Advisory Board

Dr. Seren Dalkiran

Seren Dalkiran, Ph.D. is a versatile futurist, innovator, complexity scientist, (leadership) educator, and consultant based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She is the originator and founder of the Synergized Earth Network (SEN) and founder of the Millennial Leadership Lab (MLL).

Over the years, Seren founded multiple global organizations, platforms, and networks. She is an award-winning expert, adviser, and public speaker in the exploration of new paradigms, NextGen leadership, intergenerational cooperation, and the future of education and work.

Seren builds bridges between theory and practice at the nexus of science and society to generate (data-driven) knowledge to tackle societal challenges across disciplines, sectors, and generations. She is driving 21st-century cutting-edge leadership innovation and organizational development in scientific research and translates it into practice by developing social-technology innovations, to prepare the next generations of leaders, professionals, and organizations for the future and enhance human societies sustainably forward in the digital age.

Seren completed an award-winning (Emerald & HETL Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards) interdisciplinary Ph.D. study on Millennial leadership worldwide and its implications for the future of education and work in the digital age at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Utrecht University, and Varna University of Management with the support of the eminent Professor Geert Hofstede.

As a constant bridge-builder, she connects her diverse roles as a thought leader, scholar, educator, values-based entrepreneur, artist, documentary-maker, and writer.

In her fieldwork, Seren has been involved in a wide range of global leadership programs across 28 countries and 6 continents as a delegate and organizer. She is also active as an ambassador and alumni in various leading (youth) leadership, futures & foresight, and sustainability networks around the world and has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector.

She dedicated her life journey to working towards a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world for human and planetary flourishing. In her versatility, she has been unstoppable in her scientific, societal, cultural, and artistic engagements, from establishing her own (award-winning) NGO when she was in high school on human rights, women’s rights, and youth empowerment, to making her own (television) documentaries, developing educational curriculum on the right to self-determination and identity formation with national implementation in The Netherlands, as well as the leadership and talent development organizations that she established globally and creating her own doctoral program.

In her dedication to making a difference in both Dutch society and the global community at large, she won numerous (inter)national awards for academic excellence, leadership development, and societal engagement. In her TedX talks, she elaborates further on her vision and work. Watch The Role of Millennials in The Emerging Story of Our Time and The Future of Work and Leadership by Humanizing the 4IR.

Seren is the originator and co-founder of the Synergized Earth Network (SEN), a global value-driven intergenerational network of networks that brings together leaders across generations to tackle the most pressing challenges of our time across generations, disciplines, and sectors. Its focus is on awareness-building, leadership development, lifelong learning, and personal and talent-development processes with a self-organizing approach. SEN organizes value-based leadership programs, retreats, and summits and encompasses a growing world community and network of emerging values-based youth leaders and seasoned leaders working towards a more just, thriving, and sustainable world.

Based on her Ph.D. study, Seren initiated Millennial Motion, which is a platform launched as part of the Synergized Earth Network (SEN) and in collaboration with the Centre for Innovation of Leiden University, HagueTalks, OYW The Hague, and with the support of ImpactCity The Hague Innovators, ImpactEconomy, City of The Hague. She established the Millennial Leadership Lab (MLL), which is a data-driven knowledge platform that has been established to build knowledge in the industry by focussing on equipping the next generation of leadership and preparing for the future of the workforce.

As a founder of Millennial Leadership Lab (MLL), Seren consults C-level executives in (Fortune 500) companies and organizations to understand and better engage their internal and external Millennial and Gen Z workforce and prepare them for the future of work. Seren developed an accredited leadership curriculum entitled Skills Academy: Maximize Your Potential to equip Masters students with 21st-century and transferable skills of learning and leadership to ensure a smoother transition to the labor market, for the Centre for Innovation (CFI) and the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Leiden University, The Netherlands.

