Thrivbe - Fostering Thriving Communities

Thrivbe Podcast: Episode 1 - Tilmann Stolte - Future Leaders Global

December 31, 2023 Robin T. Sverd / Max Semenchuk Season 1 Episode 1
Thrivbe - Fostering Thriving Communities
Thrivbe Podcast: Episode 1 - Tilmann Stolte - Future Leaders Global
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to Thrivbe. The podcast dives into the art and science of fostering thriving communities. We are your host Robin and Max, And we are thrilled to have you joined or tribe of forward-thinking community leaders and practitioners. In each episode. We'll explore cutting-edge perspectives on leadership, community, collaboration culture and practices, distributed organizational technology and more. We'll hear from some of the brightest minds within these fields. All to equip you the listener with the most powerful, regenerative, and conscious practices. That can support your community to thrive.

In this episode, we talk with Tillmann Stolte, the CEO of Future Leaders Global, an organization committed to empowering individuals and organizations to build a thriving future, through conscious and regenerative leadership training.

In our conversation, we dive into key paradigms like regenerative and servant leadership, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and protopian futures. We discuss how these paradigms can help reshape our world. A recurring theme in our dialogue is also the importance of the transformative power of introspection and mindset shifts. We explore how these internal changes can be leveraged to drive external macro-level transformations and how Future Leaders Global are empowering the next generation of leaders to do this through their work.

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Robin:

Welcome to Thrivbe. The podcast that dives into the art and science of fostering thriving communities. We are your host Robin, And we are thrilled to have you joined or tribe or forward thinking community leaders and practitioners. In each episode. We'll explore cutting edge perspectives on leadership, community, collaboration culture and practices, distributed organizational technology and more. We'll hear from some of the brightest minds within these fields. All with the aim of equipping you the listener with the most powerful, regenerative and conscious practices. That can support your community to thrive. But why stop at a single community? We are a part of a larger mission. A global community of practitioners united by one purpose: fostering thriving communities. Or as we like to call it, Thrives. Meaning thriving tribes. Our vision is bold, but simple. To support and foster a thriving world for future generations. And we believe that this starts with you. And with all of us. Thriving together today. In an increasingly more complex world. True learning how to organize, co-create collaborate and coordinate even better. So if you're passionate about making a meaningful impact And want to learn how to better support your community thrive Your in the right place in this episode, we talk with Tillman, Stoltz, the CEO of the Future Leaders Global. And organization committed to empowering individuals and organizations to build a thriving future. True conscious and regenerative the leadership training. In our conversation with dive into key paradigms, like. Regenerative and servant leadership, decentralized autonomous organizations and protopian futures. A recurring theme in our dialogue is also the importance of the transformative power of introspection and mindset shifts. We explore how these internal changes can be leveraged to drive external macro level of transformations. And how future leaders global are empowering the next generation of leaders to do this true outs, their work. Let's get started and dive into today's episode

Tilmann:

Hello, it's lovely to be here. Did I, did I catch that correctly? Because we didn't actually talk about that before. The podcast name is Thrive as in thriving.

Robin:

Thrive it's a portmanteau word which is a hybrid of two words, thriving and tribes or thriving communities

Tilmann:

I love that. I love that because as you know, Robin, because you've been part of Future Leaders before, but our vision is to build a thriving world based on responsible action. So there's the thriving in there already. So I think that's the perfect match here. So thank you for having me.

Robin:

So just to hit it off I would love to hear a little bit about your personal journey. And also passion for regenerative leadership and also how did your personal journey lead you to join future leaders as a CEO?

Tilmann:

Thank you. Great question. I can start in childhood.

Robin:

We have time.

Tilmann:

