Berlin School of Creative Leadership
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Berlin School of Creative Leadership is an international business school headquartered in Berlin. The school was founded in 2006 with the purpose of ‘furthering the development of leadership executives in the creative industries’. The Berlin School offers two primary streams of learning – a Global Executive MBA in Creative Leadership Program and a catalogue of non-degree Executive Education programs.
As part of Steinbeis-Hochschule Berlin, the school offers an accredited Executive Master of Business Administration degree to its Executive MBA graduates. The school’s curriculum is aimed towards mid-career creative professionals from around the world, working in fields such as advertising, media, marketing, and design. The Berlin School is a registered non-profit organization.
The Berlin School of Creative Leadership was founded in 2006 by a group executives and academics from creative industries. The school was initiated in partnership with Art Directors Club Germany and the School of Management and Innovation, a branch of Germany's private business school, Steinbeis University.
Since its founding, the Berlin School of Creative Leadership has offered a part-time Global Executive MBA and Executive Education programs designed for professionals in creative industries. Programs are taught in the English language, with participants and alumni coming from over 60 countries. Michael Conrad, former Creative Director of Leo Burnett Worldwide, Inc., has been President of the school since its inception.
Global Executive MBA Program
The Executive MBA in Creative Leadership is a Master’s degree program designed for those with significant professional experience looking to develop further as leaders, and to pursue innovation and change in their fields. Participants range from high-level executives and CEOs, as well as entrepreneurs and independent business owners. While many initial graduates were advertising industry executives, recent classes have included entrepreneurs, journalists, radio executives, gaming professionals, and TV producers, as well as brand managers from global banks and insurance companies.
The part-time structure of the program is designed fit flexibly around a full-time developing career. The program is taught through a series of five two-week module residencies, situated in various global hubs. Each participant completes all five modules in the order of their choice, with three residencies in Berlin, as well as one in Asia and another in the US. Previous residencies have taken place in New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Berkeley.
The Berlin School curriculum is designed to be highly interactive, allowing degree candidates work closely with veteran international faculty members as well as industry thought-leaders. Guest speakers have included Sir John Hegarty (Bartle Bogle Hegarty), David Droga (Saatchi & Saatchi), and Keith Reinhard (DDB Worldwide Inc). As well as classes and seminars, participants also complete group projects and a final Master's Thesis.
Applications to the program are accepted on a rolling basis, with start modules taking place every March and September.
The core mission of the school is 'to turn great creatives into great creative leaders' with a vision to have a 'Creative CEO in every creative enterprise'. The program includes the same foundation courses expected of any Executive MBA program, but tailors these to the creative industries, using case studies, scholarly journals, group projects, and 'President's lectures' given by executives in the creative field.
Participants who successfully complete all academic program requirements and defend their research thesis earn the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Creative Leadership degree, conferred by Steinbeis University Berlin and accredited by the Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA).
The Executive Education program features regular and one-off programing throughout the year, aimed both at organizations and individual professionals. The program features a range of ‘Navigator Programs’ – one to four-day courses and workshops focusing on specific leadership-related topics including digital transformation, change management, and value-creation. The school also hosts regular ‘Partner Programs’ - workshops, seminars, and events in partnership with other industry organizations. Past partners have included Berkely Executive Coaching Institute, Radiodays Europe, and dmexco. Many of the school’s Executive Education courses and workshops have been hosted as part of global industry events and festivals, including its most well-known Cannes Creative Leadership Programme, which has been held in partnership with Cannes Lions since 2010. The Executive Education stream also includes custom programs – bespoke consultation offerings designed around the specific needs and strategies of a company or team.