Activating high value business ecosystems to achieve the U.N. SDGs together!

In 6 month, with nine businesses and eight students, the project activated a business ecosystem value at €500.000 of yearly profits. The ecosystem includes one institution of higher education, local SMEs, social entrepreneurs, globally operating companies and change agent international networks.

In this collaborative effort, we proved that a) creating above average leadership value to businesses in any sector b) innovating/diversifying income streams for higher education and d) moving towards the U.N. SDGs can be done in less than six months!!

Benefits for businesses:

  1. get access to 30h of high value systemic strategy design to avoid the pitfalls of business failure caused by linear models

  2. grow seamlessly into a regional Business Ecosystem, understand the dynamics of a hyperconnected market, identify strategic investment areas

  3. increase the quality of business related decisions, create non-intuitive insights on managing business and partnerships

Benefit for young leaders:

  1. build high trust relations into professional networks, be seen as serious semi-professional

  2. develop systemic leadership skills, see links between seemingly unrelated fields

  3. embody career related skills such as critical thinking, creativity, complexity management, collaboration or deep listening

A COLLABORATIve effort of



We asked all participating stakeholders one simple question:

“How was your experience?”



CEO and Co-Founder | U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce

“I truly feel that you are offering your participants a one-of-a-kind value and opportunity to engage in real life work challenges. Hearing that you are talking to a wide variety of platform users makes it extremely worthwhile giving your participants a way to help put on their critical thinking cap in a safe environment. But then at the same time making them feel empowered as they are not just having conversations with the various businesses, but are a critical part of providing real life solutions. This opportunity can really shed new light on how they see the world, their own careers, problem solving, management, etc. It feels like an expert guided thinktank -- a mastermind session. They are learning that challenges come up in any kind of business and there can be fun/rewards in solving those.”



Student | Business Economics

“The project has given me many opportunities to connect with a variety of intriguing people. Those people always have a different view of the world and systems we live in than most people. Engaging with them allowed me to gain new insights into things I would have never thought about in that way.

One important thing I have learnt is iceberg thinking. That means that we, as a group, dove deep into the cases and problems that people gave us. Instead of only looking for a solution, I learned to also look at (thinking) patterns behind it. In that way, we were often able to give back a result, to the people we worked with, that they would have never thought of by themselves.

In combination with an awesome group of other students and teachers, this project has brought me very much.”


Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Development and Technology Management (IDTM), Cape Coast, Ghana

“I had a great deal of and exciting human interaction with the team that went beyond a virtual session. The team was engaging and enquiring”.



Student | Game Design & Production

“Within the safe boundaries of a well-structured program, the learning environment gives me the opportunity to freely discover the potential of my imagination.

Despite it being a fast-paced and results oriented online program, it allows me to learn deeply through exposing me to exciting real-world problems of thought leaders; followed by online based scientific analysis and discussion. A process I never experienced in conditions of standard education.

This spark of inspiration is constantly lit up by every new case study as well as the contribution of every single participant, session by session.”


Student | Business Economics

“The program is a very engaging way to learn. It provides me with meaning as it creates positive results for all parties involved.

I experience the learning environment as something outside of standard education. It teaches me how to solve meaningful, real-world problems provided by inspirational case givers that are local or international. Having professional guidance is key to this.

The theories and tools that I am learning help me to see past my limitations and show me how to become a better person and thus allow me to be a better leader.

Every time we work on a case we explore such exciting theories that I want to apply them not only to the case but also to my own work environment. The tools and methods I learn give me the confidence to take on any challenge that my professional future may hold.”



Owner | De Melkbrouwerij Boerderij Huis in ‘t Veld

“Before we participated in your program, we used linear business standards to develop our family owned farming business. But, these standards forced us to assume that we only sell physical products to our consumers and that we just hold one side of the transaction: 'You want Milk? We happen to have some! Here you have it, thanks for the money!' It also forced us to assume that our customers only derive added value from using our direct products.

Through our meetings, we learned to use a more systemic approach to business planning. It still assumes that we sell physical products to our consumers. But, it also helps us to capture value from building relationships between multiple parties of our growing client community.

We now have a model that allows us to diversify our revenue streams. We would not have been able to do so with linear business standards. Through this program, we look at our business differently!”


Student | Business Economics

“This program helps me see creative solutions for real problems that I wouldn't have seen without this program

I think this group of students and staff from Saxion produced insights that we as individuals could have never achieved alone. The group motivates each other and pushes the quality of our sessions to a next level. When we are working on a case, we dive deep. We don't stay at the surface as in conventional education. To me, that is the key benefit of this program.

The tools and the guidance we got in this program will help me in my future career.”



Lecturer | Human Resource Management and PhD-candidate, School of Applied Psychology and Human Resource Management, Saxion University of Applied Sciences

“The program exceeded my expectations from the very beginning. I enjoyed the interesting and relevant cases. These contain real, complex, and high-level business issues. Together with students and lecturers, we searched for creative and hands-on solutions using various techniques that exceed traditional education methods. Therefore, I am convinced that this is program enriches existing curricula and helps to futureproof both students and lecturers. Fair warning: once you started with the program, you only want more…”


Director | Vegetariersbond / NLD

“The program was a thorough reality-check. Thanks to the broad questioning I was able to verify if the principles, goals , assumptions and way of working of my project are in line. The session really accelerated my thinking. What would otherwise have taken weeks was done in just two hours.”



Owner | Marjans Paardenschool

“Working with you gave me insights into the patterns and structures that did not allow me to overcome certain business related obstacles.

You helped me to get a rich and multidimensional picture of my company. It was very revealing to dissect it since it allowed me to look at it from many different angles. I am still struck how easy it actually is to experience the details and the whole at the same time.

Consequently, you helped me increase the quality of my business related decisions since we developed a simple yet powerful framework together.

You really gave me a new way of looking at my company.”


Student | Accountancy

“This program provided an innovative learning experience, and that was truly exciting. It combined learning with discovering what I stand for, or more general: recognising myself.

It connected content with sense, thus, it differed from my experiences in standard education where I often lack the meaning behind the content. It did so because it connected current, real world, examples from inspiring case-givers and from different industries.

Working with the challenges, contributed by the case-givers, we did not approach it with plain reasoning alone. Using systems modelling tools, we went deeper and came to insights which helped me as well as the case-giver to make the next step.

For me, that was the essence of this program. I know it will not only help me in my professional career but also in my personal life.”