Cool. Long, long format podcast. I'm hearing. Yeah. So no, actually like my parents are both professional musicians. So I grew up in a very, very creative environment. And as you can see, maybe I don't know if we're going to have a video on this one. But for the people that can't see me, I'm sitting in front of a drum set actually. So my, my whole youth was basically pretty much influenced by music around me and creativity and interacting with other people. We're coming back to co creation, so to say, right? Like playing in a band and I'm playing the drums and piano means that we have to understand how the others in the band are contributing and how we can create music and art together, so to say. So I kind of had that angle for, for most of my life and really enjoy that kind of exploration as well. And then at some point I said, I wanted to become a professional drummer actually at some point. But then, things didn't turn out the way that I would like them to turn out, I think. I had a, I had a drum teacher in Berlin at that point of time and I asked him: hey, what, what should I do in order to become a professional drummer? And then he said, you have to become better than I am. And I said, wow, like he had studied in the States with people that co invented the jazz and I had the feeling I could match that. He was like recording with super famous artists in Germany at that point of time. And I said, well, I'm not going to be as good. So I said, what else could I do? And then at that point of time. I actually became the school president in my school and I could feel that I have a knack for working with people and driving the change that I want to see, so to say. So I decided, well, maybe I go into music management and then Spotify came and completely disrupted that market. And then I had started already studying management. And then I ended up in that space, but the whole creative environment and that whole angle of. Music, et cetera, kind of stuck. So what I ended up doing basically was landing in the entrepreneurship and innovation space. So I moved to Copenhagen from a master's did studies in innovation management here, and then ended up in ecosystems that basically think about how can we contribute to a better future, right? Like innovation management in itself is about how do we create a better future. Where we have to then differentiate what does a better future actually mean, right? Like for many people, that is just, how can we be more productive, more effective how can we use tools to, achieve both of these things. At that point of time, I think, especially in the Scandinavian countries, there was a lot of buzz around the sustainable development goals. So how do we actually drive positive change? How do we measure impact going into impact investing? What kind of communities do we want to create? And I got into different initiatives, Slush being one of them. So one of the biggest entrepreneurship conferences in the Nordics, Catapult Future Fest in Oslo, talking about how do we use entrepreneurship and impact investing to create a better world? How do we use technologies in that? And then I started working after my master's for Singularity University, which is also thinking about how we use exponential technology, such as AI, gene editing, 3d printing, et cetera, to create a better future. And then around that point of time, I had a lot of conversations with people in Copenhagen that I just met and the conversations that I usually had that were the best were people that had been part of the Future Leaders program. And then I said, there's something in this that I'm really excited about. So I want to join that program and figure it out. And then I did. And at the same time, while I was doing that program, I was also part of the Singularity talent program. And so I basically went through these two journeys at the same time and I could compare. What worked in both of them and what could be done differently in both of them. And that was a super, super cool and super valuable experience for me because Singularity has this more technocratic"how do we understand technology" focus. It doesn't go as deep into the introspection of the person development, whereas future leaders is super, super strong on the introspection and how do I understand myself? How do I drive change in this world? And then ending on systems thinking and systems innovation on now that I can envision a better future, how do I actually do this? And I thought, okay, combining these two would be actually super interesting. Then. I can come back to that later basically into how we're, how we're doing this right now. But then I took a bit of a detour and I took a year to dive into an innovation trend that I was seeing at that point of time, which is, it feels a little bit stupid to say that like sustainability as an innovation trend, but at least for me, I hadn't gone as deep into sustainability and what that means at that point of time. So I was completely ignorant about"What is the climate crisis?""What is actually really contributing to that?","What is the individual action?","What is the systems level?". And then if we're thinking about innovation for the future, how do we actually do the right things, right? Not only doing things right, but like doing the right things and working on the right problem spaces and then creating solutions for this. So I, I went into that and then as part of that journey, looking into circular economy with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. And participating in a program in Copenhagen, which is called Founders of Tomorrow, where we looked into how to go beyond sustainability as in looking into regeneration. And I think in sustainability, there's a lot of thinking about"How do we reduce things like carbon emissions?","How do we get them to zero?","How do we have less waste in the world?", right? And if I'm blunt about it, let's should have still shit, right? So we, we have to think about how do we actually build positive feedback loops. And then we look into business models and we look into societal trends, how we live and, and work together. And this whole regeneration theme was super exciting to me and really deep dived into that space by mimicry, how we can take inspiration from nature. We can talk about that later as well. And then at that time, I also had gotten involved a little bit more into future and Future Leaders. The founder of Future Leaders, Elin, she had asked me to join a task force where we looked into decentralized autonomous organizations, like kind of what you mentioned before, Robin. How can we change the organizational model in future leaders? And so I was part of the task force and two months later, there was a job posting. That's what I was looking for. Job posting that they were looking for CEO in the organization and I applied and I got in. And ever since I'm basically building on top of all of these experience. Future Leaders as a community got founded nine years ago in Oslo and Norway by young people that said, how can we create a better future? How can we drive meaningful change, both for ourselves to live a more meaningful life, but also how can we contribute to society because that's eventually going to give us meaning and purpose and drive and ownership in our life as well. And then they started co creating that program. And Robin, you've been one of the people that have been very, very influential in that process, running corporate programs as well, and being very, very strong driver in the community. I'm still seeing your name popping up in all kinds of internal materials. So that's always fun. And basically we co created that program kind of started moving into different cities, so people enjoyed the program so much that they ended up opening new cities such as Stockholm, Bergen, Christians. And we ended up in Zimbabwe, Berlin, like all kinds of like all over the place. And then in 2018, we started working with organizations running programs for DNB and for Storebrand and other organizations. So kind of bringing that mindset of"How do we also drive positive change in the business world?". When we're looking at these challenges of climate crisis, disruptive technologies coming in and just like a lot more complexity entering our world. And now I'm combining these things. Basically, I'm saying, how do we blend regeneration? How do we blend decentralized organizations? How do we blend having a vision for the future and driving proactive change into this whole leadership program process that that has been developed over the last nine years. So yeah, that we just all can live more meaningful lives for ourselves and contribute to the right things. I'm going to pause here now because that was a long introduction.

Robin:

Wow. Thank you. That was, that was a journey in itself. Since we're on the topic of, of future leaders you also recently, like a few days ago come up with your own podcasts. Do you want to share a little bit about the podcast and the inspiration behind the podcast? What do you want to try to achieve with it?

Tilmann:

I think one of the key points in there is that we by now have over two and a half thousand people that have gone through the program. And there have been a lot of very, very interesting stories. People that have landed on 30 under 30 lists, really starting to drive change have changed the course of their life based on the program and decided to do different jobs to to dive into different things and I feel like having a vehicle to just share these stories is beautiful. And I think podcasting is something that can do that very easily. Right? So that was the intention in the beginning that we say, how can we just spread the word around what Futuritas is doing in the first place for people that might not understand that, then have a place for the community to connect around different stories and also get a feeling for what is actually going on in the space. And then also nerd out on. New topics, right? Like literally what you guys are doing as well. Like I want to talk about regeneration, decentralized organizations, biomimicry, future leadership, like, you know, all kinds of these things. I want to talk about art and music. And I don't like, you know, everything is interconnected, interrelated in our world. So how can we. Have fun sharing all of these stories and learning from each other and creating a space to co create and, and do all of that together. Yeah. Hmm. Exciting. What's well, maybe, maybe now I'm just going to flip the table. Like what is your motivation with this podcast? If you want to elaborate a little bit on that, I mean, thrive, like that's a beautiful thing, right? Like thriving and community in that way. Tribe is also very specific word, right? So maybe, maybe yeah.

