UMIO ondersteunt LIOF bij opzetten nieuwe strategie 2025

Where to play and how to play? Deze vraag stond centraal bij de ontwikkeling van de nieuwe strategie van LIOF voor de periode 2021-2025. De LIOF-directie wenste vanuit een outside-in perspectief de strategie te ontwikkelen, waarbij ‘Imagine Limburg in 2025’ als een blauwdruk centraal stond om een betere en duurzamere toekomst voor de regio te realiseren. Carmen Vonken en Edward Huizenga werden ingeschakeld om dit proces namens UMIO te begeleiden.

Het was LIOF-directeur Tys van Elk die UMIO benaderde om samen proactief en op een vernieuwende manier werk te maken van de nieuwe strategie voor 2021-2025. De rol van UMIO was om te onderzoeken bij welke maatschappelijke uitdagingen in de regio LIOF een rol van betekenis kan spelen en te adviseren hoe die rol kan worden ingevuld. Dit resulteerde in december 2019 in een adviesrapport voor een nieuwe strategie.

Carmen Vonken.

Plan van aanpak

Naast Carmen Vonken als projectleider en prof. dr. Edward Huizenga als strategisch expert, bestond het projectteam uit een projectcoördinator van LIOF en 9 studenten van Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics (SBE). Op basis van 2 intensieve meetings met het managementteam van LIOF stelden Vonken en Huizenga een plan van aanpak op voor het onderzoek. “Dat bestond onder meer uit 31 interviews met verschillende partijen in Limburg, België en Duitsland”, aldus Vonken. “Naast vertegenwoordigers van MKB-bedrijven uit verschillende sectoren interviewden de studenten onder andere vertegenwoordigers van VNO-NCW, diverse banken, Fontys Hogescholen, MKB Limburg, Industrie- und Handelskammer, maar ook de RvC-leden van LIOF.”

Prof. dr. Edward Huizenga.

3 duurzame transitiethema’s

De presentatie van de eerste onderzoeksresultaten voor LIOF en Provincie Limburg werd gecombineerd met een co-creatiesessie met deze partijen. “Daarin hebben we kritisch gekeken naar de overlap tussen wat de markt wil en waar LIOF kan helpen”, geeft Huizenga aan. “Vervolgens hebben we samen een prioritering gemaakt van de verschillende thema’s, hetgeen 3 doelthema’s opleverde: gezondheidstransitie, energietransitie en grondstoffentransitie. De studenten hebben deze thema’s daarna verder uitgediept. Ze gingen daarbij op zoek naar antwoorden op vragen als: Welke sectoren zijn belangrijk binnen deze thema’s? Wat is de economische impact? Wat wordt al gedaan in de regio op deze gebieden? Welke partijen zijn belangrijk? Hoeveel werkgelegenheidsgroei is er binnen de sectoren?”

Economische verbinder

Aansluitend vond een nieuwe co-creatiesessie plaats, deze keer met LIOF, Provincie Limburg en het Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat (EZK). “Daarin hebben we gezamenlijk gekeken naar de rol van LIOF”, legt Vonken uit. “LIOF bood tot nu toe netwerk, advies en financiering, maar er zijn wellicht ook nieuwe rollen weggelegd voor de organisatie. Is LIOF bijvoorbeeld niet de ideale economische verbinder binnen de regio? Daar hebben we kritisch naar gekeken. 2 weken later presenteerden we ons adviesrapport aan alle LIOF-medewerkers. Zij reageerden positief en enthousiast. Dit rapport is als het ware een blauwdruk voor de nieuwe strategie van LIOF. Cross-sector en cross-border samenwerking spelen daarin een belangrijke rol.”

Veel voldoening

Zowel Carmen Vonken als Edward Huizenga kijkt tevreden terug op de samenwerking met LIOF. Vonken: “Ik vind het mooi dat we een grote groep professionals binnen en buiten LIOF bij dit project hebben kunnen betrekken, en daarmee ook draagvlak hebben gecreëerd voor de strategieformulering. Tijdens de eindpresentatie merkten we dat het gezamenlijke doel van een nieuwe strategie voor de regio echt leeft bij alle betrokkenen, dat was geweldig om te zien! Daarnaast vond ik het prettig om te vernemen dat LIOF zeer tevreden was over de kwaliteit van ons werk en de studenten.”

