MBA-Alumni Day 2019

Design Thinking drives Innovation” was the theme of this year’s MBA Alumni Day from November 15th to 16th

The MBA Alumni Association once again chose a very important business topic for this year’s Alumni Day: Innovation and its drivers.Group Picture 2019

The stylish location for creative thinking “Out of Office” in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen with a fantastic view on the Frankfurt Skyline, provided the perfect setting for the event. Almost 50 Alumni including 15 students from our partner University Bergamo met to get inspired and meet old and new friends.

Prof. Stefanie Wannow, THM Business School Professor for Marketing and a specialist on innovation, started the day with a very insightful presentation on role of innovation for modern business. In her view innovation will drive future business success more than ever in business history. Acceleration of knowledge, low cost innovation and user-centered & open innovation lead to a democratization of innovation. To capture the full potential companies have to adjust and align structures, resources and systems and develop a company culture to foster innovation. Innovation needs creative thinking which means to think out of the box using new ways to approach a problem by activating the right side of the brain. Besides creative minds companies also need an entrepreneurial spirit. To prove the point she analyzed several successful entrepreneurs and startup businesses such as Elon Musk from Tesla or Ethan Brown from Beyond Meat who possess very special skills such as vision, self-confidence, purpose, sacrifice and endurance in order to grow their creative ideas into a successful business. Finally, she outlined success factors for effective innovation teams such as psychological safety, diversity, shared purpose & meaning, conflict resolution management, autonomy & integration.


After a short break in the roof top terrace work shop participants could test their creative skills with a hands on work shop on Design Thinking administered by Design Thinking Expert Katharina Göring. Design Thinking was originally developed by the Standford Design School and is finding its way into many companies including Bosch, SAP und Google. Core feature of the concept are an in depth customer analysis which is described as so called “personas”. A big advantage of the methodology is its fast developmen of prototypes which can be used to get immediate customer feedback. In teams of 4-5 members random topics such as grocery shopping or moving to a new house/apartment had to be developed into a marketable product – within 2 hours! It was amazing to feel the creative atmosphere with every group putting together their prototypes.

After lunch the Alumni Assoication lead by its Chairman Stefano Cevenini and Treasurer Carsten Hildebrand reported on the financials and association’s activities of last year. Finally, the group had to solve a fun Escape Game where 5 teams had to find a secret formula to purify water to save big German cities. Fine Italian Quisine at L’unico in the center of Frankfurt finished an insightful and inspiring day.

Alumni Day 2019 ParticipantsAlumni Day 2019Alumni Day 2019 IMG 6345


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