Learning Trek SHAPE

The transformative leadership program for century 21

Learning Trek SHAPE

FREE Info Session

Learn and ask us anything about the SHAPE Trek !

May 2nd, 2024, 04:00 PM

Are you ready to shape century 21?

Arrow shiftschool

The SHAPE Transformative Leadership Program prepares you to adapt and succeed in this rapidly changing world and teaches you exactly one thing: HOW TO MASTER AND LEAD TRANSFORMATION. Organizations must transform their paradigm of leadership if they want to address the economical, ecological, and societal challenges of the 21st century.

Our 7-week program inspires you to make this bold change happen – by providing a whole range of change-making and leadership skills, many valuable insights about the main drivers of transformation, and developing a new attitude towards uncertainty. It’s MINDSET, SKILLS, NETWORK, and BALANCE in one program in a community of exceptional peers.

Program quick facts






Live Online
Deep Dive





hybrid learning in real teams
5 hours required per week
german or english cohorts
mastermind coaching
domain expert insights
individual projects
Graduation Certificate
€ 6,900 for companies / € 5,500 for individuals & NGOs (EXCL. VAT)

What graduates say about shape

As someone who has been involved in and driving digital transformation for more than 10 years, SHIFTSCHOOL has been with me since it was founded in 2015 and has always provided me with inspiration, ideas and valuable input. From the network that has emerged, new collaborations continue to emerge to drive topics forward. Especially the combination of methods, technologies and people are of great importance to me.

For me, a transformation is more than a change in technology; it is, above all, a major change. This also has a lot to do with a personal attitude of shaping change in favor of people. With the SHAPE Framework, SHIFTSCHOOL set up exactly the right program at the right time for me and I could identify with it from day one.

The complete journey from the first weekend in Bavarian Canada to the final weekend gave me a lot of inspiration, but also made me think and change – also by making me leave my comfort zone. This was achieved not only by Tobias alone, but in the whole group together. The team was always able to make a big difference with new ideas, suggestions and also controversial discussions, which overall helped us a lot on our journey to Digital Leadership.

Together with the other programs SHIFT and SHINE, it is my path to becoming a Digital Leader and to future-proof leadership. A journey because it is not a destination but a constant evolution. Nothing is as certain as constant change! #transform, transform, transform

Markus Birkel
Markus Birkel
Head of IT & Digital Transformation
medi GmbH & Co. KG

With the new SHAPE Framework, SHIFTSCHOOL hits the mark. Digitization was just the first of many, even bigger transformations that are coming our way – as human beings and employees in a company.

The program not only shows what changes we will have to deal with in the future – it also made me feel what it is like to leave your comfort zone and the path of what you know and have learned, to really embrace innovation and thus let go of security, and what it means for your ego to collaborate with other egos. Now I am really looking forward to everything that is coming and can better assess which stumbling blocks I can expect.

At our SHAPE kick-off weekend in the Bavarian Forest, I was also fortunate to meet a group of exciting people who functioned as a network right from the beginning, catching uncertainty and helping to grow safely – even after the program ended. This valuable experience will resonate for a long time – thank you so much SHIFTSCHOOL for equipping me for the future.

Kathleen Kleibrink
Kathleen Kleibrink
Strategist and Founder
Planet Courage

How is the program structured?

The hybrid 7-week program starts off with an immersive retreat weekend with interactive impulse sessions, personal reflection, and team building. Then we meet each week on Thursday nights for the live online sparks – working on the 5 dimensions of the SHAPE® Framework as well as your individual transformation cases that you will present at the final reflection weekend.

