Mentors and students in Atlantic University’s Mindful Leadership Program explore many facets of leadership, from how to define it to what makes leaders effective. One challenge with this subject is our changing view of how leadership functions in groups, now and in previous eras. I am going back 400 years to do just that, as co-director of a 2020 National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute for educators hosted by Plimoth Plantation.

     “Beyond the Mayflower: Voices from Early America”  (July 26-August 9) will be an immersive two-week program centered on the 1620 landing of the Mayflower. Marking the 400th anniversary of that historic event, 25 participants and an expert faculty will examine the interactions of Indigenous and colonial cultures in modern-day Massachusetts Bay and the effects on both. Recent scientific discoveries show how disruption in nature spurs growth: The Plymouth Colony is a historical case study in how human groups are interdependent living systems that also adapt as leaders and group members. In this light, we see the English causing and experiencing complex, chaotic change, just like  Wampanoag people who encountered them. For teachers, this is a  new way to present the complexities of colonization and the significance of the Plymouth Colony.

            Due to new NEH guidelines related to the pandemic, our “Beyond the Mayflower” team is re-designing its residential program as the kind of rich online experience we regularly have at Atlantic University. For more information, check Atlantic University’s  Mindful Leadership program.