Frequently Asked Questions

Our Frequently Asked Question section allows you to find answers to the questions we’re typically asked about our programs, locations, and more.

If you have a particular question that isn’t answered here, please email us at amsterdam@thnk.org or contact us directly at +31 206842506.

Executive Leadership Program

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What is the purpose of the course?

The aim of the Executive Leadership Program is to train and support leaders to develop the mindsets, skill sets, and toolsets needed to scale their impact. We prepare leaders to unlock their minds to see an inspiring vision, to rally and empower others to act, and to access the resilience necessary to stay the course.

 

It’s all in service of our mission to help leaders reach their full creative leadership potential in order to solve the world’s toughest societal challenges.

 

Learn more on the program webpage.

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Who should apply?

Participants in the Executive Leadership Program are:

  • Experienced leaders with a minimum of 8 years in a senior management position
  • Influencers in the driver’s seat of a significant project or initiative
  • Citizens of the world with a global outlook, keen to make impact that will scale
  • Purpose-driven, motivated by a mission to solve societal challenges
  • Lifelong learners committed to personal growth
  • Driven to make change
  • Risk-takers who won’t settle for the status quo

Additionally, applicants should have a real-world project they wish to develop during the Executive Program: an entrepreneurial venture or an intrapreneurial project within a larger organization. Throughout the program, participants work hands-on to conceive, implement, and scale their venture or project.

 

There is no education prerequisite or minimum age requirement, however we do generally expect that participants have been working for at least 8 years. The average age of participants is 42.

 

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What is the application process?

You can apply for the THNK program directly by completing the Find out if you qualify form on the program page.

 

After reviewing your CV or LinkedIn profile, our Admissions team will contact you if you qualify for the next step, which involves an informational call over the phone or Skype to assess fit.

 

Following the informational call, you will submit an application form including your proposal for the venture or initiative that you will develop while at THNK.

 

Our Admissions team reviews applications bi-weekly.

 

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How many people are in each class?

Each class is capped at 36 participants.

 

Our objective is never to simply fill a classroom; we carefully curate each cohort to create a diverse community of purpose-driven individuals whose bonds last a lifetime.

 

We receive over 2,000 program requests per recruitment cycle. By accepting a limited number of participants per program, we ensure deep learning while optimizing opportunities for connection and collaboration.  optimize for diversity in background, sector, and experience.

 

After applying for the program, your Global Program Advisor will connect you to your potential classmates.

 

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Do you accept participants from outside Europe?

Of course!

 

One of the strengths of the program is the diversity of the class, where everyone benefits from different perspectives and experiences. Check out this article on our blog to learn how diversity fosters innovation in the program.

 

Each class typically includes 36 participants from 20 different countries, with each continent represented.

 

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What is the time commitment?

The THNK Executive Leadership Program is designed to allow you to continue working while following the program.

 

You will need to be at the THNK Home in Amsterdam for each of the four modules. Each module lasts a week and often includes weekends to help limit the amount of time you need to be away from work.

 

In between modules, there is a time commitment of 4 hours per week, typically spent working with your personal coach, peer coaching, and working on your Endeavor. 

 

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Will I get a chance to see Amsterdam?

The Executive Leadership Program follows an intensive itinerary to maximize your experience. While the program includes off-campus trips to explore the vibrant city and surrounding area, you will have minimal spare time for sightseeing.

 

If you would like to get to know Amsterdam better, we recommend arriving a few days early or staying longer. THNK staff and faculty are always more than happy to share recommendations to ensure you get the most out of every visit.

 

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Is the program accredited?

THNK is proud to be a non-accredited institution. We are constantly updating our curriculum to reflect trends, new practices, and feedback from our participants. We promise: no exams, no lectures, and no textbook case studies.

 

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How often is the Executive Leadership Program held?

We offer two 6 month part-time programs per year; starting every March and September. You can find the dates of the upcoming programs here

 

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How much does it cost to attend THNK’s program?

The program fee for the part-time 6-month Executive Leadership Program in Amsterdam is EUR 35,000 + VAT.

