Collaborative Leadership Lab: Developing Change Agents

Two-day experiential workshop to re-imagine and retell the story of how we develop and exercise leadership.

Event Details


Presidio Institute at Fort Scott
1202 Ralston Avenue, San Francisco, California 94129 United States


March 19, 2015 7:30 am - March 21, 2015 4:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)


General ($295), VIP Dinner (+$75) REQUEST AN INVITE HERE

“As well as finding new models to collaboratively address all our global challenges, we also need to form a new model of leadership that is effective in the modern world: leadership that emphasizes both vision and values in order to overcome the current challenges.” – Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum

It’s time to change the status quo for leadership. A new story is emerging about how leaders are developed and how they exercise their influence. This narrative calls for your voice.

The Collaborative Leadership Lab is an invite-only, two-day experiential workshop for an select group of professionals from academia, business, and the social sector. During the Lab, this cross-sector group of innovators will advance the future of leadership by addressing the role of leaders as change agents in the transformation of our societies toward sustainable development.

From rigorous research-based methods on the futures of governance and learning at the Institute for the Future, to out-of-the-box approaches born at Google and spun out to form the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, participants will dive deeply into a variety of perspectives and insights. The Lab will serve as a forum for participants to connect with fellow innovators in leadership and identify opportunities for cross-sector and international collaboration.

Abbreviated Program

(Full program below)

Day 1 | Generating new stories
Experiential mini labs: Inside-out narratives
Challenges, megatrends, visions, and stories

Day 2 | Bringing new stories to life
Experiential mini labs: Creative storytelling
Collective insights and applications
Framework for a collaborative leadership network

Full Program

Collaborative Leadership Lab: Developing Change Agents

Presidio Institute at Fort Scott, San Francisco, CA  | March 19-20, 2015

Program is subject to change.

Day 1 – March 19, 2015 – Exploring the future of leadership: Generating new stories

8:30 am Check in/Breakfast
9:00 am Welcome and Introduction:Embarking together on a learning journey
Laura Erickson, swissnex San Francisco
9:10 am Getting Started: Embodying our journey
Ken Otter, St. Mary’s College & Ruth Förster, Dr. Ruth Förster Consulting & Training
9:20 am Connecting: Personal stories on leadership
10:00 am Impulse: Future of Leadership – Impact of megatrends on leadership issues
Daniela Eberhardt, Institute for Applied Psychology, ZHAW
10:30 am Fishbowl Panel: Future-proof leadership across sectors
Rani Croager, Uptima Business Bootcamp
Ahmad Mansur, Urban Economy Group
Vinitha Watson, Zoo Labs
Elissa Perry, Think. Do. Repeat.
Moderator: Daniela Eberhardt, Institute for Applied Psychology, ZHAW
11:00 am Break
11:20 am Continuing the Exchange: Diversity dialogues in rotating breakout groups
12:20 pm Lunch on-site and all-senses exploration of outside environment
2:00 pm Experiential Mini Labs: Inside-out narratives (concurrent)
Dan Klein & Michelle Darby, Stanford University
Embracing paradoxes and tensions
Stephanie Kaudela-Baum, HSLU Switzerland
Mindfulness and self-awareness
Robert Chender, Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute
4:45 pm Break
5:00 pm Sharing Insights: Diversity dialogues in rotating breakout groups
5:30 pm End of official program Day 1
6:30 pm (Optional) Dinner w/VIP guest speaker
Bettina Warburg, Institute for the Future
Talk: “Collective Action and the Future of Leadership”

Day 2 – March 20, 2015 – Harvesting and application: Bringing new stories to life

8:30 am Breakfast circle
9:00 am Experiential Mini Labs: Creative storytelling (concurrent)
Strategic design
Stijn Ossevoort, Creative Living Lab, HSLU
Bioinspiration – nature as muse
Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker, BioInspired Ink/BioInspyr Consulting
Embodying relational & collective leadership
Ken Otter, St. Mary’s College & Ruth Förster, Dr. Ruth Förster Consulting & Training
11:45 am Spotlights from the Mini Labs
12:00 pm Lunch on site
1:30 pm Harvesting: Collective insights and use cases for application
3:00 pm Break
3:15 pm Forming a learning community
Ken Otter, St. Mary’s College & Ruth Förster, Dr. Ruth Förster Consulting & Training
4:00 pm Networking: Speed dating format to seed future collaborations
4:45 pm Wrap up and outlook
Ruth Förster, Dr. Ruth Förster Consulting & Training & Laura Erickson, swissnex SF
5:30 pm Farewell apero


Who Should Attend

The Collaborative Leadership Lab is tailored toward leaders, prospective leaders, researchers, and social entrepreneurs that want to enhance their own leadership practice, exchange knowledge, and collaborate as a community.

