Leading collectively towards a sustainable world is an art and a science. It is an art, because it is build on the creative human urge to contribute to our world’s evolution and it is a science, because we need to learn how to do it better than we have done it in the past.

Petra Kuenkel’s writings empower people to lead collectively, encourage them to participate in shaping the future, inspire them to make a difference and teach them how to co-create change in a collaborative way.

Stewarding Systems Change – A Conceptual Architecture for Transformative Designs

This Collective Leadership Study argues that systems change is the intention of billions of activists, change agents, game-changers, and ordinary people. They need to expand their competency to steward transformations collectively. Based on the Collective Leadership Compass, this volume proposes a conceptual architecture for transformative change designs in large systems that cuts through the complexity of change initiatives by bringing human beings back to where they belong: into the center of attention of systems change, and into their emotional connection with an aspiration for a sustainable and interdependent world.


A Pattern Approach to Stewarding Sustainability Transformation – How the 17 SDGs Can Become a Starting Point for Systemic Change

Large system change requires new collaborative leadership approaches. The ability to recognise and shift patterns through applying six principles based on living systems theory can shift collaboration processes away from individual concepts of leadership towards a more systematic patterned approach, especially when used with a methodological tool such as the Collective Leadership Compass.


Leveraging Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration for Systemic Change in Responsible Value Chains

This Collective Leadership Study aims at encouraging multi-level stakeholder collaboration for scaling the systemic change needed for the sustainability transformation in commodity sectors. It provides guidance for planning programmes and projects for responsible value chain promotion collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders.


Co-creation for Sustainability as a Societal Learning Journey

Chapter of the book “Lifelong Learning and Education in Healthy and Sustainable Cities” 978-3-319-69473-3.

The chapter suggests a structured methodological approach to collective learning – the Collective Leadership Compass – a guiding tool for transformational change processes in multi-stakeholder collaboration.


The Art of Leading Collectively

How to up-scale collaboration skills globally is one of the most important questions facing sustainability and social change professionals around the world, and it is a question that Petra Kuenkel answers in the forthcoming publication (Jan 2016) from Chelsea Green, US.


Empowering Young Professionals

Volume 3 of our ‪‎Collective ‪‎Leadership Series is dedicated to the leadership perspective and potential of young professionals. Often described as ‪Generation Y or Millennials, they not only are the leaders of tomorrow, but also hold the key for sustainable development today.


The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation

The implementation of sustainable development efforts often requires finding joint solutions to complex challenges and cooperation between different societal actors in order to pool expertise and resources. In chapter 10, Petra Künkel and Andrew Aitken discuss the main concepts related to multi-stakeholder partnerships and the key factors for their successful implementation.


Large Systems Change: A Special Theme Issue of The Journal of Corporate Citizenship

Petra Kuenkel’s Article on “Navigating Change in Complex Multi-Actor Settings: A Practice Approach to Better Collaboration”. The Special Issue will be essential reading for those researching in this emerging field, and practitioners looking for the latest thinking on how LSC may be a solution to global challenges.
You can download the article here.


Stakeholder Dialoge erfolgreich gestalten

With regards to Collective Leadership for Sustainability, this book offers a conceptual framework, a methodological approach and many cases studies which show what can be possible when various people from different backgrounds come together to bring forward sustainability interests. This work is based on a perennial process of exchange, learning, and collaborative reflection.

Führung mit Sinn

Meaningful Leadership: How managers create future accountability

This book supports leaders who have made a commitment to the path of sustainable leadership. It teaches them how to ask uncomfortable questions and how to re-define their leadership contribution step by step .

The book also addresses leaders who, as a result of societal change, inner crises or change in their companies re-question their own core values and how to conciliate these values with their professional tasks.

On the basis of 14 coaching conversations – with leaders from eight different countries – and interviews with a number of well known leaders, Petra Kuenkel shows how we can reconnect with the deeper theme of our journey to meaningfulness.
English Text for Führung mit Sinn to come soon.

Shifting the Way We Co-create

In order to explore the patterns and factors that help facilitate a collective way of leading for sustainability, practitioners from the private sector, the public sector, and civil society have been interviewed who brought forward essential steps in sustainable development.


Stakeholder Dialogues – Skills for Better Collaboration

Working towards a more sustainable world requires bringing together differing world views and balancing conflicts of interests. This practical guide supports you in planning, implementing, & evaluating successful, result-oriented consultation & cooperation between different stakeholders. Also available in German, French & Arabic.


Mind and Heart

How can leaders use life and leadership experience to make a more meaningful contribution to the world? This book leads us into the inner world of leadership that we often tend to deny: the intuitive insight that at the core of our leadership journey is our contribution to the collective evolutionary process.


Navigating Complex Change

The conceptual background and application of the Collective Leadership Compass for empowering individuals and groups of leaders to navigate complex change in collaboration.



Empowering individuals, supporting transformation and building networks leads to resilient human systems.



The Collective Leadership Institute is a not-for-profit social enterprise with the mission to scale-up collaboration skills globally for responsible businesses, people oriented public service and a strong civil society.

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The Compass in a nutshell

Developed by Executive Director Petra Kuenkel and derived from 20 years of practice in complex multi-stakeholder settings around system’s change for sustainability as well as scientific exploration, the compass is both a diagnose tool and a process methodology.


The Collective Leadership Compass and its dimensions

Understand that innovation for the future is created in a collaborative approach


The Art of Leading Collectively

The art and the science of navigating complex change in collaboration


The Collective Leadership Compass

meta-level guiding tool for shifting the way we co-create and navigating complex change in collaboration



Petra Kuenkel’s speeches encourage people to participate in shaping the future, inspire them to make a difference and teach them how to co-create change in a collaborative way.

