Demonstrating "success stories” 2015/05/07 - Leonardo Award 2015

“Young Leonardos" breathe new life into corporate learning

In 2015 the Leonardo – European Corporate Learning Award again distinguishes courageous pioneers in the field of education. Five "Young Leonardos", all in their early 20s to mid 30s, provide new aspects in the considerations of corporate learning with their "success stories": Dr. Thieu Besselink, The Learning Lab (Netherlands), Dale J. Stephens, UnCollege (USA), Teemu Arina, Dicole Ltd. (Finland), Christoph Brosius, Die Hobrechts (Germany), and Claudia Suhov, KIDster (Romania), will receive their awards on 14th September 2015.

“Although people spend most of their lives working and thus learning, and – due to the ever-necessary adjustments in expertise – businesses commit far greater financial resources to “education” than public institutions ever could, corporate learning still remains in the shadows”, Leonardo Secretary Günther M. Szogs recently concluded in an essay. To reposition corporate learning in a social context and to draw attention to "success stories" is therefore the declared aim of the European Awards for Corporate Learning. All five young winners demonstrate such positive examples.

“Wisely Smart": Shape and understand the world

Dr. Thieu Besselink, founder and designer of the Learning Lab – a think tank for learning and social innovation – will be awarded the "Young Leonardo" in the category "Wisely Smart". He sees his "learning laboratory" as a place of research and creativity, where concerted attempts are made to understand the world, to shape it with courage and respect and to make an own contribution. The objective is to train the human creative ability of practical action. “We were very impressed by how you succeeded in making all of your diverse experiences a source for meaningful initiatives to help business people and underprivileged learners alike”, the Leonardo Advisory Board explains its decision to Dr. Besselink.

“Education Hacker": Take your own form of education

The founder of the UnCollege movement, Dale J. Stephens, will be awarded the "Young Leonardo" in the category "Education Hacker". The idea behind the movement is the fact that attending a college or university should not be the only way of becoming successful. The desire to learn and educate yourself comes from intrinsic motivation. Those willing to learn are given alternative sources, forums and workshops in order to acquire beneficial skills. “Your UnCollege concept is not a simple denial of the formal education system, but actually a call to everyone to take full advantage of one’s potential and to co-create a fitting environment for it”, the Leonardo Advisory Board writes in its explanatory letter to Stephens. “It is therefore not surprising that companies try to follow some of your perceptions to actually give team members more authorship of the learning process.”

Thieu Besslink
Dale J. Stephens

“Humanity in Digitization": Society – digital and human

Teemu Arina is an entrepreneur in the technology sector, business consultant, biohacker and CEO of Dicole, a company that helps organizations create measurable goals, strategies and action plans for the use of social media. He will receive the "Young Leonardo" in the category "Humanity in Digitization". The Finn is one of the pioneers in the field of digital society. “We feel that – at a particularly early stage in your life – you have pioneered astonishing new approaches in integrating brand-new technological developments with people’s ambition to learn about themselves and the communities within which they live", the Leonardo Advisory Board explains its decision.

“Humour Energized Learning": Learning, fun and games

The "Young Leonardo" in the category "Humour Energized Learning" goes to Christoph Brosius, general manager of Die Hobrechts, Agency for Game Design and Game Thinking in Berlin. “You have demonstrated exceptional examples for the transformation of learning", the Leonardo jury highlights. “Your concepts of learning integrate strategic thinking as well as decision making, and involve team members in games that provide fascinating learning effects in combination with sheer fun.”

Teemu Arina
Christoph Brosius
Claudia Suhov

“Trans-Generational Learning": Learning at all stages of life

For Claudia Suhov from Romania, who will be awarded the “Young Leonardo” in the category "Trans-Generational Learning", education is the key to success. In various projects, including her programme KIDster, she supports learners of all ages – from children and students to the elderly – with a variety of backgrounds, skills and goals. “The international Leonardo Advisory Board looks at the holistic side of your approach, the integration of your concerns with practical solutions, your willingness to address people in their diverse roles", the jury explains.

Award ceremony at the Kameha Grand Bonn

The award ceremony of the Leonardo – European Corporate Learning Award 2015 will take place on the evening of the 14th of September. The five laureates will be presented their awards during a ceremony at the Hotel Kameha Grand Bonn. Before that, they will have a chance to present their projects in the Leonardo Transfer Meeting.

About the Leonardo – European Corporate Learning Award

The Leonardo Award honours personalities who, in the era of globalisation, devote their zeal and lifeblood to the search for innovative solutions to the daunting challenges in the field of learning, be it in a company, an organization or society. The focus of the Leonardo is the UNESCO’s four-pillar model for education requirements in the 21st century: “learning to live together”, “learning to know”, “learning to do”, “learning to be”.


Contact to register for the award ceremony:
Sandra Schall
HRM Research Institute GmbH
Rheinkaistraße 2
68159 Mannheim
Tel: +49 621 40 166-335