More Info

swissnex San Francisco, in partnership with the Creative Living Lab, Competence Center for General Management, and Design & Kunst at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU), the Institute of Applied Psychology at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), and St. Mary’s College of California, look forward to welcoming you to the San Francisco Bay Area in March 2015 to explore the future of leadership.


Robert Chender is a certified teacher of Search Inside Yourself, the mindfulness and emotional intelligence training program developed and tested at Google, and has taught mindfulness for over 30 years, leading meditation classes and retreats both in the U.S. and abroad. He frequently speaks at corporations, law firms, and non-profits about the role of mindfulness and emotional intelligence in the workplace in helping enhance performance and leadership skills and promote greater well-being. He is a former hedge fund executive and is currently a practicing attorney, and is the founder of the NYC Bar Association Contemplative Lawyers Group. Robert graduated from Vassar College and the NYU School of Law.
Robert Chender
Search Inside Yourself Teacher
Rani Croager is co-founder of Uptima Business Bootcamp, a member-owned business accelerator based in Oakland. Uptima supports entrepreneurs in developing their businesses, and encourages them to think holistically about the role of their business in the community. Prior to founding Uptima, Rani was a founding team member of Altius Education where she raised over $30 million in venture capital to fund development of the company’s educational ecosystem. Rani began her career as an investment banker focused on financings, mergers and acquisitions for leading technology companies. Rani has extensive experience supporting early stage entrepreneurs as an organizer, coach and judge for numerous hackathons and startup challenges. Rani also serves as a board member of Qeyno Labs andThe Learning Shelter, and as a steering committee member of 2.Oakland.
Rani Croager
Michelle Darby is a Resident Fellow at Stanford University. She is the co-creator and instructor of StoryCraft through the Theater Department and Storytelling Project. Prior to Stanford, she ran the Compelling Communications program the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is the Founder and former Artistic Director of the Just West Theater Festival. She has studied theater at The American Conservatory Theater, Seydways Acting Studios, Bay Area Theatersports, and the Alliance Theater. Along with acting and directing, she has taught middle school, high school, undergrad, and grad students as well as professionals throughout the Bay Area.
Michelle Darby
Resident Fellow / Stanford University
Prof. Daniela Eberhardt has an academic and professional background in psychology and management. At the Zurich University of Applied Sciences she manages 90 employees and is in charge of education programs and consulting/counseling for leaders and experts. She has expertise in management development for a globally active IT organizations, as well as a personal background in training, applied research, and consulting on leadership, change management, and HRM. Her latest applied research topics include age-related leadership and future of leadership.
Daniela Eberhardt
Director, Institute of Applied Psychology / Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Ruth Förster’s main interest lies in creating processes and innovative education offerings that support individual and collective transformation towards more sustainable living. In her work she counsels educational institutions and offers trainings. Further she is the project manager for developing an interdisciplinary postgraduate program in “efficient mobility” at ETH Zurich, in Switzerland. Her approach combines scientific with art-based methods rooted in experiential education. Ruth holds degrees in mechanical and environmental engineering and is trained as vision quest guide and in the Tamalpa Life Art process. She is one of the initiators of the Collaborative Leadership Lab.
Ruth Förster
Consultant / Dr. Ruth Förster Consulting & Training
Stephanie Kaudela-Baum studied economics at the German University of Augsburg and the Swiss University of Basel, where she also received a Ph.D. in political science. Her research interests lie at the intersection of corporate innovation management, and leadership, in the area of ambidextrous leadership, in the development of more intuition- and emotion-based leadership approaches. Influenced by the concepts of the Newer Sociological Systems Theory and social constructivism, her research is based primarily on qualitative methods.
Stephanie Kaudela-Baum
Professor for Organization Studies, Innovation, and Leadership / Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Dan Klein is a Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches creativity and leadership. He is also a Lecturer in the Theater Department, teaching improvization, and the Hasso-Plattner Institute for Design (, teaching Game Design. Perhaps his favorite class is StoryCraft, which he teaches with Michelle Darby through the Stanford StoryTelling Project. His work has taken him all over the world leading leadership communication workshops for organizations like Nestle, Cisco, Visa, Nasdaq-OMX, eBay, and the IMD Business school. 
Dan Klein