“Het geeft mij veel voldoening dat we op een inclusieve manier een strategie hebben ontworpen die betekenisvol is in het dagelijks leven van mensen en bedrijven in de regio”, geeft Huizenga aan. “Deze strategie raakt aan de grote maatschappelijke uitdagingen van gezondheid tot voeding en de grondstoffen- en energietransitie. Zo maken UMIO en LIOF de strategie betekenisvol vanaf dag 1.”

Verdere invulling

LIOF is in 2020 direct aan de slag gegaan met de verdere invulling van de strategie op basis van het strategieplan van UMIO. Het gezondheidstransitiethema wordt als eerste volledig uitgewerkt in een meerjarenstappenplan.

How will technological innovations affect the job market over the next few years?

UMIO’s high-quality learning trajectories are fuelled by research carried out at Maastricht University, in particular at the School of Business and Economics (SBE). Since the beginning of this year, three researchers connected to SBE have lead a large European research project called Technequality. In a recent report, the Technequality Consortium offers eight possible future scenarios describing how the recent wave of technological innovations will affect the job market in Europe over the next few years.

Reskilling and adapting

In almost all scenarios, jobs are heavily impacted. Under the assumption that innovations would primarily have a labour-saving effect, there is a high chance that unemployment will rise. In such scenarios, reskilling the labour force and adapting our education systems is essential.

More information

You can find the full report on the Technequality website.

UMIO’s Service Science Factory onderzoekt draagvlak voor tweetalig onderwijs

Is er in Limburg een voedingsbodem voor het aanbieden van Nederlands- én Duitstalig onderwijs op vmbo-niveau, nu en in de toekomst? Dat onderzoekt Service Science Factory (SSF) sinds begin oktober in opdracht van Provincie Limburg. Begin december presenteert het verantwoordelijke projectteam de onderzoeksresultaten.

Waarom dit onderzoek?

Duits is een belangrijke taal in Limburg. Werkgevers aan beide kanten van de grens zitten verlegen om tweetalige werknemers. En waar elders in Nederland het vak Duits afneemt in populariteit, blijft het in Limburg een stabiele factor binnen het middelbaar onderwijs. Op sommige Limburgse scholen neemt de populariteit zelfs toe.

De invoering van tweetalig onderwijs binnen het vmbo zou op termijn kunnen zorgen voor een betere aansluiting van vraag en aanbod op de Euregionale arbeidsmarkt. Aangezien Provincie Limburg een goed onderbouwde beslissing wil nemen over dit vraagstuk, is Service Science Factory (SSF) gevraagd om het te onderzoeken. 

Wie voert het uit?

Service Science Factory (SSF) is onderdeel van UMIO, de onderwijstak voor professionals van Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics. SSF is uniek vanwege zijn eigen methode om innovatieve oplossingen te ontwikkelen, genaamd Double Diamond. De oorsprong hiervan ligt in de Design Thinking-methodologie. Double Diamond bestaat uit vier fases: Discover, Define, Develop en Deliver. Tijdens dit project voor Provincie Limburg wordt vooral gewerkt in de eerste twee fases.

SSF heeft een projectteam samengesteld dat onder anderen bestaat uit masterstudenten van Maastricht University en studenten van de Hotel Management School Maastricht. Ook dr. Trudie Schils van de School of Business and Economics maakt deel uit van het team. Als projectexpert houdt zij zich onder meer bezig met de kwaliteitsbewaking en de analyse en interpretatie van data. Provincie Limburg legt als verbindende partij de contacten met scholen en andere stakeholders.

Hoe wordt het onderzoek ingevuld?

Het projectteam pakt het onderzoek holistisch aan. Dit betekent dat deskresearch wordt gecombineerd met uitvoerig kwalitatief en kwantitatief onderzoek. Deze aanpak levert een volledig en onderbouwd resultaat op.

Alle belangrijke stakeholders worden bij het onderzoek betrokken. Denk daarbij aan leerlingen, ouders, scholen, Nederlandse én Duitse werkgevers en grensinformatiepunten.

Wanneer zijn de resultaten bekend?

Begin december presenteert het projectteam de onderzoeksresultaten in de vorm van een rapport. De belangrijkste resultaten worden ook op deze website gepubliceerd.

Kick-off Fundamentals of data science programme

At the end of October, a new Fundamentals of data science programme was kicked off at the Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS) in Heerlen. This programme introduces professionals to the world of data science and smart services. BISS offers the programme in collaboration with UMIO. About twenty participants attended the introductory session led by Prof. Dr. Rudolf Müller.

