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2023-2024 Program

Our 2023-2024 program schedule as of June 1, 2023 is noted below. Each seminar consists of three weeks of virtual modules followed by a week of independent work. Details subject to change.

First Semester

Program Launch and Orientation
Blacksburg, Virginia

Week of September 18-22, 2023

During this two-day, two-night retreat set on Virginia Tech’s campus nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, fellows from around the world will have a chance to meet one another, get to know faculty and hear from some of the world’s leading advocates of the humanities in technology.

October Seminar 
“The Humanities and a Higher Leadership”

Instructor: Professor Rishi Jaitly and Distinguished Advisor Tim Kircher

How has society’s sense of what makes a good leader evolved over time and place? What role have the liberal arts played in shaping leaders we admire across contexts and communities? And what role might the humanities play in advancing a higher form of leadership in our era’s technology landscape? This seminar will consist of a review of leadership as it has been understood, cultivated and practiced over time - and will feature contemporary case studies and guest speakers from the technology industry.

November Seminar 
“Scriptures and Sacred Narratives”

Instructor: Professor Sylvester Johnson

This module explores classic and contemporary themes of human culture and ruminations of the sacred and mundane through traditions of scripture and narrative across the globe. The module selects texts and traditions that communities have found inspiring and generative in complex ways. We will examine such timeless themes as personhood, saviors/messiahs, origin stories, societal factors, and traditions about bodies and spirits.

December Independent Paper 

Drawing on the history we studied in our first semester together, select an episode - whether it occurred millennia or months ago - that particularly enthralled you with awe and wonder. Reflect on the nature of human leadership that manifested in this chosen context. And using the skills and sensibilities that emanate from the humanities as a guidepost, analyze and assess the leadership that surfaced in this historic moment and make an inspired argument for what an even higher kind of human stewardship might have looked like.

Second Semester

Fellow Excursion
TBD Location in the U.S.

Week of January 22-26, 2024

During this two-day, two-night retreat set this first year in an inspired American city known for its commitment to the arts, fellows from around the world will have a chance to grow their relationships with one another, tour with expert faculty and leave inspired by the role the humanities play in cultivating place-based leadership.

February Seminar 
“Stories Make the World Go Round”

Instructor: Jonathan Harley

What is it about stories that have captivated the human spirit across time and place? What are the hallmarks of a compelling narrative across media types - written, oral and digital? And what is the relationship between storytelling and leadership? This module is a study - but also a skill-building seminar - centered on examining the power of storytelling in a range of human contexts: from mythmaking and movement building to motion pictures and moral debates.

March Seminar 
High Humanities, High Technology

Instructor: Scott Hartley

Who are the people - the founders, the executives, the humans - that have shaped the inescapable technology landscape we live in today? What skills, sensibilities - and, indeed, superpowers - have they accumulated in their lives that have allowed them to imagine and innovate? And, looking ahead, are poets or programmers more likely to be best equipped to thrive in the world’s high-technology ecosystems? Inspired by Hartley’s book “The Fuzzy and the Techie,” this seminar entails a review of the essential role the liberal arts have long played in shaping our technology landscape in Silicon Valley and beyond - and the “full-stack” superpower role they’re poised to play looking ahead.

April Creative Work 

Drawing on what we’ve learned - and practiced - together during this second semester together relating to the skills of storytelling and the superpower of being a “full-stack” humanist, produce a significant creative work that makes you proud. Whether poetry or prose, a play or portrait, be sure to work with faculty to lean into the very best of what the humanities do to us: that is, they compel us, and help us confront, all kinds of human others with awe and wonder. In so doing, they produce in us a higher power of sensitivity, storytelling and stewardship. Work independently or with your classmates as you see fit.

Fellow Convocation and Celebration
Arlington, Virginia

Week of April 22-26, 2024

During this two-day, two-night gathering set in the backdrop of the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C, fellows from around the world will have a chance to reflect on all the ways they’ve grown their understanding of leadership in technology and beyond - and present their original creative scholarship to one another, and to the Institute’s faculty and advisory board. The gathering will end with a convocation in which Executive Leadership Certificates from Virginia Tech will be conferred and the formation of new community will be celebrated.


The price of the Virginia Tech Institute for Leadership in Technology’s low-residency, one-year, 2023-2024 Fellowship culminating in an Executive Leadership Certificate from the University is $10,000 per accepted fellow.

These student fees will allow Virginia Tech to bear all costs related to lodging, meals, books, learning materials, relevant technology, on-site parking and additional hospitality. Fellows are expected to be able to pay for transportation to and from the in-person convenings in September, January and April. We accept payments via a variety of medium - and schedules.  

Should prospective fellows have further questions regarding program and price, please e-mail


The deadline for expressing interest in joining our 2023-2024 class is July, 15th 2023.