To Lead or Not to Lead?

On 28-30 November 2016 in Amsterdam, we not only awarded the 2016 Tällberg Global Leadership prizes, but also brought together the Global Leaders of 2015 & 2016 with invited participants from Tällberg’s network and elsewhere.  

The Tällberg Foundation has a history of recognizing and engaging pathfinding leaders who are seeking to make a difference in an increasingly complicated global environment. We believe that the times demand leaders who rethink assumptions, imbue their work in a deep commitment to ethical action, leverage challenges into opportunities and nourish networks of engagement.

Identifying, honoring and supporting such leaders—wherever they work—is a core commitment of the Foundation. The workshop brought together leaders from a wide variety of cultures, countries, and disciplines. Among the participants were the Tallberg Global Leaders from 2015 and 2016, extraordinary women and men whose leadership accomplishments and continuing leadership potential have been recognized by an international jury convened by the Foundation. The agenda for the Amsterdam meeting was designed to explore what works and what doesn’t work for leaders who are trying not just to cope with the challenges of the times, but to affect positive social change.

In that context, participants engaged in a decision making simulation focussed on migration and Europe. This exercise, which continued earlier Tällberg conversations, was intended as a kind of case study in how leaders might cope with seemingly intractable problems as well as an effort to tease out new insights in a problem that has huge moral, human, political, security and economic dimensions. Other workshop conversations were built around the experiences of the Tällberg Global Leaders, who will share insights from their successes as well as their failures, as well as the work of other participants in fomenting change in the face of structural, political and other impediments. The goal was to explore new paths, identify new strategies, and establish new relationships for and among leaders at a time when the complexity, opportunities and choices facing all of us have never been greater.

The workshop, as well as the public celebration of leaders and leadership that was convened on the evening of November 29, was conducted as an open, honest, and respectful dialogue where all voices were encouraged to engage.

The venue for the workshop was De Balie, a civic theatre and café designed as a center for politics, culture and media at Leidseplein in Amsterdam. De Balie has gained international acclaim for its design of programs that include politics, art, society, media, and cinema. De Balie and the Tällberg Foundation share an ethos of relentless questioning, sharp analysis, respect for innovation and creativity, and a commitment to engaging with a broad range of perspectives.

See the workshop program


To lead or not to Lead?
A short summary on some of the discussions the Global Leaders had when they met in Amsterdam to talk about leadership (6 min).