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ACT 2021 Featured Capstone:

A Mindful Leader! 
Human-Centered Culture in the Corporate World

Marc Schaefer

Managing Director in a FinTech Bank-Startup, Coach and Mediator — Germany



Who did your Capstone Project serve ?
My Capstone Project was designed to serve a fintech start-up — a bank in the financial industry where I am working as Managing Director — by setting the foundation of a human-centered leadership and corporate culture with awareness, kindness and compassion.

What was the suffering that your project addressed?
The suffering my project targets the need for a new kind of corporate culture — a different way of leadership and collaboration. 
I believe that global society needs to change towards the values of awareness, kindness and compassion, and this requires a change in our working culture and the management of corporate organizations. 

How did this project address that suffering?
The project addresses that suffering by creating a culture of human-centered leadership and corporate culture based on natural human needs for impact and purpose. It also addresses the outstanding balance in companies between being human-centered and business-driven. This balance is attractive for staff, especially impact-driven employees, and it encourages higher loyalty and performance. 

Who was your audience and how many people participated? 
The audience of my Capstone Project was the Management Team of our company — C-level (CEO, CFO, CGO), Managing Directors and middle Management — in total 16 - 21 managers.

How was the project delivered (the format)? 
The delivery phase was a hybrid formula of in-person and Zoom meetings over a period of 12 weeks. The project contained, 1) an inspirational content talk, 2) background information in monthly and weekly workshop-sessions
, 3) weekly guided meditations and 4) a final session with a "fireside chat." 

What was the reported impact on or feedback from participants? On yourself? 
Participants reported a shift towards a more mindful and compassionate work environment, especially for a financial institution with a disruptive market approach. 
 We realized that professionalism and compassion do not have to be in conflict.

How has the ACT Program helped you become an Ambassador of Compassion? 
As part of ACT 2021, I took a big step towards my personal goal. 
 My self-compassion and awareness were strengthened, and my ability to develop compassion for others was also developed. I have matured into an open-hearted, human-centered leader, who can also express vulnerability in his corporate environment.

What advice would you give to someone who's considering participating in the ACT Program? 
I was looking for a well-structured, mind-changing program, which supports and cultivates compassion. With ACT 2021, I had the opportunity to be part of such a well-designed program with a network of like-minded people.



Be the change!

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