A group of distinguished advisory board members from different sectors all over Europe will help us to sharpen the concept of The Lab and provide us with their feedback on the best didactical approaches to organize the learning processes.

The Advisory Board

Gillian Martin Mehers

Gillian is a learning and capacity development practitioner working within the global sustainability community for 20 years. She is currently Founding Director at Bright Green Learning (Atadore SARL). Gillian's expertise is in creating dynamic experiential learning environments, facilitating productive multi-stakeholder dialogue processes, interactive learning design, social media applications for communication and learning, and innovative curriculum and training materials development.

She was formerly the Head of Learning and Leadership at IUCN - the International Union for Conservation of Nature - which is the world's oldest and largest global environmental network. Working from IUCN's international headquarters outside Geneva, Gillian lead the team that designed and delivered a wide variety of formal and informal learning opportunities for IUCN teams and partners, focused on process and leadership skills development for greatest impact of IUCN's sustainability work. Gillian was also the lead Process Facilitator in IUCN's organizational development and change process, which focused on strengthening organizational effectiveness.

What do you associate with "system innovation"?

The collaborative moment(s) that generate these innovations. Here there's an opportunity to transform the creative chaos that comes from different perspectives working on a shared overarching goal into a collective effort of identifying leverage points and systems interventions - this I feel is where I feel the most system innovation occurs (when that process is well designed and facilitated). That combined with brilliant questions that get people to think differently about the problems they are working to solve and the future they are trying to create.

Maciej Nowicki

Maciej is an expert for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development. After his studies at the Technical University in Warsaw, he worked at the university as a scientist, receiving the professor title for life from the President of State (1964 - 1989).

In 1989, he became Vice-Minister, and in 1991 Minister for Environmental Protection. In 1992 he established the EcoFund Foundation for the management of funds from the debt-for-environment mechanism (about 600 Mil. USD) and for 15 years led the foundation as its president. In 2007, he again became Minister for the Environment. He was the organizer and host of the UN Conference on Climate Change COP 14 in Poznan. He is now retired.

What do you associate with "system innovation"?

In my opinion "system innovation" is a complete change of paradigm in a certain field of economy or life. A good example for that is a change of paradigm in the energy sector - instead of a centralized system, common in XX. century, we now see a new, decentralized system emerge that is better adjusted to our present problems and challenges.

Do you have a concrete example of an intervention that you feel had systemic impact?

An excellent example of such a concrete intervention with a huge systemic impact is the German "Energiewende". It is a pioneering action on the scale of an entire state with the aim of the introduction of a new energy system, adequate to XXI. century, which can bring economic, social and environmental benefits in the longterm.

Mark Drewell

Mark is a thought and action leader at the global interface between business and society. He is a senior partner at the Stockholm-headquartered Foresight Group advising large organisations on how to speed up and leverage change on major ambitions relevant to our times.

In a corporate career he spent a decade on the Exco of Johannesburg-headquarted Barloworld, a 35.000 employee USS6bn revenue diversified industrial brand management company with operations in 35 countries. His work as an intrapreneur and change catalyst included strategy, investor engagement, brand and group marketing and close advisor to the CEO. He has chaired both Stockholm-based World's Children's Prize and Africa's largest environmental NGO, served on the board of the 13.000 strong International Association of Business Communicators, supported of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership as a senior associate and worked with the Aspen Institute to develop their Aspen Global Leaders Network. He recently stepped down from five years leading a global coalition of companies and business schools focused on developing the next generation of globally responsible leaders - the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative. He an author of a visionary blueprint on management education (50+20 - Management Education for the World) which has been translated into Mandarin due to demand from leading Chinese business schools.

What do you associate with "system innovation"?

System Innovation creates an outcome which changes the game so fundamentally that the status quo becomes the past and a new narrative describing a new normal becomes the present and inexorable future.

Do you have a concrete example of an intervention that you feel had systemic impact?

The work we did at the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative over a decade to transform the two leading accreditation systems of the world's 20.000+ business schools. The outcome is redefining business education from developing business leaders who are the best in the world to being the best for the world and will profoundly change what is taught and how it is taught over the coming years.

Kora Kristof

Kora is the Director of the Department "Sustainable Strategies, Sustainable Resource Use, Instruments" of the German Federal Environment Agency since 2011. She studied economics and wrote her doctoral thesis on an energy-sector issue and her postdoctoral thesis on ways to successfully implement social changes. 1988-1992 Researcher at the Institute of Economics of the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich; 1992-1994 Research assistant to the German Bundestag's Enquete Commission on Protection the Earth's Atmosphere; 1994-2011: Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy as head of the Energy Department, and after the Wuppertal Institute was restructured in 2003, responsible for "Material and resource efficiency" and programme coordinator of the "Sustainable production and consumption" research group.

Main fields of work: Models of change, innovation and diffusion research, resources and resource policy, renewable raw materials, energy and energy policy, sustainable production and consumption, eco-efficient services, sustainable development instruments and institutions incl. sustainability goals and indicators, Agenda 21, future of work.

What do you associate with "system innovation"?

•   Successful bringing together of technical, social, systemic, and governance innovations.
•   Handle highly-complex, interactive and, dynamic systems: consider risks and tipping points, scenarios and modelling, resilience, no irreversibility, fault tolerance, use an iterative approach and learn from experiences.
•   Deal with resistance and conflicts in policy and society.
•   Attractive ideas for change and viable proposals for for their implementation.
•   Integrate actors and develop institutions successfully (target groups, other stakeholders).
•   Deal with time issue, incl. (short-term) thinking and time horizon, deceleration.
•   Deal professionally with change processes.
•   Political frame conditions and change supporting framework: guiding principles, narratives, dialogs between stakeholders, learning processes.

Do you have a concrete example of an intervention that you feel had systemic impact?

•   Nexus: German Energiewende, resource conservation.
•   Nexus: soil, water, biomass.

Max Schön

Max is an entrepreneur in Lübeck and a member of several supervisory boards. He was the managing director and chairman of the Max Schön AG, a steel and tools trading company, for 14 years, and served as president of the association of family-run enterprises ASU from 2001 to 2005. He worked as a manager for the Lübeck-based BALTIK private equity company from 2005 to 2008 and for the foundation "Stiftung 2° - Deutsche Unternehmer für Klimaschutz", a climate protection initiative of German chief executives and family entrepreneurs.

Today Max is still engaged as a family entrepreneur but more and more in non-profit organisations. Since 2007 he is the president of the German Society Club of Rome and since 2010 member of the Council for Sustainable Development of the German Federal Government. Since 2014 he is the vice chairman of the Possehl Foundation in Lübeck.

What do you associate with "system innovation"?

The innovation we need is the step from "What is useful for me?" to "what is useful for the future of lives?". And i mean all kinds of live: human, flora and fauna!

Do you have a concrete example of an intervention that you feel had systemic impact?

For me the intervention of entrepreneur Michael Otto on the world market for cotton is a great example: In 2005 companies agreed on that it is necessary to change the farming methods of cotton completely. They invented a new system of education, training, secured prices for farmers and created a new trade mark. Today - after 10 years of work - the network reaches more then 650.000 farmers in Africa. The farmers in this network act under better social, economic and ecological conditions than before, deliver good quality materials and at the same time support the world-wide fight against climate change togehther with the producers, traders and consumers of clothes. And others copy the idea and act in a similar way in their business fields. This all started as the result of decisions of very few people who wanted to change a system:

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