Our Leadership Experiences are designed and facilitated by a team of internationally experienced academics, business practitioners, and professional coaches committed to helping people transform their minds.
Professor Connell Fanning, Director
Professor Connell Fanning is a business economist with a special interest in the development and application of ideas and the role and use of theories in business reasoning. He is Professor of Economics and Head of the School of Economics at University College Cork (UCC). Connell has wide teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and in professional, executive and continuing education programmes.
He also has strong links with the business and external community. He has undertaken consultancy projects for businesses and public agencies, including the European Commission, has contributed to local and national Print, T.V. and Radio media on economic affairs, and has made presentations to a large range of public forums, conferences and seminars. He has published extensively on various themes, including John Maynard Keynes’ macroeconomic and business theory, local entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial renewal, worker management and labour-directed firms, Porter’s clusters theory, nurturing indigenous entrepreneurship and Penrose’s theory of organic growth of the firm.
Connell holds Primary and Masters degrees in Economics from University College, Cork, and Masters and Ph.D. degree in Economics from Cornell University.
Connell founded The Keynes Centre at University College Cork (UCC) in 2014 as a way of bringing the innovative approach of Transformative Thinking, inspired by the ideas of John Maynard Keynes about thinking, to support people in continuing development of their meaning and truth making capabilities throughout adulthood.
On the basis of The Keynes Centre’s innovative thinking about 'leadership', redefining and championing its importance for better living and working, Connell and his associate Assumpta O’Kane created 'The Leadership Mind' to provide an accessible developmental framework for people in all walks of life and for all kinds of organisations.
This innovative approach to development is the subject of our forthcoming book, The Leadership Mind (2022).
Dr. Marija Laugalyte is a graduate of University College Cork in film and screen studies. She has published in this field as well as teaching in film studies at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in UCC and recently designed and delivered a course on romantic comedies for the UCC Adult and Continuing Education Centre. Marija manages communications and social media as well as programme organisation for The Keynes Centre.
Assumpta O’Kane is an occupational psychologist and researcher, a facilitator of transformation in adult development and a specialist advisor on organisational development.
She is the founder of ‘Transformative Conversations’ a facilitation process for individuals and teams underpinned by the frontier work of Robert Kegan on Adult Development and UCC’s Keynes Centre on Transformational Learning and Personal Change.
‘Transformative Conversations’ is both a process to participate in and a method to acquire, created for people working in business who want to develop and expand how they are relating with other people. Assumpta O'Kane has identified the ways in which people can develop and change, and is recognised for creating an environment in which people can develop their capability for management and for leadership. She works privately with individuals, SME and multinational organisations.
She has recently co-authored ‘The Leadership Mind’ with Professor Connell Fanning presenting new innovative ways of thinking about leadership and the developmental and change process involved in becoming this kind of mind.
Previously Assumpta O'Kane has worked with organisations Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals, Price Waterhouse Coopers, BDO Binder Hamlyn; and Electric Ireland (previously ESB) with senior advisory and management responsibilities in Organisational Development and Human Resources.
Barbara has worked in the U.S. and global consulting service for more than 75 varied clients, including Fortune 500 corporations, educational and health care institutions, professional services organizations, government and nonprofit agencies. She had a 20-year tenure at Steelcase, Inc., where she led senior leadership teams through unprecedented economic decline, internal culture transformation and a global culture analysis involving 14,000 employees.
She is currently President of Real-Time Perspective, a consulting practice focused on organisational effectiveness in the areas of executive coaching, leadership team development, strategic planning, organisational culture assessment and transition management, performance management systems, nonprofit board capacity development.
She is also one of a select group of individuals certified to coach executives and leaders in the Immunity to Change ™ coaching process. Authored by Dr. Robert Kegan and Dr. Lisa Lahey of Minds at Work; this is a research-based approach helping individuals and teams overcome previously unrecognized obstacles that hinder their ability to achieve professional or personal goals.
She is also certified by the Leadership Circle to deliver several leadership and organizational culture 360° assessments. The most prevalent is The Leadership Circle Profile™. For clients interested Emotional Intelligence, she is certified by the Hay Group to administer the Emotional Competency Inventory™.
Paddy Crowe, Transformational Consultant and Lecturer at UCC’s DBA Programme
Paddy began in the early 1970’s in the field of engineering and then over the course of the next 20 years employed in social work and teaching until establishing his own private practice working with individuals and groups in the area of personal transformation. Having studied and qualified in both eastern and western approaches, methodologies and therapies he brings his own unique and holistic insight to the often narrow view of transformation. As well as his practice, Paddy has been involved with the MBA programme University College Cork (UCC) for a number of years and currently facilitator/lecturer on the DBA Practitioner Doctorate programme at UCC. He is a graduate of UCC.
Dr. Dave Kirwan, Managing Director at Bord Gais Energy
Dave is responsible for leading the Bord Gais Energy business through the successful sale to Centrica. Prior to the sale, Dave worked in Bord Gais Eireann for 15 years and was responsible for the launch of its Northern Ireland business, firmus energy, the development of the Whitegate power station and the acquisition and subsequent merger of the SWS wind business. Prior to joining BGE Dave worked in power generation sector for ESB/ESBI in Ireland, US and Vietnam. Dave holds a BE electronics from University College Dublin and is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland, he also holds an MBA and a DBA from University College Cork.
Former Staff and Interns
Dr. Laura Aguiar, Community Engagement Officer & Creative Producer at Nerve Centre
Dr. Laura Aguiar worked as a freelance journalist in Brazil, Ireland and Sweden where she worked with storytelling, online media management and with developing internal communication strategies. As part of her practice-based PhD research, she edited and co-directed the documentary film ‘We Were There’ (2014), about the women’s experience of the Maze and Long Kesh prison during the conflict in Northern Ireland. She also managed the Prisons Memory Archive website and social media and helped develop the concept and design for the project’s online interactive documentary on the Maze and Long Kesh Prison.
She has taught in Queen’s University BA programmes and guest lectured across Ireland, Canada and Sweden. She has published on various themes, including collaborative media practice, gender representation, media and war, and interactive storytelling.She holds a BA in Journalism from Fumec University, an MA in Media and Communication from Stockholm University and a PhD in Film Studies from Queen’s University Belfast.