Transcultural Leadership Summit 2022 – Perspectives from the Futures
10 & 11 November 2022
Is it possible to organise a hybrid and decentralised event across different cultures and have a dialogue about the futures? Yes, it is possible, as it is a glimpse into the futures.
Friedrichshafen. For the seventh consecutive year, the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin (LEIZ) at Zeppelin University, together with a team of students headed by LEIZ Director Professor Dr Josef Wieland and LEIZ research fellow Tobias Grünfelder, brought together over 15 high-ranking experts from business, civil society, and academia to discuss the challenges and opportunities of global cooperation.
For the first time, the Transcultural Leadership Summit (TLS) was organised as a hybrid and decentralised event in a joint effort by different universities. The two-dayconference - which took place at Zeppelin University’s ZF Campus (Germany), at the University of Lodz (Poland), at the University of Pretoria (South Africa), at the HFU Business School (Germany), and as an online stream – was attended by more than 350 participants from all over the world. Furthermore, a Portuguese translation was offered by our partners in Brazil for the online audience.
Throughout the years, the TLS has focused on different countries and regions, and on their approaches to transcultural leadership (2016 China, 2017 Sub-Saharan Africa, 2018 Brazil, 2019 Europe, 2020 New Belt & Road Initiative, 2021 Southeast Asia). This year, the Transcultural Caravan Network started a new chapter and shifted its focus towards the “Futures of Transcultural Leadership”.
The Transcultural Caravan Network (TCN) is an alliance of universities from different countries around the world that share the goal of facilitating multilateral research projects for students. Part of the TCN are the Center for Sustainability Studies at the School of Business Administration from Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGVces) from Brazil, the Albert Luthuli Leadership Institute (ALLI) at the University of Pretoria from South Africa, the faculty of International and Political Studies at the University of Lodz from Poland, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC Rio) from Brazil, the Vietnamese-German University (VGU) from Vietnam, HFU Business School from Germany and Zeppelin University from Germany. The TCN is a project funded by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung and will offer students unique transcultural research projects from 2023 to 2025.
Under the title "Perspectives from the future(s)", keynotes, panel discussions, and a Futures Literacy Laboratory on transcultural leadership offered the participants different learning opportunities and platforms to engage in discussions.
On the first day of the summit, Dr. Thelse Godewerth, Chief People Officer and Labour Director of the main sponsor Rolls-Royce Power Systems opened the conference by stressing that transculturality, inclusion, and diversity create resilience and responsiveness and are thus key success factors for a company in a VUCA world. Furthermore, Dr. Godewerth strengthened that events like the TLS help to develop our next global leaders and make her more hopeful about possible futures.
Other highlights of the event were the welcome address by Prof. Dr. Klaus Mühlhahn (President of Zeppelin University) and the keynotes of Dr. Njeri Mwagiru (Senior Futurist at the Institute for Futures Research at Stellenbosch University), Prof. Dr. Josef Wieland (Director of Zeppelin University´s Leadership Excellence Institute) and Dave Snowden (Founder and chief scientific officer of Cognitive Edge). In addition, two panel discussions on participatory and sustainable futures connected all the sites for a joint discussion. Part of the panel discussion were Dr. Bayo Akomolafe, Prof. Dr. Tomasz Kamiński, Eva Kwamou Feukeu, Fernanda Carreira, Prof. Dr. Tawana Kupe, Julius Palm and Prof. Dr. Jörg Metelmann.
On the second day, participants had the opportunity to strengthen their future literacy. In a uniquely designedFutures Literacy Laboratory on transcultural leadership, facilitators Dr. Stefan Bergheim and Lena Tünkers invited participants to make their unconscious assumptions about the future visible. In different phases (Reveal, Reframe, Rethink and Redo), the participants worked together to develop alternative visions of the future. The results of the lab will be incorporated into further research of the Transcultural Caravan Network in the coming years.
Overall, this year’s TLS underlined the relevance of transcultural cooperation, developing new commonalities across cultures, the ability to truly listen to others and the curiosity to learn from and with each other. The event offered students a unique experience and showed what a transcultural dialogue between cultures could look like in the future. The event was moderated by Tobias Grünfelder from Zeppelin University and Elma Akob from the University of Pretoria.
In addition to the main sponsor Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, the conference was supported by Zeppelin Universitätsgesellschaft and ZU’s Student Lounge.
More information about the Transcultural Leadership Summit can be found here: