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Stretch Leadership
and Management

December 1-2, 2016

Stretch2016 is over but slides are available in the Speakers section. Enjoy!

Building Effective, Adaptable, Resilient and Purposeful

In the past years we touched three main topics of innovative leadership - teams, individuals, and organizations. This year we will focus on great teams again. We would like to cover topics such as:

- How to build and maintain high performing teams, who outlearn the competition
- How to be successful in a geographically distributed diverse environment
- What methods can lead to extreme ownership and unbeatable productivity
- What we can utilize from the latest big data and neuroscience research
- What we can learn from teams in sports and non-governmental organizations
- How to improve the quality of collaboration - “from ego system to eco system”

Come to learn from the best and STRETCH yourself!


08:00-09:00 Registration and breakfast
09:00-09.15 Opening
09:15-10:15 Peter Hawkins: Developing our Collective Leadership to face the Future Challenges
10:15-11:00 Jurgen Appelo: Managing for Happiness
11:00-11:20 Break
11:20-12:05 Jeff Gothelf: Building successful in-house innovation teams
12:05-12:50 Kate Beecroft: Autonomy. Vital to the new world of work.
12:50-14:20 Lunch
14:20-15:05 Sebastiano Armeli: Managing a software engineering team
15:05-15:50 Péter Orbán: Leadership Toolbox
15:50-16:10 Break
16:10-16:55 Rona Steinrücken & Ola Sundin: Accelerated Assimilation
16:55-17:40 Tomasz Dubikowski: Level-up your culture
17:40-23:40 Dinner & Party
08:00-08:30 Let's stretch (body & mind) yoga
08:00-09:00 Registration and breakfast
09:00-09:45 Mark McKergow: Leading as a host, not a hero
09:45-10:30 Alexis Eremia: Principles for collective transformation
10:30-10:50 Break
10:50-11:35 Carmen Simon: The Neuroscience of Decision Making
11:35-12:50 Open Space
12:50-14:20 Lunch
14:20-15:05 Gergely Kmethy: Cultivating quirkiness - True leadership occurs in the kitchen!
15:05-15:50 Tamás Müller: Learn to earn // Learn the company to the top of the game.
15:50-16:10 Break
16:10-16:55 Heiko Fischer: How to lead and operate your Organization with 100% Entrepreneurship | 0% Bureaucracy.
16:55-17:40 David McQueen: Lead from the Centre
17:40-18:00 Closing


Peter Hawkins
Renewal Associates
Thursday 09:15-10:15

Developing our Collective Leadership to face the Future Challenges

This talk will explore the emerging challenges for Organizations and their Leadership and then show what organizations, teams and individual leaders can do to develop their capacity to be fit for the future.

  The talk will draw on the Global research Professor Peter Hawkins has led studying Tomorrow’s Leadership and the Necessary Revolution in today’s leadership development as well as his 30 years of experience in coaching Leadership Teams in many parts of the world.

About Peter
Jurgen Appelo
Happy Melly
Thursday 10:15-11:00

Managing for Happiness

The research is clear: happy workers are more productive workers. Managing for Happiness is about concrete management advice for all workers. Practical things that people can do next Monday morning in order to make the organization a happier place to work, with people who run experiments and drive innovation. In this session, you will see how to manage the system, not the people. This is not only relevant for managers, but for everyone who is concerned about the organization.

About Jurgen
Jeff Gothelf
Thursday 11:20-12:05 via videolink

Building successful in-house innovation teams

You’ve read The Innovator’s Dilemma. You’ve bought into The Lean Startup. You’re ready to kickstart your company’s product innovation efforts. There’s just one problem: you’re not sure where to begin:

- What can design teach us about building a collaborative culture?
- How do you structure a successful product design team?
- How should that team work?
- How will that team measure success?

Jeff will offer practical, step-by-step, guidance on how to build and support successful product design innovation in your business. Using insights gained from leading and working with dozens of product and design teams, Jeff will step through team makeup, process steps, management structure and the corporate infrastructure needed for these teams to flourish.

Go to Workshop
About Jeff
Kate Beecroft
PDF Prezi
Thursday 12:05-12:50

Autonomy. Vital to the new world of work.

Work can be extension of life and not a subtraction. A place where you can step into your full potential and become a better human. Work and a job can be the community that we’re all searching for, a place where you can be surrounded by people you love and revel in the joy of being your full self in all its flawed complexity. Work can be a place where you attain full autonomy and creative expression.

I believe that self-organization and full participation are pre-conditions for autonomy. So is community.

Autonomy is very important to me, as it is to many other people under 30 or 35. Autonomy doesn’t mean individualism or isolation. It means freedom from external control or influence; independence.

