Certification Track
Becoming a Collective Leadership Specialist

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi
Collective Leadership Specialists around the world

In 2015, the nations of the world agreed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17th Goal emphasizes the importance of partnerships for realizing the other 16 Goals. Working in collaboration across sectors, topics, and borders requires a set of capacities that most individuals and organizations simply don’t have yet. This begs the question: how will the 17th SDG be met by 2030?

The challenge presented by the SDGs is increasing collaboration capacity worldwide so that all change processes can be carried out in a peaceful, professional, efficient, and effective way that honours the intention of the global sustainable development movement. To meet this challenge, CLI is training collaborative change-makers and building Collective Leadership Hubs around the world. CLI’s vision is “A worldwide network of Collective Leadership Hubs that scale up collective leadership capacity to empower individuals, teams, and stakeholder systems to achieve sustainability transformations.”

“We need to see leadership as the capacity of a collective to catalyse change for the common good.”

Petra Kuenkel; The Art of Leading Collectively
What is the Certification Track about?

For the past decade, CLI has conceptualized and field-tested collaboration methodologies and tools with partners, developing high quality and engaging training curricula, materials, and publications. Through our growing network of partners, we seek to transfer these approaches and materials to skilled specialists around the world and, through them, scale collaboration and impact for sustainability.

We understand collaboration to be the capacity to lead collectively across borders:

  • Collaboration among different sectors from the local to the global levels, such as implementation of the SDGs, the Paris Accord, and other international agreements
  • Collaboration among different identities, such as among different racial, ethnic, religious, age, sexual orientation, and political group
  • Collaboration across international borders, such as on the refugee crisis, transboundary watershed management, and transboundary fisheries management.

Therefore, the Collective Leadership Institute developed a Certification Scheme, which is offered to any individual, who would like to join the network of other collaborative change-makers..

In order to become a Collective Leadership Specialist, individuals, teams or CLI course Alumni go through the certification process (the graph below presents the training process).

In order to become a Collective Leadership Specialist trainees have to take part in three (or four) of CLI foundation courses:

  • The Art of Stakeholder Collaboration course, and
  • The Art of Leading Collectively course, and
  • The Art of Process Facilitation (formerly: The Art of Dialogue) course, OR
  • The Art of Transformative Change course,

and learn the CLI methodologies: © Dialogic Change Model and © Collective Leadership Compass, as well as facilitation techniques and/or network stewardship.

CLI Certified Collective Leadership Specialists are able to apply the above- mentioned methodologies successfully in practice. By completing our certification process, Collective Leadership Specialists have proven expertise in designing and invigorating multi-stakeholder initiatives that work to achieve outcomes across the Sustainable Development Goals at all levels.

Being a Collective Leadership Specialist is also a compulsory qualification to become an Accredited Collective Leadership Facilitator and create a Collective Leadership Hub.

How to start?

The following graph helps you to choose the right foundation course to start with:

CLI Training Catalogue

Find out about the full range of trainings and services offered by CLI in our catalogue.

Building Competence Download Catalogue
Past Certification Track participants

We have trained 223 Collective Leadership Specialists worldwide since the start of the programme in 2017. This table shows the total number per country. You may also find them in the world map, below. Several of these Specialists have become Accredited Collective Leadership Facilitators or are CLI Faculty.

Country Certified Collective Leadership Specialists (Updated May 2020)
Germany 96
Ukraine 45
Egypt 38
Honduras 8
Tunisia 8
Morocco 8
Jordan 4
Switzerland 4
Indonesia 2
South Africa 2
United States 2
Bangladesh 1
Denmark 1
Kenya 1
Netherlands 1
Senegal 1
Ethiopia 1
Filter by Category
Some of our Collective Leadership Specialists and Facilitators

The accreditation program opened to me a new horizon of capacities to contribute effectively to sustainable change initiatives within the Arab Region and the world at large.

Mai ElAshmawy - acredited Collective Leadership Facilitator
Why did you decide to participate in the program and what are you going to do with new qualifications?


Mai ElAshmawy: “I wanted to join the accreditation program because I was inspired by how comprehensive was the methodology in helping organize and plan relationship approaches with different stakeholders taking into consideration the different dynamics that motivates people to change. The methodology also gives you an insight of the change processes from a humanity perspective, and broadens your thinking to consider different actors, who are the leaders of change.

I love being CLI’s Ambassador to the Arab World, transferring the knowledge to the developing communities and help them achieving their national sustainability goals successfully.  Thus, help achieving the SDGs.”

Click here to read Mai’s case study.

CLI's certification track is designed with attention to the process that supports the trainee in the process of learning the Collective Leadership methodologies, facilitation, and
personal reflection.

Maryana Zaviyska - acredited Collective Leadership Facilitator

Being a facilitator who uses dialogical methods in working with teams within complex processes, I was lacking a systematic meta-approach that can support my work with diverse groups. In 2017, I partnered with the Collective Leadership Institute as a local Ukraine-based consultant to support CLI’s work within the GIZ four-year project “Vocational Integration of Internally Displaced Persons.” I provided mentorship support on process design to six multi-stakeholders teams – core containers – in Eastern Ukraine, which had already started their structured dialogues on potential solutions for the employment of IDPs.

Since then, I continued to support CLI’s work in Ukraine. After another project and co-facilitating an open course, I am in the process of establishing “Collective Leadership Academy Ukraine,” which would mean that I can offer CLI open and on-site courses here in Ukraine for individuals and teams.

Click here to read Maryana’s case study.


The CLI approach turned out to be a perfect complement to my other theoretical knowledge and practical experience. That’s why I decided to continue my learning journey and become an accredited Collective Leadership Facilitator.

Jacob Fink Ferdinand - accredited Collective Leadership Facilitator

I first learned about the Collective Leadership Institute (CLI) in 2018, while searching for new capacity to develop my partnership management skills. At that time, I had been working for many years as a project developer and manager. I had long observed deficiencies in how traditional project management tools deal with issues, like the facilitator role as a project manager, interrelationships among partners, and multi-stakeholder challenges in projects, for example.

The CLI approach turned out to be a perfect complement to my other theoretical knowledge and practical experience. That’s why I decided to continue my learning journey and become an accredited Collective Leadership Facilitator.

The CLI tools and ideas are already an active part of my toolbox in my consultancy work today, where I work with sustainable development for businesses and in larger multi-stakeholder development projects. As a CLI alumnus and now faculty associate, I am pursuing opportunities to expand my training and mentoring work and advocating for collective leadership approaches to transformational change processes.

Click here to read Jacob’s case study.

Become a Collective Leadership Specialist
Join our network

Click the button below to register for the Certification Track

Collective Leadership Specialists Register now
You may also be interested in