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Nelson Mandela Leadership Programme



The Sinan-Wren executive training arm aims to inspire and empower people from the West and the East to innovate and connect with each other, build bridges, break barriers and work collaboratively in developing, promoting and maintaining democracy with a view to live in a more peaceful and cohesive world. We seek to help people on their trajectory of leadership by providing a world class learning environment that ensures our alumni will leave with an exceptional ethos that seeks to create a real positive change wherever they are and in whatever they do.


Exceptional leaders who are visionaries always have the desire for change and to see the world as it can be, not as it is. They recognize the need to develop themselves and the teams that they lead. However, they are often confronted with obstacles and challenges in their ability to handle organizational, systemic and structural problems. These may be related to people management, finance, organizational development and a host of other unforeseen challenges.

Sinan-Wren Coaches work with our global participants through a comprehensive and very intense 5 day programme that seeks to build leadership through a multi polar approach. By focusing on case studies about leading global corporations, historic and topical world events, showcasing challenges as well as solutions deployed by governments and NGOs whilst honing in on the ability to work in an entrepreneurial international team, our alumni leave with having been part of a unique experience.

The highly integrated, comprehensive, and challenging curriculum focuses on the complex dynamics of building and running an end-to-end business; measuring, analyzing, driving, and communicating performance; and contributing to organisational success on a higher and more strategic level.

Typical Participant Background

Typical Participant Mix



SW executive programs are taught by business, government and NGO leaders from across the world and create the enduring concepts that bring global best practices and seek to reinvent the way people collaborate and look at the leadership dilemma in their own organisations, countries or internationally.

You will meet and hear from recognised thought leaders, skilled educators, groundbreaking researchers, active corporate board members, and award-winning authors. They will empower you to become the visionary leader your career, your organization, and the global economy demand.

Guest Speakers in Previous Programmes

Some of the Guest Speakers at the Nelson Mandela Leadership Programme in the last years included:

Who should attend?

This programme is for people from backgrounds in the corporate sphere, civil society leaders, civil service members, activists & leaders from social movements; political parties; community building and youth organisations; and those working at both local, national and international levels to affect corporate, political and/or social change. Participants will be taught leading edge techniques in their work and achieve impact by applying the concepts and frameworks they learn to their own organisations.

Participants come with a minimum of 5 years of work experience and typically have 10 years of work experience.

Admissions to the Nelson Mandela Leadership Programme (NMLP) is highly selective. Hundreds of applicants from more than 45 countries across the world apply for the programme every year and The most successful applicants have the following qualities before attending that contributed to their success during the programme and beyond:

Open and Critical Thinking

Success on the programme will require collaboration and openness to new ideas. We look for individuals with an ability to combine critical thinking with an open mind.

Demonstrable Ability to Take Calculated Risks

Success is standing your ground when you passionately believe in something. It is compounded when preparation meets opportunity. But seizing new opportunities comes with an inescapable amount of risk. We look for applicants who are confident and calculated risk takers, and can weigh when it makes sense to embark on a new venture, pivot, or start anew.

Focus on Community

At Sinan Wren we believe that the team is more important than the idea. We are firm believers in Servant Leadership. We look for our applicants to have demonstrated some form of civic service along with a high degree of professionalism in their careers.

Exceptional Team Players

Great teams make amazing companies, invigorate organisations, transform environments and can turn average ideas into life-changing innovations. Ideal candidates will put the team above themselves, and have a strong track record of contributing to their teams and forming successful communities.

Initiative with Follow-Through

Anyone can start a new venture or put forward a new idea, but what separates leaders of thriving businesses, NGOs or outstanding departments from those that either fail or stay stagnant is exceptional follow-through. We look for applicants that not only can put forward or corral new ideas, new ventures, inspire teams but will follow-through even when the going gets tough.

Previous Participants Feedback

We value the feedback from our participants every year. Click here to see what past participants have to say about the Nelson Mandela Leadership Programme.

Process of Application

The admissions team at Sinan Wren selects the best applicants to create a cohort of exceptional Leaders.

The application process consists of two phases:

Phase 1

Submit background information, CV, and 60-second video introduction. You must answer all the questions set in the application form. Only applicants who have successfully passed this phase will be invited to go through to the second phase.

Phase 2

This consists of up to 3 rounds of video interviews. You must pass all rounds of interviews for final selection to the Programme.

Admissions Decision

After completing the Video Interviews, you will receive an admissions decision for the Programme.

NOTE: Admissions are conducted on a rolling basis! The sooner you apply to the Programme, the sooner the team will process your application.

Course Fees


*USD. Covers tuition fee for the training programme, hotel accommodation and boarding, including all meals during the duration of the training programme only. Participants are responsible for organising and paying their own travel costs to and from the venue in Istanbul, Turkey.

$250 Admin Fees*

*USD. Non refundable admin fees of $250 to be paid within 7 days of being offered a place onto the programme.

Financial Aid

Successful candidate applications are not dependent on their ability to finance the tuition costs for the programme. For each programme, Sinan Wren can offer scholarships to candidates, if you are unable to self-fund. Sponsorship, crowdfunding, and other scholarships are potential sources of funding for tuition.

Please note that financial aid does NOT cover the admin fees of $250 nor does it cover any travel costs to and from the venue in Turkey. Admin fees may be waived in certain exceptional circumstances. This will be at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.

Pre-Programme Study Requirement

Prospective participants should be aware that this programme requires approximately 25 hours of mandatory preparation study time before the start of the programme. A comprehensive reading and study schedule will be given to participants who are selected onto the programme four weeks before the start date.

Nelson Mandela Leadership Programme

Istanbul (moved online)

Capacity: 50