Keynote lecture and interactive workshop on the digital value economy at the Leuphana University.

On 29th June, the 24 master’s students at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, northern Germany, taking the module on strategic management were treated to a very special lecture as Dr. Engelbert Wimmer (CEO e&Co.) and Prof. Markus Reihlen (the university’s vice-president) led them on a thought journey into the future of digital business. The opening keynote lecture sketched out the principal strategic pillars of how companies reinvent themselves in a digitised world – i.e. the premises of the digital value economy. Customers have morphed into digital users – and users in turn have become the central axis around which everything else is organised. As a result, companies now have to create products and services which are of genuine use and offer real solutions to comprehensive requirements, all the while providing as much interaction and personalisation as possible. Achieving this requires radical restructuring of existing organisations and, above all, a revolution in the basic approach to business.

Following these inspiring lectures, the students were split up into four industry-specific groups covering Medical, Automotive, Academic, and Banking and were asked to come up with their own entrepreneurial ideas, presenting them as a pitch to potential investors for a disruptive business model, product, or service in the sector they had been assigned; they then delivered their presentations to a “committee” (composed of e&Co. consultants Marius Dantl and Jan-Philipp Jost, Engelbert Wimmer, and Prof. Reihlen). The “investors’” favourite was a concept called Academify, Netflix for Academia, which would be a platform offering access to journals, papers, and similar documents as a low-cost subscription service.

The session with the students was a lot of fun and, with so many good ideas put into circulation, we had real difficulty settling on a winner. Overall, we were able to further deepen our cooperation with the Leuphana University, develop our lecture-plus-workshop model (this being our second event with Prof. Reihlen), and meet a range of young talents with an interest in business who we are delighted to offer an introduction to the world of business consultancy,” summarises Jan-Philipp Jost.

Lüneburg 29.06.2017

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