November 23rd and 24th, 2016



What does Meaning@Work signify?
How does the perception of meaning influence organizational performance?

How does the role of meaningful leadership change in the digital world?


Recent research shows that:

  • 87% of the workforce don't perceive their work as meaningful.
  • 58% of the workforce – especially young talents – prefer a more meaningful job to a higher salary.
  • 54% of the workforce see digitalization as a key driver of Meaning@Work. 
  • Organizations in which employees perceive Meaning@Work are more profitable (+ 21%).

Meaning@Work is an essential root cause of innovation and corporate performance. Digitalization is a massive game-changer in this context, offering huge opportunities as well as pitfalls. Through interaction with an exclusive circle of senior executives and selected young talents, our FLC 2016 speakers discussed questions such as how to synchronize organizational performance and Meaning@Work.

Where: Future of Leadership Conference 2016 at Tutzing Castle (Evangelische Akademie Tutzing) by Lake Starnberg

When:  November 23rd and 24th, 2016

Find out more below. 

Conference Trailer & Insights from our Project 2016

Future of Leadership Conference

The vision of MEANING@WORK was presented to the public for the first time at the FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE.

The Future of Leadership Conference (FLC) is an interactive English-speaking one-day Think Tank that includes powerful keynote addresses, engaging Leadership Labs and a creative Real-Life Business Simulation. Participants meet in the spirit of global citizenship to investigate and discuss fundamental topics of modern and inspiring leadership.

At the 2016 FLC, internationally renowned thought leaders, top executives and decision-makers and brilliant young minds came together to interactively explore how the notion of “Meaning Making” impacts an organization’s success. This cross-generational and interdisciplinary group investigated how the creation and perception of purpose in the digital age impacts future leadership across all industries, both in terms of skills and technology.

The 2016 FLc took place on November 23rd and 24th, 2016 at Tutzing Castle (Evangelische Akademie Tutzing) by Lake Starnberg.


The Award


The Future of Leadership Award was born from the conviction that breakthrough ideas driven by exceptional people sometimes really can change the world.

In an open and democratically run vote following extensive discussion of candidates, students identify each year the top 3 Thought Leaders whose ideas influenced the minds and actions of an entire generation. Like the previous years, the winner of the Future of Leadership Award will be honored at the Future of Leadership Conference gala evening.

Last year, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia was awarded this prize.

The Future of Leadership Award 2016 was presented to Benson Wereje and Bahati Kanyamanza, co-founders of the refugee organization CIYOTA (Coburwas International Youth Organization to Transform Africa). Without any financial backing, they succeeded in establishing an education and school system which now offers more than 600 young people from areas of Central Africa that are ravaged by civil war the chance of a college degree and study abroad.

Thought Leaders

Similar to previous years, a dedicated team of FLI associates spoke with prominent and diverse thought leaders and decision-makers from industry, politics and academia to discover more concretely: What key daily practices and situations create – and on the other hand destroy – meaning and motivation in today’s organizations, particularly in the digital age?

This year, we already had the pleasure of speaking to great minds like Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser, Peter Michael Senge from MIT Sloan School of Management, who is president of the Society for Organizational Learning, Martina Koederitz, CEO of IBM Germany, Prof. Götz Werner, founder and board member of the dm-drogerie markt, Yale Professor Amy Wrzesniewski, who is one of the leading global researcher on meaning, TED senior fellow and columnist at New York Times, Professor Barry Schwartz, General ret. Dr. Helge Hansen, former commander-in-chief of the Allied Forces Central Europe of the NATO, Saskia Thais Bruysten, co-founder of Yunus Social Business and Benson Wereje, former child soldier in Kongo and today social business entrepreneur striving to transform the African Society.

Dr. Michael Otto

Chairman of the board & former CEO of the Otto Group

Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Arnold Picot

Head of the Institute for Information, Organization & Management, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich

Martina Koederitz

CEO of IBM Germany and Manager of the Year 2015

David H. Kim

Executive Director and Pastor of the Center for Faith & Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Hubert Barth

Country Managing Partner of Ernst & Young GmbH Germany

Peter Zollinger

Head of Impact Research at Globalance Bank

Brad Lomenick

Founder of BLINC, author of The Catalyst Leader & H3 Leadership

Future Lab

The intellectual input of the thought leaders provided the fundament for the interactive workshop among selected business representatives and compiled graduates and alumnis. Facilitated by the MLI Leadership Institute, they developed a common understanding of and future scenario for MEANING@WORK – LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF DIGITALIZATION. Same as every year, this workshop as central part of the research project unleashed the attending people’s knowledge-pool by an alternation of individual reflection, group breakouts, plenary discussion and voting, following a design-thinking structure.

The outcome of the Future Lab is a unique Vision of Meaning Making that features the most important levers through which leadership can influence MEANING@WORK. The findings of the participants are documented as a remarkable learning map on Meaning Making that was presented at the next Future of Leadership Conference in November 2016.

The FUTURE LAB on MEANING@WORK took place on January 23rd at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.


The results of the FLI research project on MEANING@WORK was presented to the public and discussed among young talent and senior representatives from the economic, public and political sector during the Future of Leadership Conference on November 24th, 2016. This Think Tank is a unique blend of minds, representing a diversity of perspectives from all over the world, bringing the academic world and the experiences of practitioners together.

Insights from the Future Lab