International Camp for Democratic Leadership 2022


The world has seen in recent years an alarming rise in anti-democratic leadership in the form of the intimidation of the media, voter suppression, anti-intellectualism, and authoritarian leaders who use fear and hatred to stoke division. This rise has often been made possible by means of the very tools of democracy, including, social media, public assembly, and free speech (see the reports of  Freedom House, the  National Democratic Institute, and the  Democracy Project by the Penn Biden Center at the University of Pennsylvania).


The International Camp for Democratic Leadership (ICDL) seeks to promote democratic leadership by bringing together a community of college-aged students, educators, and democratically-minded professionals into a workshop environment, in order to cultivate the behaviors, relationships, and organizational outlook necessary for promoting democratic leadership at all levels of society, from online communities to the highest levels of government. 


This year’s camp will take place during the summer of 2022 in Rethymno, Crete, a city famous for its local food culture and a history stretching back to the Minoan Period (c.3000 BCE).


Scholarship opportunities are available for those who would like to participate in the camp but feel that the registration fee would pose a prohibitive financial burden.

Structure of the Camp

  • The camp will take place July 2 – 9 in Rethymno on the island of Crete in Greece.
  • Eleven facilitators with backgrounds in academia, the nonprofit world, politics, education, and global affairs will provide 22 unique workshops.
  • Two sessions will take place every evening for two hours each. Participants will be able to choose among 4 workshops for each session and have the option to work with each facilitator at least once.
  • The registration fee includes: access to workshops, a Kallion Leadership sketchbook, a copy of the program guide, and a certificate of participation  for those who participate in at least 10 workshops.

What Participants Can Expect

  • To acquire a better appreciation for how the humanities can inform democratic leadership and governance
  • To identify democratic behaviors you want to cultivate (and to phase out)
  • To reconsider your values in light of what you hope to accomplish for others
  • To enjoy the time, space, and fellowship that allows for discussion and reflection on major leadership decisions
  • To build relationships with like-minded participants of different ages and backgrounds
  • To follow a set of community guidelines in order to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all

How it Works

The core of the ICDL is a series of two-hour workshops. These workshops will be led by facilitators and informed by the participants’ own engagement with a humanities artifact, including literature, drama, philosophy, biography, archaeology, rhetoric, design, linguistics, and the arts. Workshops will include some presentation from the facilitators (see below), but will focus mostly on participation from the members of the camp. Participation may include writing exercises, discussion, testimonial, and performance. The ICDL thrives on active participation from all members of the community, which is multi-generational and inclusive of students as well as professionals and retirees who are interested in cultivating and promoting democratic leadership. 

Facilitators & Workshops

Let’s Kill Caesar (and Then Bury Him)

In this interactive workshop, we will examine the funeral speeches of Mark Antony and Brutus in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. We will practice performing and reacting to these speeches as a way to learn about the use of rhetoric to influence crowds and even to create mob behavior. Come join the mob!

Measuring Ourselves: Leading and Collaborating

In this interactive workshop, we will examine Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, modeling an authentic practice used for rehearsals during Shakespeare’s time. As we investigate Duke Vincentio’s leadership and managerial behaviors, our activities will help us recognize, define, and reflect on our own personal leadership styles and collaboration skills.

Rhonda Knight

Professor of English

Coker University 

Irene Morrison-Moncure

Professor at NYU Gallatin 

School of Individualized 


Democracy on Trial (Ancient Drama)

Through a selected reading of Aeschylus’ Eumenides and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, this workshop will explore how theatre can promote and problematize aspects of democratic leadership.

Democracy on Trial (Modern Drama)

Through a selected reading of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s Inherit the Wind, this workshop will examine how dramatic works can reflect the successes and shortcomings of a collaborative, participatory government.

Know Thyself: Role-Playing Others

Role-playing games (RPGs) allow individuals to practice interpersonal communication and team coordination in the pursuit of a shared goal. American historical, Mark C. Carnes, has adopted this game form into a pedagogy to encourage active engagement with history. Players are immersed in historic, yet contemporarily relevant, situations where they take on a character role, who has distinct personality traits and beliefs. Embodying the role of others allows players to get to know themselves, create bonds by way of contestation, and acquire leadership qualities by problem-solving past situations (Carnes, Minds on Fire, pp. 7, 2014). During this workshop, participants will play an abbreviated scenario from the “Threshold of Democracy” game set in Athens 403 BC.

