About The International Forum
Learning Experiences for Leaders

The International Forum creates programs which challenge leaders to learn more about themselves and the world outside their organizations. Our programs combine an in-depth and on-the-ground learning experience of markets and societies in the world that are of strategic importance to our participants, while also providing a time for introspection and learning about oneself as a leader and member of society.

"You need to experience The Forum at least once in a lifetime in your professional career. It is so eye-opening and creative. You will take away so much new information and ideas for action, it will keep you busy for quite a while before realizing them all." - Luc Vandenbroucke, President, BarcoView, Belgium

"A very relevant way to combine the deep necessity for personal development as senior executives and the opportunity to gather/raise ideas and orientations for further company strategic improvements." - Jean-Pierre Duprieu, Vice President, Air Liquide S.A., France

"I came away re-energised, back in touch with things I had forgotten and with new insights and understandings." - Christopher Lawrence, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, United Kingdom


  The International Forum will connect you to a large network of leaders around the world from the disciplines of business, politics, economy, history, art, science, religion, medicine, civil society, social welfare and music. In the process of learning more about what is happening in the world, participants in the Forum learn from each other by connecting with others who face similar challenges and issues.

The International Forum experiences are designed and led by its founders who established the organization in 1988 in Philadelphia, USA at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  Since 1993 it has been an independent organization devoted to creating active learning experiences all over the world.

The International Forum recognizes the necessity for senior leaders in organizations to learn from real life experiences and the perspective of other leaders.  As such, the Forum was created to compliment the technical business and leadership skills acquired through many of the executive education programs available to businesses today. 

The Forum's emphasis on Active and Experiential Learning as a means for self discovery and development and the importance of exposure to a very broad range of leaders, beyond the business world are part of the distinguishing feature of the Forum philosophy.

What are some important features of an International Forum experience?

  • The rich backgrounds of the participants who are selected to take part in the Forum: participants are primarily business leaders who have responsibilities for a global business.  They come from more than 15 countries around the world and over 200 companies.  Each program however is generally limited to 25 participants.

  • The breadth of themes and issues which are addressed involve business, society, politics, history, culture, science and exploration, art, music and health and how they are connected to each other and affect business and leadership today

  • The global network of expert resource people who are a part of each Forum experience

  • The continued involvement of chief executives who have attended the Forum and remain an active part of it today

What is Unique about the International Forum?

  • There are NO classroom lectures or conference presentations.
  • The programs emphasize learning from real-life examples of leadership.
  • The learning takes place face-to-face, on the ground in businesses and societies all over the world (including China, Japan, Thailand, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, USA, Czech Republic, France and Russia).
  • Leadership roles and challenges are encountered in meetings with executives, doctors, educators, artists, journalists, social workers,  scientists etc  where they live and in the organizations where they work.

What Can a Participant Gain from The International Forum Experience?

  • The International Forum is the catalyst for the process of personal discovery and learning about others as participants learn through real encounters and shared experiences with other leaders.  

  • Each participant gains a deeper understanding of how the economies and societies in which they do business are changing and what that means for them and their organizations by experiencing them first-hand.

  • Participants learn from each other and enhance their capability to understand cultural differences and how that affects outlook and behavior. This relates to not only people in the country in which the Forum is held but also the 15+ other nationalities of the other participants.

  • The small size of the group (approximately 20 participants) and the level of confidentiality ensure that each participant is able to observe themselves, learn more about their own values and the choices they make when those values come in conflict in their daily lives.

  • Each participant has the opportunity to learn from all types of leaders, particularly those who have solved enormous challenges in society and other disciplines besides business and related this to their own leadership roles.

A Global Network of Leadership Resources

The International Forum maintains a large global network of over 1,000 expert resources and facilitators in business, politics, culture, history, arts and sciences and draws from schools around the world including University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Princeton University, INSEAD, University of Tokyo and others for its faculty.

The network of resources exists for the benefit of its members and executives who have participated at The International Forum draw on this as an information resource, for coaching and advice and for assistance with new markets and opportunities.

History of The International Forum

The International Forum has its origins at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and became an independent global organization in 1993. It has developed senior executive education experiences for companies and individuals all over the world. Over 250 global companies have participated in programs of The International Forum in the past 14 years. A sample of The International Forum's programs include:

The International Forum also designs and develops custom leadership experiences for the most senior members of a company’s management team.


To learn more about upcoming experiences offered by The International Forum e-mail us or browse Forums & Programs

  © The International Forum 2002.  All rights reserved.