Lead is the world's largest non-profit organisation dedicated to building leadership capacity for sustainable development. We have a proven track record over the past 20 years, having trained more than 2,500 leaders across 90 countries. An international network of leaders united by a common purpose – to make change happen for a sustainable world.

Today Lead stands at the forefront of leadership thinking and practice. We believe that people are the key to change and that the complexities of sustainable development can only be tackled by investing in leaders, to preserve and protect the future of our planet.

"This environment of being among friends is a catalyst for evolving and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in many aspects" Elena Spiliotopoulou, Freelance HR Consultant and LEAD Associate,

In early June 23 LEAD Associates from across Europe embarked on their LEAD Europe 'Leadership for Sustainable Development' learning journey. This began with an online module and then a training session in London that covered leadership skills. In September the Associates reconvened for their second training module in Brussels which explored leadership and specifically advocacy and negotiation skills from a more regional point of view.

The module, entitled 'The EU and Leadership: Towards a Sustainable Future', encouraged participants to familiarise themselves with the EU decision making process, practice their understanding of systems thinking and apply their learning on advocacy and influencing. Associates had the opportunity to engage in conversations with a number of guest speakers who joined the group for thematic panels on energy and climate policy, leadership and the EU power play.

A site visit to the European Parliament and the European Commission allowed Associates to take a behind the scenes look and learn from experienced EU negotiators. The highlight for many Associates was a negotiation simulation on CO2 emission reduction targets, which allowed them to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the programme as they tried to understand the needs and interests of all the stakeholders in order to reach an agreement. Participants also undertook LEAD Associate Projects which allowed them to share knowledge and expertise through peer-to-peer learning.

The final step for LEAD Europe Associates will be the International Session in Ottawa, Canada, which brings together more than 120 sustainability professionals from over 30 countries. Together they will explore leadership, learning and technology for a sustainable world. By the end of the weeklong module Associates will graduate from the LEAD Europe Programme and will join the global LEAD network of Fellows.

For more information please read the highlights report, visit the LEAD Europe website or read the LEAD Europe blog.