THNK Creative Leadership Program celebrates official opening

THNK Creative Leadership Program celebrates official opening

On 19 March 2012, THNK celebrated the official opening of its flagship program and new home at the Westergasfabriek. The international group of founding participants, special guests and creative leaders involved with THNK, were welcomed by Amsterdam municipal councilor Carolien Gehrels. In her word of welcome, she stressed the importance of creative minds for the development of the city of Amsterdam.


"Creative leadership is having your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground", said founding dean, Stefano Marzano. THNK cofounder Bas Verhart praised the founding participants for their explorative mindset. “It takes vision and guts to enroll in such a new program, purely on the basis of a shared vision and passion”, said Verhart. “These founding participants have been selected out of 400 candidates. They are true pioneers in their own field.”


Many of the creative leaders who support the institute joined THNK’s staff at the THNK Home at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek to take part in the official opening celebrations. Among them were director and cofounder of Droog Design Renny Ramakers, who Newsweek recently named one of the “150 women that shake the world”, principal architect and cofounder of UNStudio Ben van Berkel and world-renowned designer Marcel Wanders (both THNK advisory board members).

THNK Creative Leadership Program

On 19 March 2012, THNK celebrated the official opening of its flagship program and new home at the Westergasfabriek.

A new and unique international school of Creative Leadership

Cofounder Menno van Dijk explained that THNK is an international educational institute that targets professionals from around the world, with the goal of orchestrating innovation that really matters. “Our increasingly complex world demands a new generation of creative leaders; people with vision, curiosity, empathy – and the ability to push through”, said Van Dijk. “THNK will offer a different perspective and a program that will make things happen.”

Participants from 13 different countries and 4 continents

The spirit of innovation and the drive, passion and courage required to become a true creative leader is also reflected in the backgrounds of the 30 founding participants, representing 13 different countries. Their profiles are as impressive as they are diverse, with a median working experience of ten years in seven different sectors, including 60% men and 40% women. They are all pioneering, action-oriented global citizens, winners of such prestigious fellowships as Ashoka, TED, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bellagio residency and creative industry prizes such as Cannes Lions and red dot awards. They are a mixture of successful dropouts and Harvard Alumni.

To join the THNK Creative Leadership Program, visit the program page or contact us at