Robin:

Can you elaborate a little bit on that? Of course. I think the word thrive has emerged for me over a long time. Like, what is thriving? How do I thrive? How does a thriving world look like? What does that mean in practice for living on this earth together? Throwing in the, the idea of biomimicry what does it take for nature, for plants to thrive? Just observing how to set the conditions for plants, like a plant need water, some rich soil, some beautiful sun, and then the plant has everything it needs to thrive. So that's the thriving part of the word tribe or community in modern terms, it's just the acknowledgement that we as people, we have it best when we live in community, when we live in tribes, when we're connected. 10, 000 years ago, we were tribal people. Like we, we, we lived in small communities. And we had everything we need. And we still have the same brain as we have 000 years ago, but now we're just like showing into a modern world of chaos. And There's something for me about going back to the the essence. Over the last years, I've also been realizing that I've had a need for being a part of community. Growing up, there's been this communal element missing in my surrounding, in my society. And when I look back on the times I've personally had it best, It's been when I've been with people that are sharing a similar purpose and we've just been actively exploring and playing together in, in different contexts. For example the improv community was my first kind realization of how much fun I had it when we were hundreds of people just playing together around the topic of improv. Future leaders was the same thing. community of people really exploring what it means to take responsibility in this world. And what I want to be really good at is at supporting, serving, facilitating conditions for communities to a thrive. And that's for me, it's a lifelong journey. I don't have any answers. I have a lot of Assumptions and things I, I believe works in some settings, but that's what I want to become better at. I

Tilmann:

Think that's a, it's a super interesting reflection. And I, it reminds me of Denver's number, right? Like we, we can form meaningful connections. So I think 150 people was what the research has shown in that specific case. And now, now it's a very interesting balance that you two are trying to get here, right? Because You're talking about a thriving tribe, and then a tribe is probably a limited amount of people, and then you're hosting a podcast that is basically indefinitely scalable and can reach as many people as possible. So what is, what is, what is the reflection on that?

Max:

Well, first of all, on this, like, scaling, it's always this paradigm may be of, like capitalism in a way, you know, to decrease the, like costs and increase the reach and so on. I associated a lot with that, like, especially in my early career. I used to manage my company on outsourcing of IT in Ukraine, and I was a pretty authoritative leader. You know, I always knew what's best for my team and so on. So I just recently read this book, which is called Small is Beautiful. You know, like, it's not like break into this wall of understanding about like, even like, even if this podcast helps one person. You know, it's still kind of good, so we just trying to go from, go from zero to one. yeah, coming back to, to my insights on, on this pathway, you know, from like straightforward leadership as I understood it, you know I started to like as an IT companies have this ability to work remotely, you know, we started to shift to the remote working, which changed some relationship, you know, it created some beautiful things. For example, in some time I started to have relations and like such a good team vibe and like really close understanding of people I never met. Really physically in my life, you know, so I could work in one team for like one, two years before we finally met somewhere. And this Robin, we even haven't met, but like This online space, you know, it's quite tricky, you know, on one hand, yeah, you could work with anybody in the world, you know, and you could work on like five teams, seven teams, like, in the same time, you know, and the pace of work is different, the relations is different, you can't always, Have the same experiences you could have like in going in the bars after work, you know, something so I tried to resolve this somehow, you know, was on this search, you know, all this Dallas, they also having this problems, you know, in establishing trust between people in coordination failures, you know, we're all here to solve this, but. The more ideas and case studies experience we have, the closer we are to this goal, you know, so that's a bit about my motivation to be here.

Tilmann:

I've been, I've been jumping back and forth between, I think, two thoughts. The first one was now we mentioned decentralized autonomous organizations quite a lot. And then I was like, Oh damn, if they ask me a question about it now, they're the experts. Like I dabbled a little bit with it. And now I'm like, I'm feeling a little bit of pressure and going into that topic, potentially, even though I'm also excited about it. And then the second point that I kind of had in my mind right now was. We briefly before we basically hit record discuss systems innovation. And so a lot of the things that you're describing right now, Max is basically like a new paradigm in how we interact in how we work, where we work with how many initiatives we're basically confronted or can be involved, which is maybe a bit more of a more positive framing in that. And then it's just very interesting to kind of then see, okay, where are we going with that? Right. Like if we have all of these multiple tribes in our life, how, how many do we like? Yeah. How many do we want to be part of and where do we draw the line? And Robin, you, you talked about something as an identity. Do we have different identities in the way of that it's different personalities or is it just showing different facets of ourselves in different contexts with different people that just, yeah, make different parts shine more? I think this is an open reflection right now. So I'm not really sure where I'm going with that, but I think it's kind of interesting to, to explore any of these. So maybe I'm just going to bounce it back to you guys and just say any of these keywords, any of, of anything that I just said right now, what What gave you a feel of excitement that you would like to dive into? And then we can do that.

