Six unique executive education pedagogy principles: CEDEP Global Executive Education Club


This Member Spotlight highlights the CEDEP Global Executive Education Club, what makes it a change-maker in global executive education and its unique pedagogy principles. A special thank you to Muriel Pailleux, Sales, Marketing and Communication Director, for the contribution. Happy 50th anniversary to CEDEP!

CEDEP Global Executive Education Club is a unique executive education community created by and for some of the world’s leading companies. For over 50 years, CEDEP has been co-run and co-governed by non-competing multinationals, including global icons L’Oréal, Renault, Biomerieux, ITT, Bristol Meyers Squibb and Tata Steel.

Remaining true to its roots, CEDEP enables these diverse members to tackle real-world executive leadership challenges and share best practice within a collaborative and highly engaged learning community.

‘Fifty years ago, CEDEP was founded on mutual collaboration between member companies and our executive education and leadership development programmes continue to be co-designed, co-created and co-managed. We firmly believe in actionable and participant-centric learning, and none of our programmes are off the shelf,’ explains Thomas Hinterseer, Managing Director at CEDEP.

‘It’s this true commitment to active participation that makes this holistic approach so successful. There’s a real sense of trust and discretion, and together we all take responsibility for our impact in the workplace and beyond,’ he adds.

Learning philosophy

At the heart of CEDEP’s learning philosophy is the understanding that community is a critical enabler of highly relevant and actionable learning. As a result, CEDEP’s programmes are rooted in the real world and driven by real-life member challenges.

‘A big part of our philosophy is to bring participants’ realities into our unique amphitheatre,’ explains Thomas. ‘For example, we require participants to prepare descriptions of their challenges or latest projects before attending our programmes. These are then shared via different methodologies with our community to serve as reference points and development opportunities.’

‘In the context of multimodal seminars, this ability to gather valid feedback on progress and impact allows the participants to adjust and exploit their learning.’

The role of CEDEP’s faculty has shifted from delivery – how much one talks – to conceiving and developing highly relevant learning journeys and guiding participants through them. Discovering new contexts helps to challenge implicit assumptions, and CEDEP’s learning expeditions, collective activities and spirit of experimentation are extremely popular with participants.

CEDEP is referred to as a meeting of minds where members of its ecosystem come together for inspiration, exchange and development in a safe setting.

Six unique pedagogy principles

The following six unique pedagogy principles underpin all of CEDEP’s innovative and collaborative programmes. Finely tuned over many years, these principles are at the core of CEDEP’s success in helping companies develop their leaders to create purpose-driven, agile and sustainable organisations.


1. Actor of one’s own learning

Because we hear better answers when we have raised the question ourselves, CEDEP’s participants play an active role. This approach, therefore, integrates the participants as a pedagogical resource, makes room for the emergence of common knowledge and creates context.

2. Knowledge archiving

Because it would be a waste not to exploit new knowledge to the full, participants collaboratively document their learning and help to disseminate new ways of working throughout the group, or may even become stakeholders in the group themselves.

3. Learning to unlearn

Because the evolution of behaviour requires the resetting of certain mental algorithms, participants must go through phases of questioning or unlearning during which their mental models are confronted with others. This approach is based on stimuli implemented through various exercises.

4. Less is more

Because in pedagogy less is more, participants are exposed only to what really matters and irrelevant input that cannot be applied immediately is eliminated.

5. Diversity at the core of our activities

CEDEP works with cohorts that are representative of all the mental and practical patterns of a given ecosystem to ensure maximum diversity and a voice for all. Safe spaces are offered for creative encounters and exchanges rather than traditional master classes. As a result, no one is left behind because of introversion.

6. Walk the talk

All elements of CEDEP’s programmes, as well as the methods used, reflect a strategic and, therefore, adaptive approach. This includes co-construction along the way, multi-mode, experimentation, sharing and conversations at the heart of the system.


CEDEP is a global executive education club and collaborative learning community of leading international organisations including L’Oréal, Renault and Tata Steel. Each year nearly 2,000 participants from 20 member companies, including some of the world’s leading businesses, take time out to reflect, challenge conventions and assumptions to build a better way forward and increase their impact. This makes CEDEP a unique place in the world of executive education and a valued partner which helps companies develop their leaders, creating purpose-driven, agile and sustainable organisations.

For more information about CEDEP’s unique pedagogy, please visit

CEDEP has been an EFMD member since 2007. The organisation won an Excellence in Practice Gold award in 2021 in the Social and Environmental Impact category. See more of our Member Spotlight series here. If you are interested in participating in the Member Spotlight, please contact us.