The Millennial Motion: The Next Generation of Leadership platform is a global intergenerational platform that gathers youth leaders, young professionals, (future) decision-makers, innovators, (social) entrepreneurs, scientists, educators, and seasoned leaders and mentors industry-wide in global change processes to generate possible solutions across various impact areas (e.g. education, business, civil society, governance, and technology and grassroots leadership). As an initiator and organizer of this platform, Seren organized a series of leadership events. She developed the NextGenTalks format to provide next-generation leaders with a platform to voice their perspectives on their role in global change and enhance intergenerational collaboration.

Seren organized these events all around the world in cities like The Hague, Bombay, Sydney, and Istanbul in partnership with the Centre for Innovation, The Hague Campus Leiden University, One Young World The Hague, Impact City Municipality of The Hague in The Netherlands, Blue Ribbon Movement, Re-lead, Sustainaware, Erasmus+partnerships in India, University of Notre Dame Australia Leadership Program & Student Services. Some of these events followed with a leadership retreat to co-develop a vision and strategy for the next generation of leaders such as in Turkey, in cooperation with KODA, Book Morning, Impact Hub Istanbul, Ashoka Turkey, ChangemakerXchange, and Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Seren also brought the NextGen Talks to Dubai with a focus on the field of Futures & Foresight within the framework of the 20th anniversary of the Association of Professional Futurists (APF) where she brought together next-generation leaders in the MENA region at the iconic Museum of the Future hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation.

Seren is building a community of futurists, foresight practitioners, innovators, thought leaders, and creatives to navigate some of the biggest questions of our time in the exploration of new paradigms and the role of NextGen Leadership across various impact areas (personal development, well-being, social change, sustainable development, technology, and lifelong learning) in partnership with ATÖLYE, School of Humanity, Pearl Initiative, Arab Youth Center, the Global Council on SDG13: Climate Action, Sangha Estidama Hub and the support of One Young World Middle East. Her focus is on the human-centric aspects of innovation in the age of techno-optimism.

Seren was awarded the Emerging Fellows 2023–2025 fellowship by the Association of Professional Futurists (APF) where she is also a member. Emerging Fellowships are awarded to some of the most promising new futurists in order to give them a platform for cultivating their voice, developing foresight capability, and illustrating current futures issues. She is a member of the Dutch Node of the Millennium Project, which is a global participatory think tank to improve global foresight and is a Foresight Europe Network (FEN) Member. Seren is also a member of the Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Network (NGFP).

She is a member of ATÖLYE, a strategic design and innovation consultancy that helps organizations to tackle complex challenges to create lasting impact through a community-powered approach and is one of the creative leaders at Neol, a platform for leaders who are driven to deliver the best work of their lives where she is an active member in shaping the Futures & Foresight pod. She is a fellow at the International Big History Association (IBHA) and a fellow at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce Fellowship (RSA).

Seren received the Student Leadership and Civic Engagement Hesselbein Global Academy Gold Medal for excellence in youth leadership at the University of Pittsburgh in the U.S. (2010) and served as an ambassador for the academy under the mentorship of the eminent leadership educator Frances Hesselbein.

She is One Young World Ambassador and served as a member of the Advisory Board, Legacy Advisor, and Bid Committee Member to the Municipality of The Hague in co-developing and co-facilitating the drafting process of The Hague Youth Declaration on Human Rights in Action as the legacy project for One Young World The Hague in collaboration with the organizations Cordaid and Kompas.

The annual One Young World summit convenes the brightest young talent from every country and sector, working to accelerate social impact. Delegates from 190+ countries are counseled by influential political, business, and humanitarian leaders. Seren is also a member of the Catalyst2023 network, which is one of the premier global platforms for social innovators and systems thinkers globally and is also one of the social innovators of the Changemaker X Change platform.

She attended the premier youth leadership summits and platforms that she is an ambassador for such as Education Without Borders (EWB) in Dubai, International Youth Leadership Conference (IYLC) in Prague, Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) in Washington DC, and World Youth Congress (WYC) in Rio de Janeiro. Seren also is a mentor for the Queen Young Leaders.

