Focus on Thought Leadership Meeting

Focus on Thought Leadership – Leading Technological Transformation

October 10-11, 2019

SAID Business School
University of Oxford


To provide more opportunities for members of the ECLF community to connect in a meaningful way,  we are launching a new meeting format called “Focus on Thought Leadership”. 

Complementing our annual summit and our traditional Focus on Practice meetings, we are planning for 1-2 additional events per year which will last two half days, from noon to noon. They will provide the opportunity to meet and discuss issues relevant to your profession with leading scholars from renowned universities, think tanks, and research centers. There will be no additional costs for ECLF members.

The first of such meetings will take place from October 10-11 at Oxford University. In a series of  interactive sessions with top faculty members from SAID Business School, we will discuss technological trends, the resulting scenarios for business and society, and the implications for leadership and organization.

As space is limited, seats will be allocated on a first com first serve basis, giving priority to senior primary members.  


Together with Oxford Saïd’s faculty we will explore contemporary areas related to technological transformation and the challenges they present for strategic leadership and organisation:


Chris Kutarna on Global Mega Trends
Now is humanity’s best moment - and its most fragile. Global health, wealth and education are booming. Scientific discovery is flourishing. But the same forces that make big gains possible for some of us deliver big losses to others—and tangle us together in ways that make everyone vulnerable.  We are living in a second Renaissance and we can flourish—if we heed the urgent lessons of history. During this first scene setting session we will explore how.


Trudi Lang on Scenarios Thinking
Often organisations have a single strategy approach to technology based on the analysis of forecasts, trends and the assumption that tomorrow will not be that radically different from today.   Scenarios thinking is a practical approach that enables executive teams to think in new ways and create credible stories of the future that challenge conventional wisdom and in that way identifies potential disruptors that could emerge.  This allows strategy to be stress tested and, if necessary, modified to withstand or harness disruption.


Marc Ventresca on Leadership and the Humanities
As we grapple with all the challenges that disruption brings, where can we look for ideas to inspire our leadership practice?  The humanities study human society and culture including ethics, creativity, communication, philosophy, politics and history,  all of which can provide inspiration and creative solutions for today’s challenges.  Our discussion will focus on how the humanities can inform leadership and what practical interventions can be applied.


Eleanor Murray on Making Change Happen (Executive Panel Discussion)
We will wrap up the FoTL meeting with a panel conversation between selected ECLF members and Eleanor, who specializes in how change is constructed in organizations and systems. What approaches work,  what else could be done in the light of fresh perspectives? How should leaders resilience-proof their business, to anticipate and respond to the spectrum of current and future disruption?


You can download the detailed schedule of the meeting here.


This link will help you to travel to the City of Oxford.


Event Venue

Our Focus on Thought Leadership Meeting will take place at Saïd Business School at Oxford University. 

SAID Business School  website  |  map
Oxford University
Park End Street
Oxford OX1 1HP
United Kingdom

Click here to learn how to best get to Oxford University



Marriott Courtyard has just opened a brand new hotel in 8 minute walking distance to Oxford University. 

Courtyard Oxford City Center   |   website  |  map
15 Paradise Street
Oxford OX1 1LD
United Kingdom
+44 (1865) 306900

Please make your reservation directly with the hotel.

We were able to reserve a dicounted block rooms for our group at a rate of GBP 158 including breakfast, which will be only available until September 1, 2019.

Please mention the code ECLF when booking your room. After this deadline, rooms are not guaranteed, and regular rates apply.


Dress Code

Business casual


For all questions regarding logistics please contact


For all questions related to the event please contact


Please register by September 15, 2019 by obtaining a "ticket" via eventbrite.




Special Terms for this Meeting

  • Space for this meeting is limited
  • Registrations will be treated on a first come first serve basis
  • Priority will be given to primary members
  • All others will be waitlisted until the registration deadline expires (September 15)



The meeting is free of charge for ECLF members.

Provided space is available after the registration deadline, the folllowing terms apply:

  • Guests from member companies pay a 50% discounted fee of USD 600.
  • Guests from non-member companies pay a nominal fee of USD 1,200

If you are not a member and would like to receive an invitation, please contact

Annual ECLF conference 2016

3rd Global ECLF Summit

Digital Leadership - Digital Transformation: 
Corporate Reinvention in the Digital Age

July 4-6, 2016

Bertelsmann Unter den Linden 1
Berlin, Germany


Over the last five years, the transformational dynamics of digitalization have significantly increased.  There is virtually no industry that remains untouched by the disruptive change that come with the digital ballgame, and dealing with “digital transformation” ranks on top of the agenda of most of our member companies today.

