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History

The Berlin School of Creative Leadership Campus and EMBA Students at Brandenburger Tor
Left: Berlin School Learning Centre on the River Spree, Berlin / Right: Class 1 at the Brandenburger Tor

The Berlin School of Creative Leadership was founded by a group of executives from the creative industries who believe that leadership is the key to raising the standards in their field. It began as a simple idea only a few years ago, begun as an initiative at the Art Director's Club Germany.

It was their view that the "creatives" in the creative industries should take more responsibility for leading their companies. In today's market, consistently high levels of creativity and innovation are the most important aspects of determining success in business. Who better to lead this than those who have risen through the ranks by practicing the craft themselves, be it as creative director, editor, producer, copywriter, marketer, designer, etc.

Another goal from the beginning was to "unite the silos", meaning bring together people from across the creative industries, which have in the past been relatively closed to each other. Since then we've seen industry trends like transmedia communication, branded entertainment and other developments make it clear that the industries we unite in the classroom are also intersecting more often in the marketplace.

Our initial goal of turning great creatives into great creative leaders captured people's attention, and the first class kicked off in 2006 with a global group of participants from industries like advertising, broadcasting, marketing and education. The first class graduated in 2008. Since then two new cohorts have begun the Executive MBA Program in Creative Leadership each year, with many graduation ceremonies to date.

In the meantime this idea has attracted top academic faculty from around the world, as well as leading industry figures who generously lend their time and energy to teach and lecture at the school.

Along the way, as word of the program spread from excited alumni (more than 60% of our participants now come via alumni referrals), the program has attracted more executive participants from positions that aren't necessarily creative, but who want to learn how to lead for creativity and innovation in their companies. "I'm not a creative per se, bit I've been working for more than a decade in the creative industries: may I come too?" is a common question for us. And the answer is yes.

And as our community has grown, so have our ambitions.

We are a young, vibrant organization with a short but colorful history. We invite you to get to know the people of the Berlin School, take a look at our latest videos, check out our curriculum, and be a part of our journey to help bring leadership excellence to the creative industries. 

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