SHAPE Program

Upcoming program

Starts on April 12, 2024




Bavarian Forest and Fürth

April 12-14, 2024

SHAPESCAPE // Immersive retreat weekend

SHAPETREK // 5 Remote sparks on Thursday
evenings from 19-22 CEST

June 01-02, 2024

SHAPEABLE // Final presentations and reflection at SHIFTSCHOOL STUDIO21 in Fürth

Learning journey in detail

Welcome to your SHAPE® program! An immersive leadership program with inspiration sessions, break-out assignments, and self-reflective episodes over the course of seven weeks. The intensive kick-off is designed both to provide the necessary insights on future transformation touching technology, digitalization, sustainability, and work culture, and to enhance the critical competencies needed to master and lead this transformation in times of uncertainty.

Similarly, you will also start to forge your transformation case in peer group sessions applying the previously acquired creative skills and methods. After the kick-off weekend, you are part of a committed cohort of change makers with diverse backgrounds who support each other to make bold change happen. Above all, trust and familiarity in the group now allows you to learn and work effectively without physically being in one room. Over the course of the SHAPE® program, you will

  • empower your MINDSET
  • apply new leadership SKILLS
  • and build a reliable NETWORK of like minded individuals to develop your individual transformation case successfully.


FRIDAY starting at 1 pm

Exploration of attitudes and behaviors in a highly
uncertain world

Team Building in agile contexts and interaction in
sustainable networks

Formulation of a new understanding of roles and
self-responsible action in the age of digitalization



Reflection and analysis of transformation processes and vision development for agile teams

Conversion of designs into assessable prototypes and iterative further development
based on peer feedback

Building a culture of change and development of transformative roadmaps


SUNDAY ending at 5 pm

Tools and competencies to communicate change convincingly and implement them over resistance

Decision Making under conditions of extreme uncertainty and driving transformation with available means

Strategic team and organizational development and implementation of agile projects in the age of New Work



What are the key conditions for driving a
successful transformation process?

Exemplary Ownership – the craft of taking responsibility and holding others accountable at the same time
Entrepreneurial Acumen – the ability to decide and act under conditions of extreme uncertainty
Autonomous Innovation – the art of daring greatly despite ambiguity


How can we provide guidance and direction for sustainable transformation?

Predictive Re-Creation – the ability of detecting trends and imagining possible future scenarios
Directive Purpose – the craft of shaping legacy,
ideas and business into an meaningful whole
Expressive Leadership – the art of forming unity
by means of storytelling


How can we achieve the best possible outcome through open experimentation?

Inquisitive Thinking – the ability to challenge the status quo, reduce complexity, and look for inconsistencies in reasoning
Creative Alchemy – the art of playfully combining interdisciplinary methods with curiosity and serendipity
Investigative Discovery – the craft to design and conduct descriptive experiments to drive rapid learning


How can we adapt to changing conditions while simultaneously withstanding forces of inertia?

Adaptive Judgement – the craft to question beliefs, overcome cognitive biases and adapt opinions accordingly
Reflective Awareness – the ability of gaining conscious understanding of the self
Social Sensemaking – the art of gaining clarity by empathic interaction with a group


How can we lead by example and embody the change
we seek?

Open Discourse – the ability to compete for the best solution driven by deviating opinions
Collaborative Communication – the art of expressing vulnerability and gratitude
Habitual Improvement – the craft to learn quickly from experience and to persistently grow better over time


The purpose of this final reflection weekend is to consolidate all the learnings, to celebrate all the great work that you have achieved so far, and to create an outlook into the future – into a world of radical change, rising complexity, and paradigm shifts. It is our goal to use the spirit and momentum of this class to really push your transformation endeavors out there. Creating impact not concepts! For learning to stick over the long-term, you need time to apply the new methods and practice your new way of thinking on a regular basis. In this final 2-day-workshop we will discuss how you can achieve sustainable success and continue to thrive in a network of like minded change-makers.

After finishing the SHAPE Program, you will embark on a further transformative journey with our SHIFTSHORTS, a groundbreaking 2-day remote learning experience centered around a specific pressing transformational challenge – social, ecological and cultural. Every SHIFTSHORT deep dive explores a compelling and pivotal transformation topic such as Artificial Intelligence, Diversity, Sustainability, Resilience and System Change. It features 5 diverse leading experts in this field, each bringing their perspectives and unique and unconventional ideas to the table. These transformation leaders will challenge your preconceptions and enrich your understanding of the topic. This 2-day online sprint is a BONUS for all our SHAPE Transformative Leaders.

