Céline Shillinger presenting at Social Now 2019

Céline Schillinger on Digital Leadership (video)

Céline Schillinger is a familiar face in conferences all over the world. After a plentiful business career across several continents, Céline now runs her own consultancy, We Need Social, helping organisations and leaders create value through Engagement Leadership: the active mobilisation of internal and external stakeholders, at the interplay of technology, management research and living systems thinking.

Her keynote at Social Now 2019 had the provocative title “Leadership is broken. Can digital help?” and she used it to invite participants to reflect on current leadership, both in the context of organisations and the wider society, and to explore the role of digital in shaping more positive behaviours.

For her, “disengagement and populism are two faces of the same problem” and although digital can augment the negative impact of bad leadership, she also knows that “digital can be a wonderful, amazing, super powerful force for good”.


Social tools help “people recognise themselves as fully humans instead of just colleagues”.


Céline considers that social tools help significantly with:

  • information – better decisions through easier access to unfiltered information;
  • identity – better odds to succeed with transformation through mindset change;
  • relationship – better business performance through relational engagement.


“Digital is a transformer, is a game-changer because it changes the nature of our interactions, not just an engine that speeds up things or that makes things easier”


Céline Schillinger's slide at Social Now 2019

Céline Schillinger closed her opening keynote with a set of questions to prompt conversation for the whole 2 days of Social Now 2019


To wrap up, Céline volunteered three personal convictions:

  • The answer will not lie in digital alone: we will have to deal with the messy humans we all are
  • Change leaders need to be even more aware of their own impact
  • The work of change leaders, even in organisations, is “profoundly political”.

Both the questions and her concluding remarks ignited many conversations throughout the rest of the conference. Maybe Céline’s talk can also ignite many good conversations at your organisation. Watch her talk and share it with your colleagues.

Here is the video of Céline‘s talk at Social Now 2019. Click here for the slide deck she used during his talk.

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