Changemakers as Citizenship in Practice

How can I make change in society? Let’s find out by studying everyday changemakers. The first case study, Briggs v. Eilliott, will focus on the families who sued Clarendon County, South Carolina in 1950 for the purchase of a school bus for the Black students in the district. This case was eventually wrapped into the landmark Brown v. Board of Education. In this workshop, participants will learn about the case from the tour guide publication created by the Green Book of South Carolina. The second case study will focus on Cecil Williams, a South Carolina civil rights photographer. In 2019, Mr. Williams opened a museum to commemorate South Carolina civil rights. Participants will watch an interview with Mr. Williams. In each case study, we will consider questions central to developing effective practices in citizenship and then ponder developing our own community-engaged projects.

Shirley Chisholm: Cultivating Trust

This workshop will contemplate Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 US Presidential Campaign by reviewing her candidacy announcement as an example of bridging extreme beliefs and a fragmented community. In this workshop, we will explore narratives that empower coalitions and engage agonism for the purpose of creating democratic trust.

Jennifer Heusel

Professor of Communication 

Coker University

Ashleigh Coren

Museum Curator

Washington, DC

Wells vs Willard

How can studying a major falling out between two key figures within the Suffrage Movement help us understand great leadership? In this workshop, we will analyze the public debates between Ida B. Wells and Francis Willard, and we will discuss the intersections between race and gender as they pertain to leadership.

The Teachings of Vanity

How can studying the vanity of public figures help aspiring leaders understand the value of critical reflection? In this workshop, we will analyze the story behind two political cartoons of President Lyndon B. Johnson and discuss the intersections between vanity and gender as they pertain to leadership.

Aristotle’s Defense of Democracy: Knowledge and Other Benefits

In this workshop, we will look at passages from Books 3 and 5 of Aristotle’s Politics to discuss the epistemic and non-epistemic advantages that democratic participation offers and evaluate their respective merits and relevance for modern democracies.

The Interior Life of a Leader According to Seneca

Drawing on the work of Seneca, advisor to Roman emperor Nero, we will discuss the inner qualities of a “Stoic” leader. The philosopher proposes a balance between the cultivation of an interior life along Stoic philosophical principles and public activities offering valuable advice that may be applicable to our modern world. The workshop will be based on passages from Seneca’s letters as well as De Otio and De Beneficiis.

Georgia Tsouni

Professor of Classics

University of Crete

Alexandros Kessopoulos

Professor in Political System

and Representative 


University of Crete

National Sovereignty and Globalization in Modern Democracies

This workshop focuses on the tensed relations between the nation-centered democratic institutions and the global economic governance. The key question: can a nation-state apply a redistributive policy aiming to expand the welfare state, or is it obliged to follow the main doctrine of economic liberalism that opposes government intervention in the market?

Human Rights in the Era of Pandemic Crisis: A Challenge to Contemporary Democracy

Since the pandemic broke out in Spring 2020, the world has been trying to find a balance between the protection of public health and the preservation of human rights. This workshop focuses on the legal, political, and moral debate concerning the limits between the personal liberty and the common good.

Leadership Talk: Disagreeing Agreeably or Defiantly

In today’s globalized world, a leader is bound to encounter conflict and disagreements. Through the adoption of openness, cultural sensitivity, and compassion, leaders can overcome these challenges. The aim of this workshop is to raise awareness of mitigated language in oppositional talk and to help them develop meta-cognitive strategies for analyzing and using leadership language. We will engage in a number of hands-on activities on the language of disagreement with a particular focus on face-threatening acts and strategies we can use in order to have mitigated disagreements that are expressed politely and in a culturally appropriate and sensitive way.

What Can James Bond Films Tell Us About Leadership?

