday evenings 8:00-9:00 pm Eastern (5:00-6:00pm Pacific), once a month on the months listed below.

 

Program Schedule

Workshop 1: Thursday, February 10, 2022 through Saturday, February 12, 2022 (Please plan to travel to Duke on Wednesday February 9th, and home on Sunday after).

April 5 @ 8-9pm EST – Online Coaching Session (1st Tuesday of month)

May 3 @ 8-9pm EST – Online Coaching Session (1st Tuesday of month)

June 7 @ 8-9pm EST – Online Coaching Session (1st Tuesday of month)

July – August: summer break

September 6 @ 8-9pm EST – Online Coaching Session (1st Tuesday of month)

October 4 @ 8-9pm EST – Online Coaching Session (1st Tuesday of month)

November 1 @ 8-9pm EST – Online Coaching Session (1st Tuesday of month)

Workshop 2: Friday, December 9 through Sunday December 11, 2022 (Please plan to travel to Duke the day before, and home on Monday after).

Apply

Eligibility and Deadlines

We are currently accepting applicants for our 2022 cohort. Applications for priority consideration will be due October 15, 2021.

Applicants who apply by October 15 will be notified by end of November of application status.

Applicants should be current employees of a water service provider (water authority, water or wastewater utility, or water company) in the U.S. We particularly seek emerging leaders in small or mid-sized city/municipal water management.

 

Program Requirements

Fellows must commit to attend the entire 3-day in-person sessions, as well as all of the scheduled online sessions. In-person sessions will take place from morning to evening (Eastern Time), so travel to the workshops will need to take place on the days before and after each session. Because fellows will need to take approximately 4 business days per year for the in-person workshops (including travel), employers must also demonstrate a commitment to allowing the Fellows to travel and fully engage in the workshops during this time period.

For the virtual sessions, Fellows should have access to reliable internet and be able to commit to attending all sessions.  

 

Fellow Selection Criteria

Applicants should be current employees of a water service provider (water authority, water or wastewater utility, or water company) in the U.S. We particularly seek emerging leaders in small or mid-sized city/municipal water management.

–Applicants will be assessed based on their demonstrated evidence and potential for rising leadership within their utility and/or the water utility sector.

–We seek to build a cohort that reflects leaders of diverse geographies, identities, and communities. We strongly encourage minority and female candidates.

–We also encourage applications from emerging leaders in utilities that primarily work with underserved communities, including majority-minority communities and under-resourced communities.

–Applicants from utilities with fewer than 200,000 customers will be given preference when possible.

–Preference will be given when possible to those who have not previously received formal leadership training. However, we encourage all to apply regardless of previous training experience.

See our 2021 Program Fellows


Are you planning to apply? If you are interested in learning more about this program, join our email list for program updates, timely deadline reminders and tips for preparing your application.

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Contact

If you have questions about the program or the application process, please contact our Executive Education team at the Nicholas School of the Environment, at execed@duke.edu.

We also invite you to join our email list to receive updates, deadline reminders and more information about this program.

*Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, we are actively monitoring evolving conditions in concert with Duke leadership and public health authorities; schedule or format is subject to change if necessary for the health and safety of our Fellows and Facilitators. We are mindful of Fellows’ work schedules as well that may be impacted during critical response periods.

 


The Water Innovation and Leadership Development (WILD) Program is a leadership curriculum developed by Duke University faculty, leadership practitioners and leaders in water utility management. The WILD program is an offering of the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment’s Executive Education program.

 

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