Max:

Well, when you touched on DAOs, you know, I thought I have so much I want to share this. That was particular my focus of my research for a number of years. And you know, like, quick, quick thoughts is, like, first of all, Daoist is, like, a really loosely defined thing. You know, I even, like, at some point was, like, outlining what is the, what is, what do people mean by Daoist, you know. Sometimes it was, like, it was this joke that this is, like, a glorified multi sig, you know, so that people just vote on money, but... In general, I think of what people are trying to say with like Daos is that the, this are truly distributed organizations distributed in a way of like geography, for example, or the expertise, you know, the Daos are like foundations usually to big topics. You know, and also most of them are working purely in the digital format, you know, you imagine Discord, you know, sometimes it zooms for like tweeters and so on. And yeah, as we heard, you know, there are so many. Great stories about how, you know, another DAO like raised lots of funds, you know, attracted lots of contributors. But there's also these risks where people can like, I don't know, run with the money, you know, or like be stuck because of the bug in the smart contract. So I'm at some moment I started to look more into the human part of that, you know. What, what do we need to do? Like maybe it's some reputation system. Maybe it's This again, like I strongly believe in this steward leadership idea, like that many leaders currently are coming to the space with the idea. I'm going to do and change things. You know, but in the end, it's not one person that needs to do this, you know, it's like many people trying to do something together and how to, how to

Tilmann:

provide this space. I, if I can maybe just quickly chime into that. Cause first of all, I'm not sure if everyone that is listening actually knows what DAOs are decentralized autonomous organizations. So it might be smart to maybe also introduce that. And then at the same time. What I'm thinking about, like, what came to my mind was the word why, right? So, what is, and I'm thinking like, why do we need decentralized autonomous organizations? You mentioned leadership as well right now, right? Like, servant leadership was a term before that we used as well. So, why are we talking about all of these topics, right? Like, why is that important? Maybe, like, maybe, I'm just inviting now for Might it be smart to just quickly talk about why we actually address all of these things as in what is the future that we want to see and what might be some problem spaces that we're seeing as well. And then we can talk about all of the tools and about all of these different paradigm shifts on how we could then get into the future that we want to see. Okay. So if we're thinking about the future, I think one of them like really, really influenced the exercises that we're doing at future leaders that really highlights this idea is if you think 10 years into the future, what is the future that you want to see and what is the future that you are fearing to see? So off the chest, if both of you just go into that and say, okay, what is the future, maybe let's start with fear, right? What is the future that we don't want to see? Let's just like subconscious bounce it out Robin.

Robin:

Yes, so first of all the more global we become more we learn that world is a very complex place. There's a lot of challenges emerging that has maybe always been there, but now that we're slowly starting to see and address and also ask questions of how do we approach this at all? I'm The fair is of course, that we are going to hand off a world to future generations. That are going to give them lot of problems that we can actually address and take responsibility for today. That would be main fear I have. And also bringing concept of of the longtermism onto the table, which is we have emerged on this planet as the first intelligent species, and we're pretty young still. If we imagine humanity and life on earth to flourish for thousands and millions of years, choices we make today will affect millions of generations down the line. Just that acknowledgement that we, we have an important task to, to step up to. In terms of what we have made this planet to be. to speak in very broadly terms. So that would be my fear, how we leave the planets for future

Tilmann:

generations. And I think if I can just quickly chime in there before handing it to Max, then I would say. It is true that we have existed very Totally as a, as a species. And we are in a, in a critical moment in time. I feel like where the technological development that we have seen in the last. Yeah, let's say 150 years. That has been exponential. Whereas if we look at the time spent before it wasn't so if we follow that trajectory, and I'm not necessarily the biggest fan of the word exponential anymore, because I feel like there is also a hidden growth paradigm that I would like to challenge a little bit more and think about how can we now we're back to biomimicry, basically, right? How can we look into what are healthy patterns in nature? Because if we look at exponential growth in nature, then it's cancer, right? But I think that we are at a time where there is a lot of change happening with, now we discuss chat to BT all the time, right? Like that's all over my LinkedIn and social environment as well. So I think adapting to that and figuring out what we do with that, I think it is crucial right now. And then understanding our role in all of that and how our actions influence. Where we go as society and on planet earth, so to say. So just as a, as a quick kind of like coming in from the sidelines, max, what did, what do you fear about the future? Such a dystopian question, right? Like Exactly, yeah.

Max:

In a way, you know doing something out of the fear is not Optimal sometimes. Still, I'm still human, right? And I'm looking at this world, you know, and like, I'm like, specifically my, my countries and war, you know, and I even like for, since the start of the war, you know, before I try to support it, you know, try to bring you know, more peace or reconstruction or something what I can do, you know, to Ukraine, but Ukraine is one of the like almost 200 countries, you know, but when I'm thinking about the climate change and how much more violence it can bring, you know, in terms of like huge, even bigger waves of migration and resource wars and everything. So there's also, I recently learned about this meta crisis idea that it's basically like a. A spiral, you know, like cut the straw lead into more like centralization surveillance aggression to more catastrophic and so on. So, yeah, I just found that somehow what I want to work on is, like, it's coordination trailers. You know, some, somehow how we can decrease our own pains and struggles and the tribes around us. You know, that's my biggest desire.

Robin:

Since we talked about the DAOs and also servant leadership would you like to just define that max? What is servant leadership? And also what is a DAO for people that have maybe not heard those terms before?

Max:

I needed, like, to prepare my notes for that. Just on top of mind. Yeah, on top of mind is, like the success of the servant leader is defined by the success of his or her community. That's maybe the main idea, you know. Because, like, in previous, like, paradigms, we have this personal achievement, you know. I did this, you know, I have this like, this is done by me. In servant leaders, you know, like, they are less... visible sometimes, you know, they stand behind the people, you know, they're trying to give this growth to people or tools and everything. decentralized autonomous organization. And in a coin, like the term was coined by back in the days, like Vitalik Buterin, the co founder of Ethereum. And there were previously the idea of decentralized autonomous corporations. You know, like the first DAO was this distributed venture capital fund. You know, what the idea is like, let's not pay to bankers, you know, let's work as a community, get more gains to, to like. Investors like the first doubt failed so badly, you know, they initially came to the like the Headlines some news because they gathered like at that time maybe 10 percent of all crypts In ethereum or something and then it got hacked, you know, and it could close and for a year Almost nobody wanted to touch the topic after that failure But now there are like thousands of DAOs you know, it's one of the ideas is like just an organization like a, like you can compare to digital cooperative, you know, that runs like a crypto to not have a bank account. They might have a bank account, but then they gather collectively decide there is like transparency. Still, it's not always working well with the like legal system or like real world assets so far, but we're going, we're