Seren gave various keynotes and workshops at key global events at various institutions, universities and corporations. Among others are the Club of Rome, International Big History Association (IBHA) Conference at University of Amsterdam, Schumacher College, Utrecht University, Maastricht University, the Chicago School for Professional Psychology, Howard University, GENE Global Education Network Europe and as a Youth Representative in the Think-Tank meeting at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, for (Fortune 500) companies such as for the Royal DSM Earth Day Science to Society event, Siemens and Fugro, for (youth) leadership networks such as the European Leadership Platform, Caux Initiatives of Change Conference, World Youth Congress, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Peace Conference, and for global institutions and ministries such as the European Commission, OECD, and International Court of Justice.

Seren was one of the 100 thought leaders, scientists and authors in the book HOOP (top 5 bestseller book in The Netherlands) by the journalist Joris Luyendijk. She is one of the 150 sustainability leaders and systems thinkers at the Het Groene Brein Network (Green Brain Network) in the Netherlands, and also one of the Global Sustainable Leaders and a member of the International Leadership Association (ILA). She has been selected among the top 100 next generation sustainable leaders and forerunners in The Netherlands in the DJ100 (Duurzame 100 list (2016).

She is also one of the advisers of the inspiration council for the NCDR (National Coordination for Discrimination and Racism) at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in The Netherlands, where she brings her perspectives on leadership development, talent management, Diversity & Inclusion. She has been one of the Top Green Game changers in the Colourful Top 100 list, which is an achievement award for 10 bi-cultural leaders driving societal innovation and change forward in The Netherlands (2017).

Seren earned her Ph.D. in International and Global Studies in 2018 from The University of Notre Dame Australia, Utrecht University and Varna University of Management with the support of the eminent Professor Geert Hofstede. She pioneered her award-winning (Emerald & HETL Outstanding Doctoral Research Award) and cutting-edge individualized Ph.D. research on Millennial leadership in 117 countries.

During her PhD she co-shaped the Notre Dame Student Leadership Program. She did her Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in 2010 at the University of Sydney at the departments of Gender and Cultural Studies and Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies (CPACS) funded by the Huygens Scholarship Programme awarded by Nuffic and the Minister of Culture, Education, and Science in The Netherlands.

Seren earned her Bachelor’s Degree at the honors program of University College Utrecht in Liberal Arts & Sciences with a major in Sociology and Anthropology and a focus on leadership development, societal change, and sustainable development. She did research on Honor-Related Violence, Active Intervention, Prevention, and the Role of Education (2008), The Ethics of Development and Readiness for Change (2009), and From Politics of Images to Politics of Differences–Post 9/11 Cinematographic Representations and Reflection on Racialized and Gendered Multicultural Identities (2010).

Seren received the ECHO Awards for University Education from the Minister of Education, Culture, and Science in The Netherlands. The ECHO Awards are given to students who thrive as leaders in both academic excellence & civic engagement to contribute to society at large. She also received the Award for Extraordinary Achievements at Utrecht University. She was nominated for her efforts in the public domain and her tremendous amount of societal projects to drive meaningful and lasting impact.

Seren also attended the University of Cambridge in 2005 to study English and English Literature, the University of California (UCLA) in 2007 to study the Sociology of Gender, and Macquarie University in 2008 to study Women Studies, Conflict Resolution, and Indigenous Studies. In 2013 and 2014, she studied Complexity Science with a focus on Complexity and Leadership — Transforming Organizations in the Age of Uncertainty at Schumacher College.

Between 2005 and 2016, Seren was a delegate and organizer in Global Leadership Programs (GLP) in 6 continents and 28 countries as a substantial part of her field work, research and lifelong learning education. She participated in experiential learning opportunities intersecting theory and practice and focused on the world’s most pressing complex global challenges on a social, economic, and ecological level with human dignity and development as a central theme. After these programs Seren worked for various Community-Based Organizations and NGO’s where she developed various projects and conducted practice-based research in the local communities.

Examples are creating a local newspaper that addresses local community issues at Lamu island in Kenya where she was a researcher for the Community Action Group for the local organization Lamu Chonjo, to developing a strategy for the NGO Pradan in Orissa for the Siali leaf-plate micro-credit project for local women (Kandhamal Women’s Leaf-plate Cooperative Limited) for local women to build livelihood capacities as part of the Developing Countries, Developing Leaders India program with Share People, to raising awareness around the importance of reconciliation in the Aboriginal Communities at Inspire Foundation in Sydney.

