THNK – THE AMSTERDAM SCHOOL OF CREATIVE LEADERSHIP (, today hosted an  interactive lunch and workshop at Idiom’s DREAM:IN Centre.

THNK is a new international educational foundation, with a mission to accelerate the development of future generations of creative leaders. Its board and faculty, as well as the network, are international in their composition.

THNK played host today to a mixed group of innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders and future-makers from Bangalore at the intersection of business, social, public and creative sectors.

Among the participants were Sonia Manchanda, Director of Idiom, and leaders from IBM, Ashoka Foundation, Fields of View, INK, Embrace, India Innovation Labs, and other enterprises.

THNK’s mission to Bangalore was mainly to set up a network and ecosystem of partners, ambassadors, and participants, and to explore opportunities for a THNK Hub in India.

The workshop began with each participant identifying a favorite creative leader. The names that came up most often were Mahatma Gandhi and Steve Jobs alongside those of Copernicus, Edison, Phil Knight, Ramesh Ramanathan, Erik Satie, Richard Branson, Dashrath Patel, Bill Hewlett, David Packard, Stewart Brand and Ramanujan.

Dinesh and Bas then introduced the gathering to the executive programs that THNK offers with experimental approaches to learning and blended/interdisciplinary contents through: 1) Forum, a kaleidoscope of expert dialogues about future transitions, 2) Challenge, the application of creative problem solving and design-thinking methods to real-life social-economic challenges, 3) Quest, customized personal and peer-to-peer coaching and interventions, and 4) Accelerator, a 1-year personal challenge project with extended coaching ‘back-on-the-job’.

Participants also got to know the THNK creative flow made up of the art of sensing, art of visioning, art of prototyping and art of scaling.

THNK’s future mission is to take the program to India, China and Brazil and to locate a hub in India, the reason why a 50 member team which includes the Mayor of Amsterdam and representatives of the Amsterdam Economic Board, has been in Mumbai and now Bangalore.

The participants were now taken into a creative exercise to identify topics or themes and to pinpoint the core belief behind it as well as four supporting pillar-beliefs behind it. They then had to frame the opposite beliefs and reframe the core belief so as to see if a new paradigm was possible. The different groups then made presentations based on the reframed core belief on their respective topics.

The topics identified included: Urban mobility and happiness, state of public utilities like clean drinking water supply, radical improvement of the girl child’s education in rural India,  bringing about a balance between those who have too much technology and information and those who have none, democracy or no, tackling government paralysis, enabling election finances without perverse initiatives, etc.

THNK was launched in Amsterdam on March 19 and are in India a week later. “It is crazy,” says Bas, “But we will be back in two to three months time to consolidate in India.” In Bangalore, THNK has scheduled a series of high-powered meetings with IBM, Infosys, Biocon and other leading ventures, entrepreneurs and investors.



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