During the week of July 8-15, we had the third edition of LALA Bootcamps. The one-week leadership development program was held in São Paulo, Brazil, in partnership with Amana-Key, one of the leading executive education and consulting companies in Brazil. Oscar Motomura, Amana-Key’s CEO, shared a common vision with us regarding the power of leadership and social transformation in Latin America and was very generous and kind to offer us Amana’s beautiful campus for a week.
As the organizer of the Bootcamp, I worked with Antonio Rodriguez and David Baptista, the two master facilitators of the program, to make this an engaging and unique experience for our cohort. After an intense selection process, with more than 150 applicants, 30 students ages 15-19 were selected, building the most diverse cohort so far. The students had a wide range of experiences and interests, came from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and represented 15 Brazilian states. All of them embraced the servant leadership ideal we believe in, having demonstrated past acts of service in their actions and a deep commitment to the transformation of their communities and schools.
The Bootcamp curriculum was divided into four main pillars:
- Leadership strength
- Social innovation
- Social-emotional learning
- Community organizing
Throughout the week, the students were challenged to share their personal stories and difficult moments with the whole group, exercising vulnerability that allowed for deeper connections. They were also asked to develop and present a social impact project. Part of the program was also focused on expanding the students’ networks and connecting them with social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and inspiring people that could expand their worldview and serve as future mentors. People such as Vitor Belota, Founder of Litro de Luz, Wellington Nogueira, founder of Doutores da Alegria, Edgard Gouveia, founder of Instituto Elos and Play The Call, Nathalie Zogbi, former Director of Anglo 21, and Marc Kirst, founder of Prove, spent quality time with the students, sharing their social impact journey and having very profound conversations about life’s purpose, education, politics, and social impact.
All the pieces of the program were beautifully designed, but three special moments summarize the tone of the entire camp:
- The first one was the visit to Instituto Favela da Paz, one of the most iconic social impact projects inside a favela in São Paulo, where the students were blown away by the strong sense of community, values, love, and kindness embraced by everyone there, and were deeply touched by the community leader Claudinho Miranda.
- The Social Impact Dinner was also a very powerful moment when the students had the chance to network and have very intimate conversations with 15 social entrepreneurs and business leaders from Brazil. At the end of the dinner, all the guests were so inspired by the eagerness of the students to connect, ask questions, and get the most out of each interaction, that the feeling of positivity and hope for a better future filled the entire room – and our hearts.
- The students’ Final Presentations closed the week on a high note. The cohort had to organize a 3-hour event for more than 60 guests, where they had to share their learning experiences and present the projects they had developed during the program. The crowd was awe-inspired by the professionalism, eloquence, and creativity of each group, which engaged the crowd from beginning to end. Parents, professors, and mentors could not have been more proud of them.
The Brazilian Leadership Bootcamp was definitely a huge success and the confirmation we needed: Yes, students, teachers, and society as a whole would not only benefit from LALA’s work and vision, but they are actually demanding this kind of transformative experience. We cannot wait to start expanding this work all over Latin America.