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Christiane Leiste and Andreas Bertram from Lean-in - Mindful Leadership

Lean-in is us: Christiane Leiste and Andreas Bertram. We have been working together at a university for a long time, Andreas as president of the university, Christiane as program manager Mindful Leadership. We work on topics that are particularly close to both of our hearts, topics such as leadership and collaboration, and together we design and create continuing education courses, workshops and seminars.



My great passion is Lewis Deep Democracy, a conflict resolution approach from South Africa, which is a completely new way of conflict resolution. When I was in a deep professional conflict myself and mediators and consultants were cutting their teeth on our conflict and we couldn't go back and forth, I met Myrna Lewis and experienced the deep transformative power of her method. I was immediately inspired by the approach and set out to learn everything there was to learn from Myrna. So now I am the first Lewis Deep Democracy Trainer and Deep Democracy Elder in the German-speaking world and spread the methods in my trainings, seminars and lectures. In the meantime I am also training other trainers and facilitators. Connected to this is my work as a conflict moderator, leadership developer and coach.

I work at the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences as a Mindful Leadership program manager and teach "Mindful Leadership" there and at Heliopolis University Cairo. The Mindful Leadership approach we have developed combines elements of mindfulness, meditation, theory -U and Deep Democracy.

By origin, I am a pedagogue with 1st and 2nd state exams. For many years I worked in different types of schools in Bavaria and Hamburg. Most recently, I worked in Hamburg's Wilhelmsburg district in classes with educationally disadvantaged children and children with a refugee background, whose fates are very close to my heart. There I also worked as a didactic leader, led a school trial and developed the program "CoResolve Youth Speaks" with Myrna Lewis, which I implemented in different schools and grade levels.

In between, I was active as a curator in Hamburg's cultural life. For example, as director of the cultural forum "ZeitZeichen" and the "Hamburger Klangwerktage", a festival for contemporary music at Kampnagel.

Constructive handling of conflicts and future-oriented team development and leadership styles have always interested me and so I continued my education with the conflict researcher Friedrich Glasl, Otto Scharmer (Theory-U), Jon Kabat-Zinn and Myrna Lewis. With Jack Kornfield I did the two-year "Mindfulness Meditation Teacher" training. With Ha Vin Tho I have been working together for many years in joint trainings on the topic of "Gross National Happiness."

Currently, I am setting up a "Personal Development Journey" for students of International Management at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, giving trainings in different leadership contexts and giving lectures in Germany and abroad.


My facilitation and consulting style is humorous, empathic and solution-oriented. I can listen deeply and have a sure feeling for "hot topics" in the team. Topics that are hidden under the surface and might want to be lifted one day in order to improve cooperation, release tensions and help the wisdom of the group to become more effective. Because in my eyes, every conflict holds opportunities for change and can be an occasion for development. It is advisable not to close one's eyes to conflicts, but to seize them as opportunities.


I live in Hamburg and have five grown-up children.

Christiane Leist | Lean in | Mindful leadership
Kintsugi beige tea ceremony chawan. Gold cracks restoration on old Japanese pottery restor

Look at the crack. Appreciate the crack. The crack - the conflict - is not a flaw, but an enrichment. 

                                                                                                     (Christiane Leiste)

Andreas Bertram | Lean in | Mindful leadership

As president of a large university of applied sciences, I bear responsibility for its management and development. In doing so, I am carried by a collaborative understanding of leadership, which I have placed at the center of organizational development in three guiding principles, tried out and further developed:

"We are all the organization" emphasizes that all opinions and points of view are important in the discussion and decision-making processes.


"Enable instead of allow" invites everyone to take responsibility for organizational development with their own ideas.


"Strengthen diversity together" values the potential of diversity as an organization's wisdom and calls on leadership to create safe and non-discriminatory discourse spaces for it.


In my work, I have noticed that leaders in politics and society are increasingly challenged to strengthen their competence profile around an open and professional handling of feelings and participatory decision-making processes. In this perspective, organizations are also social places that must have sufficient "social capital," especially for coping with crises. Mindfulness and compassion, but also the ability to deal with conflict, to deal with one's own emotions and the emotions of others, the ability to "stand in the middle of the fire," to listen and perceive with all the senses, and to act together require an open attitude and are a lifelong training path.


As a horticultural scientist, I am guided by the principles of evolution, growth and development as a cyclical and intergenerational unfolding of potential. My encounters with zur Bonsen (allinone spirit, participation in the leadership program "Leading with life"), Dr. Ha Vinh Tho (GNH, training certified Gross National Happiness Faciliator), Myrna Lewis (training Lewis Deep Democracy, certified CoResolve Trainer), Otto Scharmer (Methode-U) and Helmy Abouleish (Economy of Love) have deeply inspired me and have become the basis of my work.


I live in Osnabrück and have 3 adult children.

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