13 Dec A time for new leadership
We live in an unprecedented time of upheaval. From the rise of populism; large scale displacement and movement of people; new trade wars between the US and China; and the urgent need to curb global warming (as starkly highlighted in the IPCC report). People are now experiencing the direct impact of these events on their lives. They are mobilising in their thousands, to demonstrate, campaign, and take action for change.
We need a new type of leadership. One that reinvents growth: working with nature not against it; benefitting the many, not the few; and delivering short term action and long term value.
In 2018 we have had the privilege of working with some incredible leaders from many sectors, backgrounds and countries across the globe, to test and advance new models of growth that address humanity’s needs and create commercial opportunities. Here are some of our work highlights I’d like to share with you:
Xynteo Exchange/ Norway 2018
Over 500 people joined this year’s Exchange, which thanks to the amazing support and work from all our partners, clients and teams, was a huge success. The role of arts and culture in this year’s programme helped contribute to that success, being a critical player in society.
They challenge norms and inspire action. And yet with all the noise around us and all the pressures to drive short-term gains, their relevance can be lost. Together with our partners, including the Munch Museum and Office for Contemporary Art, we managed this year to integrate more of their voice into our work. There is still much to do, but we’re onto something.
The Performance Theatre
Sometimes we have to break ranks to build movements. This June, The Performance Theatre brought leaders together to explore how change happens at the individual, organizational, and systems levels. Against the backdrop of Potsdam and Berlin, we took inspiration from “unfinished revolutions”, and explored the role of leaders – from Martin Luther to Martin Luther King Jr – in transforming the status quo.
The role of youth as agents of change cannot be ignored as 50% of India’s population are below the age of 25. Together with our partner Hindustan Unilever, Xynteo’s India2022 team have designed and built an inspiring behavioural change solution called “Plastic Safari” that focuses on the root cause of waste collection and segregation challenges. In 2019, we hope to expand this programme across India.
Europe faces many complex challenges and urgently needs a new type of leadership and growth model to overcome them. The Europe Delivers programme launched publicly in November to mobilise leaders to create ‘A new kind of growth for Europe’ (the title of a report we published) – ensuring long term, sustainable prosperity and wellbeing for all Europeans. Our growing movement of change-makers featuring pan European business and policy leaders, innovators, thinkers and influencers will be instrumental as we build action-orientated ‘blueprints’ in 2019.
During 2018, catalysts from the partnership collaborated to address problems ranging from access to energy and plastic waste to big data privacy and digital megacities. At the close of the year, the Vanguard community strongly believes that our collective future success depends more on our ability to scale successful pilots than the creation of new ones. Therefore, in 2019 the programme will pivot into acceleration enabling us to support impact at scale by combining proven initiatives with the right leadership capabilities.
We look forward to accelerating our work with our partners, and developing many new ideas, connections and programmes in 2019.