Enspiral is a non-hierarchical, open, participatory network of 17 startups and 300 people. Ventures and individuals voluntarily contribute resources back to a foundation in the middle. We all collectively decide what to do with these resources using an app we built called Cobudget and we make all decisions together via decision making software built by one of the Enspiral ventures, Loomio. Enspiral is held up globally as an example of a ‘working’, open and participatory organization.

About Kate
Sebastiano Armeli
Thursday 14:20-15:05

Managing a software engineering team

You’re a senior engineer. You decide to switch to management and would like to get the experience of leading a team. How is your role going to change? What challenges are you going to face? How are you planning on keeping up with new technologies? Are people reporting to you going to see you as a leader and follow you?

Sebastiano asked himself all those questions when he became a manager. Find out the answers and learn what being a manager means at Spotify.

Management varies greatly depending on the organization you belong to - Sebastiano will explain to you what Spotify considers good or bad behavior from a manager. Spotify calls the people who directly manage engineers Chapter Leads. Learn what they do on a daily basis and which tools they use within their teams. Discover where the company stands in the discussion of leadership vs management.

Hear Sebastiano’s story and personal experience on the beliefs and practices engineering managers adopt at Spotify.

About Sebastiano
Péter Orbán
Thursday 15:05-15:50

Leadership Toolbox

Leadership is a relational skill; it is about how we interact with and relate to others. Becoming a leader from an engineering background can be rather challenging especially from this perspective, but the way we relate more effectively as leaders can be learned and improved.
Taking a non-deterministic approach we created a framework for personal and team development that supports many leaders at many stages of their careers in growing in to a more conscious, more relational, and more successful leader, enabling others to create real business value. The Leadership Toolbox is a set of simple and practical tools that has the potential to become part of a leaders’ everyday life. We expect that those tools will transform into habits and best practices that will help every leader to grow and lead effective teams with happy people.

The tools are structured in four categories suggesting a development path from creating self-awareness to developing teams, increasing motivation, engagement and supporting retention. Each and every one of us has some tools that we use, but are we sharing these? In this presentation Péter will give you an insight into his personal journey developing as a leader and introduce you to the concept of the Leadership Toolbox.

There are thousands of SW engineers missing in Budapest, we need to do our best to retain our key talents.

About Péter
Rona Steinrücken & Ola Sundin
Thursday 16:10-16:55

Accelerated Assimilation

Meet Alice. Tomorrow is her first day on the new job. Today she is terribly anxious to fit in, and at the same time really excited to get started. She really wants to prove herself, and become a productive member of the team. A million thoughts are running through her mind: Should she bring her own lunch or will they go out to eat? What will happen during the first day? What will people think of her?

Find out about how Bob the Buddy, Martha the Manager and Carol the Coach accelerate Alice's quest towards becoming a valuable member of the team. Learn how to transform a complete stranger into a productive team member.

About Rona & Ola
Tomasz Dubikowski
Ocado Technology
Thursday 16:55-17:40

Level-up your culture

Moving an organization towards higher agility is a many stepped process. Tomek will take you on a board-game journey to show the levels they have advanced through at Ocado Technology to achieve better people engagement.

Level1: Mob interview
Level2: Knowing your business
Level3: Teams are everywhere
Level4: Autonomy
Level5: Open culture

About Tomasz
Mark McKergow
Host Leadership
Friday 09:00-09:45

Leading as a host, not a hero

How to build engagement and responsiveness using a new (yet ancient) leadership metaphor
When we think about leading teams, it’s easy to look too hard at the leader as an individual. What matters more is the relationship between the leader and the team. Mark McKergow will speak about the new yet ancient metaphor of leading as a host, not a hero (or indeed a servant). Building on thousands of years of host-guest relationships, Mark will share his research into how great hosts can lead, and how leaders can learn to host. Thinking of the team as your guests is a rapid and effective first step towards engagement and progress.

About Mark
Alexis Eremia
Impact Hub
Friday 09:45-10:30

Principles for collective transformation

As we develop as leaders we hear different quotes like: “be the change you want to see in the world”, “leadership is about people”, “true leadership is when people say we did it ourselves”, etc. But what do they really mean and how do they actually apply in practice?

The leadership literature is filled with models and examples that want us as managers of organizations no matter what level we are at, how long our experience is or how big our organization is to be some super gurus close to Gandhi or alike.

