Connecting to Co–Create: A time for Transformative Leadership

Article by: Armando Regil
Connecting to Co–Create:  A time for Transformative Leadership

Guest blog from Class 9 THNKer Armando Regil-Velasco.


Power shifts as we live the most disruptive time in history. The world is facing increasing complexity and very deep structural transformations. Better approaches to multiple challenges, new tools, and enhanced leadership are a necessity to rebuild confidence at the national, regional and global level.


In January 2016, I was invited among the 50 Global Shapers from around the world to attend the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. After a week of inspiring meetings and conversations with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, Queen Rania of Jordan, Bill Gates, and Prince Albert of Monaco among many other inspiring leaders, I met Mark Vernooij at the Gala Dinner. We had a great conversation where we both shared our journeys and common interest on Creative Leadership. He told me about the THNK Creative Leadership Program and suggested that I join the upcoming class.


This invitation came at the perfect time just when I was researching and working to create our own School of Creative Leadership and Innovation for leaders aiming to transform the government back in México and Latin America.

The power of co-creation

Two months later, I arrived in Amsterdam and joined Class 9 of the Creative Leadership Program. Since the beginning, it was an amazing personal journey that soon became one of the best experiences in my life. THNK felt like home. I really enjoyed each module, met friends who became a new family and worked hard on my endeavor that soon evolved into i2Co: School of Transformative Leadership.

Armando Regil
Armando Regil
 Founder & President
IPEA Institute
"THNK provided me the tools to open my eyes and my heart to explore new possibilities, to overturn conventional wisdom, and discover the creative leader that lived within myself. Throughout the four program modules, I challenged myself in many ways that took me out of my comfort zone allowing me to see the world with new and fresh eyes reminding me that everything is possible. I felt and understood the power of co-creation."

As a creative leader and THNKer, I have a strong determination to create and lead a more inclusive society. How? First, by suspending and discontinuing old habits of judging and operating in order to immerse into the reality that I want to transform in Mexico. Second, by re-directing how I look at problems; from my perspective to the viewpoint of other stakeholders in the ecosystem. At THNK, I learned how to make creative questions and cast creative teams in order to achieve what many still think impossible.

Leadership as an expression of humility

Today, it is evident that most people do not trust their leaders because leadership has become an expression of vanity. Recent events where social polarization has revived nationalism, populism and protectionism show a clear disconnect between those who lead and their followers. If we really want to be effective and solve the most pressing national, regional and global challenges, we need to understand that leadership is the highest expression of love and therefore it should be reframed as an expression of humility.

Inspired by his personal journey at THNK and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Armando founded i2Co: School of Transformative Leadership for leaders aiming to reimagine politics and governance.

Reimagining politics and governance

In order to shape a better future, I pledge to accelerate and enable other leaders to create big shifts to positively impact our communities and the world. Inspired by my personal journey at THNK and the many possibilities that the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings to all, we created i2Co: School of Transformative Leadership.

We are inviting leaders aiming to reimagine politics and governance to live an amazing journey (Co4i – Co-creation for Impact) that will allow us to shape a more inclusive future for all. This journey has two phases: i for Personal Mastery – to inspire and accelerate creative leaders (i Explore, i Open, i Connect, i Conduct and i Direct) and CO for Achieving Impact – to bring game-changing innovation processes that lead to creative solutions to help achieve systemic change and more citizen-centered outcomes (Co-Presencing, Co-Sensing, Co-Visioning, Co-Producing and Co-Implementing).

I hope that with the significant experience of some THNKers in public sector innovation, we can create a stronger THNK Public community to help each other. In August 2017, i2Co School’s first Class will come together in Mexico City to reimagine politics and governance through design and innovation.

Instead of fighting uncertainty let us embrace it. This is the path to serendipity where the magic of co-creation happens. I am optimistic because the future is not written. This is the most fascinating time in history to be alive. Let us be grateful and make it worthwhile!

Armando is one of the inspiring leaders who took part in Class 9 of the THNK Executive Leadership Program.

To discover the power of co-creation and to join the upcoming program, visit our program page.