Ahmad is a leadership consultant, educator and facilitator of large-scale change initiatives. A self-coined “serial collaborator,” Ahmad advises leaders – from across sectors – on developing the global foresight and adaptive capacity to address complex system challenges in regions, cities and communities. Ahmad conducts presentations, workshops, and social labs for a wide-range of audiences throughout the US and abroad. His core interest explores human talent and leadership opportunities that lie at the intersection of disruptive innovation, exponential growth and accelerating social change. Ahmad is the Managing Partner at the Urban Economy Group, a global consulting and venture firm and currently serves as the Dean of Workforce Development and Corporate Education at Merritt College in Oakland, CA.
Ahmad Mansur
Senior Consultant, Managing Partner / Urban Economy Group
Stijn Ossevoort is a lecturer and researcher on user-centred design, sustainability, design technology, and product interaction and is a member of the interdisciplinary research group, Crealab, at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. He has been working for fifteen years as an artist/engineer to develop interactive future visions for clients such as Prada, Nike, Ron Arad Associates, Hewlett Packard, and Philips. He combines his creative engineering skills to inspire companies and users alike by building experience models. Currently, he is working on an interactive stained-glass window, which allows an augmented reality.
Stijn Ossevoort
Ken Otter has 30 years of professional experience in human and organizational development as an educator, coach, and consultant in the US and internationally. This experience spans multiple sectors and a wide variety of industries such as education, hospitality, health, and the arts. This work is grounded in his life-long inquiry on the interplay between inner and outer change and how this interplay is practiced toward individual and organizational wellbeing. His areas of scholarship include: global leadership development, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and the application of lifespan and wisdom development in organizational life and leadership.
Ken Otter
Director of Leadership Studies Programs / Saint Mary's College
Elissa Perry supports people and groups of people with a justice mission to be better in what they do. As a leadership consultant and coach, Elissa has worked with individuals, organizations and initiatives engaged in multiple approaches to bringing forth a more just world. Elissa also teaches in the MA in Leadership Program at Saint Mary’s College of California and is the Program Catalyst for Management Assistance Group’s Network Leadership Innovation Lab. Recently, her focus has been developing individual and systemic capacity for shared leadership, creatively engaging head, heart, and hands.
Elissa Perry
Leadership consultant and coach / Think. Do. Repeat.
As Public Engagement Lead at Institute for the Future, Bettina Warburg brings foresight to new and relevant audiences through research, space, training, events, and virtual engagements. Her experiences looking back to look forward have led Bettina to projects across the world: writing on German nationalism, researching the Tamil diaspora, and producing cultural radio shows for NPR in Berlin. Governance, design, and the creativity of public imagination inform much of her research and project areas at the Institute for the Future, including in launching the Governance Futures Lab, researching the Future of Learning, Work, and Philanthropy. @bwarburg
Bettina Warburg
Public Engagement Lead / Institute for the Future
Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker is an Evolutionary Biologist, Writer, and Innovation Consultant with over 25 years experience in business, design, and biology. Her doctoral research at NYU focused on how social structure affects evolutionary change in ultra-social species. She has worked as a senior scientist in biotech and founded a small media arts company. Tamsin began researching and writing on biomimicry in 2008 and today, her regular column at draws over two million readers worldwide. Tamsin works closely with the Biomimicry Institute and teaches at ASU’s new Biomimicry Center. She is a co-founder of Biomimicry San Diego, and serves on the board of Biomimicry Switzerland. She is currently at work on a book, SuperOrganizations: Nature's Game-Changing Guide To Faster, Smarter, More Valuable Companies.
Tamsin Woolley-Barker
Contracted Biologist at the Design Table / Biomimicry 3.8
Vinitha Watson is a lateral thinker, design strategist, and committed learner. Sometimes called divergent, her path has been just that: after catching the startup bug while opening Google’s first satellite office in India, she started a textile company and joined the experimental first class of the Design Strategy MBA at California College of the Arts. She is a co-founder and Executive Director of Zoo Labs, a non-profit music accelerator focused on supporting creative entrepreneurs at the intersection of craft, creativity, and commercial viability. Vinitha consults on innovation strategy and growth planning for nonprofits; founded The Resident Wellness Project, which addresses wellness for medical doctors; sits on the boards of Nexleaf Analytics and California College of the Arts; and is a fellow at the Institute for the Future.
Vinitha Watson
Co-­Founder and Executive Director / Zoo Labs



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos