In the Ethical Leadership program, my Capstone project was to build awareness among law students at the Universidad del Valle in La Paz, Bolivia about the need of incorporating the principle of accountability in their school life and future profession. Accountability is not part of the culture in Bolivia and it is even less present in the legal system among lawyers. To achieve the purpose of my Capstone, I applied the design thinking methodology to develop a creative workshop for law students. At the workshop, the term ‘accountability’ was presented in a way that would fit into the students’ Bolivian context. It was established that in order to put accountability into practice, students needed to develop a life purpose based on the element of accountability within their context, and which would closely relate to virtue ethics.
My capstone proved to be both creative and practical, as I made it possible for each student to use critical thinking and develop a life purpose. Through the workshop, students understood they were to remain primarily accountable to their own life’s purpose, but also to society; an obligation they would take on in their role as future lawyers.
As a side benefit to my project, faculty at the Universidad del Valle were encouraged by the success of my workshop and have started developing an Innovation Laboratory where more workshops can be implemented.
The Ethical Leadership program was key to develop the skills for implementing my capstone project, which are not easily found in other graduate programs. For example, the outstanding theoretical framework taught in the program was the basis for the type of leadership I applied during my Capstone: Servant Leadership. In addition, the Claremont Core was vital in the development of outstanding skills such as focusing on what really matters (mindfulness), developing true communication through active listening (dialogue), working as partners even in a cultural environment that is reluctant to doing so (collaboration), applying new methods (design thinking), and reaffirming the discovery that my purpose in life is to be an agent of positive change.
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