Berlin + Potsdam 2018


Some 150 leaders, thinkers, influencers and doers from across the globe gathered in Germany this 1-2 June for The Performance Theatre (TPT) 2018. In an immersive 36-hour experience split across Potsdam and Berlin, we explored how leaders can break ranks with the status quo – and how to build movements that sustain change over time – via our theme: ‘Unfinished Revolutions’.

We commenced our programme on day one in Potsdam with a view from Germany. Sigmar Gabriel, member of the Germany Bundestag and the country’s former Minister for Foreign Affairs, joined Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Yves Daccord, for a candid conversation on leadership and Europe’s legacy of unfinished revolutions.

Our investigation of how systems change began with a conversation between Boston Impact Initiative founder and president Deborah Frieze and ‘Theory U’ author Otto Scharmer.

Traditional and social media play an increasingly murky role in transforming the status quo. During the afternoon, Professor Richard Wiseman, professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, demonstrated how our perceptions and cognitive biases can be manipulated. This interactive session was followed by a discussion on ‘fake news’ and the future of journalism, with StopFake co-founder Margo Gontar and Perspective Daily editor-in-chief Maren Urner.

On the evening of 1 June, we presented the 2018 Inspired Leadership Award to Tarek Alsaleh, founder of Capoeira4Refugees. You can read more about Tarek and the five other fantastic nominees here or watch a short highlights video on this year’s ILA below.

Our day-two programme opened with a conversation between Unilever CEO Paul Polman, former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, and TPT founder Osvald Bjelland, on how global movements drive local action and vice versa. Participants then explored this question with hyper-local organisations around the neighbourhood of Alt-Moabit, including a local mosque, an evangelical church, a playground and a courthouse.

In the afternoon, Naif Al-Mutawa, creator of The 99, and Jasmeen Patheja, founder-director of Blank Noise, reflected on the roles of our heroes and mythologies in inspiring change. Berlin-based choreographer Isabelle Schad led participants through an activity that explored how individuals build collective movements. Finally, Amel Karboul, former minister of tourism for Tunisia, and Victor Ochen, founder and executive director of the African Youth Initiative Network, reflected with 2015 Inspired Leadership Award winner and Purpose CEO Jeremy Heimans on how leaders can sustain lasting change in the ‘new power’ era.

You can read our full programme here.

Our thanks to our partner Mastercard in bringing this Performance Theatre to Germany.