The Ljubljana Executive Summer School programme, powered by the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana, contributes significantly to the development of essential skills for leading change and innovation in today’s organisations.  The participants will gain the ability to understand their own leadership style and learn how to apply it in the ever-changing business landscapes of today. The aim of the course is to apply the tools and concepts of leading research into change management and innovation, and gain insights into the complex organisational problems companies face.

The Change and Innovation: Leadership in Action programme responds to two significant challenges faced by managers – leading change and innovation. By exploring current research and best practice in change management and innovation, the participants will develop a critical understanding of models and tools that can help them play a leadership role in these two vital areas.

The participants will also provide Executive Mentoring for student groups from the regular Summer School, which runs in parallel with the Executive Summer School. Teams of executives from the course will work with these student groups to devise a solution to a real world strategic problem presented by a Slovenian organisation.

The participants will leave the programme not only with new knowledge and capabilities, but also with a renewed confidence in their own ability to lead change and develop the innovative capabilities of their organisations.

The objective of the course is to contribute significantly to the development of a set of competencies that have been shown to be essential for leading change and innovation in today’s organisations. These include the ability to adapt one’s leadership style to changing contexts or the needs of others; to apply tools and concepts from research on change management and innovation to gain insights into complex organisational problems; and to coach and mentor a team from diverse backgrounds to deliver high performances under time pressure.

The programme is highly interactive, and a variety of teaching methods will be utilised, such as group discussion and exercises, live case study analysis, reading, video and general multi-media material. The mentoring experience, combined with the application of concepts to analyse the “real world” case study, will contribute significantly to the learning experience.

By the end of the course the participants will develop:

  • a critical understanding of the various models, approaches and methodologies that explain the management of change and innovation and the ability to apply these frameworks in different change contexts;
  • experience in applying those concepts to complex, real world strategic issues;
  • enhanced awareness of their capabilities and responsibilities as organisational change and innovation leaders, and greater confidence in proactively engaging with those dimensions of their leadership role;
  • an appreciation of the skills of effective coaching and mentoring, as well as the organisational value and personal satisfaction to be gained from mentoring activities.


Change and Innovation: Leadership in Action Course Leaders

Dr. John McMackin - Course Leader

John is a lecturer with the HRM and Organisational Psychology Group at Dublin City University Business School. John has been associated with DCU Business School since 1996; during that period he has lectured on change management, leadership development and strategic innovation. He also lectures at major international universities including the University of Oregon and the University of Ljubljana.

Prior to his association with DCU John enjoyed a successful banking career in Dublin, London and New York with AIB. His most recent banking role was Head of Treasury with AIB New York, where he was also a member of AIB’s Worldwide Treasury Management Committee.

John is the founder and Managing Director of HRS Consulting Ltd, a Dublin-based consultancy specialising in strategic HRM and developing change leaders.

He is the Non-Executive Chairman of RecycleIt, a social enterprise which creates jobs for long term unemployed people in Clondalkin, Dublin, and a Board Member of the Ireland Saudi Arabia Business Council.

John holds an MBA from Columbia University, New York and a PhD from the University of Oregon, and has published his research in major journals on HRM, psychology and economics.


Jurij Giacomelli

Jurij is the founder of Giacomelli Media Management and Consulting Ltd,  a management consultancy specialising in corporate strategy, change management, branding and corporate communications, with a particular focus on the media industry, the circular economy, innovation ecosystems and service design. Giacomelli Media has recently figured as co-investor and developer of several innovative start-ups and is a publisher of the platforms MediaChange and Circular Change.

Jurij has spent most of his career in the media and publishing industry. He served as the President of the Management Board of Delo (December 2009-September 2012), Slovenia’s leading media firm and the publisher of the leading quality daily Delo, the leading tabloid Slovenske novice, and a number of specialist newspaper and magazine titles.

He became the Managing Director of Finance, the publisher of Slovenia’s first business daily in 1999. Before joining Delo, he was the Managing Director of Gorenje Design Studio (GDS), the leading firm in product and service design in Slovenia.

He received the award “Young Manager of the Year” from the Manager Association of Slovenia in 2004, and from 2006 to 2007 served as a Member of the Management Board at Prva Group, Slovenia’s leading pension and personal insurance group, which is present in several markets throughout south-eastern Europe.

He lectures in “Design Management” at the Faculty of Economics, Ljubljana University (FELU), and is a speaker at international conferences. He also publishes commentaries in Slovenian and other media.

Jurij is the president of the Italian-Slovenian Forum, an association founded by a group of individuals in 2012 to promote cooperation between the two countries in the fields of culture, business, science and technology, and tourism.

He was the president of the Media Chamber, part of the Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia, in 2010-2012, and is an active member of several professional associations including the Managers Association of Slovenia, the Association of Supervisory Board Members, AmCham, SDBP, the Slovenian Marketing Association and Alumni MBA Radovljica, unifying former students of the IMB graduate programme at FELU. He holds an MSc in Business Administration from the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana (EF, IMB, 1998).


Change and Innovation: Leadership in Action - Testimonials

"The Ljubljana Summer School was a great experience in a beautiful city with great hospitality. The most important points to mention were firstly the organisation staff, who were so friendly and helpful throughout the entire week that students felt at home from the very start. Secondly, the academic side was fantastic, with very knowledgeable and experienced professors from Ireland. Due to the insights from the professors and the international set-up of the course, the lectures were always very interesting and inspiring. Finally, the beautiful city of Ljubljana provided a perfect environment for social activities outside the classroom. Here, again, the organisation staff did their very best to show us the city and made us experience Slovenian food and culture. Ljubljana University: World-class job!" - Marcel Muenz, PA Consulting Group

"My experience at the Executive Summer School was great because the size of the class was very well selected (quality rather than quantity), the faculty well experienced and able to transmit the knowledge, and all the administrative part was well prepared and executed. I liked that you included various social events to foster friendships and to learn more about Slovenia. I will highly recommend Ljubljana Summer School and I probably will join you again in the future (when living again in Europe) for another programme." - Robert Kuenzi, Materials Handling and Environment, Regional Manufacturing Support Organisation (RMSO) South Asia

For more information visit or email Alma Elezović at (last available seats, registration deadline is June 30th, 2016).

The Faculty of Economics is the University of Ljubljana’s largest member, with 6,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1946, the Faculty is an important pillar of the Slovenian research and business community. By developing a strong international network with institutions worldwide, the Faculty was awarded both the EQUIS and the AACSB accreditation. Both accreditations rank the Faculty among the best business schools.