Wonder Women! Next Create Conversations. Make Connections. Build Capacity.

Our Design Challenge

Create a diverse cohort-based women's leadership program to build leadership capacity, leverage design thinking to solve a personal leadership challenge, build and strengthen relationships and networks, and build an intentional space for connection and rejuvenation.

Why is this program important?

We know that over the past several months, you’ve been through a lot. Our schools need us more, our families need us more, and the world needs us more. It can be exhausting when it’s not exhilarating. We know that every moment hasn’t felt heroic, but the truth is, we know you’re doing a lot. This program is designed to create a space to honor, support, and partner alongside you in your leadership development.

There are a lot of women's leadership programs out there to choose from. Our intention is to design a program that, yes, builds skills and exposes participants to new content on leadership (through the lens of what's most relevant to women), design thinking, and your signature expression and presence, but the experience will go further than just "what" you will learn.

Leadership+Design builds experiences that ignite transformation and a sense of connection and community. Every experience brings our values of people, collaboration, transformation, action and joy to life, and Wonder Women! is one of our best examples of these values brought to our programming.

This is also an opportunity to join a national community with participants across race, age, sexual orientation, at different points in their careers and hold varied leadership roles, and represent both public and independent schools.

Join us and other Wonder Women! in our new transformative learning and design experience from the comfort of your own home or office.

The Program

The program will have four main goals:

  • Create understanding and conversations around relevant skills and leadership content.
  • Identify a leadership aspiration and begin designing solutions to overcome a personal leadership barrier or maximize a strength.
  • Build relationships and a strong community of activated women leaders to drive change who represent diversity in race, religion, and sexual identity.
  • Provide a low cost and easy to access immersive experience leveraging digital learning and remote tools collaboration.

To accomplish these goals Wonder Women! Next will create both synchronous and asynchronous engagement opportunities over the course of an eight-week cohort-based learning experience.

A cohort-based learning experience.

L+D's Wonder Women! program has succeeded in part due to the strength of relationships formed between participants, facilitators and Rapid Fire Speakers. Wonder Women! Next will build on these strengths by expanding that offering in a remote setting and embedded into the school year.

This program (schedule shown above) will leverage a cohort-model to deepen the relationships between participants in the cohort and with coaches and allow participants to experience a more trusting and vulnerable learning environment. Each cohort will be limited to 15-20 participants and, depending on interest, two cohorts will be run simultaneously to account for time zone preferences or teaching schedules.

Synchronous engagements focused on content and a leadership challenge...

  • Full Cohort Meetings: The cohort will meet as a full group once every two weeks for a 90 minute session. These meetings will be focused on new concepts and skill development. Topics such as signature presence, identity and intersectionality, privilege and bias, public speaking, and others will be covered in these sessions. Sessions will also promote deeper discussion and application through breakout groups, collaborative tools, and multiple facilitators. Conversations will be continued on Slack and facilitated by Wonder Women Next! Coaches.
  • Small Group Meeting: Smaller groups of the full cohort (4-5 people) will meet on opposite weeks of the Full Cohort Meetings. These meetings will be focused on relationship building and pod learning. A core focus will be on using design thinking, namely hacking, to develop a leadership aspiration and designing small experiments, using change levers, to make small changes towards a personal or school-based leadership challenge. These calls will also create space for participants to share a relevant challenge they are experiencing and the team to practice using an exploratory feedback protocol.

and creating conversations...

  • Rapid Fire Speakers: These rapid presentations will be delivered by established, provocative, and inspirational women who both have strong signature presence, but also have something important to say. Rapid Fire Speakers will be held the same week as the Small Group meetings and will invite the participants from across both cohorts to join. The speaker will present a topic and themselves in a talk between 5-10 minutes and small groups will discuss reactions to the talk and observations about the presenter's leadership style and signature presence. Presentations will be recorded for those unable to attend and will be shared on Slack. These meetings will be 30-45 minutes to reduce barriers to engagement.
  • Wonder & Wine: Across both cohorts, participants will be invited to join an optional informal community building and networking event on Thursday the week of the Full Cohort Meeting. A loose protocol will be provided to set norms and be inclusive of all participants, along with optional discussion prompts and reflection questions. This is also an opportunity to just be real in community with other women.

Asynchronous Community Building

Wonder Women! Next will have a dedicated Slack Workspace for getting to know one another within and across the cohorts, discussing topics from in-person meetings, sharing resources, and expanding your learning. Prompts and resources will be shared for each two week cycle prior to the Full Cohort meeting to better maximize application and discussion while in the synchronous meeting.

Slack will be the foundational tool to share your voice and establish a presence, go deeper in content, and engage with other participants.

Additionally, while coaches will prompt conversation within this community, a true measure of success will also be the conversation, support, and sharing that originates from within the community and between the participants.

Additional Elements

Personal Coaching

We believe each participant will have come to this experience with unique needs and goals for learning and leading. Each participant will be offered an optional coaching session with a Wonder Women! Coach over the course of the first 3 weeks of the program to help with goal setting, optimizing engagement, and to make connections. The session will be scheduled for 45 minutes over Zoom at a mutually agreed upon time.

