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 2017

4th Global ECLF Summit

Innovating Learning Through
Cross-Boundary Collaboration

July 4-6, 2017

Erste Bank Group Campus
Vienna, Austria


Boundaries are a fascinating phenomenon, a double-edged sword: They provide identity and as such security, comfort, and orientation. But they are also barriers that constrain us, as they inhibit collaboration and contribute to silo culture and an inward orientation of organizations. 

Today, boundaries are constantly challenged through digital transformation dynamics which shake up traditional functional roles and established market and stakeholder relationships. We are in a process of (inter)organizational reconfiguration that requires dealing with boundaries in new and creative ways.

This is a great opportunity as boundaries constitute the essential space where learning and innovation happens, on an individual, organizational, and strategic level. Only if we “play at the edge”, “reach across the aisle”, or “expose ourselves to the unknown”, we can transcend existing paradigms, mindsets, and behavioral patterns. 

Approaches such as hackathons, co-creation architectures, start-up incubators, creativity labs etc. are capitalizing on this insight; yet, they often remain alien islands within the dominant operating model of organizations. Facing rigid boundaries of old processes, structures and mindsets, they have a hard time to “cross over” and make a real difference.

The same holds true when it comes to innovating learning. If we want to enable a culture of learnership which is driven by learners and embedded in the business processes of the firm, the learning function must cross the chasm. It must engage in novel ways with internal and external stakeholders to jointly create a collaborative thrust towards a shared accountability for the corporate learning agenda - and reshaping its identity in the process.

This is a difficult and delicate task, requiring courage, political skills, the willingness to give up dear habits, acquire a new mindset, new capabilities, and embark on a joint learning journey with functional peers and the relevant external environment.


Conference Topic Overview

Our 2017 summit is dedicated to shed more light on this big issue by jointly developing a deeper understanding about the nature of boundaries, and ways to design and manage them effectively. Some questions that come to mind in this context are:

  • What are the most important stakeholders that L&D needs to deal with if it wants to become an enabler of an ubiquitous self-driven learning culture?
  • What kind of boundaries exist between these stakeholders and today's learning function?
  • What holds us back when it comes to cross-boundary collaboration?
  • Which systems and mechanisms can help foster collaboration across functional/divisional/organizational boundaries? Are they different for the various stakeholders?
  • Through which interventions can L&D contribute to a culture of co-creation and cross-boundary collaboration? How can we leverage collaborative technologies in that context?
  • How can L&D engage with Strategy, Innovation, IT, Communication, Marketing, and business operations to foster a culture of ubiquitous learning accountability?
  • How can L&D collaborate with stakeholders of the extended enterprise (customers, suppliers, regulators, partners, co-opetitors etc.) to jointly drive learning and innovation? Are platforms a solution?
  • How can we assure functional expertise and professional identity without paying the price of a silo culture?


As always, we will approach these questions with our traditional mix of member-driven analytical deep-dive and peer-sharing of experiences and perspectives. To extend our dialogue beyond the boundaries of HR, we encourage you to bring along senior colleagues from the areas such as Innovation, Transformation, Strategy, Communication, IT, Marketing or Sales.


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:

  • Helmut Schoenenberger, Co-founder and CEO of UnternehmerTUM - one of the world's most recognized innovation clusters that combines cutting edge venture development with Europe's largest Makerspace to create a unique learning architecture - will share with us the cornerstones of its operating model: a complex multi-stakeholder organization that seamlessly bridges the worlds of research, learning, start-ups, government, and large corporates. 

  • A conversation with Frank Piller, a global thought leader on Innovation Architectures and Customer Driven Value Creation, will provide insights into the value chain dynamics of strategic and organizational innovation, with special focus on the role of the L&D function.

  • We will take an in-depth look on Erste Group's approach to innovation in tough industry conditions, with special emphasis on new digital banking initiatives. Partners in conversation will be Andreas Treichl (CEO), Birte Quitt (Head Group Retail Strategy) and Boris Marte (Head of Innovation Hub).
  • A cross-functional panel of senior leaders  will share their perspectives on collaborating across boundaries, and discuss sucess stories and failures in their efforts to drive innovation, transformation, and learning through multi-stakeholder engagement.
  • In our traditional workshop mode, we will also gather in smaller groups to dig deeper into various dimensions of the our topic such as mechanisms for cross-boundary collaboration, internal stakeholder orchestration, leveraging resources outside the enterprise, and more. 
  • Kai Liebert, head of Siemens' Global Learning Campus, will share with us his efforts to leverage Artificial Intelligence for large-scale personalized learning curation, and the stakeholder dynamics that must be mastered in  this context.
  • 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 dinner in the midst of the vineyards in the Viennese Woods





Event Venue

The event will take place at the new headquarters of Erste Bank Group in the Center of Vienna:

Erste Bank Campus
Am Belvedere 1
1100 Vienna

(see map)

The Campus is located in walking distance from Vienna main railway station and only a short 20 minute taxi ride from Vienna international airport. You may also want to take a 20 minutes train to the main station. Please visit the bank's website for more detailed maps and directions.



we have blocked rooms in 2 hotels that are in walking distance to the venue:

ATH Savoyen Vienna (4*  |  room rate €140)  
Rennweg 16, 1030 Vienna  |  map  |  website
Phone: +43 (1) 206 33-9109
Direct ECLF booking link: 
15 minute walk to venue  |  8 minutes with tram

Star Inn Hauptbahnhof (3* premium  |  room rate €140)  
directly at main railway station  |  map  |  website
Phone: +43 (1) 23 59 009
Email for booking:
5 minute walk to venue

Please make your reservation directly with the hotel and mention ECLF to receive the special rate. Hotel reservation deadline is June 3, after which the block will be released.


Dress Code

Business casual


Registration and Costs

Please note that this event is restricted to ECLF members and invited guests. If you are not a member and would like to receive an invitation please contact us

The costs for attending this event are as follows:

- ECLF members:  FREE
- guests from member companies (if not included in membership): $1,500
- guests from non-member companies: $3,000

The fees includes all meals but do not include accommodation.


To register for the event, please click HERE 



For questions regarding registration, program, and invitation requests please contact

For questions regarding logistics please contact Brigitte Raschka from Erste Group at


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.