Leonardo Thought Leadership: Please imitate!

“The Leonardo category “Thought Leadership” focuses on contributions which are of tremendous intellectual value and help us to understand better - in reference to the UNESCO´s four pillars of learning in the 21st century - how we are “learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be”.

This kind of laying out theoretical foundations by no means to be mistaken for providing simply recipes that can be copied and applied everywhere.

Prof. Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner
Founder of Hasso-Plattner-Institute and SAP AG

On the contrary, “Thought Leadership” is about challenging us in our prevailing assumptions, and encourages us to not hide away from fundamentally new assessments and conclusions if urged on by ever changing circumstances. In this respect, the practical value is even more important.

Excerpt of the explanatory statement of the Leonardo Ambassadors:

“Over virtually decades we have all witnessed how excellently you represent this kind of leadership. Although you engage in outstanding ways of promoting research and scholar-appropriate lecturing in which you yourself participate, be it the D-School at Stanford or the Hasso Plattner Institute, incorporating a blend of highly advanced learning and teaching methods, your thought leadership is by no means confined to the academic sphere. You yourself are a practitioner of design thinking, transferring your analyses and observations to rapid prototyping and putting them to the test. Consequently, the international scientific advisory board is aware of the fact that your commitment overlaps with other Leonardo categories such as “Company Transformation” or “Crossing Borders”. We are impressed by your tireless efforts to initiate iterative renewal by establishing a kind of “transmission-belt”, for example with SAP, or by fostering the unconventional and the unexpected in numerous enterprises represented by enthusiastic former graduates of your institutes.

You never neglect to develop information technologies in the most radical sense, and at the same time see technology as a discipline that is also well embedded in social sciences.

Bringing together people of diverse professional and cultural backgrounds is not a networking exercise but used as a catalyst function for co-creation with the most meaningful purposes, be it in health issues, logistics or societal innovation. Conceptualizing such holistic approaches and getting them on track to meet current challenges is indeed true leadership – thought leadership.”