Six-minute video asks viewers to imagine how leadership can address some of the most pressing problems in the world, including a vibrant economy, society, and environment

PORTLAND, Ore., June 25 — XPLANE, a global information design consultancy, in collaboration with Nitin Nohria, Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, and Co-Chair of the Leadership Initiative at Harvard Business School, has created “Imagine Leadership,” an inspiring and thought-provoking video on the theme of global leadership. Nohria working with Amanda Pepper, also a member of the Leadership Initiative, sought the support of XPLANE to create a visually appealing, provocative piece that would inspire viewers to take action, get involved and be motivated to lead.

“It is my desire to inspire people of all ages and social demographics to think about leadership on a broad level, contemplate what it means to them and what individual impact they can have when it comes to leading,” said Nohria. “After seeing ‘Did You Know? 2.0’ I knew that we wanted XPLANE as our creative partner to help bring the facts to life through visual representation; I am confident that ‘Imagine Leadership’ accomplishes that goal and I am excited to share it with the public.”

“Imagine Leadership” is six minutes long and available for viewing on YouTube at: Inspired by the popular “Did You Know? 2.0” video created by XPLANE the new piece has similar qualities in how it visually represents key facts, critical information, and compelling leadership stories. “Imagine Leadership” moves at a dynamic pace and combines illustration, graphics, photography and typography, allowing the most appropriate visual content to represent each subject.

“It is part of our ongoing strategy to develop timely, thought-provoking pieces that educate key audiences on important subjects through the use of visual communication. When Nitin approached us about teaming up to create ‘Imagine Leadership’ we were both honored and excited,” said Aric Wood, chief executive officer, XPLANE. “The final production demonstrates our breadth of expertise when it comes to creating visual tools; in this case a video using a variety of visual content to tell a detailed story with many inner-woven subjects.”

Previous relevant XPLANATiONS that distill complex information in order to inform, entertain and provoke new ideas and thoughts include: “Did You Know? 2.0” a collaboration between XPLANE, Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod, “Savings & (mis)Trust“, “Put It Out“, an 11×17 poster showing the dangers of smoking and a print piece on how Barack Obama was able to turn down campaign finance funding. With an innovative visual, multidisciplinary methodology, XPLANE is unique because it applies both left and right-brained approaches to develop fresh solutions to challenging communication problems. This approach accelerates understanding, which drives actions and results.


XPLANE and Nohria are running a contest for video editors interested in creating a version of “Imagine Leadership” that doesn’t exceed eight minutes. There is a limit of one entry per person. Entries are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis; the first 50 unique entries are eligible for a 1st place prize of $500 and a 2nd place prize of $250. The deadline for entry is July 30, 2009. Winners will be notified on or by August 10, 2009. Minor and major adaptations are welcome, including a complete overhaul, but unlawful use, copying of another’s work, or misrepresenting someone else’s work as your own is prohibited. This entire project is released under a Creative Commons Share-Alike, Non-Commercial, Attribution license, and your entry must be licensed the same way. Creativity and originality are strongly encouraged — the aim is to make this video your own.

The video source file is available in Apple’s Keynote format and the vector art is available as an Adobe Illustrator file. Any alternate photography used must be in the public domain, royalty-free or released under the Creative Commons Share-Alike, Non-Commercial, Attribution license. For copyright reasons XPLANE cannot share the fonts or music used in its version, so editors are encouraged to use their own.

To enter, please link to submissions in a comment on this Wiki (use the “Discussion” tab at the top of the page). Submitted videos should be available for public viewing and entries will be accepted as video posts to YouTube, Vimeo or other public video sharing sites and linked to on this page in the Wiki.

Please also provide contact information, including email address, so that you may be reached in the event of winning the prize or for follow-up questions. For questions, concerns or more information, please see or contact Amanda at


Nitin Nohria is Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Co-Chair of the Leadership Initiative. The author of more than 10 books and over 100 articles and cases, his work centers on leadership and sustainable corporate performance. His current passion is restoring the lost public trust in leadership by inspiring a larger number of people to take on leadership challenges that contribute to the common good. The Leadership Initiative (LI) was created to support Harvard Business School’s mission “to educate leaders who make a difference in the world.” The Initiative seeks to champion research and course development and offer programs and colloquia that address critical leadership and leadership development challenges and opportunities. Our ambition is to encourage interdisciplinary exchange and bridge the gap between scholarship and practice.


Founded in 1993, XPLANE is an information design consultancy that drives better results for many of the world’s leading organizations including Microsoft, Nokia, ITT, and BP through visual thinking and design. XPLANE offers clients unique and personalized service through its employees’ diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise, including journalism, consulting, technology, marketing, training, illustration, interaction, process improvement and information design. Global XPLANE headquarters are in Portland, Ore. USA; European offices are based in Madrid, Spain and a third office is located in St. Louis, Mo. USA.

For more information contact:

  • Ann Smith
  • 503 956 2791