Tilmann:

going there. Awesome. These are tools now, right? Like servant leadership, DAOs, these are tools to create the world that we want to see. So if we then look into what is the future that we want, and I think we touched a little bit. On to that in the introduction, and I could also feel your hesitation right now when I asked about your fears and you were directly going to yeah, like climate question. I don't want to have that and like that kind of stuff, right? So there if we now basically flip it and we say we go from the dystopian to the utopian what is then what we would like to see in 10 years? And maybe I can just start off with that because I can very much relate to the fear of Maybe I'm just going to start with fear because I actually didn't mention mine and then I just do the exact way into the positive ones. Same thing, climate crisis, right? Like we're seeing that there are abnormal patterns in our environment that are based on our behavior on the planet. And if we don't course correct, then we're very likely going to crash, right? So I obviously don't want to have that. I don't want to have that for myself. I don't want to have that. For future generations to come because now we can go very deep into like, how likely is it that we as a species exist in the first place? So the Fermi paradox, what kind of other species are out there? Next, next podcast. Yes. What planets do have the environment that actually organic life can grow there, et cetera. So there's a lot of stuff in there. Right, but just acknowledging that, that we are in like such a beautiful space and how we actually take care of our surroundings so that we can be like healthy and happy about that. So I'm afraid that we basically fuck it up if I'm blunt about it. And then as part of that is, that's like the ecosystem understanding, right? The bigger, broader, we all on one planet kind of thing. And then if we look into the relationships that we're having. What we're seeing as well. And especially in your situation, Max, right now as well, being Ukrainian. So war is happening still. Like, why do we still have wars? Like we're on a globalized world. Why is that still a thing? It's so stupid. Why do we have still the problems of hunger in some places, right? It's a redistribution problem. Why do we have political polarization? Like, why do we have these Trumps in the world that still fuck things up? So, I, I'm afraid of a future where that's just getting stronger and stronger, especially with all of the challenges that are happening with the climate crisis and people having potentially to move where they are right now because it's, it's not gonna be a livable environment anymore. And that's going to influence our day to day happiness as well, because all of these changes are going to impact our day to day life. So I'm afraid that these things will, will happen. And then if I flip that and I say, well, if I don't want to have that future, what is it then that I want to see? And. It feels a little bit like it's a, it's a it feels so cliche to talk about that, but then it is, it is somewhat true, right? Like, I just want to have a beautiful future where everyone is happy and can live the life that he, she and however people identify, like can live the way they want to. And that means a healthy environment, a healthy ecosystem where everyone has enough food and shelter so that people can be creative and really just do the things that they want to do. And if we just organize our. Our, our way of being as people in societies, in organizations in the ecosystem of planet earth in a smart way together, then we can achieve that, like we have all of the technological and communication tools, et cetera, et cetera, that we can actually make that happen. So for me, and that's, that's the innovation manager coming in there. Basically, we have the tools we have, like, depending on what vision we have, but like, that's the vision that I'm having for my future. I would like to achieve that. So. How do we now create all of these solutions and understand the false assumptions and biases that we're having with 300 years of industrial revolution and different value systems that have influenced our behavior and our societal patterns for like millennials in some ways, right. And come back to what is important to us and how can, how we can co create that world together, and then. In that space, then we can talk about, okay, decentralized autonomous organizations. How do we give people the ownership in initiatives that they're excited about and basically provide value back to them and, and yeah, make them part of something bigger, giving them meaning and a connection to others. How do we become servant leaders where we are proactive and we're serving a community because that is making us happy in our day to day as well. Right. And, and. We have all of these concepts, regenerative leadership, servant, servant leadership, alternative ways of organizing. There's the beautiful book Frederick Lallou, Reinventing Organizations, that is talking about like different conscious levels in different organizations and how we can use that. And Yeah, a lot of that just starts with the introspection and the understanding of what is important to me and what do I want to do and then connecting that to the vision that we're having. And yeah. So throwing it back to you too. What's the future that you want to see within the next 10 years?

Robin:

Thank you so much. I think that was beautifully and eloquently puts, and I just want to echo it because I resonate a lot. Again, going back to how does the thriving future look like? a vibrant world where people have their needs met. A word I'm, I'm, I'm connecting a lot with for the last year. So, and also Max had a and conference about this a few months ago about the protopian future. And I also know this is a concept we have in future leaders Protopia versus Utopia, meaning Utopia as a final destination, the perfect world protopia is more like the acknowledgement that when we reach the horizon we imagined, there are new challenges and problems and that will always be present. And it's very quickly comes back to important conversations. Where are we now? What's happening? What's real between us? Where do we want to go? And this takes us directly back to, what future leaders is doing hosting spaces where people actually can share and learn to listen and slowly uncover and learn from each other about what's present here and now acknowledging that whatever future we want. We are making it between us now. I think that's a really important insight to not fall into the head and imagine and living in a, in a head space of a future where you're disconnecting with the reality. Escaping into fantasies about what's the ideal future. I think we're building the future now in, even in this conversation and for the people listening in the conversation we're having and, and a word I really enjoy in this context is also how do we practice. the world we want to live in here and now, which is also a big part of the future leaders community.