Digital transformation is a complex topic. It relates not only to the well explored domains of social media, big data, and the new paradigm of marketing communications. What is at stake is the fundamental question how winning firms will compete in the future, and the organizational capabilities that are required to succeed. As the foundations of 20th century business paradigms continue to erode, corporate reinvention is not optional anymore; it has become a necessity for survival.

With our traditional mix of member-driven analytical deep-dive and peer-sharing of experiences, the 3rd ECLF Global Summit – our 12th annual Conference - will provide the opportunity to dig deeper into these issues, looking at questions like business model innovation, the transformational challenges that come with the digital disruption, and the related new (and old) leadership capabilities that are required to cope with all this.   

Conference Topic Overview

Our 3rd Global ECLF summit will take a closer look at this conundrum. To narrow the discourse, we will focus less on the technical aspects of digital transformation but rather on its impact on leadership, strategy, and organization. Questions that come to mind are:

  • What are the strategic challenges organizations face in light of the dynamics of pervasive digitalization? What are the threats and opportunities that come with the new rules of the game?
  • What mindset and skill set do business leaders need to capitalize on the opportunities that come with digital disruption? What organizational capabilities must companies develop in this respect?
  • How can organizations best navigate the treacherous journey towards new business models, revenue models and operating models?
  • How can this journey be designed as a strategic and organizational learning experience? What are design principles and interventions that can support the process? What are the implications for the role of L&D?
  • What role can social technologies play to drive and support digital transformation?


As always, the three days of our summit are designed as a highly interactive and collaborative mix of top level expert input, case studies from our members, and peer-to-peer exchange. Some highlights:

  • Tim Steigert, Head of Digital Innovation and Strategy GE Europe, will help frame the complex topic of the summit.
  • We will take an in-depth look on Bertelsmann’s business portfolio transformation, with special emphasis on the successful turnaround of the Music Business and the emerging new digital education business group. Partners in conversation will be Immanuel Hermreck (CHRO), Kay Krafft (CEO Education Group) and Steven Moran (EVP and Head Bertelsmann University, formerly COO Bertelsmann Music Group)
  • Members from AXA, Cisco, Otto Group, and German Rail, who all are engaged in digital transformation efforts, will share their experience on a panel, relating it to insights from Bertelsmann.
  • Together with Philipp Gerbert, Managing Partner at BCG who leads the firm's global initiative in digital strategy we will explore how to design successful transformation initiatives by addressing current opportunities while preparing for more fundamental medium- to long-term moves.
  • A conversation with Philipp Hermann, CEO of etventure, will provide insights into enablers and barriers of digital transformation projects and explore the productive friction between the universe of start-ups and large corporate players.
  • In our traditional workshop mode, we will also gather in smaller groups to dig deeper into various dimensions of the Digital Transformation Challenge, such as threats and opportunities, leadership mindsets, organizational capability shifts, stakeholder dynamics, and more.
  • Also, as always, we will have our popular peer-to-peer Focus on Members Issues session...
  • ... and ample time for informal conversation and catching-up, for instance during a Rooftop Dinner and an evening River Cruise through Berlin.






Bertelsmann Representative Office
Unter den Linden 1
10117 Berlin  |  Germany                                             
Venue website                                                         Map


Arcotel John F Berlin
Werderscher Markt 11
10117 Berlin  |  Germany

Tel: +49 30 4050460
email:                         Hotel website


Please make your hotel reservation via at the special rate of €156 including breakfast. To receive an ECLF room, bookings must be done through Petra - they cannot be done through direct booking. 

Hotel reservation deadline:  May 6, 2016


To register please send an email to for detailed instructions.
Please note that attendance is restricted to ECLF members and invited guests.


For questions regarding the program as well as invitation requests please contact For questions regarding logistics please contact Petra Runschke at


For questions regarding the program as well as invitation requests please contact For questions regarding logistics please contact Petra Runschke at


To register please send an email to for detailed instructions.
Please note that attendance is restricted to ECLF members and invited guests.


June 24-26, 2020

For details please click on the individual event.


Hosted by member companies, ECLF annual summits are the highlight of the year, bringing together ECLF members from more than a dozen of countries to engage in an intellectually and socially inspiring dialogue which is the hallmark of ECLF's culture.

Each conference is dedicated to exploring a strategic challenge of the practice.