Our office table is full of responsibilities, reports and requests and we are supposed to not just ensure the well-being of our organization, to grow it, scale it, thrive but also to ensure the well-being of every person in our organization. We were educated as doctors, teachers, bankers, software developers, you name it... and now we have to be personal counselors, mentors, coaches, motivators, charismatic and inspiring leaders. We sit there between all this and we think: how on earth can we be all this?
The answer I found is by NOT focusing on people as a direct impact but as beneficiaries of a framework, a set of values and principles, of a system they can use.
The organization significantly boosted performance and the retention rate was over 90%.

About Alexis
Carmen Simon
Rexi Media
Friday 10:50-11:35

The Neuroscience of Decision Making

Regardless of your job title, impacting people’s decisions is a vital component of staying in business. When you get others to do what you want (e.g., listen to your content, like you, share your ideas with others, buy your product, hire you, or promote you), you evolve. But how do you influence others’ decisions? Using neuroscience, this session provides a unique approach to decision-making. To get people to do what you want, you have to help them remember what you want. Influencing other people’s memory is the single, most important ingredient to decision-making and business success. Join this evidence-based session to discover how the brain decides, and learn how to stay on people’s minds long enough so they decide in your favor.

About Carmen
Gergely Kmethy
PDF Prezi
Friday 14:20-15:05

Cultivating quirkiness - True leadership occurs in the kitchen!

The key to long-term business success is the elusive “competitive advantage”. Real competitive advantage is tacit knowledge that cannot be copied. Strong companies tend to have very distinct company culture: “The way we do things around here”. But how are people “indoctrinated” in company culture? The venue is the teams, and team rituals play a significant role. In his presentation Gergely explores why team rituals are essential in forming and transmitting the company DNA.

About Gergely
Tamás Müller
Friday 15:05-15:50

Learn to earn // Learn the company to the top of the game.

Playing in the advertising field is difficult, the competition is fierce. Especially with digital roots, where knowledge gets obsolete day by day. But Mito got to the top of the game from a 3 people digital agency in 2008 evolving into a 160 people ad agency superseding all of our independent and most of our network agency competitors.

We believe that the key to this success in our field is having the greatest team ever. And we guess not just in our field. What makes a team dedicated and extraordinary?


Knowledge in our field of expertise that makes us the most professional ad agency and knowledge about each other that truly makes us friends, not just colleagues.

Let us show you some tips, tricks and tools how we ensure continuous learning on different levels within the team:
Mito Academy, Intro, UXversity, Mito Studio, Mito Labs, 4-hour playtime, Tabletop Thursdays, thematic Mito Breakfasts, Mr. Mito election, Mito Band, Mito Pickled Cucumber competition, Mito Cards, and even more serious and fun stuff.

About Tamás
Heiko Fischer
Resourceful Humans
Friday 16:10-16:55

How to lead and operate your Organization with 100% Entrepreneurship | 0% Bureaucracy.

About Heiko
David McQueen
Friday 16:55-17:40

Lead from the Centre

At the heart of every successful organization is a narrative that sets out what they stand for. Whether through strong branding, great case studies, customer service or people management this story is shaped in the vision, mission and values of these organizations. This story is the heartbeat that keeps them alive.

'Lead from the Centre' is aimed at business leaders who need to understand and learn how to build such narratives. Using the metaphor of a conductor and orchestra, and drawing from companies who have demonstrated leading from the centre, this speech is about practical tools and strategies of defining, designing and delivering great company narratives.

About David


Sense & Respond: How to Build & Lead Successful Lean Practices in High Growth Companies
Sense & Respond: How to Build & Lead Successful Lean Practices in High Growth Companies
with Jeff Gothelf

Cancelled due to the Lufthansa strike.

When 30th November 2016

Working with Millennials: How to build better performing and healthy teams. Together.
Working with Millennials: How to build better performing and healthy teams. Together.
with Kate Beecroft (Enspiral), Melinda Várfi (Impact Hub) and Tamás Hovanyecz (SocialFokus)

In the workforce, there is a lot of discussion about the millennial generation. This group, and all that come after it, are very digitally astute, and highly critical of doing things in the way that they have always been done. They value autonomy, creativity, collaboration, entrepreneurship, purpose and appreciation. Millennials will change job upwards of seven times in their career and highly talented individuals will vote with their feet and take a job not just for the paycheck but for the culture and vision of an organization. The attraction to and retention of millennials is essential for the survival of many organizations, especially technology based companies.

While working at various purpose-driven and self-organized companies and networks, we have experimented a lot and learnt how to build healthy and high-performing teams by creating our own environment.

This practical workshop will focus on understanding the core methods (Holacracy, Sociocracy, Teal, Agile and Enspiral’s ‘practice of experimentation and using what works’ method) of self-organizing systems and take away tools and practices that can be applied with your team or organization. We will practice self-management, experiments, reflection and constructive feedback. We will also ideate on how to set up internal creative labs and processes to fulfill your employees’ growing need for entrepreneurialism. We will be working in teams to apply the learnings instantly and to bring in the previous experiences and challenges of participants.