Who is this program for?

Executives from established SMBs wanting to drive the transformation of their organizations to make them 21st century proof

Business leaders from large corporations looking for new ways to change their organizations

Future-forward entrepreneurs and game-changers who look for a diverse network of like-minded peers seeking a new challenge to scale their impact

Creative business professionals and cultural change-makers with at least five years of work experience

What you will learn

By working with the SHAPE® Framework you will build the capacity to

adapt your existing strategies to meet the uncertain future

enhance your understanding of the key drivers of transformation

build a concrete roadmap for your transformation case and define the key elements for success

internalize a new state-of-mind by working on transformational attitudes in a safe environment

commit yourself and your teams to work towards a purpose-driven culture

respond to future challenges by tapping into the wisdom of your peers

unify and motivate stakeholders by candidly reflecting on things that become more and more important

redefine leadership by building a collaborative experience for all

use methods to rapidly prototype, test hypotheses, and iterate certain elements of your strategy

lead through creative discourse and candid feedback

SHAPEscape kick-off

embrace change.
think for yourself.
transform the future.

The SHAPE® program kick-off takes us right into the heart of the Bavarian Forest National Park. Experience a wonderful and intensive time together with your learning mates. Learning is a social endeavor and bonding a group of excellent people in a combination of in- and outdoor workshops will lay the foundation of an unforgetable learning journey.


Learn in an open workshop space with heart & soul! You find lots of free space to get clarity and new ideas. In an architecture that cleverly combines virtual, real, and natural areas. Our laboratory for inventing meaningful futures!

Schnitzmühle - SHIFTSCHOOL


Wander on mystical forest trails, canoe along the banks of the river or hike on scenic gravel paths through hilly landscapes. Our hikes and guided team activities not only create good group dynamics but are also the perfect occasion to come up with new transformative ideas. After an inspiring workshop day gather around a self-made campfire to explore your purpose, share your experiences, and learn from each other.


Spend your downtime in a stylish, single room „hideaway“, which architecturally covers all needs in a small space. Architecture and nature complement each other with larch wood floors, and high, light-filled rooms.



Enjoy plant-based, vegetarian, or vegan cuisine with local ingredients from the Bavarian Forest, spiced with exotic recipes, combined in a healthy and forward-looking way. Forest goes Fusion becomes Future – leaving a positive footprint through our culinary experiences.


Reflect on the learnings in meditation and yoga sessions or just relax in flying gardens, bubble basins, in stone basket saunas or under soul sound showers. The somewhat different well-being experience. Century 21 style meets exceptional nature -with refreshing beach lounges in the summer and cozy indoor fireplaces in the winter.

How do we work on our transformation cases?

During the program you will directly work on your own transformation case in an area such as digitalization, sustainability, leadership, or cultural change.

An applicable process with useful insights and methods will guide you – with the support of our coaches and your peers. From week to week your project takes more SHAPE and, at the end of this sprint, will cover all necessary steps to turn a vague transformative idea into a successful project.

This learning-by-doing approach is designed to push you out of your comfort zone and to turn your plans into action. We will work on overcoming inner and outer barriers by addressing these fundamental principles of transformation:


How do we decide and act under conditions of extreme uncertainty?


How do we shape a purposeful vision out of legacy, ideas and meaning into an interacting whole?


How can we establish a culture of diversity and creative discourse to find the best possible solutions?


How do we constantly challenge the status quo, reduce complexity, and adapt to an environment of perpetual change?


How can we build trust, reliability, and sustainable relationships with all stakeholders by empathic interaction?

How much is the tuition?

