ESR to Host 2016 Leadership Conference


ESR to Host 2016 Leadership Conference

ESR will host the 7th annual Quaker Leadership Conference, Holy Experiments: Risk, Courage, and the Entrepreneurial Spirit, August 12-14, 2016. The conference will feature keynote presentations from Samir Selmanović and Christina Repoley.I

In the search for meaning, many persons stand at an intersection where at least one path leads into unfamiliar territory. Whether described as ideas, leadings, or callings, a certain inner summons persists deep within one’s quest for faithfulness. Interests and passions urge the consideration of the untested opportunity, sometimes even if the gifts and skills feel unfinished; sometimes even when sources for necessary funding are not evident. Whether to service, ministry, a new venture or a career change, these moments often lead to the birth of the entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurial leadership, whether in ministry, service, or business, has a spiritual vein, connecting with the deep life of the Spirit. As something new and untested, the experimental nature of this venture is all but guaranteed. As a response to the work of the Spirit within, the feel of holiness or sacred ground is natural. The sense of riskiness is genuine. The value of courage can hardly be overrated as one takes the initial steps toward this new investment of one’s self in the work that emerges from this effort.

We live at a vibrant moment. Whether in established structures or new ventures, desires to be useful, faithful, and successful co-mingle toward an integrated life where faith and vocation are one. Many old structures struggle to survive. New visions insist that innovative approaches and new models must be found! But how does one begin? Who understands the challenges faced? What does one need to succeed? It is an exhilarating moment for the entrepreneurial spirit. We may expect fresh leadership to emerge from successes and failures alike.

This year’s leadership conference intends to create space for conversation, for reflection, for sharing questions and wisdom that arise from the path you are traveling. With others, name the questions that nag. Share the wisdom you can offer. Learn from the experiences of others, trusting that leadership emerges where gifts are shared.

Keynote presentations:

"That Fierce Heat of Living" with Samir Selmanović

Samir Selmanović, PhD PCC, is an Executive Life Coach and Leadership Development Advisor who has coached 100+ leaders and consulted 20+ organizations from diverse sectors of society. He has been a guest speaker at educational institutions, including Harvard and Princeton Universities. His non-profit interfaith leadership work has been profiled in the New York Times. Samir’s current interests are Narrative Coaching and Design, and Conversational Intelligence. 



"Coming Alive: Discerning the Next Chapter of Quaker Service" with Christina Repoley

Christina is the founding executive director of Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) and a member of Atlanta Friends Meeting. She is a 2002 graduate of Guilford College and received a Master of Divinity in 2011 from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. She serves on the Board of Directors of Friends Fiduciary Corporation and the advisory board of Peace Builders Camp at Koinonia Farm. Her writing has appeared in Friends Journal and Quaker Life and she has been the invited speaker at various events including the 2014 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting William Penn Lecture and Guilford College’s 2014 Commencement Exercises. 




ESR will also be hosting the 4th annual Quaker College Leadership Gathering on August 11-12th.

The gathering is an opportunity for Quaker college students to meet their peers and discuss how service informs their faith and vocational discernment. More information on the gathering can be found on the ESR website. Also, students who attend the QCLG can participate in the Leadership Conference free of charge.

For full information on the 2016 ESR Leadership Conference, including online registration, visit this page. Other questions: call Mandy Ford at (800) 432-1377 or email