Global WIN Conference

The Collective Leadership Compass as a fractal for large systems change

There is a lot of collaboration in the world, but do we collaborate in a way that gets us faster to the solutions we need?


Publications by Petra Kuenkel:

Kuenkel, P. (2017): Collaboration in Action: From supporting projects to funding Partnerships in SDG Knowledge Hub. International Institute on Sustainable Development (IISD). http://sdg.iisd.org/commentary/guest-articles/collaboration-in-action-from-supporting-projects-to-funding-partnerships/

Kuenkel, P. (2017): A Pattern Approach to Sustainability Transformation – How the 17 SDG Can Become a Starting Point for Systemic Change, Collective Leadership Series, Working Paper, No 4; The Collective Leadership Institute: Potsdam/Germany

Kuenkel, P. (2017): Building competences for partnering: how donors can ensure multi-stakeholder partnerships succeed. (Briefing Note 95). Maastricht: ECDPM. http://ecdpm.org/publications/building-competences-partnering/

Kuenkel, P. (2017):  Die Zukunft von Führung ist kollektiv – was zukunftsorientierte Unternehmen auf dem Weg zu einem anderen Wirtschaften von Multi-Akteursinitiativen lernen können, in Daniels, K., Hollmann, J. Anders wirtschaften-  Integrale Impulse für eine plurale Ökonomie, Gabler

Kuenkel, P. (2016): Making America Great Again! Huffington Post, USA, 16.11.2016 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/petra-kuenkel/making-america-great-agai_2_b_12952086.html

Kuenkel, P. (2016): Shifting Focus: From Events to Collaborative Process. Huffington Post, USA, 17.10.2016 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/petra-kuenkel/shifting-focus-from-event_b_12451190.html

Kuenkel, P. (2016): No Exit – Collaboration is Our Only Option. Huffington Post, USA, 23.9.2016 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/petra-kuenkel/living-systems-have-no-ex_b_12046988.html

Kuenkel, P. (2016): For Better Or Worse: Will You Say YES To Collaboration? Huffington Post, USA, 28.8.2016 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/petra-kuenkel/for-better-or-worse-will-_b_11722596.html

 Kuenkel, P. (2016): The World Is In Trouble: What Are YOU Doing About It? Huffington Post, USA, 16.8.2016  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/petra-kuenkel/the-world-is-in-trouble-w_b_11473934.html

Kuenkel, P. (2016): The 6 commandments of successful collaboration. Green Biz, USA, 02.7.2016 https://www.greenbiz.com/article/6-commandments-successful-collaboration

Kuenkel, P. (2016): Führung mit Sinn: Wie Manager verantwortlich Zukunft gestalten, Springer Gabler

Kuenkel, P., Gerlach, S. , Frieg, V. (2016): Stakeholder Dialoge erfolgreich gestalten, Springer Gabler

Kuenkel, P. (2016): The Art of Leading Collectively – Co-creating a Sustainable, Socially Just Future, Chelsea Green, USA

Kuenkel, P. (2015): Navigating Change in Complex Multi-Actor Settings: A Practice Approach to Better Collaboration, The Journal of Corporate Citizenship (JCC), Issue 58 on Large Systems Change, Greenleaf Publications

Kuenkel, P., Buddenberg, J., Aitken, A., Wagener, H. (2015): Empowering Young Professionals. Vol 3. Collective Leadership Publishing

Kuenkel, P., Aitken, A. (2015): Key Factors for the Successful Implementation of Stakeholder Partnerships: The Case of the African Cashew Initiative, in: Bitzer, V., Hamann, R., Hall, M., Griffin-EL, E.W. (Eds.), The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation – New Frontiers in Africa. Springer

Kuenkel, P. (2014): Navigating Complex Change – How We Can Master the Challenges of Stakeholder Collaboration. Vol 2. Collective Leadership Publishing.

Kuenkel, P., Schaefer, K. (2013) Shifting the way we co-create: How we can turn the challenges of sustainability into opportunities. Vol 1. Collective Leadership Publishing.

Kuenkel, P. (2013): Ten ingredients for embedding sustainability into leadership
the Guardian, UK

Kuenkel, P. (2013): Stakeholder engagement: a practical guide the guardian, UK

Kuenkel, P. (2013): Sustainability leadership: how can we combine flatland and wonderland? The guardian, UK

Kuenkel, P. (2013): Leadership for sustainability: the art of engaging
the guardian, UK

Kuenkel, P. (2013): Collaborative leadership for sustainable development
the guardian, UK

Kuenkel, P., Pooya, N.; Gross, M. (2012) Visionen entwickeln – was wir von der Generation Y lernen können, Organisationsentwicklung, Zeitschrift für Unternehmensentwicklung und Change Management, 04-2012, Handelsblatt Fachmedien GmbH

Kuenkel, P., Gerlach, S. and Frieg, V. (2011) Stakeholder Dialogues: Key Concepts and Competencies for Achieving Common Goals – a practical guide for change agents from public sector, private sector and civil society. Potsdam: Collective Leadership Institute Publishing, also available in French, Spanish, German and Arabic.

Kuenkel, P. et al (2009): The Common Code for the Coffee Community, in: Volmer, D., Enhancing the Effectiveness of Sustainability Partnerships, National Academies Press

Kuenkel, P. (2008) Mind and Heart – Mapping Your Personal Leadership Journey Towards Sustainability, Potsdam: Collective Leadership Institute Publishing.

Kuenkel, P. (2004) Das Dialogische Prinzip als Führungsmodell in der Praxis, Zeitschrift für Organisationsentwicklung (ZOE) 01- 2004, Handelsblatt Fachmedien GmbH