Breaking through systemic sustainability challenges: Reflections from the ‘Changing the Game’ Intensive Course

The first edition of the  ‘Changing the Game’ Intensive Course in collaboration with Nyenrode Business Universiteit was a success!

The ‘Changing the Game’ participants at Nyenrode

For 5 days 19 Game Changers from different disciplinary backgrounds, delved into sustainable market transformation thinking, gained insights into strategies and tactics to structurally solve sustainability challenges, pinpointed what this meant for their role as a front-runner, and turned theory into practice. All in all, a jam packed few days full of inspiration, learning and a lot of fun.

As the professionals learned the essentials of market transformation thinking, they were able to recognize different phases in their own organizations and sectors and the subsequent processes needed to prepare their organizations for the increasing complexity they might face.

To realize this goal, collaboration with partners within and beyond supply chains is quintessential for future success.

Nyenrode Business Universiteit

For the organizers Lucas Simons (CEO NewForesight) and Andre Nijhof (Professor Nyenrode Business Universiteit), this was the first time that they – together with a group of participants – conducted a full analysis of different market sectors and the phases of sustainability in which they are found. The group was highly diverse, with experiences, expertise and perspectives from local and international playing fields and careers ranging from Schiphol to the Volksbank. This created a highly dynamic group with plenty of opportunities to learn from each other.

Insights and reflections from the participants

The atmosphere at the certificate ceremony on last day of the course at Nyenrode was energetic. At the very end of the course, the participants were asked to rate the course on a scale of 1 to 5 (the maximum score) – whereby most of the participants gave the course a 5!

One of the participants, Sigrid Hettinga shared, “you can now understand why the Industrietafel (Industry sector table) for the Klimaatakkoord (Climate Agreement) was doomed to fail. The sustainability phases of the parties around the table was not in synergy with the goals that had to be met. From now on, this has to change”.

Inne ten Have, an innovation manager at the Volksbank, thought that this week was an important step towards thinking about the future of the organization in which he worked, “in the future, the role of a bank is no longer that of lending money, but solving social issues such as poverty. This requires a different approach and a different way of thinking. In this journey I felt supported by this course. I am intrigued”.

Possibilities to extend the course internationally

Chief Editor of P+ Jan Bom shared that the market transformation analysis:

“has really changed my thinking. Last year, during the Christmas period here at P+ we had the scoop on the label ‘PlanetProof’ for milk products, a partnership between FrieslandCampina and Natuurmonumenten. A few months later the Dierenbescherming in collaboration with the Stichting Natuur en Milieu launched a label for milk cows. In the past I would have thought, ‘Old news. Have had that already’. Now that I know the phases of market sustainability, I thought, the milk producers are entering the competition phase – which is the baby phase of market transformation, characterized by the emergence of labels and rankings. Great, now we can make a predicament how much time is needed to reach the next phase ‘critical mass’, or the ‘puberty phase’. Then, the entire animal husbandry will converge with civil society organizations and governments to achieve goals such as joint nature management, CO2 storage in ground layers and reforestation. Only then does the whole sector formulate a strategy”.

All in all, it was a successful week full of energy, inspiration, learning and sharing of knowledge and experiences. As Johan Cruijff wisely said, “You will only start seeing it, once you get it”.

Stay up to date!

Are you interested in hearing more about the course and possible extensions? Sign-up here