Tilmann:

cool. I, I would, I, I have to jump on this. So first of all, thank you for explaining Portopia. I was literally just too lazy to do it. That's why I just said utopia because I felt like in the flow of Explaining stuff. It's easier. I think there is something around if we're, if we're thinking, especially like 10, 15 years into the future, it does something with our creativity and it breaks some patterns that we're having. So I like to kind of jump into what is the unrealistic, because it just allows us to take a different frame of like. Frame of reference, so to say, and then with having this kind of idea, we can then think about, okay, if we reverse engineer it, what would be the action that we have to do now? And then we acknowledge that we can't control the future. And then based on that, we basically just take iterations and we get a lot of input from different people, different surroundings in order to co create the future. Together now, but with that intention of how can we radically rethink what we have right now? How can we just opening up that opportunity space for ourselves, right? Because otherwise, if we're saying, well, we're just going for the next better step, we might still not do the right thing. We might do things right, but not do the right things, right? Crucial, crucial differentiation in that. And it's interesting because we had basically a strategy process and future leaders throughout the last year, together with the board and the community where we then looked into What is it? Like, how do we actually define that better? And we also landed on either the, or like, I have to go back a little bit and say, in the beginning, future leaders was about solving the sustainable development goals. Like that was the initial idea. How do we contribute to the, to the SDGs by 2030. And then what we acknowledged was, well, Hey, like no matter where we, like, we, first of all, how can we give ourselves something that is not time dependent? Right. Like, how can we, if we create a purpose for the organization, have something that is more time less. And then we landed on. No matter where we're gonna be in time, there's always gonna be a phase of transition. Like, no matter where we are, even if we go into, like, the unrealistic, idealistic, utopian future of, and now I'm just gonna throw some buzzwords around, as in we're gonna have all universal basic income, and we're all gonna be on DAOs, and we get our income through that, or we don't even have to think about income anymore, because we have vertical farms, and regenerative farms, and all kinds of stuff that is Building that kind of nourishing, flourishing environment for us to have the food and be creative. And we all have shelter, et cetera. Right. Even in that space, we're probably just going to have different problems. Then it's about in a, in a society where everyone is inclusive and everyone is hurt and we don't have war, we probably can still work on our communication techniques or making people feel more loved. And I'm going fully into the cliches, right? So I'm, I'm just, I would love, and we as future would love to. Create a space where people are envisioning a better future, no matter where we are, and then it's about co creating that space together. Max. What are your thoughts? Well,

Max:

yeah, I was thinking a lot of things while you're talking, especially on the reason, you know, like At some moment I was thinking how to plan 500 years ahead. You know, entities are like now less than 10 years ahead, you know, which for many people still seven years still. Yeah. Unrealistic, you know, like how to plan seven years ahead in the personal lives, you know, especially with this past changing world, you know, governments are trying to think 10 years, you know, maybe. But there's really not so many people who think 500 years ahead. Even less, maybe 10, 000 years ahead, because, of course, it's easy to say, like, it doesn't make sense. The like every small change, you know, increases complexity so much. Our brains are not just suited for that. We have still primate brains, you know. And now, like, even with this Dunban number, like, the Dunban number is around 150 people or something, and still it was, like, in the... Research, it was how many faces you can, like, recognize or meaningful relationship you can have, right? But if we look at current social media, you know, we passed this number so much already, you know, and, The growing complexity is basically the main thing about Protopia for me, you know, whatever whatever is not changing is the changes itself, you know, like changes would be always, and my best guess is probably to look into, tech and maybe spirituality, you know, tech is like giving us more tools, you know, we can monitor the planet now, right? With like satellites, but also like, how do we learn to trust people worldwide? How do we you know, overcome this cultural barrier? You know, how do we build this connection with nature? Well, there's like new generations. Can live all their lives in the cities, you know, and don't feel the same attitude as like indigenous communities who, like, don't even take them of the nature, you know, or they feel they're part of this nature. You don't need to save them, like, save something externally, right? It's, it's who they are. And so, yeah, like for me, the most life thing is like this. We're just ideal of like global awareness, you know, trying to, you know, think like a planet or universe, you know, which is nobody can do it like and know everything and think like that. But yeah, hopefully we can improve our capacity because the speed of those changes is still dictating something like it's easy to slack. It's easy to say it's. Not possible, you know, to, to manage that, but still we need to

Tilmann:

strive. I think there's a, there's a beautiful point in that. And it reminds me of a book that I read last year, which is called the web of meaning by Jeremy Lent, which is basically about how can we acknowledge what we have as like historical development in our world. And not say. Is it either or like cause what you mentioned right now is indigenous culture and, and then people living in the city. And then I feel there's often this conversation, this hardcore conversation around, we have to go back. We have to like live in nature. We have to yeah, live like indigenous people, like people really going crazy into, into that space. And I think that's not realistic for us anymore. Right. So it is more, how can we learn from all of these different developments and. And then take the best bits and pieces and take it into the future. So how can we learn from indigenous cultures around how they connect to nature and how they build community in their spaces? And how can we take the positive developments from Western culture around technological development and just take the good parts of that and merge all of that together to build the society and the space that we want to see so that it not becomes this again, polarized discussion around. What ideology is the best, but that we just say, how can we learn from each other? And how, again, like we're back to the, it's, it's the same topic that I feel like we've been discussing the whole time. Like, how can we co create that space then together? And I think that that would be just like super exciting. If we're bringing it back to the conversation then around systems, innovation, right? If we now have all of these ideas and if we want to move our existing paradigm into a different future, then how do we do that? And in systems innovation, then there is the question of what kind of underlying mindsets do we have? What are the cultural norms and how do we go into these? That's a lot of like the introspection, understanding ourselves and what are our biases and what kind of culture are we part of and how that has shaped the way on how we. Look at our life and what we take for granted with us being three white males discussing life and you know, so that is, that is one part. And then, so like going into the mindset and then on the other hand, identifying key leverage points. So what smart actions might. Nudge the system into the direction that we would like it to see. And that's then on different levels of complexity. So we obviously start with our own behavior. So if I want to see a future that is based, or like that is, that is not having the climate crisis anymore, right? And if I want to have a sense of community in my future, how do I already do that now? How can I nudge that? And then at the same time, so that might be me, like I'm not going to go for the recycling example because there's a lot of greenwashing in that. Right. But just like saying, okay, what kind of energy provider do I actually have at my place? Right. How do I travel to a certain degree? Like now we, as an organization, how much do we fly? How can we change that? How can we like challenge the assumptions? How can we localize things a little bit more? Right. So like the individual actions from myself and maybe the team around and the people around me, and then from the systems perspective. If I want to see a future that is greener, who do I vote for? What do I stand up for? How do I make my voice heard? And now, especially in a digitized. World, we have these opportunities through basically what we're doing here as well, like sharing our stories, sharing our ideas, talking about it so that people hear, Hey, I'm not alone in thinking that, right. There are other people that have the same problem that have the urge. Or feel the urge and the drive to also change something about the way how we do it right now. And then we can have these conversations. So how can we, how can we use leverage points in a smarter way? And maybe that's a good question back to you guys. Like, what would you see as smart leverage points?

