Illustration: Aleyna Tezer

A new area of exploration: ATÖLYE Academy

Published in ATÖLYE Insights · 4 min read · April 7, 2020

How might we design an initiative to share our learnings in creative leadership, radical collaboration, and systemic design while exploring new areas of learning together with our community?

Author: Deniz Yazıcıoğlu, Academy Project Coordinator, ATÖLYE Editors: Melissa Clissold, Özgür Arslan, Mert Çetinkaya In-text visualizations: Aleyna Tezer

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

— Margaret Mead

Over the years, we've built an experimental model that blurs the lines between a Strategic Design Studio, a vibrant Creative Hub - welcoming individuals, clients, and partners into our Community to build relationships, exchange ideas, and collaborate on impact-oriented projects. Our purpose was to create a fertile environment for individuals, teams, and organizations to thrive together for the better.

We have always welcomed individuals, clients, and partners into our Community to build relationships, exchange ideas, and collaborate on impact-oriented projects. In every project, we've touched many different people as teammates, business partners, and Community members. We've learned together and transformed together. People who have participated in these journeys with us, often testify that in its projects, ATÖLYE builds individual and organizational capabilities in creative leadership, radical collaboration, and systemic design and creates a significant impact in these areas.

We realized that this transformation stems from the following three questions which we have been constantly been experimenting with to find answers to - answers that we have reflected in our daily actions, values, approach, and methods:

"How can we lead creative change whilst discovering our true potential, and adapting to an ever-changing world?"

"How might we facilitate radical collaborations that build on our differences, to remain agile in a world full of ambiguity?"

"How can we design long-term systemic solutions to the complex problems of our time?"

In response to these questions, we decided to create ATÖLYE Academy to share our learnings in creative leadership, radical collaboration, and systemic design as well as explore new areas of learning together.

And then, life happened. To paraphrase the famous old adage:

"Life is what happens to us while we make other plans."

The launch of ATÖLYE Academy took place during the rise of a global pandemic and a time of great uncertainty for us and everyone else. However, instead of slowing us down, this incident has truly allowed us to experiment with our ability to adapt.

Revisiting our objective

During this time of social distancing - or as we like to call it; "social solidarity," ATÖLYE Academy still, and even more so, remains true to its initial aim to equip individuals, teams, and organizations with the necessary skills and capabilities. In doing so, our purpose is to unleash the creative potential in both teams and individuals so that they can become changemakers in their communities. A premise that seems much more important today than when we first penned these words.

The Journey of the Learner at ATÖLYE Academy

We are here to facilitate processes with ease

Through the power of facilitation, in our specially curated learning programs, events, and workshops we enable our participants to become pioneers of change in their communities while also creating a positive impact in the world.

We believe we can not only "do" more, but "be" so much more together!

Due to the global health crisis, we have now converted many of our events, programs, and workshops into online sessions and webinars. We are ready to take on this challenge by tapping into our resources and knowhow in facilitating collaborations among people and utilizing our Community's know-how through unique collaborations.

An open call for changemakers

ATÖLYE Academy is set out to equip future changemakers with the right mindset and skills no matter what the world is transforming into - no matter what challenges the world presents us. We rely on two things to overcome this or any challenge we may face: Our enthusiasm for facilitating interactions and the experience our community has accumulated through unique collaborations.

There will indeed be several challenges ahead - socially, individually, and professionally. This is why we believe it is vitally important for all of us, as global citizens, to come together even stronger than before and ensure that we can collaborate to create new perspectives in such turbulent times.

To learn more and become a part of this journey, please head over here to subscribe to our Academy Newsletter to stay inspired, get involved, and join us during this huge milestone for ATÖLYE!