"How can we shift the way we co-create?" 

The new paradigm we must establish is about creating systems that bring out the best in us. Take responsibility for the future and create stories of possibility.

On Sept 30, 2015, Petra Kuenkel, Exective Director of the Collective Leadership Institute, and Member of the Club of Rome, held a passionate speech at WIN Conference in front of hundreds of inspirational women who want to change the world. 

The paradigm shift


As the Collective Leadership Institute we drive a paradigm shift: Leadership often refers to the individual, but we need to go beyond the individual and simultaneously build the capacity of groups and systems to move sustainability forward. 

In order to address global challenges the joint capacity of leaders to become catalysts for change is called for. This includes collective action, dialogue and co-operation. The aspect of collectivity adds a new dimension to our understanding of leadership. Personal passion is crucial, coupled with our ability to build communities of of change-makers who collaboratively lead issues, change initiatives, and networks.

In hierarchical settings this means inspiring staff to join into a larger sustainability vision and foster innovation, in non-hierarchical settings it means collaboratively leading issues, change initiatives, and networks.

Leadership for sustainability is defined as the conscious bringing forth of a different reality in view of a future world that is ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable.

Old paradigm: leading focuses on the capacity of the individual only

New paradigm: leading becomes the capacity of a collective

Leadership is seen as taking place in a hierarchical context only.
Leadership takes place in non-hierarchical and cooperation contexts.
Leadership is seen as the delivery of goals through enlisting followers.
Leadership is understood as the joint delivery of agreed upon common goals in a climate of collective responsibility.
The common good is not necessarily the focus of leadership tasks.
Leadership is seen and enacted as a contribution to the common good.
Leadership positions are clearly distinguished from followership.
Depending on expertise and experience leadership and followership is interchangeable.
Leadership development focuses on growing individual leaders.
Leadership development takes into account the success factors for collective action.
Dialogue and co-operation are side-issues or add-ons.
The capacity of a leadership collective to ensure outcome-oriented dialogue and future-oriented collective action becomes a decisive success factor.