Empowering Next Generation of Creative Leaders to Change the World: The THNK Way

Lisa Ring,
Director – Global Recruitment
THNK School of Creative Leadership,
Amsterdam, Netherlands

“How can THNK help you change the world?” is the first question that we ask every creative leader we connect with. Our mission is to address the world’s most pressing and inspiring societal challenges by accelerating the development of the next generation of creative leaders and their ventures.

As a result, the THNK School of Creative Leadership has forged a new category in global business education by becoming a C-school. Where a B-school focuses on management, our training is centered on innovation leadership. Where a D-school focuses on product design, our training is centered on business design. As a C-school, we allow our students to explore topics such as innovation strategy, business design thinking, leadership development, entrepreneurship and the triple bottom line.

The THNK School of Creative Leadership has grown to more than 300 people since 2010. Our community is defined by its diversity, and although every THNK journey is unique, every member of THNK’s alumni have passed through our Creative Leadership Program, our flagship part-time 6 month course.

During four 8-10 day modules, participants are fully immersed in the THNK methodology, whether that is around the city, in the wilderness or on campus at our homes specially designed for experiential learning.

The Creative Leadership Program is made up of 4 elements:

At THNK, our classes bring together participants from across the globe, people from very different backgrounds. We consciously bring together leaders from big business, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, government and public sector, participants are given unique exposure to a range of new perspectives and ideas.
THNK focuses on accelerating the next generation of creative leaders. Our guiding principles shape how we think about learning. For example, we believe learning should be short on theory and long on experience; learning should be fun yet at the same time challenging; and learning should always be linked to topics that are relevant and real for the learner.

While these guiding principles are deep in the DNA of how we engaged all participants at THNK, during our 18-month, part-time Executive Program, we support our participants to build their creative leadership skills through four program elements:

Challenge: The Challenge is the next generation of the business school staple, the business case. In the Challenge, an external sponsor brings in a topic of large societal relevance (such as food or mobility or education), which our participants explore using THNK’s innovation toolkit. Our toolkit is derived from a number of disciplines including design thinking, critical thinking and systems thinking.

Quest: In the Quest, participants explore the personal leadership dimensions of creativity and innovation. They learn to tap into their passion and purpose while maintaining an explorative mindset. They learn to envision what a better future could look like, orchestrate creative teams and drive their vision to break-through impact.

Forum: The Forum is a lecture reinvented. During the Forum, a global creative leader spends an evening engaging our
participants in a dialogue of co-creation, sparking inspiration and new insights.
Accelerator: The Accelerator is the participant’s own project that is designed to change the world. Participants use all the things they have learned during the THNK journey to launch their Accelerator.
Since the first Creative Leadership Program in 2012, THNK has grown globally and is now offering the same program in Amsterdam, Vancouver and Lisbon. The ever-growing global popularity of THNK directly results from the inspiring societal impact that previous participants are now making around the world.

Creative leaders across the globe that serves as a role model

Elon Musk for his uncompromisingly, challenging vision for the future; Steve Jobs for his ability to articulate the needs of consumers before they were able to articulate them themselves and his relentless strive for perfection; Richard Branson for his burning entrepreneurial drive; Muhammad Yunus for his brilliance in scaling a small concept into something with large societal impact.

Testimonials of leaders that have been featured in this program

Participants such as Jacob Ellenberg, Osher Gunsberg, Rym Baouendi, Wempy Dycota Koto share their experience in THNK as fulfilling, genuine, an incredible methodology to manifest business plans, spiritual by design, transformative experience, endless journey – a drive to contribute to the world, and provides functional knowledge.
Upcoming programs in 2016 therefore have limited spaces left, but we encourage all potential participants to make contact and allow us to ask the question: “How can THNK help you change the world?”

Profile: Lisa Ring
Lisa currently leads the global recruitment function on behalf of THNK Amsterdam which she considers a privilege. Passionate about discovering, engaging and developing top talent, Lisa is truly inspired to be cultivating the next breed of creative leaders on a daily basis for THNK.

Lisa has over a decade of experience working across sectors and industries, having the bulk of her experience within the education sector as Director of Recruitment & Marketing for Hult International Business School where she helped to scale-up a rapidly growing program in Asia Pacific.

She also spent time working within the Human Resources sector with organizations such as The Adidas Group and Philips International LTD.

Lisa is passionate about non-profit international work and spent a year working with HIV/AIDS orphaned children in South Africa and continues to stay active in this sector.