Maastricht University founded the Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS) to connect the university’s academic knowledge and expertise in data science with societal needs. The institute is part of the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen.

The Fundamentals of data science programme is one of the four educational programmes of BISS. Any professional interested in data science and smart services can participate.

Three topics

Rudolf Müller, who is the scientific director of BISS, made it a very interesting introductory session. In an interactive way, he dealt with three topics: Digitization, Economics of digitization and From Quantitative Methods to Data Science.

Müller explained, among other things, the differences between descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics. He also mentioned the pros and cons of these four variants. According to Muller, the purpose of this session was to get participants to think, provide them with a framework, and help them to identify opportunities.

Important role in society

Jan Kerckhoffs is one of the participants in the introductory session. He works as a manager at Thuis in Limburg.

“We manage an online platform for (potential) tenants in Limburg”, Jan says enthusiastically. “As a result, we have a lot of online data. With the help of these data, we try to gain more insight into the rental property market in Limburg and the search behaviour of home seekers.
I participate in this programme because I am very interested in data science, which plays an increasingly important role in our society.”

Nine educational sessions

The participants of the Fundamentals of data science programme follow nine educational sessions in smart services and data science, which are essential for the understanding of the key concepts, such as Business Process Management, Data Visualisation and Artificial Intelligence.
It is also possible to choose one or more individual sessions of preference.

More information

Are you also interested in data science and smart services? Then go to the BISS website for more information about the Fundamentals of data science programme.

UM academics react to the Nobel Prize in economics

Last week, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019 to Abhijit Banerjee (MIT), Esther Duflo (MIT) and Michael Kremer (Harvard) for their work to alleviate poverty. All three Laureates were recognised for pioneering an approach to obtaining reliable answers to fight poverty across the globe. Esther Duflo is the youngest ever laureate, and the second woman after Elinor Ostrom a decade ago.

The news of the prize was received with great enthusiasm here in Maastricht. Our colleagues at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) spoke to several UM academics with expertise in the field of development economics to hear their initial thoughts.

Read the full article here.

SBE researchers lead project to tackle challenges linked to technical innovations

UMIO’s high-quality learning trajectories are fuelled by research carried out at Maastricht University, in particular at the School of Business and Economics (SBE). Since the beginning of this year, 3 researchers connected to SBE have lead TECHNEQUALITY, a large European research project with a budget of nearly 3 million Euros.

TECHNEQUALITY will attempt to answer questions like ‘Will robots take our jobs?’, ‘Are we teaching people the right skills for tomorrow’s labour market?’ and ‘How will Artificial Intelligence impact inequality?’.

SBE researcher Mark Levels leads the project with the help of Raymond Montizaan and Didier Fouarge, who are also connected to SBE. The findings of this research project are expected to inform policy-makers working to support their populations through technological transformation.

Read the full article

Do you want to know more about this fascinating project? Then read the extensive article on the SBE website.

Rianne Letschert named Top Woman of the Year 2019

Last week, Prof. dr. Rianne Letschert was named Top Woman of the Year 2019 (Topvrouw van het Jaar). Rianne is not only the Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University, she has also been involved in our UMIO programmes.

The annual election of the Top Woman of the Year aims to create a platform for female board members in Dutch companies and organisations. In addition to the importance of the current position and the results achieved, the assessment criteria were courage, ambition and leadership.

Inspirational leader

Within the Maastricht University organisation, Rianne Letschert has been an inspirational leader since she was appointed as Rector Magnificus in 2016. Over the past few years, she has contributed to a number of UMIO programmes including the Fast Forward (FFWD) programme.

FFWD is a leadership development programme that helps prepare and support talented professionals in their personal and responsible leadership. In this programme, Rianne is a true source of inspiration on performance, impact and authenticity.

Leadership programmes

In addition to the Fast Forward (FFWD) programme, UMIO offers several other programmes that focus on leadership. Examples are the Executive Master in Cultural Leadership, the management programmes Coaching Leadership and Effective Leadership (in Dutch) and the module Leading Strategic Change in our MaastrichtMBA programme.

On our Programmes page, you can find a clear overview of all our programmes.

