BMW Foundation: dawn

A program that offers a transformative leadership experience that encourages leaders to collaborate on pressing world challenges

The BMW Foundation realized the need to have a new understanding of leadership as global and local systems were being disrupted due to the spread of the pandemic, and leaders were not acting at the pace and scale to keep up with changing scenarios. We designed a new leadership approach and process for Foundation to foster “Responsible Leadership Training” that would activate leaders in co-creating systemic interventions through collaboration.



Project Lead:


Project Team:

Mert Çetinkaya (Director & Learning Designer), Deniz Dönmez, Yusuf Akın Gülsayın, Mercan Denizci, Leyla Kefeli, Aleyna Tezer (Brand Strategy & Visual Design)


Marina Nart (Project Manager & Coordinator), Emily Hinks, Casimir Morreau, Katy Grennier (Learning Designers and Facilitators)

Together with the BMW Foundation, we co-created and designed dawn, a program that invites a cohort of pioneering leaders to embark on a journey to address meaningful challenges and develop tangible solutions to them by tapping into the collective capacity of the BMW Foundation leadership community. The 3-month-long pilot program brought together a cohort of 25 committed leaders from the “Responsible Leaders Network” and beyond.

“Working with ATÖLYE is transformational because of the spirit of its people. Everyone we encountered carried a playful passion for excellence that does not fear failure but mediocrity.”


“ATÖLYE has been a great stuart and support in very important processes within the foundation, not only by developing a new project that reflects a lot of the things that the foundation has learnt over the past years but also internally to help us see, translate and create the best of us.”

In the research phase of this project, we discovered responsible leadership and trauma-informed leadership & design mindsets, led benchmark research, and talked to experts from diverse industries to become aligned on what the new leadership program’s tangible output would be focusing on its philosophy, purpose, and vision. After this phase, we formed the program’s strategic design components and envisioned tangible outputs for a transformational leadership journey. Ultimately, we piloted a virtual collaborative leadership program with a committed cohort of 18 “Responsible Leaders” whilst embracing new mindsets, tools, and missions.

The program was designed to approach “Responsible Leadership” in a new way by first creating a space for participants to reflect upon their biases, assumptions, and judgments before identifying opportunities to collaborate on a shared systemic challenge and diving into co-creating systemic interventions.

We envisioned a curated and diverse cohort of “Responsible Leaders” that would collaborate on tackling shared systemic challenges, whilst being equipped with digital collaboration tools. These leaders would gain these skills through an immersive mind-shifting process of self-inquiry around biases, assumptions, and judgments. We strove to create a program that would continue to have ripple effects beyond the end of the program; where cohort participants would collaborate on co-creating interventions for systemic challenges.

“ATÖLYE has been a great stuart and support in very important processes within the foundation.”

Based on the dawn narrative, we built a brand system that functioned across various digital and printed mediums. These included the brand iteration process and website design. For the dawn pilot program, we also designed the preparation of learning materials such as canvases, slides, posters, Mural templates, and printed gift box materials for the participants.