 

The discounted rate for self-sponsored participants is EUR 22,500 + VAT.

 

We offer a scholarship to non-profit or social enterprise participants, which brings the fee down to EUR 15,000 + VAT.

 

The program fee includes the cost of tuition, coaching, program materials, off-site excursions, and meals while on-campus.

 

Please note that accommodation and travel to and from the program is a separate expense arranged by each participant.

 

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Do you offer scholarships?

THNK offers partial scholarship opportunities primarily for those working in the social/NGO/non-profit sectors. 

 

Participants cover their tuition by personal financing, corporate sponsorship, individual donations and third-party scholarship support.

 

Payment plans are available, please enquire at admissions@thnk.org.

 

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Can my company sponsor me?

Yes, all potential candidates may request sponsorship from their company. In fact, we recommend this as your employer will benefit directly from your participation in THNK, especially through your venture or initiative advancement.

 

Need help approaching your boss or board? Just contact admissions@thnk.org for advice and helpful materials. 

 

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Are tax refunds available for tuition?

Yes, tax refunds are applicable for certain countries where governments offer a refund for education.

 

To learn more, connect with our team at admissions@thnk.org.

 

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Do I need to book a hotel/apartment?

Yes, you are responsible for your own travel to Amsterdam and for your own accommodation throughout the program.

 

If you are accepted into the program, you will receive a list of recommended accommodations close to the THNK Home who offer discounted rates to participants. Some participants even choose to rent an Airbnb together!

 

We also have a vibrant alumni community who invite participants with financial limitations to stay in their homes during the program.

 

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Are special dietary needs or food allergies catered for?

Yes, our meals are organic with many vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options.

 

To ensure your dietary needs are met, please indicate them to our staff prior to the program.

 

Custom Programs

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What is the purpose of your Custom Programs?

We partner closely with organizations to co-design and deliver a learning journey that is specific to their context and creates real impact. 

 

We support organizations to:

  • Accelerate the development of senior leaders
  • Build a collaborative and aligned team
  • Capture the benefits of a diverse and inclusive organization
  • Develop staff knowledge and skills to create an innovation engine
  • Imagine and bring breakthrough ideas to life
  • Create an active culture of innovation
  • Generate deep and sustainable change

 

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Is my organization a good fit for a Custom Program with THNK?

We work exclusively with organizations who share our passion for improving the state of the world and for advancing projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Your organization is a great fit for one of our Custom Programs if you:

  • Dare to embark on a new type of learning journey
  • Want to make a positive contribution to society
  • Are ready to invest significant resources in the expectation of game-changing returns

 

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What's it like to partner with THNK on a Custom Program?

We’re a million miles away from typical consultants who overload teams with templated ‘best practices’ and disappear before those practices inevitably fail to take hold. Nor do we act as suppliers who simply give you what you ask for if it’s not what you truly need.

 

Instead, we approach each Custom Program as a partnership, working closely with you to co-create change.

 

One size does not fit all, so we tailor our approach to your needs and specific context. As collaborators, we’re prepared to question your game plan and to be questioned in return. It’s all in service of our shared commitment to create lasting impact for your organization.

 

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Can I get a taste of what a Custom Program is like?

We have various ways for you to get a feel for what we do and how we work. Give us a call or send us a note, so we can help you decide which way would be best for you.

 

 

General

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How was THNK founded?

THNK was founded as a joint initiative of the business and creative sectors, and in cooperation with the Dutch Prime Minister and the Dutch Innovation Platform. In 2010, THNK was officially established in the mayor’s residence, receiving more than €6 million of initial capital from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the City of Amsterdam and the Province of North Holland. We also received significant support from our launching partners, which include McKinsey & Company, Droog Design, Vodafone, and Stanford d.school.

 

THNK’s Co-Founders are Menno van Dijk and Bas Verhart.

 

We launched our first program in March 2012. Over 600 participants have taken part in our Executive Leadership Program and thousands more have joined our Custom and Pop-up programs.

