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The Stern Leadership Academy, in collaboration with Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education, provides an evidence-based, actionable executive-level education for emerging leaders from the Three Seas region working in business, the nonprofit sector and public administration. Tapping into highest quality academic research we want to give participants the best available tools to become resilient leaders prepared to guide organizations and businesses towards growth.

One SLA course will run each year. Up to forty of the most promising emerging leaders from the Three Seas region and beyond will gather to learn the fundamentals of doing business successfully on the global stage. The 2023 course is our second, and Kazimierz Prószyński is its patron.

Kazimierz Prószyński was a pioneer of global cinematography. He invented film cameras that eliminated basic problems such as vibrations and image flicker which had made the development of moving pictures challenging. He also made the first films with sound. Born in Warsaw in 1875, he studied in Liège before returning to Warsaw to start the second film studio in Poland. He subsequently worked in Paris, London and the United States before returning to his newly independent homeland in 1919. Prószyński was arrested by the Gestapo on August 25, 1944 and deported into the concentration camp system. He died in March 1945, a few days before the Americans liberated the Mauthausen-Gusen camp. His inventions changed the course of film-making, but he died largely forgotten. Only now is his work beginning to receive the recognition it deserves.

The Stern Foundation aims to foster cooperation between Poles and Americans, in part through promoting the shared history of Poles of all backgrounds and their impact on the development of science, technology and innovation in the United States. The Stern Leadership Academy hopes to nurture human capital in the Three Seas region as a step toward improving relations between Poland and countries with a large Polish diaspora such as the USA and Israel.

Key benefits:

  • Applied knowledge. We provide research-driven, evidenced-
    based education, which not only inspires, but equips participants with practical tools and gives them an opportunity to practice and deploy them in a case-based educational model.

  • Negotiation skills. You’ll learn analytical approaches to negotiation
    and be able to practice these skills in an educational setting.

  • World-class education with a local flavor.
    We believe that tailoring the course specifically for leaders in this region sets this course apart from others.

  • Unique networking opportunities.
    Our programme is
    designed to gather the most talented and ambitious leaders from the Three Seas region,
    managers who are poised to play a major role in the development of this region for a generation to come.

  • Metamorphic development. You’ll learn how to put health,
    happiness, and purpose on the same level as leadership.

  • Diversity management. We believe that how good you are
    at tapping into employees potential and understanding their variegated backgrounds
    and qualities determines how well your organization will operate.

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education certificate. The certificate is recognised globally and can open a path to many new career opportunities.

  • Stern Leadership Academy alumni programme. Life-long
    connections through our selective networking program.

What does the programme consist of?

A three-day Stern Leadership Academy kickoff programme, an on-site intensive course designed by the Stern Foundation;

The Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education Programme consisting of live sessions online, asynchronous content and virtual coursework;

An alumni networking programme to carry forward opportunities for shared learning and cooperation within the SLA network.

The working language of the program will be English.

Is this course right for me?

The course is open to early- and mid-career executives with ten or more years of business experience who are on a leadership path in their organization — whether it be in the private, public or NGO sector.

The SLA embraces diversity as a core value; you should value it too. Together with the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education we bring together people from different sectors with different experiences, perspectives and opinions.

Our unique recruitment procedure aims to gather together a group of remarkable people. Are you an emerging leader who knows how to inspire? Are you able to harness your knowledge, in-depth insight and life experience to lead teams to make change? Are you forward-looking and ambitious about making a real difference?

Formal requirements:

Candidates should have at least 10 years of work experience, with 5 of them at a managerial position.
Although there are no formal educational requirements, we expect candidates to have managerial level experience at their
institution. It is highly recommended that candidates hold a university degree, and have
their English proficiency evidenced either by at least one year of working or studying in English or by a certificate such as Test of English as a
Foreign Language (TOEFL), Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency (CAE or CPE).

Faculty profiles

The Stanford Faculty Director of the Stern Leadership Academy in collaboration with Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education is Jeffrey Pfeffer, a world- renowned expert on organizational behavior, and the author of 15 books including bestsellers: „‚Dying for a Paycheck”, “Leadership BS”, and “Power”.

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Curriculum Highlights

The core is its commitment to evidence-based leadership techniques and its focus on the social and economic dynamics of the Three Seas region.

The Stanford programme for SLA consists of eight study modules and nine live sessions with Stanford professors. The three-day kick-off retreat will expose you to global thought leaders in innovation and management.

Alumni programme

Upon graduating you become a life-long member of the SLA alumni network. To sustain these relationships we have designed a unique alumni programme, which includes regular in-person gatherings to share knowledge and experience.


Strategic partner of the Stern Leadership Academy is Fundacja Empiria i Wiedza

Honorary patron of the Stern Leadership Academy is BGK

How to apply?

Ready to immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind evidence-based leadership education programme? Complete the application form to start the recruitment process. If you are qualified to take part in the program, we will interview you so we can learn a bit more about you.

What is the deadline for applications?

The recruitment campaign has already begun! Applications close on December 20. We will interview promising candidates as soon as we have evaluated their forms. We allocate places to qualifying candidates on a first-come-first-served basis – so don’t delay!

I like to wait till the last minute to do things. Can I still get a place if I send in my application form on the last day of the recruitment campaign?

We will interview promising candidates as we get their applications. Everyone who meets all the qualifying criteria and impresses us will be offered a place on a first-come-first-served basis. If you wait too long, we may have already filled all our places. Don’t miss out – apply as soon as you can!

Fees & conditions

Thanks to the Empiria and Knowledge Foundation our strategic partner the Stern Foundation provides open participation in the SLA program for up to forty Fellows without the need to incur the typical costs which are standard for similar programs. The Foundation also envisages inviting up to five so-called “Institutional Fellows” who will be able to participate in the SLA program thanks to the contributions of the organizations that support them. The SLA’s cooperation with Institutional Fellows operates on a commercial basis. If you or your organization is interested in participating in the SLA program, please contact us for more details.

Course schedule 2023

Start of the recruitment process

Commencement of interviews

Termination of ability to send application form

Completion of the recruitment process

Announcement of recruitment results

Inaugural workshop

Commencement of management skills development program

Graduation ceremony with one face-to-face instruction session

December 2, 2022

December 7, 2022

December 28, 2022

December 28, 2022

December 29, 2022

January 12-15, 2023
Vilnius, Lithuania (obligatory)

January 11, 2023

April 22-24, 2023
Stanford, USA (optional)

Application is need-blind.


About 10 hours. Some activities and assignments can be completed in your own time, but you will also need to make time to attend online classes and group activities as scheduled.

Unfortunately, no. Meeting the rest of the cohort in person and taking part in the kick-off activities is compulsory.

You have to attend all on-line classes and complete all course activities to graduate. Only serious and documented health or personal problems are acceptable as reasons for absence.

There will be an optional face-to-face instructional session and graduation ceremony in Stanford on April 22-24. Attendance is not compulsory, and participants will have to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. All participants will have to follow Stanford’s COVID-19 guidelines for visitors in order to attend https://healthalerts.stanford.edu/covid-19/visitors/.

Yes, but don't forget to tell us about your life and career path.

If you cannot prove that you have studied or worked in English for at least one year, you will have to show a certificate (usually the TOEFL, CAE or CPE).