Creative leadership summit

September 19 to 21, 2024
3 days
EUR 1850.00 *

If you are not yet a member of our online campus, this link will take you to the registration page. Membership is free but required to sign up for activities.


In today's world of immediate results and quick gains, senior executives' attention spans can be quite short. It's therefore challenging for design leaders to address this short-termism by questioning the status quo, instilling new strategic thinking, and envisioning a different path to cocreate long-term value. Much needs and can be done to improve upon and overcome today's key challenges and anticipate future ones.

After a successful inaugural edition, we are organising a new edition of the Creative leadership summit in Barcelona on September 19, 20 and 21 for and by design leaders from around the world to converse about these pressing topics. Dedicated to unlocking servant leadership and translating ideas into impact, the leadership summit convenes creative leaders to connect, learn, build, discuss, share learnings and challenge the status quo.


Leadership is a dynamic and complex process that requires those who lead to navigate ever-changing landscapes and design for the future. To be effective, you must be resilient, adaptable, and capable of embracing uncertainty. Anticipating change, staying ahead of the curve, and working collaboratively with diverse teams are essential qualities for leaders to possess in today's fast-paced world.

These qualities are particularly critical for design leaders. Effective creative leadership means always thinking about what's next and having a keen sense of what the organisation needs to thrive in the long run while bearing in mind social and environmental responsibilities. This requires a deep understanding of the ecosystem in which the organisation operates and being willing to challenge assumptions, embrace new perspectives, and pivot as circumstances dictate.

But, being the only person in your organisation with this level of expertise can make navigating these demands challenging. Design leaders often find themselves isolated and disconnected from their peers. However, now more than ever, it's time to stand up, take action, and lead change for good. That is why we organise this Creative leadership summit. Not online, but physically in Barcelona, to have as many inspiring encounters as possible.

The summit program focuses primarily on in-house creative leadership to promote a safe environment for open dialogue among peers. It prioritises collaborative engagement over traditional one-way talks or keynotes. And the non-commercial program ensures an environment free from any promotion of companies or sales activities.


Build confidence, develop new ideas and create positive impact, through truthful stories and profound insights from leaders who are doing it. Learn from peers and engage in conversations with academics and other experts in systemic design, change management, strategic foresight, and resilient, servant leadership, as well as individuals currently serving in leadership positions within organisations such as LEGO, Lufthansa, Philips, Adidas, IKEA, Deutsche Telekom, Spotify, and several others.

The summit is built upon four tracks; Leading in complexity, Designing for what’s next, Organising for change, and Introspecting leadership. The tracks are highly interactive, collectively engaging participants through a combination of active listening, debating and practising.

In addition to the immersive 3-day onsite experience, attendees will have access to a series of recorded interviews and personal reflections from global leaders. These resources will be published and shared with participants after the summit, continuing throughout the months until the end of the year.

More details can be found in the syllabus. Don’t forget to register on time! Since this is a small-scale and intimate event, seats are limited to a maximum of 50 participants.


The summit takes place in a converted industrial warehouse, the home-base of BAU, Design College of Barcelona. The venue is located in the heart of innovative and creative Barcelona, District 22@, and is completely modernised and equipped for design training. The venue is accessible for wheelchair users.

BAU, Design College of Barcelona
Carrer de Pujades, 118
08005 Barcelona

View on Google maps.


Design leadership, service design, business design, strategic design, futures thinking, systems thinking


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September 19 to 21, 2024
EUR 1850.00 *
3 days

If you are not yet a member of our online campus, this link will take you to the registration page. Membership is free but required to sign up for activities.

* US$ 2100.00. Prices are exclusive of 21% VAT. Coffee breaks, lunches, refreshments, and networking drinks are included.

Meet the facilitators


Phil Balagtas (United States) is a futurist, professor and former Design Director at GE. His dedication to guiding organisations in strategic initiatives echoes his commitment to a more innovative and inclusive future.

He is an experienced design leader and practitioner in foresight and speculative design and the founder of the Design Futures Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement and education of futures thinking. Phil also leads his own futures consulting practice called Habitat, training organisations on futures thinking and leading teams on strategic initiatives.

Nina Warburton (United Kingdom) has over three decades of experience in design and innovation and is currently Head of Design at Philips Personal Health, where she leads a world-class team of design leaders for the Philips Personal Health Cluster.

She is passionate about design, people, innovation, and business with the aim of improving lives and has actively contributed to the development of inclusive design in both practical and academic contexts, bringing its principles to life and documenting the results in numerous papers and publications.

Shauna Carey (United States) leverages her expertise in both design and social impact to oversee the strategy and vision of the nonprofit design studio as its Chief Executive Officer, leading the organisation's efforts to design a more just and inclusive world.

