Here are some quick answers to some of the most common questions about the DSIL Course.
What do you mean by field immersion? - The DSIL Course believes in the power of experiential learning. Field immersion means stepping out of the classroom and into local communities with field partners to apply theories and uncover heat experiences. During the course, you'll be immersed in local culture and cuisine as we take great care in sourcing meals from social enterprises.
Why is the course 5 months? - The DSIL Course consists of Virtual Classroom (VC) sessions which take place roughly every week over 5 months. The 10-day field immersion in Southeast Asia falls in between the 5 month timeline. This timeline was created to facilitate the busy schedules of the leaders who register in our course. The VCs are spaced out far enough to allow for personal reflection and learning while also allowing for life to happen in between. In addition, a 5-month timeline allows you to develop and apply new theories to your own life which helps create lasting behavior change. Lastly, within the 5-month period you'll stay connected to your cohort, providing a way to stay in touch and bring forward your challenges related to the VC topic.
What is a Virtual Classroom? - A VC is a mechanism to facilitate remote learning. VCs are typically 1-hour every week and focus on a topic related to the course (e.g. social innovation, conscious leadership, empathy). These sessions are lead by some of the world's foremost thought leaders with past speakers representing Stanford University D.School, IDEO, SY Partners and more. In line with DSIL's educational philosophy, each VC is engaging, impactful, relevant, and applicable to daily life. Although live participation is greatly beneficial to your learning process, each VC is recorded for viewing later.
How does the DSIL Course create lasting learning? - The DSIL Course is run by experienced facilitators who guide you through the learning process using inclusive techniques like Liberating Structures. All methodologies, such as design thinking and conscious leadership, are taught by experienced practitioners who bring both academic knowledge and real-world experience to the table. To ensure that what you learn in the course leads to long-lasting mindset shifts in your local context, DSIL uses Vertical Leadership Development tools to cement learning. Our method includes exposure to unfamiliar situations, exposure to a diverse peer group, group and individual reflection, and tangible ways to bring what you've learned back to your organization. Additionally, as a participant, you will have two sessions with a University of California Berkeley certified executive coach. You are encouraged to bring your challenges, either professional or personal, to coaching sessions.
Who will my classmates be? - The DSIL Course is designed for diversity. Each cohort is different but we attract entrepreneurs, executives and professionals from the for-profit, non-profit, and educational sectors. Typically, participants fall in the age range of 26-60 years old. To date, the DSIL Course has over 130 alumni from 55+ countries. Each participant brings their own unique life experience, thoughts, and perceptions to the group. This makes for rich discussions and reflections.
Why is the program in a Bangkok and Phnom Penh? - Southeast Asia is a mosaic of unique cultures, histories, and socioeconomic backgrounds. As the capitals of Thailand and Cambodia, Bangkok and Phnom Penh allow you to experience what social innovation looks like on the ground level. We've partnered with fantastic organizations in both cities to provide DSIL Course participants an authentic learning experience by running design sprints for social enterprises. As one of the world's fastest-growing economic regions, Southeast Asia allows participants to see what implementing innovation and being a leader looks like in such a volatile, uncertain environment.
Do I have to know Thai or Khmer to participate? - English is the only required language to know during the course. Where necessary, DSIL will provide a translator although we honor the loss in meaning and feeling that happens in this process.
How much free time is there? - The programming team has worked to ensure that you will have time to reflect, decompress, or venture around the cities; but most course time is programmed. However, we support every individual and their needs. As you know yourself best, it is advised to take time off when you need it.
What transportation is included in the course costs? - Each participant must finance their own flights to Bangkok before the course and out from Phnom Penh afterwards. The flight from Bangkok to Phnom Penh will be purchased and scheduled by DSIL. Additionally, most transportation between workshops, field trips, and dinners are covered by DSIL. All additional travel during the participant's leisure is the responsibility of the participant.
How do I travel to Bangkok, Thailand? - Thailand is home to two major international airports, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang (DMK). From both airports, participants can take a metered taxi, bus, or train to downtown Bangkok.
Do I need a visa in Thailand or Cambodia? - Bangkok allows for a 30-day tourist for most countries which can be obtain upon arrival, usually free of charge. In Cambodia, all entrants will need to obtain a temporary tourist visa at a charge payable by the participant.