The mission of the Global Leadership Network is to inspire and equip world-class leadership that ignites transformation.
The Global Leadership Network conducts an annual event called the Global Leadership Summit (GLS). This is a two-day, world-class leadership experience. The Global Leadership Summit brings together 400,000 participants for the world’s largest leadership event and is broadcast every August LIVE in HD to hundreds of satellite locations in North America. In the months that follow, the Summit takes place at an additional 900+ sites in 135 countries. Australia is one of those countries. The GLS came to Australia in 2005 under the auspices of Willow Creek Association Australia (later renamed Global Leadership Network Australia) and we are now a separately incorporated affiliate.
Over the past 15 years, we have seen many significant leaders who have stepped up to lead the GLN Australia into a growing movement across the nation. We have had incredible staff who have worked tirelessly in the mission. We have also had huge involvement from an exceptional Board numbering more than 25 different senior leaders from around Australia, volunteering their time and expertise to bring governance and vision.
For all those who have been part of this story, we are truly grateful.
Dozens of leaders have spoken at the Global Leadership Summit and have shaped the path for the GLNA. These have included names such as John Maxwell, T.D.Jakes, Andy Stanley, Patrick Lencioni. Craig Groeschel, Christine Caine, Marcus Buckingham, Carly Fiorina, John Ortberg, Condoleezza Rice, John Dickson, Erwin McManus, Brian Houston, Jim Collins, Danielle Strickland, Jo Saxton, Bear Grylls, Steven Furtick and many more. Their collective wisdom and teaching has strengthened the lives of people all around the globe.
The Global Leadership Summit provides unique content and opportunity for leaders nationally to grow and be inspired in their fields of influence. Over the years we have become aware of the value of gathering leaders from churches, business, communities, politics – in fact, we know that leadership is influence and everyone has influence. The GLS has something to offer everyone.
The GLNA journey has not always been an easy one. In March of 2018 accusations of sexual harassment and/or sexual abuse of power against Bill Hybels, the founder of the GLS, were made public. From that point on, Bill Hybels has had nothing to do with the GLN in any way. The initial media reports were soon augmented by additional corroborating testimonies and over the months that followed several women spoke of their experience of abuse at the hand of Bill Hybels. An Independent Advisory Group concluded that their collective testimony was credible. We firmly believe this conduct is reprehensible and completely contrary to the standards required of any leader and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. We grieve with these women and continue to ask and pray for full repentance of Bill Hybels and for the ongoing process of healing and reconciliation for everyone involved.
Our response to these events has shaped the movement we are now becoming in Australia. We are determined not to proceed as if nothing has happened, but rather to engage in ongoing conversations about correct use of power, about authentic leadership and gender respect; and to champion safety and dignity for all women and men, regardless of culture, opportunity or social standing. This is a continuing priority of our movement in Australia.
In 2005, starting with just five sites in five major cities around Australia, we initially saw 2,663 women and men attend the Global Leadership Summit. This extraordinary ministry has now expanded to include the following in 2019: 26 cities hosting the Global Leadership Summit, 12 schools running Student GLS, one new Business GLS run as a trial to include corporate Christian leaders, and we saw over 8,000 leaders impacted and strengthened. We have a vision to see this number increase to 10,000 leaders by 2022.
We have also hosted additional one-day leadership events in recent years where Nancy Beach (speaking into the space of men and women leading well) and Craig Groeschel (highlighting church leadership best practices) have each featured as live communicators. In 2020 Carey Nieuwhof will feature as we run this event in 6 cities, with an anticipated 1,400+ leaders in attendance.
We changed our name from the Willow Creek Association Australia to the Global Leadership Network Australia in early 2019. This name change, in the planning for several years, expresses the wide and outward focus of our growing work. It aligns us with our international partners and truly expresses the heart behind the GLS – to network leaders across nations to transform and shape culture.