The program costs 6,900 € for companies / 5,500 € for individuals & NGOs excluding VAT and covers the tuition, course materials as well as accommodation and food on workshop days. It does not include travel expenses to the retreat locations. VAT shall apply at rates according to national laws and regulations. Please note that training costs are usually tax deductible in many countries.

Meet your leaders

How does the application work?

We are looking for people who are leading initiatives, organizations or communities that are playing some part in forging a new “Story of Better”. People who see the future as something we want to create together and not as something that we’d rather like to avoid.

Each candidate must submit a transformative idea that they plan to work on during the program and beyond. Something that is larger than our own career needs and above all shapes a better future – no matter how big or small.

We are looking for lifelong learners

We reject fast food learning and passive content consumption as well as egoistic and inconsiderate behavior towards the group. Our leadership programs are designed as immersive learning experiences. We are looking for individuals who thrive in a community of like minded peers and share an authentic interest in getting to know other participants for who they are, and who they want to become.

We believe that learning is a social endeavor. It is our goal to build lasting relationships, not shallow encounters. Every cohort is formed as a unique community of highly skilled individuals who remain deeply connected and committed to each other and their shared experience.

Are you in? To start the application process, please fill in the application. Once submitted, you will receive an email containing a link to schedule an interview. The goal of the interview is to find out what motivates you to join the community. We will let you know within a week after your interview if you are accepted into the SHAPE® program.

What people say about SHIFTSCHOOL

The collaboration with SHIFTSCHOOL has been really great right from the start. SHIFTSCHOOL is a reliable partner who always supports me with new insights and constructive critical thinking. Companies that want to make a difference should first send selected employees to SHIFTSCHOOL. Especially large corporates should work with SHIFTSCHOOL, because their programs really breathe new life into established systems. This is necessary, today and in the future!

Kristina Muth
Kristina Muth
Head of Innovator Academy
Merck Innovation Center, Merck KGaA Darmstadt

What I really appreciate about working with SHIFTSCHOOL is the fact that I get so much inspiration and Best Practice that I can incorporate directly into my daily work. The large network of SHIFTSCHOOL is the big advantage. They collaborate with so many different companies and startups and, therefore, can offer a wide range of insights from many different industries.

Dr. Jürgen Zeiner
Dr. Jürgen Zeiner
Vice President Technical Functions
Robert Bosch GmbH

What distinguishes the SHIFTSCHOOL is that it truly encourages people to (re-) discover their creativity. Faber-Castell’s vision is to unleash the creative potential of our customers as well as our employees. Within our global network, we see the SHIFTSCHOOL as an important innovation coach. Faber-Castell’s Corporate Development team appreciates the comprehensive innovation methods and is grateful for the trusting relationship it has developed with the SHIFTSCHOOL team.

Countess Katharina von Faber-Castell
Countess Katharina von Faber-Castell
Head of Corporate Business Development
Faber-Castell AG

Learn more about Transformative Leadership

This article explains the background about initiating and sustaining organizational change. It explains the key essence of Transformative Leadership and the 5 steps involved in setting up Transformative Leadership programs in your organization.


Traditional approaches to leadership and team development no longer meet the needs of neither organizations nor potential change makers. This is the key learning from our work with a vast number of companies and leaders. Change initiatives are often bound to fail. The SHIFTSHAPE Framework is our answer to the challenges this century poses on us. It is our goal to develop people instead of job profiles by designing customized learning experiences. We think school differently. For us, school is not a building but a community of like minded people who need a framework to develop themselves autonomously.

We do not rely on rigid curricula, but on a flexible framework of five core dimensions, which respond to your individual needs. We put together content like a curator in an exhibition. The focus is no longer on the mere transfer of information, but on the active teaching of skills and methods that allow you to keep pace with the dynamics of change. In addition, individual coaching enables you to develop further according to your own potential. We combine the teaching formats that make the most sense from a didactic point of view, thus combining the advantages of face-to-face workshops with the flexibility of live remote sessions and interactive simulations. This is what we call CURATED LEARNING.