A social scientist at heart, Shauna has helped launch and grow several mission-driven startups and has worked to expand access to quality education and healthcare at various nonprofits. At, she has played a key role in building a community of individuals with diverse experiences and expertise aligned around a common purpose, demonstrating a leadership style rooted in compassion and curiosity.

Peter Jones (Canada) is an associate professor of systemic design at OCAD University, Toronto, where he teaches in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation and Design for Health MDes programs, and co-founder of the Systemic Design Association.

Peter has over 20 years of experience in designing complex systems and information products, and has worked in the forefront of interaction design and user experience across commercial, government, and academic sectors. He has designed leading informatics resources in scientific, legal, and medical practices, from concept research to market launch.

Natsuko Hara (Japan) is the Director of Change Management at Adidas, spearheading the change management framework and serves as the Organisational Effectiveness Leader, enhancing team performance based on Adidas' global operating model.

Passionate about change management and transformation for over 20 years, the biggest challenge in times of change for her starts with the mindset and individual response mechanisms. She believes the head, heart and hands must be equally addressed to deal with change. She aims to demystify change so individuals can proactively define their response by reducing fear and increasing confidence.

Annahita Varahrami (United States) is Design Director at Procore Technologies, where she brings her passion for good design and human-centred approaches to lead teams and create innovative solutions to improve the lives of everyone.

She is known for her critical thinking skills, her ability to connect with people, and her deep understanding of the importance of human-centred design. Annahita has had a rewarding career as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice. Her background has given her a unique perspective on the power of relationships to transform lives and businesses alike. She is a former Design Manager at IBM.

Tino Klaehne (Germany) is a recognised innovation expert, currently leading design at Lufthansa, with +15 years of experience connecting the dots between strategy and design to drive corporate innovation at scale.

Responsible for developing and operationalising the innovation strategy at Lufthansa Innovation Hub, Tino works with a team of data analysts and researchers in transforming the Strategic Intelligence capability to fuel the creation of new ventures by combining traveller insights with entrepreneurial momentum, business strategy, and emerging technologies.

Mariana Amatullo (Argentina) is Vice Provost, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Strategic Design and Management at Parsons, The New School. She is an experienced design strategist, award-winning educator, and practitioner-scholar.

Her research and teaching bridge the art and design education and management disciplines and examine the role of a design attitude as a cognitive approach to social innovation and organisational learning. Initially trained as an art historian and curator, she has been a pioneer in developing the design for the social innovation field, where she remains an active scholar globally.

Kristel Van Ael (Belgium) is a managing partner at Namahn, a human-centred design agency, as well as Associate Professor at the University of Antwerp where she teaches in product-service-system design and systemic design.

Kristel is hooked by systemic design and believes that designers can and should contribute to systemic change by understanding how everything is interrelated and how products can be designed and deployed as leverages towards a better future. She is co-author of 'Design Journeys through Complex Systems', which describes how systemic design can address large-scale societal contexts and complex systems.

Søren Lethin (Denmark) is an innovation catalyst who has spent over 30 years at the LEGO Group, where he leads the Innovation Everywhere team, championing positive change and future-proofing their innovation roadmap.

His background in both marketing and design has been instrumental in leading numerous strategic projects across audiences and ecosystems. With a brave and inventive mindset and energetic passion for creative and imaginative play, Søren has been driving and inspiring design as well as go-to-market teams in both incremental and radical novelty challenges.

Koen Peters (Belgium) is the leading information architect at Namahn, a humanity-centred design agency based in Brussels. His work is mainly in web and intranet projects for governments and other large organisations.

In the past couple of years, he has added systemic design to his repertoire and is one of the co-authors of the Systemic Design Toolkit. At the moment, he is exploring possible connections and common grounds between the fields of information architecture and systemic design, such as how skills and practices from IA can help you better apply the systemic design method and vice versa.

Inge Keizer (the Netherlands) is a senior service design consultant specialised in business design, strategic innovation, customer experience and entrepreneurship with 20 years of experience.

She is a conceptual thinker, and an experienced design researcher. In 2015 she co-founded the Service Design Days and later the Service Design College; growing a global service design network and supporting organisations, teams and individuals in becoming human-centric, with a primary focus on designing valuable and relevant services based on qualitative insights and successful business models.

Moira Buzzolani (Italy) is a transformation and change leader with a long track-record at Adidas, leading teams and individuals transition towards a desired future.

At Adidas, she led major innovation and digital transformation programs as Director of Digital Transformation. She supported the company and its leaders in developing the strategic vision of the transformation and change management initiatives for digital programs. In 2023, she became an independent consultant, helping leaders and teams in their journey, providing focus, clarity and direction.

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