Robin:

I honestly really believe in, What we are doing in future leaders in terms of going back to the the ultimate way of changing a system is changing the mindset and operating system your ideas about the world. we need, I need to confront. sides of myself, biases, blind spots with support from other peers in my network. I honestly believe that's where all change come from. And also believe that if I'm connected to a system, the system is also connected to me, meaning that. Me changing is also by effect the system changing, although I'm just one person, all my relations, all my actions has a effect on a larger context. That would be my two

Tilmann:

cents. Can I add to that? There is, there's a really nice model that I, that I think again, we're back to mental models, what you just mentioned, mentioned with Meadows, et cetera. And one, one of the best visualizations that I've seen so far is when we're taking decisions we're usually looking into these Venn diagrams. So you have like these, these three circles that are overlapping in the middle. And then usually what we're looking at there is trade offs between society, we are as we, as people, then we have economy. So the whole business space. And then we have ecology, the environment. And when we see these as a Venn diagram, then there is an overlap in the middle, but then there's also a lot of trade offs that we say. Well, sometimes we're going to prioritize economy over ecology. And I think that's what has been happening a lot over the like forever. Right. Since business started speaking from business perspective, right. I have an economics degree, which is interesting. Donut economics, another three that I would want to highlight, but maybe another time. So this mental model of this being a Venn diagram is obviously not helpful because then we're having these trade offs. So it is the wrong mental model. So the correct mental model for that, or maybe a better mental model for now, until we. Come up with something even better is that economy is embedded in a nested system into society, and that is embedded, embedded into. Ecology, the environment. So every decision that we're taking within business needs to think about the consequences in society and in the broader environment around it. When we take that mental model, we're taking different decisions and then we're working towards. Yeah, a more healthy way of interacting, having business, et cetera, et cetera. So I think just that framing is, is so crucial. And then another model that I'm just going to throw around to become utterly technical about stuff is the Ken Wilber's quadrant. Which is basically describing on how we can drive change in organizations. It's about. Understanding what is the individual part in change management and the collective part. And what is the inner component and the outer component. So let's say we're moving through the quadrant. Individual inner is our values. What do I think is the right thing, right? And then the individual outer perspective is what are my actions. And often these things are not even aligned very often. I might think something, but then I'm feeling the pressure in my soul, social environment. And that might even just be perceived. It might not even be true. Right. Might be a bias that I'm putting up for myself. And then I might do something else because I think my manager wants me to do this. And that's why I'm, I'm going to violate my values because I want to please that person. Right. And then if we're thinking about the collective level, then we talk about the inner one as being the culture, for example, an organization, how do we behave collectively together? And that might be different from how the collective behaves together, which is then the systems. So when we want to drive change, and that is one of the main mistakes that I'm still seeing in many organizations, especially like people departments, human resources, et cetera, right? They want to bring in that new culture. They want to change individual and collective behavior. But then they're not looking at the systems that would support that transition. And then we're back to decentralized autonomous organizations, right? What is the incentive system that I'm putting into an organization? Do I have a bonus system? Do I not? Do I not have a bonus system, right? What is the communication infrastructure that I'm implementing into my organization? Do I, do we co create or not? Right? Do we have different hierarchy levels, et cetera, et cetera. So if we want to drive successful change in this world, I think it is very, very important that we understand both of these models that I just mentioned, right? The mental model on how do I move from economy, society, ecology to, then if I want to drive that change, how do I implement the systems and question the systems and set up the infrastructure that actually supports the behavior individually and collectively that I would like to see.