The Power of Hackathons – From Disruption to Innovation

 

Technology fuels innovation. Disruptive services and products are shaping the world. Human behaviour needs to evolve with this disruptive innovation, as does the business world. In this environment, it is vital to empathise with consumers to design services that work for them and build profitable businesses. That is where a Hackathon comes in.

Powerful Collaborations

A Hackathon is a fast-paced design sprint, which helps companies solve their business challenges in a pressure cooker environment within a very limited time frame. The purpose is to bring a tightly focused outside-in perspective to the company involved. The best ideas are often the result of powerful collaborations and a Hackathon is an example of how the School of Business and Economics not only links students with national companies, but also with ‘local heroes’, to strengthen the link with local entrepreneurs and the region.

“In business you have blind spots, and you’re not aware of any other solutions.  Students have new views, they can open your eyes” Arno Reiniers, Business Manager at Geba Trans.

Mine Kafon – A Success Story

Mine Kafon, (www.minekafon.org)  a demining company, is living proof of how a Hackathon can bring tangible benefits to business. Mine Kafon was set up by two Afghan brothers, Massoud and Mahmud Hassani, who grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan – literally in a minefield. Many years later, in the Netherlands, the brothers have developed Mine Kafon: a drone system for detecting landmines.

 

Their demining system is now ready for large-scale production. The next step is marketing. “We participated in a market research project called Value-Based Marketing. Our system is ready and we know it works. But how do we get in touch with potential customers?”

Hakathon Innovation Day

Mine Kafon, along with 6 other companies, took part in a Hackathon day organised by UMIO in February. Each company presented their business challenges to the ‘army of problem solvers’, the 150 International Business master’s students who then worked with the companies as part of the project to come up with a package of innovative solutions.

“Students are motivated and driven by new and existing ideas that they want to put into action. We’re very pleased with the results”, says Mahmud. “Essentially, we received six useful sets of insights. We’re now drawing up a strategy and taking the next step. 2019 will be a make-or-break year for Mine Kafon. This is an excellent example of how universities and industry can work together.”

 

Find out more? 

If you want to innovate in a quick and budget-friendly manner, it is Hackathon time!

Find out more about how a Hackathon can help your business innovate into the future.

Get in touch with us to connect and create an impact together!

 

How to prepare for changes that are yet to come

Society is changing at an ever-increasing pace. Globalisation, technological developments and an ageing population mean that different skills are needed in both our professional and personal lives. Employment growth areas increasingly show that leadership, teamwork and problem-solving skills are more in demand now than ever in the face of an automative and digital society. So, what does this mean for us in our day-to-day lives, and how can we best prepare ourselves for changes we don’t even know about yet?

These questions and themes were discussed at the UMIO Insights event on Tuesday 2 July, where more than 60 business professionals, entrepreneurs, academics and researchers came together to engage in these conversations and participate in a shared pursuit for knowledge and learning.

It is the second edition of this successful annual UMIO Insights event. As refreshments were served, participants had the opportunity to meet and catch up with old and new colleagues, who between them represented a broad reach of organisations from the corporate to government sectors, SME’s to non-profit and education sectors. The introduction from Marielle Heijltjes, UMIO’s Executive Director and Trudie Schils’ plenary session, set the tone for the breakout workshops which followed. Participants could choose from one of three engaging and interactive teaser sessions including; Coaching Leadership, Sustainable Employability and Digitalisation. Academic research underpinned each one led by, Lukas Figge, Martin Lammers, Gordon Miesen, Damien Nunes and Dominik Mahr.

Unlocking potential

For any company that wants to develop a sustainable competitive advantage, unlocking the full creative and human potential of its employees is key. To achieve this, it is important that people feel connected, competent and autonomous in their job and in their relations at work. Research has shown that managers and leaders play a crucial role in providing the right conditions to exhibit leadership behaviour, such as support, mentoring and coaching to promote growth and development of the people in the organisation.

Coaching Leadership is a particular leadership style that contains a specific and learnable set of competences, including establishing trust & intimacy, coaching presence, active listening and asking powerful questions. Learning these skills enhances the learning ability and flexibility of the team and organisation. By supporting colleagues to find their own solutions, this reduces the dependence of others and by spending less time solving other people’s problems, more time is available for impactful and engaging work.

Changing the perception

The concept of Sustainable Employability is a complex one. People are getting older and have to work longer. Retirement age is rising.  We are also living in a shrinking labour market. Navigating these challenges successfully requires a certain approach and mind-set. Self-development, being agile and looking at the building blocks required to influence the situation can help to create a positive and sustainable outcome. After all, what we all want out of our working lives is to be happy, motivated and inspired now and in the future.

