The world is changing. Gone are the days when one country, one group, one person could dictate and deliver policies and programs in the best interests of all. We live in an interconnected world where decisions have massive ripple effects into the lives of many. And understanding “best interests” means understanding the multitude of perspectives that come from different backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. In this context, the concept of leadership is evolving. True leadership is not solely defined by the acts of a single authoritative figure anymore—it’s also about enabling many to work together toward a common goal.

NYU Wagner has been a pioneer in challenging the view of heroic leadership and advancing an understanding of collective leadership. And yet we also focus on developing individual capabilities. Why? Because the individual side of leadership is about developing your passion. That’s crucial to understanding how your passion can connect to others in order to deliver social transformation. By cultivating both the “me” and “we” perspectives of leadership, NYU Wagner helps you understand how to mobilize groups to develop a driving purpose and build commitment—together.

We are also committed to creating and supporting intentional opportunities, programs, and initiatives—inside and outside the classroom—where you can develop your leadership capabilities.

These beliefs are woven throughout all of our degree programs. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to help build successful organizations, craft relevant policies, and deliver effective programs, as well as be an agent of change who can help drive positive social transformation that truly incorporates all the interests involved.

Leading Collectively: Insights From Social Change Organizations

Professor Sonia Ospina discusses an important shift in society's understanding of leadership from a leader-centered approach to a connectivity-focused model.