The Global Leadership Academy

The Agenda 2030 re-emphasises how interrelated and intertwined social, environmental and economic issues are. Yet, most of our current approaches are developed and implemented in sectoral and organisational silos: The way we respond to our challenges no longer matches the complexity and dynamics of our most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges.

There is a need for spaces
that allow for a collective search
for new approaches and initiatives.

Spaces for personal and collective development, for listening and strengthening mutual understanding, building new trustful cooperation to go beyond institutional silos and let new ideas emerge on how to address the global challenges of our times.

Our approach

The Global Leadership Academy's interdisciplinary and practice-oriented offerings are aimed at improving the innovative capacity and leadership skills of decision-makers from the fields of policy-making, business, higher education and research, and civil society from the North and the South.

The Global Leadership Academy focuses on the specific problems and challenges faced by participants rather than employing ready-made concepts.

We provide a safe space for participants, who might otherwise never have entered into dialogue with each other, enabling them to explore one another’s perspectives, look at their challenges from a completely different angle, be inspired and invigorated, and initiate changes where they are needed.

Gaining fresh perspectives energises them to implement the necessary change processes in their spheres of influence. The networks built among participants and participating organisations broaden changemakers' options for contributing effectively and sustainably to change.

How we do change

The aspiration behind our work is to contribute to more sustainable, inclusive and just societies. In order to make room for new ways to shape the future and achieve sustainable change, we need to break with conventional patterns and create new paradigms – for ourselves and collectively. We believe that real systemic and organisational change can only occur hand in hand with personal transformation.

The Global Leadership Academy recognises that leadership and organisational culture and processes are closely intertwined and that the personal development of decision-makers is therefore key to initiating systemic change.

Based on this interplay between personal development of key change agents and the development of organisations and systems, the mandate of the Global Leadership Academy is to design and convene dialogue spaces that promote new approaches towards a more sustainable and inclusive future for our societies.

In all of our Labs, the elements Dialogue, Leadership and Innovation complement one another. Interlinked, they serve to provide the basis for generating sustainable changes on personal, organisational and systemic levels. These three elements are at the core of all our Labs, while in the individual case, a Lab might focus more strongly on one or the other of the elements – corresponding to the topic and the specific needs and challenges of the participants.


The Global Leadership Academy brings together individuals in positions of responsibility from industrialised, emerging and developing countries who have an interest in transformation. By participating in dialogue, they expand their leadership skills, break with conventional patterns and unlock new opportunities for shaping change in their field of action.

The Global Leadership Academy supports decision-makers in taking a dynamic approach to exercising responsibility within their sphere of influence. High-ranking participants from the worlds of politics, business, academia, and civil society engage in in-depth discourse on their own change issues and put projects into practice. The Global Leadership Academy’s dialogue processes provide the necessary impetus for accomplishing this.

A broad impact can only be achieved if the frames of reference behind the people change, so it is essential that the processes extend to the organisations concerned.

The dialogue processes take place in an atmosphere of equality and mutual respect. Participants can negotiate different interests constructively across national and sectoral borders and social strata, seeing the world through other people's eyes. The Global Leadership Academy’s activities promote creative exchange and cross-sectoral thinking.

The offerings of the Global Leadership Academy help both the participants and GIZ to develop new perspectives for global change processes and to learn from innovation. This approach enables the Global Leadership Academy to establish innovative and effective models of international cooperation.

The Global Leadership Academy is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.