Arne Gillert

Germany, Netherlands, South Africa

Building joyful, sustainably productive environments


Arne Gillert is partner with Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company, in Germany and the Netherlands.


Arne works on supporting organisations, institutions and the people that work there in responsible positions – mostly board members and directors – to remain effective and relevant in the midst of the major social, economic and technological transformations we experience today. This support comes from various roles; be it as leadership developer intervening in daily work, as developer and moderator of change processes, as designer and facilitator of large-group interventions, to allow the whole system in the room to come to a productive connection of interests, as coach who, by supporting and challenging, stimulates the reflection on one’s own thinking and acting.


In more than 20 years of working across the globe, Arne has supported a broad range of organisations and projects:

  • concept and facilitation of the civil-society participation in the G20 process 2015 (Civil 20);
  • supporting the global change process of an international NGO;
  • strengthening customer orientation with a global FMCG company;
  • design and implementation of a leadership development programme for the top-talents of an international retailer;
  • strategic coaching of board members as well as the founders of various start-ups.


Arne works with people as a partner, in close contact. From that position, he enjoys the mind-twisting of new perspectives, out of prevalent culture and dominant patterns, challenging current thinking and doing. He facilitates space for others and himself to playfully think along new paths, resulting in radically innovative approaches. His drive is to support people to take more responsibility for themselves and their own actions, and for the larger whole – the team, the value chain process, the organization, society at large. He wants to contribute to build joyful, sustainably productive environments, small and big scale.


Arne has a background in a variety of fields. He was intercultural trainer, and designed and managed international educational Human Rights projects for the Anne Frank Foundation. In the private sector, Arne worked as management consultant (Arthur D. Little, Boston Consulting Group), and he supported setting up a commercial bank in Accra, Ghana. Arne holds an MA in sociology and organizational psychology, and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He speaks German, English and Dutch on a (near-) native level.