The Initiative

Over a cup of coffee we asked ourselves: Why do so many highly talented & educated people start their professional careers full of motivation and engagement, but organizations struggle to use this enormous intellectual power to achieve true progress and innovation? We concluded that it was mainly because of a lack of good leadership. Wasn't good leadership about changing perspectives, fostering diverse teams to develop valuable ideas and winning supporters to make it happen? Aha! Perhaps what we need is a platform where smart young people, experienced seniors and thought leaders could exchange viewpoints and have a debate about fundamental leadership challenges in times of digitalization... This was the birth of the Future of Leadership Initiative (FLI).

Since 2014, the Future of Leadership Initiative brings together executives, smart young talents and thought leaders to investigate fundamental challenges of leadership in times of digitalization.

Since then, at many occasions a diverse mix of generations and backgrounds has collided views and created new mindsets, be it on the Vision Y - a desirable future of society - , the future of work, or an employer branding strategy that really grabs the attention of young talents. We have amongst others visited Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales in London, we have talked to SAP CEO Bill McDermott while he was flying in a plane, we have investigated what leadership means to refugees in the heart of Africa, we have talked to Nobel peace laureate Muhammad Yunus in Geneva and we had inspiring and thought provoking FLI Conferences at the shore of Lake Starnberg in Bavaria. 

The exciting leadership journey will go on- join us!

Curriculum of the Future of Leadership Initiative (FLI)

Please hover the different circles.

Leadership Excellence Circle

Each year the FLI partners meet together in an exclusive excellence circle to align the expectation and outcomes for the annual FLI mission.

Research Project

Based on the outcome of the Excellence Circle, the FLI journey starts each year with the interviews of Thought Leaders. An academic research team made up of young talents from academic partners selects 25 world-wide recognized leaders expert in the selected annual topic and investigates the best practices and research state-of the art of leadership tools.

Future Labs

After the research phase, corporate fellows and digital natives work together in interactive Design-Thinking-Labs, processing the input of the Thought Leaders to develop a common understanding and future scenario of the year’s topic. The result is a common leadership vision of the year’s topic, illustrated in a knowledge landscape map.

FLI Conference

The Conference is an interactive international two-day Think Tank discussing the findings among the FLI community and with global Thought Leaders that includes powerful TED-like keynote addresses and innovative interactive formats (Future Lab, Idea Hack, Hackathon, Real-Life Business-Simulation).

FLI Navigator

The FLI Navigator is a Community Learning approach to share insights with internal management of corporate partners.

Each year the FLI focusses on a specific key enabler of successful digital transformation:

Previous editions:

FLI 2017 Truth Behind Innovation


Innovation has become a buzzword. But what innovation entail? And more importantly: what does it takes for a leader to foster innovation?

We wanted to find out the truth behind innovation, and have conducted an in-depth research, thanks to interviews led with international Thought leaders from various backgrounds who each have a particular insight to share about innovation. We have talked amongst other with Senior Advisor at BCG Antonella Mei-Pochtler, former CTO of HP Phil McKinney, Leader of Ashoka North America Konstanze Frischen, Head of the WFP Innovation Accelerator at UN Bernhard Kowatsch, and many more. And we had the honor to welcome additional renowned thought leaders during the FLI Conference 2018, such as the CEO of Vodafone Germany Hannes Ametsreiter, the former leader of IDEO Europe Alan South, the Co-Founder of E.A. Jeff Burton, and the Cyberarchitect James Law. Discover some of the insights in our blog!

FLI 2016 Meaning at Work


Meaning at work is an essential root cause of corporate performance, and digitalization is a massive game-changer in this context. But howdoes the perception of meaning influence organizational performance, and what is the role of meaningful leadership in the digital world?

We talked to over 30 decision-makers from industry, politics and academia to understand what key daily practices and situations create – or destroy – meaning and motivation in today’s organizations, particularly in the digital age.

Discover the various results & insights in our blog and Youtube Channel !

FLI 2015 Vision Y

2015 - VISION Y

In the media and public discussion, we are faced with a lot of worrying scenarios for the future. But what could a desirable future look like from the point of view of the upcoming generation of leaders? What is needed to achieve true social and economic progress?

We investigated what more than 25 thought leaders from academia, business, politics and culture have in mind when they think about what true progress means.

Discover the various results & insights in our blog and Youtube channel!

FLI 2014 Phantom Change


Change is often preached in organizations. But often one gets the impression that there is more talk than action, or worse, change becomes an occupation in itself rather than a mean to an end. So how do you ensure an efficient change management?

We had the pleasure to talk to more than 100 various CEOs, board members and senior managers who shared with us their experiences and best practices when it comes to conduct changes within a company.

Discover the various results & insights in our blog!


Join us and take the next step into the future: become part of the Future of Leadership Initiative.