Arne Gillert


Building Sustainably Productive Spaces


“I am fascinated by the current transformation of our societies and economies. Knowledge has become the most important resource. There is movement, speed, uncertainty and ambiguity on a new scale. It is happening to us. Yet we have the opportunity to shape this transformation, to create a more sustainable, and humanistic world.

To do that, I believe that we need radical change in our societies, and organisations. Decisions will need to be made more participative because we need the knowledge of the many. Continuous learning is key, and will become a self-evident part of working, because we need the talents of the many. Our thinking needs to become more global. We can and should ask fundamental questions about everything – in that lies our opportunity, and the fun.”


Arne joined Kessels & Smit in the Netherlands in 2002 and started to build up the German community in 2010, since 2017 together with Tina Gadow and Marc Dechmann.

He support in a variety of roles. As Designer of social processes, to create spaces in which people can bring together their knowledge, interests and agendas. As Director (in the theatrical sense) in transformation processes, to translate strategy in a congruent and consistent way into new ways of working together. As Facilitator of large group events, to connect a whole system in a room and create relevant discourse and energy. As Coach to support professionals in increasing their impact.




Partners and colleagues value Arne for his creativity, presence, intensity and speed. Instead of avoiding tensions, he makes them productive. He combines sharpness with endless curiosity and appreciation for his counterpart. He mobilises, shapes, intervenes. And, at the same time, when helpful, he steps back, observes, going alongside. Arne has been working internationally for more than 30 years. He naturally bridges cultural difference.



Selected biographical data

  • 1998 MA Sociology, Organisational Psychology (Univ. zu Köln). 2002 MBA (Univ. of Michigan)
  • 1989-1999 Anne Frank Foundation, Amsterdam – Design and Execution of global educational Human Rights Programs
  • 2000-2002 Arthur D. Little, Boston Consulting Group
  • 2001, as part of the MBA: setting up of a commercial bank in Accra, Ghana
  • since 2002 Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company



Selected consulting projects

  • Heineken Italy, Greece: transformation to a consulting-based sales process while implementing a CRM system.
  • International Retailer:  Leadership Development as a one-year journey, maximally integrated into daily work processes.
  • International Strategy Consultancy: Training of Senior Project Leaders in communication and conflict management.
  • Oxfam International: design and facilitation within the global process to transform Oxfam to an organisation much stronger rooted in civil society of the global south.
  • C20: design and facilitation of the participatory process of global civil society in the framework of the G20 („Civil 20“), 2015.
  • International Foundation: evaluation as participative and action-learning process.
  • International Logistics Company: introducing the new, process-based organisational structure oft he global IT function.
  • Reknown Art Museum: restructuring bottom-up, as participative process.  

Inspiration Board



Curious to learn more about Kessels & Smit?

Get in touch with Arne Gillert