Students to discover sustainability and leadership at conference

Students will experience and learn about various forms of leadership, sustainability, microlending and the microfinance movement at Friday and Saturday's State of Leadership Conference.

The State of Leadership Conference is an annual conference that runs for two days in the Brown-Lupton University Union.

Student Development Service’s Leadership Center organizes the conference in partnership with the Neeley School of Business, Ebony Rose, the assistant director of the Leadership Center, said.

On Feb. 22 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., there will be an institute dinner featuring keynote speaker Jessica Jackley, the co-founder of KIVA. Each year this dinner features a speaker from an organization, along with a question and answer session, Rose said.

KIVA is a microlending website that allows individuals to lend $25 or more to underfinanced entrepreneurs. Microlending with KIVA involves small, short-term loans with the goal “to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty,” according to their website.

Community leaders are invited to engage with participating students at the dinner, Rose said. The dinner is an opportunity for students to network with successful members of the community.

The topics for this year’s conference are sustainability and the microfinance movement, she said.

Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. is the conference day, which focuses on education and execution, Rose said. Students are expected to participate in various program and breakout sessions.

The conference will get students to think critically about social issues, Rose said. It emphasizes community and leadership building, which is important in all careers, she said.

Students can confuse being a leader with being in an elected position when leadership is really for everyone, Dave Kelly, America’s Student Leadership Trainer, said.

Kelly said he encourages any student to attend and be on the look out for aspects of leadership they have not explored, which will benefit them for life.

The conference is $20 for TCU students and $40 for students from other universities.

Registration for the State of Leadership Conference is open on OrgSync.