Thursday 23 November, just after 1 pm. Moderator Giulietta Marani opens the MAD event by asking the 60 people attending this annual conference on public leadership who considers him- or herself a public leader. The yes- and no-diagram on the screen behind her start growing and when all the votes are in, we see that just over half of all participants don’t see themselves as leaders.
On the 23rd of November, around 60 MAD people gathered at the Timmerhuis in Rotterdam, to join the Public Leadership Foundation’s annual conference on public leadership. And what an afternoon it was! Kick started by an opening vote on who considered him- or herself a public leader (50% of all participants!), 4 MAD leaders took the stage to pitch on how they Make A Difference through EPIC Leadership:
- For Energy, Eduard Schmidt shared the story of Stichting Blikverruimers, who are diversifying advisory boards, by promoting the inclusion of young talent. The energy and persistence with which Blikverruimers is breaking open the world of advisory boards provided an exciting kick off of the event.
- For Purpose, Dutch young civil servant of the year Teun Meulepas pitched his MAD story about the importance of purpose in leadership, illustrated by the stories of people he met on his journey cycling from the Netherlands to Capetown.
- For Identity, Linde Nieman of the Young Climate Movement explained how her organisation represents the voice of young people in the climate debate, by taking action and presenting their own climate agenda.
- For Courage, Deloitte’s Louise van Loon inspired the audience with her pitched about the importance of mistakes: to make a difference, you have to dare to fall down once in a while! Or as she put it at the beginning of her pitch: “Chase your sparkle, even if it’s scary and no-one believes in it”.
It was just the beginning of an exciting edition of the MAD event, that continued to inspire us with four different workshops. With topics varying from the use of EPIC leadership while dealing with complex issues like how to create inclusive organisations (Abigail Norville) and finding new innovative ways to tackle societal problems (Louise van Loon) to leading by inspiring (Diantha Spekman), participants applied new ways of leadership thinking to concrete challenges within our organisations and society. Furthermore, a group put their leadership to the test in Eduard Schmidt’s serious game about managing cutbacks in the Dutch prison system.
In the third round, it was time to join the conversation in small scale meeting sessions. Besides the MAD stories of Blikverruimers and the Young Climate Movement, topics like personal leadership development, the importance of purpose in leadership and gender equality were discussed in groups of five to seven people, to share ideas and come up with new insights.
When – at the final wrap up – moderator Giulietta Marani asked the audience the same question as at the beginning of the event, the amount of public leaders in the room had doubled! A clear sign that the stories of MAD leaders taking initiative, the workshops given by our amazing partners and the conversations about being MAD through EPIC leadership managed to inspire all of us to move forward and keep Making A Difference. It made that we as a Public Leadership Foundation look back with excitement: thank you all for making #MAD2017 truly MAD!
Check out more information about the #MAD-event here. The 25th of January the Public Leadership Foundation organises a #MAD Follow-up to further explore MAD Leadership. Contact us by firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join this movement!
Check out the photo’s of #MAD2017: