Hanno Burmester

de

Generating Radical Insight

Hanno Burmester is wanderer and translator between the worlds of politics, business and civil society. His focus: Transformation in times of existential challenges, be it as individuals, organisations, or society.

Only if we manage to build other - better - realities than those we learned to see as normal can we truly be called free.

To do so, we must be willing to let go of ourselves. To unlearn what we think we are, individually and collectively. To become someone else, and thus truer to ourselves.

This journey is called transformation. A path that starts with a personal journey, to then substantially change our organisations and society as a whole. Not as an end in itself, but in service of the greater whole.

Transformation is necessarily radical. Because it affects everyone, and because we must tackle our roots instead of despairing of their offshoots.

Radical equals: vulnerable and delicate. Because transformation is about the most elementary opening human beings can achieve: to let go of what we are, in favour of the essence life is essentially is about.

Who

For many years now, I have been a wanderer and translator between worlds: politics, civil society, the private market; everyday practice, theory, spirituality. Separated worlds which we must integrate as one if we want to master the existential challenges of our time.

Whatever role and whatever world I am in: the desire for societal transformation both draws and motivates my work. My intention is to catalyse the transformation of human-made systems, to make them fit for a substantially different future.

I operate at the intersection of individual, organisational and societal transformation. On a very small scale, through my personal journey of unbecoming, uncovering my core bit by bit. In organisations, ultimately nothing but experimental laboratories for better ways of collaborating and doing business. And in the political realm, aiming to catalyse radical societal transformation as meaningful response to the climate crisis and global inequality.

Since 2021, I host the Unlearning Journey - a space for exploration and transformation at the intersection of individual purpose and contribution to the greater whole.

Meet

evolve Magazin 29/2021: Hanno Burmester denkt Politik neu

February 2021

Being Underwater: Transformation, Politik und Spiritualität. Im Gespräch mit Joana Breidenbach

August 2020

Evolve Radio: Jetzt eine neue Gesellschaft wagen. Im Gespräch mit Thomas Steininger

Juni 2020

Pioneers of Change Online Summit 2020. Im Gespräch mit Martin Kirchner

März 2020

In conversation with… Hanno Burmester. In Conversation with Eddie Vero

Februar 2019

KarmaKonsum-Konferenz 2018: Die Veränderung der Welt gelingt nur in Verbindung mit uns selbst und anderen. Im Gespräch mit Christoph Harrach

November 2018

Worlds

Politics

Our era is nothing but a loud call for politics. A kind of politics that fundamentally deliberates which ground rules our societies need, to ensure a good life in the long term, both for humanity and other species. A kind of politics that is willing to fundamentally respond to the eroding ecological frame by transforming the global economic, social and political systems. A kind of politics that shapes what needs to be shaped; that empowers itself to do the right thing.

Transformation will be the result of radical reforms, made and realised via the democratic process. This is the kind of politics I believe in.

My aim is to encourage the political realm to face the fundamental issues of our times, and to address them at their roots by boldly transforming today's societal frameworks.

I do this as Policy Fellow of the Berlin-based think tank Das Progressive Zentrum, where I co-founded the "Future of Democracy" program. Since 2017, I co-host the yearly Innocracy Conference, one of the largest international conferences on democratic transformation. As a Policy Fellow, I write, speak and consult, always in collaboration with the think tank's great team. Since 2020, I also am Fellow with JoinPolitics. From 2018-2020, I was Affiliate Scholar at IASS Potsdam.

Spotlights: Politics

Consulting

As society, we can only change course if we organise ourselves more intelligently and purpose-centred. To do this, we must reinvent our companies and public institutions, and thus also how we produce, lead, collaborate.

This is the motivation for why I, since 2013, design and facilitate organisational processes of transformation. My consultancy work focuses on the co-creative design and realisation of self-organised operating systems, fostering new, smarter ways of leading and collaborating.

When I consult, my aim is to encourage others to believe in their power to reconfigure human-made reality in a meaningful way. This requires people to take a new perspective, on themselves and the worlds they are part of, and to reflect on the contribution their systems can make to positively develop the greater whole.

I am a trained systemic consultant (Master, isb Wiesloch) with further training in topics like sociocracy, lateral leadership, Scrum, etc. My consulting work is run through my company Unlearn, which I co-founded in 2017.

Spotlights: Consulting

Seminars and Retreats

Developing equals unlearning: to question learned perspectives, to let them go, and to relearn.

In the past, I was lucky enough to have various spaces for this, held by very different teachers, be it for the head, the gut, or the heart.

Since 2021, I host the Unlearning Journey. This exclusive, nine-week-long voyage supports its participants in refining their sense for their core self, and their unique contribution to the greater whole. An intense exploration into your transformative potential. Please find more details here.

Since 2019 I teach at isb Wiesloch, one of the oldest and most renowned systemic institutes in the German-speaking world. My curricula take a deep-dive into processes of transformation, as well as the potentials and pitfalls of self-organised operating models.

Spotlights: Politics

Hertie Summit: Dialogue with Daniel Erk

June 2021

#GIW2021: Democracy under Threat. The Role of Political Intrapreneurs, with Lisa Witter, Anatole Jenkins, Laura Reyna

June 2021

Mindshift Conference: Programs for adult development for senior leaders in politics and business", with Kaa Faensen and Indra Adnan

May 2021

Mehr Demokratie e.V.: Transformative Demokratie, in dialogue with Roman Huber

April 2021

Das Progressive Zentrum: Die Post-Merkel-Politik. Trippelschritte oder Transformation? Mit Saskia Esken, Johannes Vogel, Ulrike Winkelmann

April 2021

Integral Voices: Another world is possible; with Aftab Omer, Monica Sharma, Indra Adnan and Tomas Björkman, Meridian University

April 2021

Das Progressive Zentrum: "Politik muss den Rahmen verändern", mit Clemens Holtmann

March 2021

evolve-Magazin 29/2021: Hanno Burmester denkt Politik neu

February 2021

Innocracy 2020: From ego to eco, in conversation with Otto Scharmer & Nipun Mehta

Berlin, October 2020

Innocracy Conference 2020: Bringing the Future back to Democracy

Berlin, October 2020

bewusst machtvoll. Gemeinsam mit Joana Breidenbach

Berlin, April 2020

J+K Echokammer: Demokratie unter Druck. Im Gespräch mit Heiko Kretschmer

June 2020

Radikalität und Ratlosigkeit: ein intimes Experiment, gemeinsam mit Joana Breidenbach. Veranstaltung von Das Progressive Zentrum, das Nettz und Betterplace Lab

Berlin, Dezember 2019

demokratie.io: Zur Zukunft der Demokratie im digitalen Zeitalter

November 2019

überMorgen: Innovation und Exnovation, Generali Arena

Vienna, October 2019

Demokratie21: Verlernen für die Zukunft, Gespräch mit Philipp Weritz

August 2019

carta Salon: Es war einmal die Sozialdemokratie, mit Kevin Kühnert und Leonard Novy

Köln, July 2019

Euractiv: Das zerstört die Gesellschaft

July 2019

Young Europeans‘ Forum: Thoughts on Social Cohesion

Berlin, June 2019

WDR5: Eine Chance für die SPD?

June 2019

Wiener Zeitung: Es geht darum, den Systembruch herbeizuführen

June 2019

Politikmonitor Österreich: Zwischen SystemVerdruss und Aufbruchsstimmung, gemeinsam mit Wiener Zeitung / SORAInstitut

Vienna, June 2019

The Deep Dive, Gespräch mit Clemens Holtmann

Februar 2019

Das Progressive Zentrum: Widerwillige Schicksalsgemeinschaft? Was etablierte von neuen Parteien lernen können – und umgekehrt

Berlin, December 2018

KarmaKonsum-Konferenz 2018: Die Veränderung der Welt gelingt nur in Verbindung mit uns selbst und anderen, Gespräch mit Christoph Harrach

November 2018

Innocracy 2018: The next democracy

Berlin, June 2018

SPD RheinlandPfalz: Vereinigte Staaten von Europa: nötig und möglich? Gespräch mit Robert Menasse, Isabelle Maras, Katja Sinko und Benjamin Zeeb

Mainz, May 2018

Denk ich an Deutschland-Konferenz 2017: Die Zukunft der Demokratie in Europa

Berlin, December 2017

Innocracy 2017

Berlin, November 2017

The Deep Dive: Alter Ego and the State of Politics, Gespräch mit Joana Breidenbach und Anja Adler

October 2017

European Reformists Summit: Europe’s identity in times of migration

Lyon, September 2016

Das Progressive Zentrum: Bereit für die Zukunft? Impulse für die strategiefähige Parteiorganisation, mit den GeneralsekretärInnen von CDU, SPD, FDP, Bündnis 90/Grüne, Stiftung neue Verantwortung

Berlin, April 2016

nextcoder session: The Future of Work and the Responsibility of Technology

Berlin, Januar 2016

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung: Kulturwandel durch Qualifizierung

Berlin, Dezember 2015

Heinrich Böll Stiftung: Zukunft der Parteiendemokratie

Berlin, November 2015

Netzwerk Berlin: Parteireform, Deutscher Bundestag

September 2015

Deutschlandfunk: Parteien unter Innovationsdruck

September 2014

Spotlights: Consulting

Fortschritt – Macht – Verantwortung: Was hat Bioökonomie mit mir zu tun?, Wissenschaft im Dialog / State

Berlin, August 2020

BankenChallenge: Transformation mit Sinn

Köln, November 2019

überMorgen: Innovation und Exnovation

Vienna, October 2019

Nordlicht Consultants: Weltretten 2029, Festvortrag zum Zehnjahresjubiläum

Hamburg, September 2019

Corporate Culture Jam: Purpose – der Hebel für Transformation, Wien, Mai 2019

Vienna, May 2019

KarmaKonsum-Konferenz 2018: Die Veränderung der Welt gelingt nur in Verbindung mit uns selbst und anderen, Gespräch mit Christoph Harrach

November 2018

Austrian Innovation Forum: Arbeiten im digitalen Umbruch

Vienna, October 2018

collab-Event, gemeinsam mit covolution

Berlin, October 2018

der Brutkasten: Vom Verlernen als Grundlage für die digitale Transformation, Gespräch mit Julia Weinzettl

September 2018

LU Digital: Digitaler Wandel – Unternehmen neu denken

September 2018

United Leadership Association: Mitbestimmung in Zeiten der Transformation, mit Ralf Fücks und Jürgen Falter

Berlin, June 2018

The Deep Dive: New Work und Spiritualität, Gespräch mit Joana Breidenbach

July 2018

isb-Pionierlabor: Wir sind Chef: Selbstorganisation eines Teams bei Bosch aus interner und externer Sicht, gemeinsam mit Ruth Schulze

January 2018

Volkswagen Berlin: Erwartungen, Chancen, Realität: Welchen Beitrag liefern Digital Labs wirklich, mit Valeria Mocker und Jennifer Geffers

Januar 2018

re:publica 2017: Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen: (k)eine Antwort auf den digitalen Wandel, Gespräch mit Bundesministerin Andrea Nahles

Berlin, May 2017

Xing New Work Session: Digitale Transformation und Kulturwandel

Düsseldorf, October 2016

nextcoder session: The Future of Work and the Responsibility of Technology

Berlin, January 2016

Words

Books

UNLEARN: A COMPASS FOR RADICAL TRANSFORMATION
(Perspectiva Press, QI/2021)

The development of individuals, organisations and society is intricately intertwined. Transformation on one of these levels has the potential to initiate, catalyse, or limit the transformation of the others.

Unlearn. A Compass for Radical Transformation focuses on the early, yet crucial stages of transformation: how can we – as individuals, organisations, or societies – acknowledge and let go of limiting and damaging patterns? How can we lay the foundation for something that is truly different?

The book is a work of love, written over three years. Driven by the desire to write about transformation from an integrating perspective, rather than treating the development of the individual, organisations and society as three separate issues, as the book market currently does.

Unlearn is not a theoretical book, but rooted in actual experiences in the worlds of individual, organisational and political transformation. It takes a personal look at my own journey of unbecoming, uses examples from processes of organisational transformation I facilitated, and ends with asking how transformation of our society as a whole can succeed.

Since fall 2021, Hanno hosts the Unlearning Journey, a transformative voyage of nine weeks. Duriung the Unlearning Journey, participants refine their sense of their core self, and explore the intersection of individual purpose and their unique contribution to the greater whole. Please find more details on the Journey here.

The book is published by Perspectiva Press. The spin-off of the London-based think tank Perspectiva publishes titles that explore the intersection between inner and outer transformation.

LIEBESERKLÄRUNG AN EINE PARTEI, DIE ES NOCH NICHT GIBT
(Quadriga Verlag, März/April 2021)

What should a party look like that is capable of dealing with the transformative challenges of our time?

Clearly: not like the political parties as we know them today, but different. But how so?

In our joint book, my friend Clemens Holtmann and I explore this question. Our book outlines the foundations, principles and core processes of a transformative party's operational system. A party that does not yet exist, but hopefully will soon.

Our book is not a manual, but a map. It shows those willing to experiment and drive transformation what areas of tension they will have to deal with in order to be lastingly successful with a new party. Believing that difficult terrain is more navigable when its rough challenges are known.

Texts

Thinking, writing and speaking freely: for me, this has been the most accessible expression of my individuality since childhood.

Finding the right words – this gives contour to what I feel and think, makes issues speakable, and thus subject to change.

This is why I have been writing for many years. First for fun, then as a journalist. Since 2013, I wrote mainly in my role as Policy Fellow. Since 2017, I have been primarily occupied with my book Unlearn, followed in 2020 by a book on transformative political parties. Both books have been released in 2021.

Below, you can find some of my last years' texts that are accessible online.

Selected publications

Keynotes

I speak internationally, be it in front of 50 or 4000 people. In recent years, I have spoken at national and international conferences, for global corporations, at the President’s residence, in the German Parliament, for foundations, and others.

Whether on central stage, as panelist or in dialogue during exclusive fireside events: my keynotes focus on the intersection of societal, organisational and individual transformation. The core question: how can fundamental change succeed against the backdrop of today’s existential, transformative challenges?