Digitalisation and technological developments are society’s ever-increasing pacemakers. For business, it is important to keep a distinctive competitive position. Reflecting on how we might improve our productivity by applying digital technologies can help us create our own future realities. Understanding how these technologies impact us and how we can, in turn, harness this power, is an important part of the journey towards equipping ourselves with the right skills needed for the future.

Striving for continuous self-development and learning was a shared feeling amongst the participants of the UMIO Insights event. Betty Adjadi, a Researcher at Data Human Interaction Lab, was encouraged to hear how the University was involved in researching this area and asserted that taking part in this UMIO Insights event was definitely helpful for her work.

“I am very interested in education and learning. Based on my own experience, lifelong learning is always my passion and I think it’s true of everyone here. I realise that when I have the right balance, I am happier and more creative.”

Lifelong learning has always had its place in forward-thinking organisations, and investing in learning and development is shown to pay off. The Research Centre for Education and Labour Market (ROA) at Maastricht University affirms that a well-trained workforce is related to good business outcomes. Employers can better profile themselves with a positive learning culture. So, the pursuit of knowledge, constructing our own future realities, engaging in active and ongoing learning, both formally and informally, are bold and empowering objectives of the globalised society we inhabit in the 21st century. If you want to change your way of thinking, change the way you see.

So what’s next?

If you would like to find out more about how you can better equip yourself or your organisation for a successful future incorporating any of these themes; Coaching Leadership, Sustainable Employability or Digitalisation, then please take a look at these opportunities.

Coaching Leadership

Coaching Leadership management course

Digitalisation:

Sustainable Employability:
• UMIO is co-creating a unique learning journey around the topic of ‘Sustainable Employability’ together with a consortium of industry leaders. If your organisation is interested in joining our consortium, please contact Gordon Miesen at g.miesen@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

Leadership down to a fine art

The highlight of the Maastricht art scene is TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair), the annual March event that draws hundreds of high-end dealers and collectors and thousands of visitors to the city from all over the world. This year, the same week saw another – smaller – group of international visitors break new ground: the first cohort of the Executive Master in Cultural Leadership.

Rachel Pownall, João Correia, Susanna Serlachius and Anna Dempster

Pownall and Dempster were pleased with how much the participants contributed to the discussions. “It’s a really diverse group from four continents, most of them with more than ten years’ experience in different fields – which makes for very sophisticated conversations.” Besides leadership and management skills, EMCL seeks to cultivate new perspectives. In Dempster’s view, Maastricht, as a regional cultural centre and counterpoint to metropolitan London, provides the ideal environment “to breathe, to explore and to think.”

Owning history

Compared to London, Dempster says, “Maastricht is a lot more tranquil and serene. There’s art everywhere but also lots of green. That and the ecclesiastical architecture invite contemplation.” The students shared that feeling. “It’s beautiful, and I was amazed by how welcoming everyone was. It felt like home”, says João Correia, who flies in for the modules from Brazil.

An adviser in the cultural sector, Correia works with artists, collectors, museums and educators. In his native São Paolo, he advises a charity that works with more than 6,000 art teachers every year. “Brazil has an amazing arts scene but it’s deficient on the business side. In this programme, I get insights from arts, museology, collection management, education and more, so I can go back and make a difference.”

Correia enjoyed the novel perspectives of his fellow students and the speakers. “For example, professor Sir Charles Saumarez Smith said that, when taking over the directorship of a museum, he writes a book about it to learn about it and take ownership of its history – that really surprised me.”

São Paolo to Helsinki

The notion of owning the history of a museum also appeals to fellow participant Susanna Serlachius. She is the chair of Serlachius Museums, which house a formidable fine arts collection her family has built up over five generations. After a successful corporate career, she now wants to establish the collection on the international scene.

Serlachius particularly appreciated the in-depth conversations with industry leaders as well as students: “So many different backgrounds, from artists to bankers, and so many different ways of approaching things. I can’t wait for the next modules.”

As the artists, collectors and aficionados of TEFAF return home and hotel prices return to normal, the first cohort of EMCL students are also leaving town – and taking with them new knowledge, skills, perspectives and connections.

Original text by: Florian Raith, Paul van der Veer (photography)