 

Learn more about the story of how THNK was founded in this article by Menno & Bas.

 

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What is the purpose of THNK?

THNK designs and facilitates transformational in-person learning experiences to train and support global intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs in developing the mindsets, skillsets, and toolsets needed to scale their impact on the world’s biggest challenges.

 

These challenges are defined by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

 

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What programs do you offer?

  • Executive Leadership Program: For experienced leaders driven to do good work and accomplish big impact. Develop your initiative while growing as a leader and expanding your global network during THNK’s flagship program.
  • Lisbon Creative Leadership Program: For Lisbon-based leaders seeking to connect with their purpose and serve a higher cause. Develop your leadership and innovation ability as you explore solutions to a local Lisbon-based challenge.
  • Pop-up Programs: For leaders seeking inspiration. Get a taste of THNK during one of our short-format programs delivered around the world.
  • Custom Programs: For purpose-driven organizations and senior leadership teams. You understand that your organization and the way your teams work together can be a catalyst for greater change. You are looking for a Partner to co-design and deliver long-term solutions.

 

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Do you offer programs outside of Amsterdam?

Yes, we offer programs around the world!

 

While our flagship Executive Leadership Program is offered in Amsterdam, you can take part in the Lisbon Creative Leadership Program in Lisbon.

 

Our Pop-up Programs are delivered across the globe. We have also recently offered Pop-Up programs in Dubai, Berkeley, Mexico City, and Bogotá.

 

We deliver Custom Programs wherever our clients need us. In this work we’ve travelled to South Africa, the UAE, Indonesia, China, Brazil, the United States, Canada, and throughout Europe.

 

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What is the difference between the Executive Leadership Program in Amsterdam and the Lisbon Creative Leadership Program?

The Amsterdam and Lisbon programs share much of the same content and methodologies, so in many ways the two programs are very connected.
However, there are some key differences between the Amsterdam and Lisbon programs:
  • Scope – The Executive Leadership Program is global in scope, whereas the Lisbon Creative Leadership Program is designed for individuals with an affinity for Lisbon. Deeply rooted in the Lisbon ecosystem, participants work with institutional partners and local entrepreneurs to practice new innovation tools while exploring local Lisbon-based solutions to a global challenge.
  • Endeavor – Within the Executive Leadership Program, participants advance a real-world project or venture, working hands-on to conceive, implement, and scale their endeavor. This is not a component of the Lisbon Creative Leadership Program. Instead, participants work on a pre-determined local Lisbon-based challenge in small teams.
  • Duration – Because there is no Endeavor portion to the Lisbon Program, the program is shorter, comprising of 3 modules instead of 4 and with fewer days within each module.
  • Class size – The Lisbon classes are smaller, with around 20 participants as opposed to 36 in the Executive Program.

 

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Who teaches at THNK?

THNK Facilitators are experienced, with many years of training in experiential program design. They bring expertise from diverse disciplines including human behavior change and business model innovation.

 

Our Guest Faculty are experts in their respective fields. As master practitioners, they lead workshops on their area of expertise and share their unique insights with the class in an open setting. These sessions follow a knowledge-sharing model, rather than a lecturer-student model. You’ll be up your feet applying their knowledge right away, not sitting taking notes. Our Guest Faculty have deep experience in topics from futurism, to reframing, to building communities, to delighting users, and more! 

 

Some programs, including the Executive Program include one-on-one coaching. Leadership Coaches at THNK are experienced professionals, committed to your growth and success as a leader. Many people continue their relationship with their coach after the program ends.

 

Check out our Facilitator, Guest Faculty, and Coach profiles online.

 

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Can I work at THNK?

Absolutely!

 

We hire the best people, providing them with freedom and responsibility, helping them to grow themselves. This means that we try to create a caring environment where people help and support each other and demand the best at the same time.

 

Join our team to gain experience in a fast-growing start-up, collaborate with the very best in creative leadership and innovation, and have a lot of fun.

 

Visit our Careers page to see current job postings.