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exceptional leadership

Create impact and legacy for a better world

In the last 7 years, 150 leaders went through this course. Nearly all stated that this was the most important course in their career. Some called it a life-changing experience.


In today’s rapidly changing environment, civil society organizations need leaders who are not only visionary and strategic thinkers, but also those who create relationships across differences, foster leadership in others, and act collectively in response to change. Effective leaders are those who create a vision for the future, work well with a team, enable their team’s success, and demonstrate flexibility. Exceptional Leadership is, therefore, the key to lasting social change. 

Our Exceptional Leadership Masterclass was designed for civil society leaders like you to elevate your leadership to the next level - by reflecting on your current practice and inspiring you to go further.

12 Days

two modules





six days

each module

ends with


How do we learn together?

The masterclass is based on our powerful Exceptional Leadership Model for personal and organizational mastery for social change.


In our masterclass we use specific methods and tools:

  • Self and group reflections

  • International peer group exchange

  • Role-plays and scenarios

  • Interactive games

Between the two modules you will have:

  • Personal mentoring and coaching

During the masterclass, you will be inspired by other exceptional leaders and eminent guest speakers.

Key TOPICs of the training

  • Gain greater self-awareness

  • Align your engagement with civil society with your values and your life purpose

  • Embark on a transformative journey to reflect on your leadership skills and attitudes

  • Understand the role of coaching in leading successful civil society organizations

  • Learn coaching skills including GROW, “the coaching habit” of asking powerful questions, thinking positively, and the power of empathy

  • ​Forget about commanding and giving “good” advice and learn to empower the people around you

After the masterclass

  • You know yourself and your organization much better

  • You have new strategies in mind to create an impact in the world.

  • You understand the changes that matter to you and your organizations

  • You can build commitment and motivation for change, in yourself and among others

  • You can use and implement strategy tools for your cause

  • You can work with tools that help you to communicate better, manage better, get more resources, and monitor and maintain change

  • You have found new like-minded peers


  • Analysis of self- and team leadership and reflection on your individual management style

  • Organisational leadership and phases of organisational development

  • Understanding Civil Society: concepts, history, definitions, and global and local trends

  • The rights-based approach versus the community-based approach to development

  • Exchange and in-depth reflections on your organisation and your leadership within the context of civil society

  • Inter-personal communication and master the art of conflict management

  • Case studies and interaction with resource persons


  • Deepening the understanding of leadership and civil society: creating impact

  • Owning responsibility as a key process in your organization

  • Process and Change management

  • Power of partnerships and networks

  • Addressing challenges or seizing opportunities related to your personal priorities

  • Innovation processes

  • Individualized planning for continued leadership development

Modules overview

Our Exceptional Leadership Masterclass is designed for leaders of civil society organizations who want to thrive as responsive and holistic leaders.

Training Fee

Groups of four or more people

EUR 3250 p.P*

Fee includes accommodation

and meals

EUR 2925 p.P*

Fee includes accommodation

and meals

*excluding VAT if Applicable | MODE OF PAYMENT: bank transfer

Schedule & Pricing

This Masterclass includes

92 hours of training, split into 12 days into two modules | Personal Coaching session in between the modules | All training materials and reader | Accommodation costs as well as three meals per day, drinks, and snacks while in training are included | Masterclass Certificate Exceptional Leadership

Training Schedule 2024

Module ONE

Dates & Time: 13 - 18 May, 9 AM - 5 Pm

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Language: English

ModulE TWO

Dates and Time: 8 - 13 July, 9 AM - 5 PM

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Language: English

Joachim New photo.jpg


Joachim is passionate about social justice and on a mission to support like-minded civil society actors and social entrepreneurs to become more powerful and innovative. Hence, in 2014 he left his NGO career to build the Civil Society Academy. He is an outstanding facilitator and coach with expertise in social innovation, leadership, organizational change, and advocacy. After more than 20 years in Africa and Asia, he is now based in Berlin.

Sohini new.jpg


Sohini has a Social Science background with master degrees in Geography and Regional Planning. She is a certified Life and Leadership Coach. She has more than two decades of experience in the development sector supporting the work of many social change organizations on issues of local self-governance, right to information, and land rights. She has worked on capacity building of civil society organizations, from grassroots community groups to large networks. Sohini is passionate about civil society strengthening and holds space for those who are enthusiastic and ready to learn - this is reflected in her facilitation style.

Experience Board
What fellow pioneers share about the Masterclass Exceptional Leadership


John P. Nelson, Executive Director Indo-Global Social Service Society

"I highly recommend the course to everyone who is looking for an innovative change in leadership style."

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Tiringo K. Gabriel, Head of Programmes, Welthungerhilfe Ethiopia

“It was a great experience to meet and interact with leaders from different countries. Many thanks for the great facilitation and the unforgettable memories.”

Ishret Wahid.jpg

Ishret Wahid, Senior Coordinator, Care Bangladesh

“After the course, many things have changed in my life.”

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