This workshop is for you if you:

  • Are tired of long, monotonous and unproductive team meetings where one or two people dominate.
  • Want to change your leadership style and become more collaborative.
  • Want to build the entrepreneurial mindset into the core of your company’s operation.
  • Want to bring healthier human connections to your company built on trust and empathy.
  • Need to ensure your younger team members are getting what they need from your organization.

What you’ll learn:
  • How to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard in a decision-making process.
  • How to empower your team by changing your style on meetings from leading a monologue to facilitating a discussion.
  • How to ensure more buy-in from team members
  • How to distribute leadership amongst your team members.
  • How the practice of reflection helps build the internal entrepreneurial mindset.
  • How to introduce practices such as stewardship or honest feedback practices to increase the wellbeing of your team.

When 30th November 2016 10:00-17:00

GTD®, the art of stress-free productivity: How to clear your head, free your thoughts, and get more stuff done.
GTD®, the art of stress-free productivity: How to clear your head, free your thoughts, and get more stuff done.
with Domonkos Hamar (Certified GTD® trainer, Hamar Productivity Consulting)

We all take on a bit too much sometimes and feel over-burdened as a result, and it’s because we want to balance all the stuff in our lives. Sometimes you can cope with it, but our guess is that sometimes you end up feeling like you might implode.
Getting Things Done® helps you to capture and clarify all the things you have going on in life and work in a systematic way that is simple and trusted.


With the right mind-set, you can achieve whatever you want (ok, apart from becoming a superhero. But you might get close). What you need is the right focus, and when you rid yourself of distractions, anything becomes possible.

Organize all your thoughts into places where you can access them later, and you will have the clarity of mind to get the right things done at the right time.
What’s more, you can achieve all this without getting stressed. In fact, you might become so organized that you have nothing on your mind anymore. It’s all in your “system”.

Find out exactly how this approach works at our highly-engaging public seminar with a GTD-certified trainer to alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed, boost confidence, and release your creative energy.

Change your game.

This workshop is for you if you:

  • Feel overwhelmed and stressed
  • Want to achieve more
  • Want to have less working hours, but the same (or even better) results
  • Want work-life balance
  • Tried GTD® already and somehow it didn’t work out

What you’ll learn:
  • What does productivity really mean
  • What are the best tools to capture your ideas and thoughts
  • How to clarify the real meaning of your tasks and commitments
  • The best way to organize your to-dos and projects
  • How to regularly stay on top of your world
  • How to choose with confidence what to do at any given moment

When 30th November 2016 09:00-17:00



Budapest is closer than you think

only a short flight away

Conference venue

Uránia Film Theather See it on a map

Uránia Film Theather is located in the centre of Budapest. It was built in the 1880s as a music and dance hall. The building is a combination of Eastern Moorish and Venetian Gothic styles. It was first used as a movie theatre in 1899, when the Uránia Scientific Society hosted a presentation here, illustrated with moving pictures. The name Uránia has been used ever since.

Uránia is not only a beautiful building but an important landmark too - this is where the first independent Hungarian feature film was shot in 1901, and where the first film screening was held after World War II. Today, Uránia is a showcase for Hungarian film, hosting several film festivals and cultural events.

Need an accommodation?




Special partner

Stretch is a non-profit conference. We are looking for sponsors who want to help us make this conference happen.
Take a look at our sponsor packages and contact us at


Stretch Conference is organized by

Bernadett Otterbein
Bernadett Otterbein
Sponsor manager, Ustream
Medea Baccifava
Medea Baccifava
Event organizer, Prezi
Bálint Köves
Bálint Köves
Program committee, chief organizer, Ericsson
Gergely Hodicska
Gergely Hodicska
Program committee, Ustream
Attila Balogi
Attila Balogi
Event organizer, Prezi
László Csereklei
László Csereklei
Program committee, Ericsson
Kinga Fekete
Kinga Fekete
Program committee, Prezi
Gizella Érsek
Gizella Érsek
Program committee, Ericsson

Contact us if you have a question at

Code of Conduct

TL;DR: Be excellent with each other

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event. We are expecting cooperation from all participants to help ensuring a safe environment for everybody.

The Quick Version

Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion (or lack thereof), color, national origin or genetic information. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers.

The Less Quick Version

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, color, national origin, genetic information, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualised images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualised environment.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. Conference staff can be identified as they'll be wearing branded t-shirts.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

We expect participants to follow these rules at conference and workshop venues and conference-related social events.