Past Webinar

Resilient Leadership Amidst Complexity

How do we get the best out of our communities?

Margy-Jean Malcolm,

How do we support everyone’s potential to be an active citizen?  What supports the emergence of leadership in New Zealand communities? Margy-Jean Malcolm presents this webinar on resilient leadership, exploring how learning, reflection and sense-making can contribute to the development of leadership in Aotearoa. With Dr Bronwyn Boon (Otago University) and Lani Evans (Thankyou Payroll).

The “leader” word often brings to mind strong, decisive, visionary individuals. Yet this assumption stops many from ever thinking of themselves as leaders. This webinar explores an understanding of active citizen leadership where we can all see our part in leadership as learners within a living, learning system. Leaders can be strong and vulnerable, decisive and inquiring, visionary and facilitating of shared vision. Polarities of potentially contradictory responses are identified, which are always in movement within personal, relational, structural and cultural layers of leadership. Complexity thinking supports understanding of this dynamic as a complex adaptive system. Our ability to facilitate inquiry within ourselves and with others is one of various leadership capabilities identified for working with the complexity of civil society leadership and in other complex contexts.


‘Civil Society Leadership as Learning’, Margy Jean Malcolm’s seminal study is available from the Community Research website here, with theory and case studies drawn from contemporary Aotearoa practice, to help you reflect on how to enable your own and other’s active citizen leadership.

Helpful links

Inspiring Communities  – Inspiring Communities has been active since 2008 linking-up and supporting people and groups keen to tap into the capacities of communities to make a positive difference in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Plexus Institute  – Complexity principles in practice

Tamarack Institute  – A Canadian charity that develops and supports learning communities that help people to collaborate, co-generate knowledge and achieve collective impact on complex community issues.

Liberating Structures – Their website offers an alternative way to approach and design how people work together.

About the Presenter

Margy-Jean Malcolm

Margy-Jean Malcolm is a former senior lecturer with Unitec's Not-For-Profit Management programme, who has worked on a number of projects since the 1970s in community development, not for profit management, leadership, teaching and consultancy. Her research interest is in facilitating inquiry with groups as they initiate, review or rethink their interventions in their community or organisation and what factors support their ability to make a difference. You can find out more about Margy-Jean and her research here.

This Webinar was held

11 AM NZ Time
17 Mar
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