Impressions from #VisionY – Munich Leadership Conference 2015

Impressions from #VisionY – Munich Leadership Conference 2015

What is your vision of a desirable future? As the Munich Leadership Institute (MLI) was facing this issue, they approached the students and graduates from CDTM to investigate the Vision Y – a vision of the future from the perspective of the well-educated and digitally engaged generation that is currently entering the workforce around the world, the so-called Generation Y. Seventy students and alumni rolled up their sleeves to start the Vision Y Project to investigate one simple question: What does true progress mean? Over 10 months, the Vision Y team searched for answers through discussions, online panels, and in-depth interviews with 25 global thought leaders. Among the prominent interviewees were Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus, TED Senior Fellow and social entrepreneur Juliana Rotich, German Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel as well as other leaders from academia, business, politics and culture from around the world. Their ideas about progress were then linked with the visions of the CDTM students and alumni as representatives of the Generation Y. A year later, the first Munich Leadership Conference took place on March 5th, 2015.

What kind of attitudes drive true #progress? @cdtm_munich @kerstinbund @th_sattelberger #VisionY

— Dr. Nico Rose, MAPP (@DrNicoRose) March 5, 2015

The first Munich Leadership Conference took place in the intimate atmosphere of the Tutzing Castle in the south of Munich. In a one-day think-tank, students and professionals worked together on case studies and imaginations of a desirable future, inspired by crisp yet insightful keynotes and panel discussions. The agenda was filled with prominent speakers and panelists like the Harvard Professor Barbara Kellermann, or Barry Schwartz, psychologist, professor and columnist at the New York Times. To celebrate thought leaders around the world, the MLI awarded Jimmy Wales, the founder and CEO of Wikipedia, with the first German Thought Leaders Award (Deutscher Vordenkerpreis).

Do I have to go to a global meta level to change the world? #VisionY

— Daniel Endler (@daniel_endler) March 5, 2015

As a planet, we have advanced in many issues, including eradicating poverty, hunger, or illiteracy. The self-proclaimed “optimistic pesimist” Dr. Franz-Josef Rademacher, who is a futurologist and professor for artificial intelligence at the University of Ulm, talked about the purpose of progress and where to start changing the world.

#VisionY #Munichleadershipconference #WhatIsProgress?

— Maria M (@MaryMarrry) March 5, 2015

For the “skeptical optimist” Thomas Sattelberger, progress means muddling through. Eighteen years ago, he stated his idea of a quota for women in the boards of corporations for the first time –  an idea that has only recently passed German legislation. The former Telekom board member encouraged the young generation to stay idealistic:

Ideals are oftentimes the driver of a young generation. As we grow older, we become cynical. –@th_sattelberger #VisionY

— Juli Sikorska (@novelnative) March 5, 2015

And we are idealistic. Two students of the CDTM, Maximilian Igl and Veronika Fischer, presented our picture of a desirable future, the Vision Y. They guided us through the visual map of progress developed at the initial workshop at CDTM, and shared the resulting five visions for a desirable future:

  1. Focus on shared value creation instead of merely focusing on shareholder value
  2. True global citizenship based on interests rather than national borders
  3. Mutual tolerance as a guiding principle in everyday life
  4. An economic systems that resepects ecological boundaries
  5. Access to information as a human right

The main point: We are responsible for progress ourselves. We are a generation of super-humans, as Prof. Muhammad Yunus pointed out in a previous interview, equiped with a technology that provides us with tremendous power. “Today you can change the world by yourself and don’t have to wait for anybody else”, he said. We are capable of of more than we would think, and all we need is some optimism, as Veronika Fischer concluded:

Optimism creates drive. Drive creates movement, and movement creates change. #VisionY

— Juli Sikorska (@novelnative) March 5, 2015

The next Munich Leadership Conference is dedicated to the topic “Making Sense” and will take place on March 3rd 2016 at the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing.

Juli studies communication and human-computer-interaction at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and started CDTM in the fall of 2013. She is interested in arts and sciences, combining the worlds of design, technology, and social innovation.