Explore What's Happening at AALP

Date: December 1, 2020

Author: Gabe Ferguson

Girl looking out across a rural landscape

The natural flow of social life around the world has been disrupted by COVID-19. The way we work, live and relate to each other has dramatically changed. In the spirit of resilience and innovation ROI is evolving. We are here for you and our commitment to build resilient leaders is unwavering. We will not only continue to celebrate the experiential learning underpinning the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, but lead the way. We are excited to share this journey with you and to offer you some of the most creative and innovative experiences we have planned including a Virtual Global Tour, Industry Expert Performances and workshops, and an official Graduation Gala.

Similar to many of your organizations, businesses and families AALP Class 18 has needed to create a new journey as a result of the pandemic. In July we took a cautionary approach by extending the Class six months and conserving the resources so many supporters have contributed, to use when the time is right to deliver the full AALP experience. AALP Class 18 will resume in January with virtual programming in true leadership fashion, embracing the spirit of resilience and innovation! With COVID cases on the rise in many parts of Ontario and around the world, participants will be challenged to lead through an unprecedented situation. They, similar to me, are disappointed we won’t be together in-person until it is safe to do so.  Like the 17 Classes before them, Class 18’s journey will be unique and one remembered lifelong.

Waiting to act while the virus passes us by is not an option. Our approach brings clarity to participants and their supporters. AALP Class 18 will do things differently by bringing the world to them using technology and innovative leaders, by digging deep into the signals that will determine ag-sectors’ future and by practicing the leadership skills that enhance foresight, communication, self-awareness, team synergy and more. These 21 participants have spent their first year together building strong relationships while trading ideas, sharing talents and planning together to optimize their leadership experience. Yes, AALP Class 18 will meet in-person and travel when it is safe to do so, but, in the meantime we will grow using the virtual tools that can bring the best real life leadership stories the world has to offer us. Please, if through your network, you can contribute a world class story of leadership, Canadian or other, I would love to hear your idea.

What have we been up to? Led by Victoria Berry and Maria Ramirez AALP Class 18’s media team has contributed to this newsletter and is profiling participants so you can get to know who they are. Starting in January, Felix Weber along with his Class 18 colleagues is kicking off a “Lunch with Leaders Series” the second Thursday of each month that will be open to AALP Alumni and friends, first lunch is January 12th, a schedule will be available on the website and follow @AALP for updates.  AALP Class 18 is also planning to virtually tour 5 countries in 3 days. Look for more details in our next newsletters and social media for how you can get involved.

Our AALP engagement advisory team worked with Melanie Bidiuk, ROI’s digital media and communications specialist to add a feature to the ROI website under AALP where you can update your contact information and share AALP news.  Several continuing education events will be delivered by ROI over the coming months including: Bright Ideas for Your Non-profit; Project/Program Evaluation Training; Being a Better Leader; Better Teams; Situational Leadership; and Dealing with Conflict.  

We’ve been busy with exciting new opportunities for you to join us over the next months as we learn from the best and travel virtually around the world. Putting in the work, being prepared and showing up turns dreams into reality…follow us along and stay tuned for the chance to make your dreams come true!  Interest in Class 19 has been surprisingly high already without any recruitment effort – although final decisions are yet to be made potential applicants say they are prepared for a virtual Year One and their enthusiasm is inspiring!

Get on board! Enjoy the ride and let’s discover the amazing opportunities in store for AALP together! And when it is safe to do so, get your passport ready for a travel experience of a lifetime! Let’s keep advancing agricultural leadership!

Gabrielle Ferguson
Leadership Programs Director
AALP Class 15