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NRW educational leaders collaborate to shape the future

By Karla Schlaepfer
Collaboration, Design Thinking, Future Work

Escape room challenge, with an agile mindset in the historic Essener hotel Margartenhof.

An architecturally beautiful heritage hotel was the setting where a team of CEOs gathered to engage and learn about human-centered design thinking.

The 2-day retreat was an event provided by the Rheinische Stiftung für Bildung for and with their managing directors. It provided the opportunity for participants to align for the first time on a common set of values and understand the Foundation’s vision. In focus was the “eyeball to eyeball” setting. Meeting in person for the first time!

Highlight was not the marshmallow challenge, but the team-based adventure in the Escape Room (with live 🧟‍♂️mummies) – which truly brought the group into warp decision-making speed!

This activity forged the participants quickly into a “team”. They had to rely on agile thinking, effective communication, and collaboration to solve riddles and escape within a limited timeframe. The Escape Room experience not only heightened their problem-solving abilities but also created an atmosphere of camaraderie and of course, 😊 teamwork.

The collaborative experience set the stage for strong relationship-building among the diverse leadership group. The managers shared insights, best practices, and success stories, inspiring one another to explore innovative approaches in their respective fields. These networking opportunities fostered a sense of unity, enabling participants to envision collaborations that could shape educational strategies and re-employment projects.

My part centered on providing the VUCA world context. Within this context, the structure for a Design Thinking Dash. As the facilitator and discussion moderator for the workshop, my role was to guide the leaders through the exploration of design thinking 👀, ensuring a concise understanding of its agile principles and tools in an ultra-short time frame.

Design thinking, in its essence 😉, is a human-centered approach to problem-solving and opportunity discovery. It encourages empathy, creativity, and collaboration among diverse stakeholders.

The positive feedback received from the team affirmed the workshop’s success. The participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to be part of such an impactful experience. Several highlighted the value they gained from the input, discussions, and practical tools.

I extend my 💕 heartfelt thanks to all for their active involvement! Impressive was the willingness to embrace design thinking as a powerful approach to addressing challenges and exploring opportunities.

Thank you to the hosts 👏🏻@Rheinische Stiftung für Bildung for bringing it all together!

Karla Schlaepfer