© 2018 by The International Learning Foundation.


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In the first decade of the millennium, the IFL, after an event to recraft its mandate for the future attended by 40 prominent citizens and IFL supporters at UBC, endorsed a new theme called Learning for Leaders. From this, events emerged to support the activities of the Vancouver-based Institute for Ethical Leadership, which put on 68 events over eight years in the areas of Youth and Education, Stewardship and the Environment, Business and Sustainability, Health and Wellness, and Relationships and Personal Development.

As in the beginning, when the International Foundation of Learning emerged from the goodwill generated among the colleagues and partners who put on the conference for Advances in Research and Services for Children with Special Needs, the new needs of the approaching millennium spurred the principles of previous projects to take a parallel but somewhat different direction. Learning for leaders had always been a component of IFL projects. In this moment, the issues of ethics in the treatment of the environment in the schools and education curriculum in human relationships of all kinds, and especially in the way we conducted the business of the Nation was considered seminal as a way of positively influencing the future for the next generations of learners. Indeed, the individual projects undertaken for support such as promoting recycling in North Shore schools and the Gulf Island Centre for Ecological Learning brought the work of the IFL back to the front line in developing service to children and youth.


The Institute for Ethical Leadership held monthly meetings at the Vancouver Public Library’s central facility where our colleagues included long-time IFL partners. The meetings were based on five themes which rotated twice a year. They included:

  • Youth and Education Chair: Kristin Cassie

  • Stewardship and the Environment Chair: Jim Haliburton

  • Health and Wellness Chair: Jean Pierre Leblanc, Maggie Gold

  • Relationship and Personal Development Chair: Diane Jennings

  • Business and Sustainability Chair: Desmond Berghofer


The meetings were coordinated by Geraldine Schwartz and Desmond Berghofer and run as mini-catalyst forums with speakers, panels, town halls and special forums presented to an audience of active participants sharing a simple meal around a table. At the break, the tables’ participants generated active discussion and some events sparked long-term follow through projects such as promotion of the United Nations Living Values project for children and youth in BC schools, the North Shore Schools’ Recycling Project, which actually pushed the school districts in North and West Vancouver to partner with Metro Vancouver’s North Shore Recycling. This turned into a full recycling program for all 55 schools and their school district offices and the Gulf Island Centre for Ecological Learning (GICEL), now celebrating many years of services to children and youth in teaching ecological learning courses on four Gulf Islands.

The Institute also put on two large conferences called Connections One, which brought the leaders of many Vancouver partners together and Connections Two, a collaboration for the common good both based on the five themes listed above.

The work of the Institute for Ethical Leadership is ongoing. Detailed information may be found on its website www.ethicalleadership.com


Since 2017, the International Foundation of Learning has been a partner with the Visioneers International Network, with the goal of showcasing and promoting good-work projects around the world.