My aim: to inspire people to listen, reflect, and rethink.

Selected Keynote-Talks

Selected publications

Der Tagesspiegel: So sollte die Partei der Zukunft aussehen

Mai 2021

Innocracy 2020: Bringing the Future back to Democracy, with Paulina Fröhlich und Paul Jürgensen

October 2020

ZEIT Online: Wo sind die Ideen für die Demokratie?

September 2017

Das Progressive Zentrum: Adaptable, Diverse, Innovative. Five Future Impulses for Political Parties

August 2016

Organisationsentwicklung: Stupser für die innovative Organisation. Mit Nudging Organisationen bewegen, ZOE 1/2016

January 2016

Das Progressive Zentrum: Parteikultur. Ideen für Parteireform abseits von Satzungs- und Gesetzesänderung

September 2015

Progressive Zentrum/ Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung / Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung: Die Partei 2025. Impulse für zukunftsfähige politische Parteien

September 2015

Das Progressive Zentrum: Mehr als nur Plakate kleben. Warum Parteien eine Mitgliederstrategie brauchen

September 2015

Das Progressive Zentrum: Agil, vielfältig, innovativ. Fünf Zukunftsimpulse für politische Parteien

September 2015

Berliner Republik: Her mit den Visionen!, Berliner Republik 4/2015

August 2015

Theorie und Arbeit der Sozialen Arbeit: Vergesst Mitgliederwerbung! Warum die Mitgliederorganisationen ihre Zukunft anders denken müssen, TuP 6/2015

June 2015

Policy Network: Nudging hits Berlin

May 2015

Politik mit Zukunft. Thesen für eine bessere Bundespolitik, mit Isabella Pfaff, Springer VS

2013

The European: 2009-2012

2009-2012

taz: Mit dem Nazi beim Kartoffelkauf

April 2012

taz: Sexuell oder psychologisch abhängig

February 2012

taz: Schnüffeltechnik für die Welt

December 2011

Selected Keynote Talks

BankenChallenge: Transformation mit Sinn

Köln, November 2019

überMorgen: Innovation und Exnovation, Generali Arena Wien

October 2019

Nordlicht Consultants: Weltretten 2029, Festvortrag zum Zehnjahresjubiläum

Hamburg, September 2019

Young Europeans‘ Forum: Thoughts on Social Cohesion

Berlin, Juni 2019

Corporate Culture Jam: Purpose – der Hebel für Transformation

Wien, May 2019

Austrian Innovation Forum: Arbeiten im digitalen Umbruch

Vienna, October 2018

LU Digital: Digitaler Wandel – Unternehmen neu denken

Ludwigshafen, September 2018

United Leadership Association: Mitbestimmung in Zeiten der Transformation, mit Ralf Fücks und Jürgen Falter

Berlin, Juni 2018

Innocracy 2018: The next democracy

Berlin, June 2018

SPD Rheinland-Pfalz: Vereinigte Staaten von Europa: nötig und möglich? Gespräch mit Robert Menasse, Isabelle Maras, Katja Sinko und Benjamin Zeeb

Mainz, May 2018

Schloss Bellevue: Bildung im 21. Jahrhundert, anlässlich des Zukunftstages der Deutschen Kinder- und Jugendstiftung, mit Maja Göpel

Berlin, Juni 2018

isb-Pionierlabor: Wir sind Chef: Selbstorganisation eines Teams bei Bosch aus interner und externer Sicht, gemeinsam mit Ruth Schulze

Heidelberg, Januar 2018

Volkswagen: Erwartungen, Chancen, Realität: Welchen Beitrag liefern Digital Labs wirklich, mit Valerie Mocker und Jennifer Geffers

Berlin, Januar 2018

Denk ich an Deutschland-Konferenz 2017: Die Zukunft der Demokratie in Europa

Berlin, Dezember 2017

Innocracy 2017

Berlin, November 2017

re:publica 2017: Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen: (k)eine Antwort auf den digitalen Wandel, Gespräch mit Bundesministerin Andrea Nahles

Berlin, May 2017

European Reformists Summit: Europe’s identity in times of migration

Lyon, September 2016

Das Progressive Zentrum: Bereit für die Zukunft? Impulse für die strategiefähige Parteiorganisation, mit den GeneralsekretärInnen von CDU, SPD, FDP, Bündnis 90/Grüne, Stiftung neue Verantwortung

Berlin, April 2016

nextcoder session: The Future of Work and the Responsibility of Technology

Berlin, Januar 2016

Green Campus: Kulturwandel durch Qualifizierung

Berlin, Dezember 2015

Heinrich Böll Stiftung: Zukunft der Parteiendemokratie

Berlin, November 2015

Netzwerk Berlin: Parteireform, Deutscher Bundestag

September 2015