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Collaborative Leadership: Personalized Strategies for Becoming a More Effective Member of Your Leadership Team

Sunday, July 23, 2023 - Friday, July 28, 2023

Professional development for decision-makersā€”including administrators, directors, board and committee members, and faculty chairsā€”working in Waldorf schools or other workplace settings. This course is taught remotely in real-time. Read Summer Series 2023 detailsĀ here.Ā 

Are you consciously or unconsciously shaping your organizational and leadership culture? And do you have the skills necessary to recognize problems that might exist or arise within your workplace, help your leadership team prioritize these issues, and equip them (and yourself) with the tools to address them?

In this highly-useful course, our focus is on the practical work of being a leader and decision-maker. Through a process imbued with the anthroposophical understanding of the human being, and successfully applied in organizations from Waldorf schools to multi-million dollar nationals, Collaborative Leadership will help you learn how to improve your effectiveness as a member of your leadership team.

Each participant is asked to bring their own organizational question, project, or challenge. Using your real-life cases, we will apply these four core models for collaborative leadership:

  • Three main leadership tasks:Ā Maintaining and creating identity / Creating space for healthy, stable relationships / Assuring professional results
  • Diagnostic and planning tools: How to look at an organization as a whole and understand the dynamics of intersecting segments
  • How to create processes toward healthy decision-making
  • The balance between power and trust

Your course takeaway will be an individualized action plan for the question, project, or challenge you have brought with you, along with an understanding of the necessary skill set with which to execute it. As always, we encourage more than one attendee from a school so that they can work on a project together.

BONUS: Ongoing coaching support! To support you as you implement throughout the year what you have learned and practiced during the summer, this course includes conference calls facilitated by co-instructor Jessica Heffernan Ziegler scheduled from October through May. In these coaching conversations, you and your classmates will continue to hone your collaborative leadership skills, addressing and supporting one anotherā€™s progress and challengesā€”and so gain further insights, understanding, and expertise.



Joachim Ziegler, PhD, has been working in the fields of organizational development and human resources development since 1994. A partner in MIRA Companions for Development, an international consulting group, Joachimā€™s current list of American and international clients encompasses the banking, pharmaceutical, retail, and manufacturing sectors, as well as anthroposophical institutions and Waldorf schools. Joachim is a member of the College of Social Sciences Section at the Goetheanum and the international Association for Social Development and has taught at the University of Muenster and at Germanyā€™s first private university in Herdecke. He holds an MA in adult education and a PhD in medical education.

Jessica Heffernan Ziegler has been the executive director of Sunbridge Institute since 2008. Her professional focus on leadership skills, governance issues, and personnel development are utilized both in her executive director role and in her work as co-instructor of Sunbridgeā€™s Collaborative Leadership course and related workshops; she also teaches Waldorf school administration in Sunbridgeā€™s Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Education program and previously taught in Sunbridge Collegeā€™s Administration and Biography programs. JessicaĀ is a partner in MIRA Companions for Development, an international consulting group, and works as an executive coach and organizational development consultant for Waldorf administrators and teachers and other professionals in diverse institutions and schools in both the US and Germany. She served as the first administrator and as a board member at a Waldorf school she co-founded in Everswinkel, Germany, and has sat on many other boards, including her current role as trustee of the Otto Specht School in Chestnut Ridge, NY.Ā JessicaĀ holds a BS in business management and did her biography training with Karl-Heinz Finke and her executive coach training with SECA International.

Your course also includes sessions on DEI topics with Meggan Gill of Sunbridge Institute and sessions in eurythmy with Alexandra Spadea of NYC’s Rudolf Steiner School.


For more than a decade, Collaborative Leadership has helped individuals with leadership responsibilities in their school, business, or organization improve their planning and problem-solving processes. Here’s what recent Summer Series Collaborative Leadership participants had to say about their experience:

  • The quality of the course was outstanding. Jessica and Joachim really made the information come alive and explained it in a way that was easy to digest, I really enjoyed when we had the opportunity to break out into smaller groups as it made for a more personal connection.
  • Jessica and Joachim just emanate warmth and knowledge in a space that is supportive, inclusive and cares about our continued success. The charts and written materials provided in concert with the lectures and experiential work created a good depth and breadth with which to digest the information.
  • I love how practical the information is. There are plenty of actionable models and steps I can take within my own school. The portion I’ve enjoyed most was the one-on-one time I had with my talking partner (which) gave me the opportunity to delve deeper into a relationship with someone I found to be so helpful with her advice and perspectives.
  • The content has been very useful. As a school leader with a background in public education and passion for personal development, I appreciated the weaving of Waldorf values partnered with practicality. I was able to apply the teachings in a faculty meeting the Thursday of our program and it went well, the difference was felt and experienced by all.
  • Very high quality. I found the lectures to be particularly helpful and insightful, especially when paired with colleague Q&As.
  • I found the pace and timing of each session – each a bit more intensive and deeper investigation of the collaborative leadership process – to be not only comfortable for my learning but also enlightening to me. It seemed like each day a new and brighter light shone on a concept I had experienced but never really seen before. Interspersing the break-out discussions in between each lecture was particularly satisfying to me because I find it helpful to learn in community, dialoguing is a way to construct new meanings with others.
  • I was extremely impressed with the intentions set to feel like a collaborative and connected classroom, even in a virtual world.
  • With the classes being online, it is perfect to have the start time where it was for those on either side of the continent.
  • Excellent quality, creative facilitators, great tools
  • It was worth the value and to have monthly calls included was just what i needed – super grateful that was included in the price.
  • I have from early on been quite impressed by the Sunbridge has organized and addressed the online courses, this is another example of excellent work, thank you!



This course takes place July 23-28 in a synchronous online classroom


Sunday evening: 7-7:30pm technical check-in; first class starts promptly at 7:30 and ends at 9
Monday-Thursday: Sessions run between 10 am-4:30 pm, with times for breaks
Friday morning: Last session runs 10 am-12 pm
NOTE: Additional (optional) sessions/forums will take place late afternoons/evenings


$665 includes all materials, follow-up coaching calls, and a $60 non-refundable registration fee.

Available Discounts

  • Volume:Ā $60 off each registration for schools sending 2 or more participants
  • Alumni/CAD:Ā 25% off for Sunbridge teacher education program graduatesĀ ORĀ for payments made in Canadian dollars
  • Current Students:Ā 50% off for current Sunbridge teacher education students

Discounts may not be combined. Qualification for discounts will be verified by Sunbridge staff.Ā 



Please contact Barbara Vitale, admissions and summer coordinator, at [email protected] or 845-425-0055 x20

Sunbridge reserves the right to make faculty substitutions when necessary. See registration form for refund policy.


Sunbridge Institute Remotely
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 United States
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Sunbridge Institute Remotely
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 United States
+ Google Map