As we say goodbye to 2020 — an unprecedented, tumultuous year in human history — we are also looking ahead with optimism for the upcoming year. The challenges of 2020 have not slowed down the work of THNK’s many incredible leaders and changemakers.

From climate action to sustainable fashion to impact finance, here are a few members of the THNK Community who are moving people and planet towards better futures:

1. Ayana Johnson


According to a recent study by researchers at Harvard Business School, compared to pre-pandemic levels, employees have been attending more meetings, sending more emails, and working significantly longer days.

In addition, under the current conditions, many of us are surrounded by our partners, family members, children, and other housemates 24/7. A quiet commute, solitary lunchtime break, or end-of-day silent office all seem a thing of the past. For many of us, time alone in stillness to think is more important and yet more difficult to find than ever.

How can we, even under today’s challenging conditions, make time for thinking?

The power of slow, deep thinking


Conflict is a natural — and necessary — part of life and relationships. It is how you handle that conflict that determines whether it will be a negative experience or a positive growth experience.

In the THNK Emerging Leaders Program, one of the topics we explore is healthy conflict, a constructive way of solving conflict that fosters respect and enables everyone involved to grow and evolve as a result. Bechara Abi Assi, the lead faculty member in the program, elaborates: “The idea is that managing conflict in a healthy way can help you find a better path, whether it’s a…


Author: Jessica Krueger

Self-awareness is the ability to be fully in tune with your feelings, thoughts, and actions. As a busy, working parent myself, there is so much else to focus on, whether it’s making the grocery list or worrying about climate change and how it will impact my child’s future. Add in a global pandemic and a historically contentious U.S. election, and it almost seems comical to make time to reflect on my own thoughts and behaviors.

At THNK, however, we know that self-awareness is essential to becoming an effective leader. Self-aware leaders know their own abilities and limitations…


Innovation has not been an all-time success. We have seen innovation teams come and go, incubators built and dismantled, accelerators accelerating and then fading away. By now, many organizations have introduced design thinking, lean start-up, agile or, scrum. They have created office spaces that have become more of a hip experience than anything else, with high-end coffee machines, bean bags, and “fuck-up nights” (with pizza).

In reality, few organizations are satisfied with their innovation performance.

Let us forget for a moment the failed attempts and the unkept promises. What if we turned our attention to what innovation requires from people?


Over the past half-year, the world has been turned on its head with millions of people across the globe suddenly working from home. This means that leaders and managers are now having to lead their teams remotely. This period of difficulty and uncertainty offers opportunities for growth, and many people have been touting the importance of harnessing this time for personal development. But as a leader, how are you to develop and improve your own leadership skills when your entire way of leading has suddenly been turned upside down?

For many leaders, the beginning of this crisis may have felt…


Author: Ale Duarte

The coronavirus pandemic presents a special moment in humanity. It’s a unique time where we’re experiencing collective uncertainty, grief, and a whole range of both positive and negative emotions.

As a somatic educator — with 15+ years of training professionals in the fields of psychology, education, and body-oriented therapy, and working directly with victims, survivors, and frontline workers in the aftermath of natural disasters and conflicts — here are three important points to keep in mind as a leader navigating crisis and uncertainty:

1. Don't cap your emotions

Emotions are your inner compass; they ground you in reality and help you empathize…


2020 is putting everyone’s leadership skills to the test.

For young leaders in particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented yet another global and economic challenge that they will have to overcome in their lifetimes. Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2020 calls this group a “resilient generation: in the face of unprecedented health and economic disruption caused by the pandemic, millennials remain committed to their values and beliefs.”

The Deloitte survey reveals that the pandemic has reinforced young leaders’ desire to drive positive change and push their businesses and leaders to make the world a better place.

Young leaders have the power…


Author: Rod Ben Zeev

One result of the COVID-19 crisis is that many people in organizations are struggling because they are feeling unseen. I spoke with fellow THNKer Mandy Chooi — an organization and leadership transformation consultant — about this phenomenon.

Mandy, are you observing this too?

I’ve been observing the same things. It seems to depend on the kind of company and the structure and culture of the company. Larger organizations have something called a crisis plan. And people are used to the fact that in the crisis plan, the first thing they talk about is essential and non-essential. …


At 13, THNK participant Elles Roeleveld knew she wanted to start a lingerie business. With an entrepreneur father and a mother who worked in a lingerie store, it was the perfect formula.

“My parents suggested I go to university and get a good education. I took that route and before I knew it, I had been at ING for 10 years, which I truly enjoyed. At the same time, I never forgot my dream of starting a business,” she says.

When Elles joined the THNK Executive Leadership Program, she had been working at ING for 10 years. …

THNK School of Creative Leadership

We design & facilitate transformational learning experiences for leaders to develop the mindsets & skills to solve the world's biggest challenges. www.thnk.org

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