In this workshop, we will discuss the concept of heroic leadership, which includes heroic leaders who are courageous enough to lead us in the “right” direction, through the lens of James Bond films. We will delve into the term “Heroic Leadership Dynamic (HLD),” or “how our most basic human needs can account for our thirst for heroic leaders, and how these needs explain why we are drawn to heroic leaders, how we benefit from them, why we stick with flawed ones, and why we repudiate heroes only after they have outlived their psychological usefulness” (Allison & Goethals, 2014: 1996). Using short clips from 007 films, we will look at the following dimensions of heroic leadership: end passivity; do not allow the new to become the norm; break down the silos; lead with EQ instead of IQ; and, set the standard.

Irene Theodoropoulou

Professor of Sociolinguistics

and Discourse Analysis

Qatar University

Malliron Hodge

Education Consulting

Fireside Chat: Campfire Mixer

Participants will work in small teams to create a program or service that they would offer the world that highlights their leadership skills and expertise.

Leading with, not for, the Community

Participants will discuss ways to co-design with the community by participating in a human centered design sprint exercise.

For and Against: Positive and Negative Thinking for Leaders

If leadership is a craft (tekhne), then it involves imagining, evaluating, refining, and approving, or rejecting, many proposed actions. As a skilled practitioner of craft, a good leader has a well-tuned sense of which proposals are worth immediate embrace, which suggest supportive coercion and demand swift rejection. In this workshop, we contemplate some nuances of positive and negative way finding in fictional leadership scenarios of local and global scope.

Upgrade without Betrayal: On Climbing Value Ladders with Others

In this workshop, we consider how anyone in a democratic society can go about leading themselves and others toward previously unknown goods, made available by membership in a diverse democratic population, without betraying goods previously valued but no longer immediately and/or conveniently available to go for.

John Esposito

Classics Professor


Software Engineer

Valia Loutrianaki

Professor of Experiential 


University of Athens

Sophocles’ Antigone Inspiring Modern Day Active Citizenship

Antigone and her opposite, her sister, Ismene, give a strong example of what it means to stand up for what one finds really important; for what it means to have a secret cause that, even if it is supposed to be non-proper, feels right in one’s inner ethical code. We will enlighten Antigone’s leading profile through her monologues, and we will look into the use of rhetoric and ways of persuading. In the end, we will present theatrically our version of modern Antigone adapted in contemporary social issues.

Leading By Example: From 5th Century BC Pericles to Kolokotronis in the 1821 Struggle for Greek Independence

Cultivating love for one’s country/hometown is an important way of promoting values that assure the feeling of belonging. Leaders have always put forward devotion to common good and the way it guarantees everyone’s wellbeing. We will analyze the above rhetoric in the speeches of Pericles and Kolokotronis, two major generals in Greek history. How did they manage to empower their people in very hard times? How did they overcome the challenges of inner conflicts? Participants will apply conclusions to personal speeches about topics that interest them.

The Art of Rhetoric in Designing Campaigns: Analyzing Volunteerism and Activism in Modern Times

Rhetoric is the art of putting words into practice. Modern times require informed and active citizens that create groups with deep interest in ameliorating their communities. We will approach various cases of international organizations and different communication models of inspiring and affecting audiences. Emphasis will be placed on the use of fallacy, propaganda, and how one can easily recognize these kinds of persuading techniques. In groups, we will then design original campaigns and share them digitally.

The Wisdom of the Geese

Are you born a leader, or do you become one? Can you identify different types and moles of leadership, including their pros and cons? What makes a democratic leader? What are your leadership traits? What can geese teach us about leadership? All these questions and more will be answered in this experiential workshop through the use of text, photos, videos, film clips, self-awareness questionnaires, and role-play activities.

A Case for the Opposition

Voltaire once said: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This experiential workshop will familiarize aspiring debaters with the rules and tricks of the trade: case preparation, definition of a motion, analysis and structure of an argument, techniques of raising a point of information, principles of refutation, writing speeches, and, ultimately, the power of persuasion. Participants will practice debating a topic in teams (Government vs Opposition) in the British Parliamentary Debate format.

Mary Marin

Teacher of English, Drama,

and Debate

Arsakeia Schools

“Strengthen Global Democracy by Improving Your Own Democratic Leadership”