Purpose-driven leadership for complex times

The times are certainly changing, and leadership is too. We have been faced with a lot of change and uncertainty in the past year and it has taught us a lot about what is and isn’t working in the way we lead.

The kind of leadership which worked in the past — from the top down, in centralised organisations — is no longer the most effective method of leading in many kinds of organisations. …


Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash

One thing that’s become increasingly apparent in the past year is just how complex and uncertain our world is. Just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, something totally unexpected happens — like a global pandemic.

How do we lead in the face of so much uncertainty, when there’s no best practice from the past to draw from, when there’s no single best solution and when even our top level leaders are out of their depth?

How can we provide clarity about which direction to take when even knowing what will happen in one week’s time seems like…


Right now, more and more events, meetings and trainings are moving online. As we at Unity Effect have been running our workshops and programs online for a while, we have put together this practical guide to share some of the simple tips and tools you can use to make your online gatherings more engaging and productive. This article focuses on the platform Zoom — and no, we are not sponsored by them, it’s just what we use and know best, yet you can also adapt many of these things to other platforms.

This guide covers:

  • Getting started — Zoom best practices
  • Planning your…


Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

A few months ago I lost someone very close to me.

It was a total shock, completely out of the blue.

One day I was living my normal life, running our social business Unity Effect in Bonn, Germany, and the next thing I knew I was sitting on a plane to Australia. I dropped literally everything.

Six weeks later I arrived back to Germany and began the slow process of returning to ‘normality’ — or rather, to my new normality.

I had just spent six intense weeks of being deep in the process of grieving and being in that weird…


Have you heard about strange attractors? In this new post, our co-founder Jannik Kaiser explores the world of chaos, dynamical systems and complexity, offering you also the possibility of a non-linear reading, in the form of a dynamical Kumu map.

Jannik Kaiser is co-founder from Unity Effect & has a background in sociology, systems thinking and impact monitoring.

This article forms the first in a series of articles. The main theme of that series is to create and establish a new language for social transformation. For me, language goes beyond words, concepts or metaphors. Essentially, it is the filter through which we look on life, perceive our environment and plan our actions. Changing our language, therefore, is a powerful way towards transformation.

Every article of the series is dedicated to a specific theme or concept. Yet, rather than enriching your vocabulary, it is much more the shift in perspective underneath the concept that I want to enable. In…


By Emily Johnston, co-founder & co-CEO from Unity Effect

These days, many of us consider ‘start-up founder’ or ‘social entrepreneur’ to be a pretty sweet job title.

One that we tend to glorify in association with some kind of working-all-hours-from-home-caffeine-fuelled-sacrifice-my-social-life-for-my-world-changing-ideal lifestyle and a golden ticket into a high adrenaline world of pitches, investors, hackathons and out of nowhere overnight success stories.

Of course, behind the apparent glamour of ‘work as hard as physically impossible and you will achieve your dream’, is a lot of, well, hard work.

So many entrepreneurs out there come up against this expectation that being a founder means sacrifice and working your arse off, and…


Our first video- blog post, by Franziska Kohn, co-founder of Unity Effect.

What can happen when you decide to follow your inner source of inspiration, and you consciously pay attention to the manifestations of a dream of yours? What are possible steps leading to action after this first manifestation or inspiration? In this post, our journey guide Franziska Kohn shares with us a personal process that started with a decision during her university studies, which finally led her to teach at a University herself and rediscover new ways of expressing her purpose.


By Emily Johnston, co-founder of Unity Effect.

When it comes to starting a social impact project or business, most people start out with an idea for solving a problem or creating a positive impact. Most likely you deeply care about your cause and are driven by your belief in your idea. You take one step at a time and start to gain some momentum.

Inspiration is catchy and chances are people around you are naturally inspired to believe in it too and even become a part of it. Before you know it, you might need to find ways to engage…

Unity Effect

Unity Effect is a for-purpose organisation. We are passionate about supporting a deeper shift in the ways we collaborate, lead and create meaningful impact.

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