THNK differently

THNK, the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership, is on a mission to develop the next generation of creative leaders.

Social inequality, resources under threat, the pervasiveness of technology, climate change and the collapse of corporations and financial institutions are just some of the challenges that our current world reality presents.

This is where THNK, the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership, enters into the equation. Their mission is simple: “To develop the next generation of creative leaders that will have a significant societal impact in our world.”

Design Indaba founder, Ravi Naidoo, was honoured to be invited to the first official THNK Advisory Board Meeting, which took place in Amsterdam on 30 October 2012.

THNK successfully launched in March 2012, with the recent meeting facilitating the planning of the second phase of the school’s agenda for growth.

The advisory board includes renowned Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, the vice president of product marketing at Apple, Michael Tchao, global managing director of McKinsey & Company Dominic Barton, vice-chair of Creative Commons Esther Wojcicki and architect Ben Berkel, among others. 

THNK welcomed Her Royal Highness Princess Maxima of the Netherlands as the special guest at the event. A background in economics and finance, together with her experience in issues including diversit, integration and microcredits in developing countries, makes Princess Maxima very enthusiastic about THNK’s mission and cause.

THNK’s mission to develop the next generation of creative leaders is manifested in their 18-month part-time postgraduate programme that draws top talent from around the globe to spend intensive weeks on the campus in Amsterdam. Participants in the programme are also stimulated through forums, challenges and quests. Read more about the programme here.

Three main objectives were discussed at the THNK meeting:

  1. Recruiting international top talent: Looking at ways of drawing the world’s brightest and most creative minds to the programme. Participants are representative of the social, private and public sectors. The Advisory meeting considered ways to have more recruiting impact on a global scale.
  2. Catalysing innovation: THNK projects are real life open innovation initiatives focused on emerging industries and societal topics. THNK is particularly interested in solutions, rather than incremental compromises. The Advisory meeting looked at new topics for future THNK challenges.
  3. Expanding internationally: The idea is that THNK will grow to have “THNK Homes” in other parts of the world, ensuring that a variety of individuals get the chance to learn in rich environments. The Advisory meeting explored how THNK could grow beyond the Netherlands.

More than just generating great ideas, THNK is also about making it happens. As such, THNK has an open and pragmatic culture that places store by creativity, tolerance, diversity, collaboration and trade. 

Watch the Talk with Marcel Wanders

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