Organic agriculture needs organic leaders.
Our planet needs people with the will and the energy to take the lead, make the decisions and help us move towards a sustainable agricultural future.
The IFOAM Organic Leadership Course (OLC) can help you to be that leader.
For 2013, we have two OLC programs already running: 1 in South Asia and 1 in Europe.
IFOAM has also launched 3 more regional OLC courses starting in the 4th Quarter of 2013 and 1st Quarter of 2014 (click links below for more information)
- OLC EAST ASIA (In English): October 2013 - May 2014 - APPLICATIONS CLOSED
- OLC LATIN AMERICA (In Spanish): November 2013 - March 2014 - PLEASE NOTE THAT APPLICATIONS CLOSE 20 SEPTEMBER!
- OLC SOUTH ASIA 3 (In English): March - November 2014 - ENROLMENT OPEN NOW!
What can you expect to gain from the OLC?
General Course Overview:
You will acquire the following competencies:
1. Knowledge: Facts and the latest information about organic agriculture production, trade, policy and regulation. As the course are organised on a regional level this knowledge wil be locally relevant with an international vision.
2. Skills: Sound management principles and know-how. The course is holistic and interactive - an ideal environment to develop your own management tools and skills.
3. Attitude: a leader's personality and bearing. By networking with peers, meeting with pioneers and market leaders, you will gain the necessary confidence and ability to present yourself as a leader in Organic Agriculture.
The course is geared towards enabling and supporting concrete action. A variety of methods are used to facilitate learning at different levels (action, reflection and theory), as well as learning with and from each other.
Who are eligible?
Eligible participants are women and men, committed to the principles of Organic Agriculture, who wish to achieve personal development and leadership within the Organic Agriculture movement. Typical participants may have their background in:
- Farmers' organizations or national organic movements;
- Organic companies;
- Organic producers, processors, traders or retailers;
- Organic certification bodies;
- Consumers' organisations;
- Organizations campaigning for sustainable rural development;
- Research, extension, education or rural development institutions;
- Government institutions (e.g. ministries of agriculture, development or environment);
- Development agencies.
The training will broaden participants' knowledge and develop their skills. After the course, you will be able to:
- Analyze situations holistically and draw conclusions in line with the principles of Organic Agriculture;
- Design strategies and lead people and organizations in an effective and ethical way;
- Develop organizations and manage projects - this includes planning, fundraising, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;
- Build relationships, networks and cross-sector alliances;
- Master convincing communication inside and outside of their institutions and influence organic advocacy targets;
- Make their value chains more sustainable and competitive;
- Use services from the organic sector, including the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System to develop the organic movement;
- Access research, advise and train.
Two highly intensive residential modules are complemented by periods of online learning. During these periods, the trainees study the materials provided on the learning platform at their own pace and meet on a regular basis in webinars (web-based seminars), consisting of lectures and discussions with subject experts. In this phase, trainees have the opportunity to apply the lessons from the first intensive course to a project of their own choosing, on which they then report and receive feedback from the group.
In total, the course offers 150 hours of intensive training, 16 days in person in a class of 20-25 participants and 10 half-day webinars in the same group.
Participants are expected to actively engage in all residential trainings, webinars and individual tasks. They will have to implement a project of their own and perform a public appearance (e.g. as a conference speaker or in an interview in the mass media).
Learning success depends on the trainee's attitude - readiness to share experiences and openness to build relationships with peers and other learning process stakeholders is vital to achieve the course objectives.
Participants will need access to a computer and internet for the duration of the course. They are expected to invest on average half to one day per week. It is also anticipated that in the course of the training the participants' organizations become IFOAM Affiliates.
The tuition fee includes training; teaching materials; excursions; board, lodging and internet access (during the residential training); access to the e-learning software; certification and access to the alumni network. It excludes travels to the residential training, participants' equipment and pocket money.
IFOAM may assist candidates in obtaining scholarships.
Fees vary from region to region depending on costs. Please consult the brochures for the specific courses to find the relevant details.