The Helmholtz Leadership Academy

The corona crisis brings into sharp focus existing leadership topics and trends, such as moving your team into remote work and virtually leading dispersed teams as well as sense making and providing guidance to your team in times of uncertainty.

At the same time, the crisis has unleashed a great deal of creativity and momentum for change, potentially changing the way we work long-term.

We at the Helmholtz Leadership Academy therefore consider it of utmost importance to continue providing the Helmholtz Association and its leadership community with a platform to discuss their leadership challenges and share their learning experiences.

For current programs, the Academy is already developing and implementing virtual formats tailored specifically to each affected group, which aim to provide participants with this very opportunity and to allow them to continue with their respective leadership program.

In addition, the Academy has set up a #virtual leadership chat, offering all participants and alumni the opportunity to discuss and reflect on their current leadership challenges. If you are a participant or alumn and have not received an ivite to these events, please let us know.

Do not hesitate to contact us in case of any questions. The team of the Helmholtz Leadership Academy continues to be at your disposal via email or telephone. We will resume holding classes at Liebenberg as soon as possible and will keep participants updated in the meantime.



For us, learning is an innovation process and our programs are designed accordingly.

Within the overall program framework, participants have the freedom to self-organize their learning journey and may choose from among various options to set priorities according to their individual needs. We see ourselves as learning guides and input providers. Our goal is to ensure practice orientation and a perceptible value-add for participants. To achieve this goal, we integrate the in-class learning experience  with the transfer into professional practice.

Our learning formats are:

Kick-off/Retrospective: Programs start with a virtual kick-off. Participants get to know each other and their trainers and gain a deeper insight into the curriculum. At the end of the program, they review their learning experience in the so-called "retrospective".

Preparation: Already during the preparation for the camps, participants independently start working on the topics that will be addressed during in-class sessions. For this purpose, we will provide them with learning materials of different formats, e.g. texts, videos, podcasts, etc. Participants might also be expected to reflect on individual leadership challenges or work jointly with classmates to prepare cases.

Camp: Participants are free to set individual priorities for each camp. They are provided with a broad range of leadership tools and models and are given the opportunity to directly apply them to pressing leadership challenges they face at that moment. Thus they leave the camp with concrete solutions to try out at their place of work.

Testing: Between camps, participants have the opportunity to put to practice the strategies they developed to address their leadership challenges, to share their experiences and to network. During the next camp, participants jointly discuss their experiences in trying out these new strategies.

Deep Dive: Optional “Deep Dives” offer participants the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of specific topics. During the camps, participants jointly decide which topics to pursue further. “Deep Dives” are offered only as part of the program "Leading with impact" and typically take place virtually.

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  • Photo of Esther Strätz
  • Photo of Mandy Ritsche