We don’t teach theory, but knowledge that you can apply immediately. From day one, you learn through innovative simulations, apply proven methods, and transfer them to concrete challenges in your life. We are convinced that learning only becomes valuable through experience. Only when things are thought through, tried out and applied, does lasting knowledge emerge. All our programs offer the opportunity to work on what matters most to you: Your personal development plan or a Transformation Case for your organization. Create your own strategy, and experiment, create, and test your ideas in your job environment. This is what we call JOB READY LEARNING.

Classical training systems usually provide far too little feedback. Adults who want to develop their skills also deserve more respect than they get from multiple-choice tests. Strategic competencies, creative leadership and applied innovation cannot be poured into an assessment trimmed for efficiency. In SHIFTSCHOOL, the goal is not to simply pass a course, but to ensure that you have truly understood concepts and can apply them in a meaningful way. Continuous feedback and peer coaching sessions ensure that you can also expand your knowledge in a targeted manner and use it for the challenges in your job.

The SHIFT and SHAPE programs are designed for the busy, full-time professional. Introduction and team-building are gathered in a compact and intensive retreat at the beginning. All following remote sessions and workshops are scheduled as a CLUBNITE on a workday evening – at the same time each week. This makes it easy to plan and allocate time. The project work is particularly designed for self-paced, asynchronous learning – at the time that suits you best. An additional 2-3 hours per week for your personal project is a rule of thumb. 

More than 60% of SHIFTSCHOOL Alumni received full or partly reimbursement from their employer. We have put together some good arguments to make this process streamlined.

Our programs are designed to be as real-time and immediately relevant as possible. We encourage our participants to share our methods with your teammates and to apply them directly in your work environment. Your organization will directly profit on how you’ll learn strategies and state-of-the-art skills that can help you grow as a 21st century proof leader making an immediate impact.

You are not just joining a learning program but a selected network. You’ll learn with and from professionals at companies like Adidas, Siemens, Merck, Allianz along with transformation managers from SMEs and digital experts from startups or creative agencies. You are working within a community of highly motivated individuals ready to change their organization for good. This experience allows you to expand your network with a diverse set of people who are all striving to challenge the status quo for the better.

Each program culminates in a personal project that is designed for direct implementation on the job. Each participant can choose to focus on a transformational leadership project which can directly benefit the organization you are with.

To make life easier for you we have prepared a reimbursement template along with the key facts of this program. Adapt it according to your needs and send it to stakeholders and decision makers in your company. HERE

All participants who work through a program and submit their completed assignments are eligible for a SHIFTSCHOOL certificate which details the methods and frameworks learned and applied. However, a formal certificate is just a piece of paper that, in our opinion, does not really say what someone can do or has learned. Just as grades ultimately say little about whether content and methods have really been understood and can be applied in practice. Therefore, we additionally help each member to outline their core strengths, position themselves in their professional arena, and to develop their own personal brand over time.

To start the application process, please fill in the application form. Once submitted, you will receive an email containing a link to schedule an interview. The goal of the interview is to find out what motivates you to join the SHIFTSHAPE community. We will let you know within a week after your interview if you are accepted.

We believe in quality, in-depth learning. Science and our experiences from teaching thousands of workshops tell us that people learn best in a safe, social, and interactive learning environment. Massive open online courses might provide great specific content but are not suited to build 21st century leadership skills. Change begins at the end of your comfort zone and our cohort-based approach provides both the safety of a smaller group and the accountability of live sessions to make real transformation happen. This setting helps our members to focus on what’s important and getting learning done in a clearly structured framework.

Our maxim is a school where the content is a means to an end – teaching people to learn how to learn. The best way for an advanced learner to build up new knowledge is then not to have it served up by a teacher, but rather to discover it organically. Our role is serving as facilitators of discovery. In a fast-changing world, teaching facts is neither sustainable nor effective. Our main instructional duty is therefore to inspire you to develop a new attitude towards change, push you to experience transformation, and encourage you to apply new strategies to shape the world around us.