Summit Brings Ivy League Schools Together

Doreen Xu

The C.E.O. and founder of Ashoka, Bill Drayton ‘65, kicks off the Ivy Leadership Summit held this weekend with his speech on social entrepreneurship.

Students from the eight Ivy League universities learned about practical approaches and effective tools to fulfill their leadership roles at their respective undergraduate institutions at the 12th Ivy League Leadership Summit this weekend.

Student organizers said that this annual summit, which was held at Harvard this year, is part of an effort to increase collaboration and communication between Ivy League universities.

“Our overall goal is increased Ivy League interaction,” said Kathy Bui ’12, president of the Ivy Council from Brown University. “We want to bring together all the Ivy League schools so we can pool our collective resources and make students aware of how much support they have.”


The conference featured a series of keynote speakers including social entrepreneur Bill Drayton ’65, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology lecturer Andrew Berry, and John W. Coleman, a Harvard Business School alumnus and co-author of “Passion and Purpose.” All three spoke about personal experiences that imparted valuable lessons on effective leadership.

“The goal for this conference was to increase Ivy League interaction with an emphasis on personal development,” said Teddy O. Tiab ’12, who organized the summit as Harvard’s Ivy Council head delegate. “I wanted each student to walk away either with a new perspective or a new skill, which is why we chose a varied list of guest speakers.”


Students also had the chance to attend a series of workshops on Saturday that featured presentations from guest speakers including Google University Programs Manager Debra LoCastro and Mark D.W. Edington, the executive director of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory.

Students said that popular workshops in the conference included “Speaking Your Mind and Minding Your Speech,” “Team Problem Solving,” and “Case Studies in Leadership Failures.” Workshops featured team-building exercises and group discussions.

“In a workshop led by Dale Carnegie Training, we talked about engaging in a meaningful conversation with somebody and making a memorable impact,” said Grace Phang ’14, a student from Dartmouth College. “We learned techniques to get someone to open up and make them feel special—skills that all great leaders need to have.”

The conference, arranged by the Ivy League Council and the Leadership Institute at Harvard College, received generous donations from Google, the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College, and the Harvard Undergraduate Council.

Ivy League Council members said that they expect that next year’s conference, which will be held at Dartmouth University, will continue to grow in attendance. Future plans include seeking official club status for the Ivy Council at Harvard and improving publicity for the event.

The Ivy Council is also currently organizing a “State of the Ivy” address at Columbia University this April, where student government presidents from all the Ivy League schools will come and share what they have been doing at their colleges.

“If there was a philosophy behind why we do this, I would say that we want students to gain new perspectives and new skills,” said Tiab. “We want to empower young leaders to go back to their college campuses and make a difference.”

—Staff writer Michelle Denise L. Ferreol can be reached at