Between 2005 and 2017, Seren was the co-founder of the Lost Faces Foundation (Verdwaalde Gezichten). This organization strives to encourage societal and political participation among youth as well as adolescents and raises awareness concerning fundamental human rights issues such as self-determination and self-development. The Lost Faces Foundation places a special emphasis on gender equality, and empowerment of youth and minorities in societies. The ultimate goal of the foundation is to raise awareness and bring about a change of mentality in society.

She was co-initiator and co-developer of the Black Tulip (Zwarte Tulp) Project. The Black Tulip Project is an educational project that works on discussing honor-related violence, harmful traditions, identity development, and the right to self-determination among young people in secondary schools on all levels. Black Tulip has been nationally implemented at high schools in The Netherlands under the support of the Minister of Education, Culture & Science and the Minister of Housing, Communities & Integration received several (inter)national awards.

For her work with Lost Faces Foundation her projects received the WOMEN INC. CORDAID award, which is an international award for the best inspiring women’s initiatives fostering women empowerment (2005) and the 2nd place achievement for the annual Zami Award (2005) and the LIBELLE Star Accomplishment award for socially involved women with charitable goals in Dutch society by Libelle magazine and the Secretary of State on Public Health, Welfare and Sports, The Netherlands (2007).

Seren also made documentaries at Bromet Film School with (the well-known documentary maker Frans Bromet and Yeter Akin) between 2006 and 2010. They made the television documentary Eerwraak (Honor Killings) broadcasted on national Dutch and Belgian television in 2007, which was also shown at the annual International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2008, and the documentary Lost Faces on honor killings and honor-related violence in the Netherlands and Turkey in 2006.

She also made the DREAMS Inspiration documentary about leadership in youth empowerment in cooperation with the filmmaker Sia Hermanides in 2007, and she contributed to the documentary Jongeren over Opvoeden en Opgroeien (Raising and Educating Youth) in cooperation with Stichting Voorbeeld (2007). Watch the documentary Lost Faces, which has been nominated for the International Film Festival for Humanity Explored Culture Unplugged.

She was also an initiator and coordinator of the educational project DREAMS in 2007 during the Inspiration for Integration Contest at De Baak Management & Leadership Centre VNO-NCW. Dreams is an educational leadership development focussed project for secondary schools in which young people are encouraged to contemplate their future prospects and identity, who and where they want to be in society.

For these projects she won the Inspiration for Integration Leadership Award, which is the public contest award for cultural diversity to leaders driving positive impact in tackling minority issues within society. At the &-Campaign Award, Achievement campaign award for Spatial Planning, Environment and Integration, Dreams was chosen as the best project among 1001 projects, category youth empowerment by The Ministry of Housing, Neighborhoods and Integration in The Netherlands (2007).

For her project Dreams she also received the COSMO GIRL BORN TO LEAD AWARDS, which is an annual achievement award in the Inspirator category for inspiring the next generation of leaders to pursue their dreams and drive societal change, Cosmo Girl Magazine, The Netherlands (2007).

At an early age, Seren was the Youth Ambassador to the Amsterdam City Council (JAA! Jongeren Actief voor Amsterdam) at YoungWorks with the main goal of applying local politics to lobby and organize events for youth empowerment and engagement in the City of Amsterdam by voicing their needs.

She started her societal journey with writing and reciting poetry about the pressing societal issues that she perceived in the world. In 2002, she was categorized in the Dutch Literary Awards and performed nationally at various poetry and literature platforms in The Netherlands. She also received the first prize in Troya, Papyrus & Utopia Poetry awards and the second prize in Toekomst in Bloei Awards (Future in Bloom) in The Netherlands (2002).

Through all her engagements, Seren has been passionate about supporting the next generation of leaders to discover their purpose and develop their talents to unleash their full potential and drive social and sustainable change towards a better today and tomorrow.

Visit her LinkedIn profile. Follow her NextGenTalks channel and follow her on Twitter.