Max:

Okay, I'll jump also, or like, as we mentioned, as it is. I think SGG's some of its success can relate to the it's became quite widespread and supported. It's it's kind of a sense making system, you know, like, they so it's such nicely organized, it's like, SGG Cakes, you know, everything stands on ecology, that's... Society then economy, you know economy without society, you know doesn't need don't need them, right? Though as there's any like sense making system is trying to work with our like small brain, you know, it's always like three key things or ten steps to something, you know that like we can We should always redefine it, even if we think we understand it, you know. I see that in all the, like, tribes or communities I come with, it's usually they have some own terms, you know, like they apply to the world, you know, and it's always, it's nice to be aware, you know, what, what, what, how do they form that and then try to merge that together. But also, of course, it all starts from the personal, from me, you know, like no changes are possible without. It's like, if you don't practice what you preach, you know, like trying to teach people to, to do something and not being, and not doing that just won't work. So, I also tried to map like this leverage points on this cake or like with ecological ideas. I use this idea of, again, regenerative behavior, you know, and applying nature designs by mimicry to organizations, you know, what really works, you know, how it heals, you know, that you don't try to put the system to always stress, you know, because it always needs to have some, you know, spare capacity in order to be able to recover something. The other thing is the presence and experience, because again, like in, in currently It's so easy to dissociate with what happens, you know, it happened back in, you know, basically in death camps of the Second World War, where people like, say that, yeah, they are not people, you know, or like, they told me to do this, like in corporations, it's always like, they told me to do this, you know, or I don't, I don't see it as externalities, you know, I make a decision, but somebody... Really far away can struggle. I don't even know the person, right. So becoming witnesses to what's happening and the integrity of actions is very, you know, this facilitation and, you know, trying to just match this complexity together. That's, that's my formula where now we can do some collective sense making after we identify those.

Robin:

So we're about to land. we've covered a ton of very deep subjects that we could go on for hours about. But we'd love to hear your thoughts on the importance and also definition of regenerative leadership and also maybe how that's connected to biomimicry. And also the paradigm of that way of thinking in the modern world.

Tilmann:

Yes. I think the, the underlying assumption there is. Biomimicry is basically taking inspiration from nature. And I think in the original sense, biomimicry was used in product design. So to say, I think there's this very, very famous example of. I think Japan was, was doing a new train and then they had the problem that whenever the train went into a tunnel, it gave like this very loud sound basically because there was air pressure when the train entered the tunnel and the train was going too fast and then they always had this kind of sound problem. So they were looking into inspiration from nature and then there's this one bird that has like this. I don't even know what it's called. Like, I'm going to call it nose, but like this very, very like long sharp nose. And when this bird dives into the water, it doesn't even make like a splash. It doesn't have like any drops or anything. So that what they did was basically taking that inspiration and making the front of the train longer and more pointy. And with that, based on physics, I have no idea. It didn't have that effect when it went into the tunnel anymore because the air wasn't kind of pushed into it. It was kind of like able to move around it. So that's a typical example for biomimicry being used in the product space. And then if we're taking that into the more higher levels of interaction together, how we move how we, we ask about regenerative leadership, for example, as well, then. We can look into nature and nature has been existing for what, like four point something billion years. So with evolution and changes and everything happening around us, there has been a lot of really, really cool stuff. And nature has figured out how to do things in a very effective and smart way. And we can look that into. And colonies, another great biomimicry example, right? Like saying how do, and self organize and actually make that very complex system work? How do, how do they assign roles or in beehives? Like, like how, how does nature actually do that stuff? And then we're coming in as people and we're saying, Oh yeah, like based on industrial revolution, cool. Like, let's have like these structures and systems and just like define roles and let people do this. And this, and not think about all of the beautiful and impactful ways how nature has solved similar problems already before. So looking at looking at nature for inspiration for the existing problems that we're having is just a very natural and like a smart thing in my opinion to do. And it's so it's so weird to me that we actually forgot that, right? On just how to look at inspiration from nature. And if we then bringing that into the into the regenerative leadership space. Again, like regeneration is about how can we build positive feedback loops? So how can we build positive relations and how can we, when we're looking at driving positive change, acknowledge the bigger systems that were part of, so instead of, for example, assuming that I, as a leader will always function the same. No matter where I am in the year, I can also say, how can we take inspiration from seasons, right? How can I, as a leader acknowledge that I will have times where I will be more exploratory. And then I will have times, I mean, now we're basically talking about countries that have also seasons, right? In winter, it is probably harder to be motivated and, and energetic about things, right? So depending on like my natural surroundings, what kind of leadership style do I use? How do I behave differently? How can I use different surroundings to do the work that I want to do? And also acknowledge that I might need rest. And now we can talk about that in like a way of over a year, but I can also look at that in like a day. Like what kind of different phases do I see in my day? How do I use? And now we're getting a little bit complex or like. abstract again, maybe the idea of convergence and divergence. So how do I, how do I open up the funnel for like new ideas, new behaviors when, for example, creating a new vision, how can we open up that pool of potential innovation and go crazy and get creative about it? And then when do I close that again into divergence and basically narrowing in on an idea that I want to also called the diamond model. So how do we use these trends of Convergence divergence to let new ideas come up, which is then defined as emergence. So how do we let things emerge and open up to new principles? And again, like that's the whole co creation thing that we also talked about today. So there's this great book, Regenerative Leadership by Laura Storm, which is explaining that way better. And she's going into different principles of life as well, how we can acknowledge the surroundings and how we can use these ideas of, again, emergence divergences, leadership styles, but also how we can use different cycles. And different, yeah, behavioral practices, so to say. And I think again, like we're, we're basing a lot of our assumptions in life on the fact. Like, especially in our Western culture, on economic theory from the 1850s, right? Like Adam Smith saying we are homo economicus and we're taking rational decisions. And we're not. We're like incredibly social human beings, so we're not going to take rational decisions all the time. So how can we acknowledge that and then how can we develop a healthy relationship to... Not being in control all the time and not always taking rational decisions. And how do we invite others to that space? And how do we think about the bigger ecosystems around us with, again, nature and then thinking about these new ideas as in regeneration.

Robin:

Thank you for joining us on thrive today. We hope that our conversation with Tillman Stoltz has provided you with a few new ideas, insights, or reflections. If you found this episode enriching, please help us by sharing it and make sure to subscribe for more. We are Robin. signing off. And until next time. Let's continue fostering a thriving world for future generations. To get her.