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The International and Multidisciplinary Postgraduate Diploma Program in Leadership,

 and PhD Degree-phase thesis focusing on Leadership Education Entrepreneurship,  

or the Design and Implementation of Leadership Development Programs,

or on Environmental Leadership Initiatives in Sustainability

|  foreword |  focus | specifications | modes | admission |  fees |  PhD path  | 


To read the specifications first, click here


About the Art of Leadership [1]

(an introduction by Prof. Jean-Pierre Bal


Fifteen years ago, at an art exhibition held at the Brussels 'BOZAR' Palace Center for Fine Arts, one could see painted onto a wall an enlarged excerpt from a letter written in 1914 by Rik Wouters. The renowned Belgian sculptor and impressionist painter addressed it to a close friend of his. One paragraph of that letter caught my particular attention:


"Art transmits itself by influence. The art of a man that touches you nearly always opens a door that you had unconsciously closed by yourself  (...)  But it is then not so much a matter of influence, rather that of an awakening of dormant or new feelings. Nowadays this is highly indispensable for the continuation of art." [2]


One might feel tempted to transform the last sentence into: "Nowadays this is highly indispensable for the continuation of leadership". In our current century, and perhaps more than ever before, countless communities and organisations, whether large, small, public, or private ones, and around the globe, remain in search of experienced or effective leaders. Moreover, the complex intertwining of challenges of many types that will affect our world at large in the coming fifty years, is likely to be on a scale beyond comparison with what past societies and civilisations had experienced in their own times. 


As a response to the rising need for leader-educators and leadership education entrepreneurs, the THIERRY-faculty at our Europe-based institutions designed a truly international and interdisciplinary postgraduate leadership curriculum that prepares talented individuals to their crucial roles in society, whether locally, regionally, or internationally.


About the Ph.D. degree: leadership, knowledge, and wisdom


PhD, for philosophy entailing love-of-knowledge, in sum: the search for wisdom. In Latin the word doctor means teacher, or better still: a learning facilitator. By first completing the PALS Postgraduate diploma curriculum in Advanced Leadership Studies - a most important and valuable knowledge base - and subsequently undertaking the research and thesis towards the Ph.D. degree in leadership, our graduates accomplish a giant leap in becoming knowledgeable initiative-takers and learning facilitators, by practicing the art of wisely merging leadership, education, and entrepreneurship. To lead, and, to educate wisely... let one not focus on the search for boundaries or depth of wisdom. As Maurice Maeterlinck stated: "But what may be this wisdom that we rate thus highly? Let us not seek to define it too closely; that were but to enchain it". [3]


Postgraduate leadership studies: the journey type of approach


The full awakening of the leader-talent, their development, and the constant search for wisdom, are cornerstones of our continuity-embracing curriculum. The developmental aims, as well as the paths leading to success, are strewn with, on the one hand, obstacles and barriers, and on the other hand the steppingstones and springboards. With those aims and realities in mind the institute hopes and expects that the postgraduate programme's participants (the term preferred to that of students) be prepared as well as can be so that be able of achieving their heightened professional goals. Our participants and faculty undertake a type of journey, with a mutual commitment, while the vortex programme and the institution's person-centred educational approach align with that human dynamic.


Pragmatic focus and learning approach


It was in the middle of the 20th century that the social scientist Kurt Lewin undertook his groundbreaking action research, and stated that "Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice". Four hundred and fifty years earlier Leonardo Da Vinci wrote: "All knowledge is vain if it is not borne by experience". At our institution the knowledge research entails that it should be of real practical use in the daily work and life of a leader, or leadership consultant, or educator, and for the organisation in general. The emerging experience is also earmarked by the willingness to undertake thoughtful knowledge-sharing with others.


The combination of knowledge, research, experience, and creativity, leads to a form of expertise. Expertise in leading is an art, and also a form of craftsmanship. For the pivotal roles of leader-educator, action-leader, thought leader, or a combination thereof, many years are needed to master one's own art-form, and then be honed throughout one's lifetime. 


more specifications                              To contact us, go to   admissions


Notes. [1] This page, first published in 2004, underwent minor updates in ensuing years. 

[2] Rik Wouters (1882-1916). The exhibition held from 23 Feb. to 26 May 2002. Text translated from French, from the letter to Abel Gerbaud. Original is at the Royal Library of Belgium - Archives et Musée de la Littérature, Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique. 

[3] Excerpt from "Wisdom and Destiny" by Count Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian author (1862-1949), and 1911 Nobel Prize in Literature.  See also: raTer-erTra entries 


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