Learning Partner

We recognize that women supporting (mentoring, sponsoring, cheering- on) other women is one of the best ways to change a system rooted in bias and inequity. Through the Slack Community and supported by Wonder Women! Coaches, a learning partner matching channel will allow participants to connect with one another to form learning partnerships. Partnership will not necessarily mean a senior leader is matched with a more junior leader. These matches will instead be based on your leadership goals, needs and strengths and will require some vulnerability either to ask for and receive a partner.

Wonder Women! Learning Gear

Learning and leading takes the right tools. Each Wonder Women! will receive a toolkit to help you maximize your learning experience and also show your pride and camaraderie for being part of this community.

We can't give it away now, but imagine the rad gear that could be coming your way.

INclusiveness COmmittment

Leadership+Design is committed to programming that is inclusive across race, gender identity, sexuality, and dismantling systems of privilege and access. To this end, Wonder Women! Next will have a racially balanced coaching team, Rapid Fire Speaker line-up, and will directly recruit diverse participants.

Additionally, design sessions and conversations will not only question the status quo of gendered leadership, but also actively implement anti-racist and inclusive protocols and program materials. While Wonder Women! Next is designed to serve women who identify with that label, we also welcome non-binary leaders.

If you have questions or feedback on this commitment, please contact Tara Curry-Jahn.


2021 Program Starting Date

Wonder Women! Next will begin on January 25th, 2021 and end on March 19, 2021.

We may extend the program ending date based on spring break schedules in 2021.

Program Cost

  • Eight-weeks of facilitated program meetings
  • Optional- Wine and Wonder bi-weekly networking gathering
  • A box full of Wonder Women! Next Learning Gear
  • A personalized coaching session- Optional based on your schedule
  • Access to the Slack community with facilitated discussion and resources
  • A small cohort experience.

$799.00 Per Participant

  • Optional Add-On Coaching Sessions: $150 per session
  • Add-on a Donation to L+Donate Grant Fund to help leaders with diverse financial circumstances participate.
  • Group Discounts available upon request.
  • If you are a Member of L+Doers Unite, you will receive 15% off the cost of your registration.

We are committed to engaging a diverse group of women leaders in this cohort.

Need financial assistance?

Complete this Grant Application and decisions will be made on a rolling basis.

Wonder Women! Next Coaches

Your Guides, Friends, Provocateurs and Coaches

Wonder Women! Next will bring together experience designers and coaches from Leadership+Design and Joy Rising. The team has deep experience in leadership development, design thinking, and facilitation. This team will hold the cohorts, be available for personalized coaching, and will be on this journey with you.

Carla Silver, Leadership+Design

Carla Silver (@Carla_R_Silver) is the executive director and co-founder of Leadership+Design. She is an experienced independent school educator, school administrator, and experience designer. She holds a B.A. in English from Emory University and a M.A. in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from The University of San Diego. Carla partners with schools on strategic design and enhancing the work of leadership teams and boards, and she designs experiential learning experiences for leaders in schools at all points in their careers. She also leads workshops for faculty, administrative teams and boards on Design Thinking, Futurist Thinking, Collaboration and Group Life, and Leadership Development.

Shu Shu Costa, Moorestown Friends School

Shu Shu Costa is the director of admissions at Moorestown Friends School. She has been a teacher, a mentor, a division director, an assistant head of school, and a board member. She has also published two books, been a beat reporter at a city newspaper, and a managing editor at a glossy magazine. What joins all those experiences together is her love of people and their remarkable stories, both the ones we tell to ourselves and the ones we use to create journeys and relationships with others. This past spring, Shu Shu presented “Am I Lost or Am I Searching?” at the NAIS annual conference. For the past five years, she has facilitated SPARC - Spirited Practice and Renewed Courage - a program for educators which explores the conversations between our inner selves and our professional lives. Shu Shu was born in Penang, Malaysia, is a graduate of Cornell University, and is the proud mom of three children. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two dogs, and a six-toed cat named Hemingway.

Tara Curry-Jahn, Leadership+Design

Tara Curry-Jahn (@Tara_Jahn) is an Associate with Leadership+Design. She is an experienced human-centered design facilitator and coach, strategic partner, and experience designer. She holds a Master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Colorado and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont. Tara partners with schools, districts, and organizations to think creatively and systematically to become more user-centered and strategic in teacher and leadership development, resource allocation (time, money, people), and the student experience.

Tesha McCord Poe, Joy-Raising LLC

Tesha McCord Poe, CEO and Founder of Joy-Raising, is a passionate educator and fundraiser who uses her legal and business background to leverage and support the long-term success of non-profit organizations. Tesha has spent more than a decade working as a senior administrator in Independent Schools from K-12. In this capacity, Tesha has partnered with leadership teams to set and implement innovative strategies and growing revenue streams through admissions and fundraising.


Please reach out if you have any questions or feedback about the program, the commitment, or scholarships. You can contact Tara Curry-Jahn at tara@leadershipanddesign.org.

are you ready to Become a Wonder Woman!?

Created By
Tara Curry-Jahn


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