Innovator in the Spotlight

Ayda Golahmadi EngD trainee Smart Cities and Buildings

Improving indoor air quality in schools in the Netherlands

My research is focused on improving indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools in the Netherlands as part of the ECOS-IAQ project.

Business Model Innovation in an Exponential World course – onsite

In order to harness the reality of today, in order to create the future, rather than be subjected to it, innovators need to understand what innovation means in an ever changing, uncertain world, disrupted by exponential technologies. They need to know how to construct business models that matter, using technologies for positive impact. Additional to their technological specialization, engineers need to develop an understanding of, and a competence in turning the great potential of (exponential) technologies into business models to bring to market.


The outcome of the training course, is to develop the mindset with which innovators can comfortably explore, understand and act in a hyper-complex world, disrupted by exponential technologies, while becoming the entrepreneur and creator of sustainable, scalable solutions. This transformation of people, eventually, will be the engine for corporate and societal transformation. ‘Business model innovation in an exponential world’ gives the insight needed and allows to experience it first-hand.


The course gives you a new view on the topic and has led to a meaningful purpose of your project.”

Yvonne van Lith
Fontys Circularity and Energy Transition

Are you interested in the Business Model Innovation in an Exponential World course? Fill in the form below and we will contact you.


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Insight in some tools







Team assignment 1: Make an empathy map of one particular focus group

Team assignment 2: Integrate the results of the empathy map in the item tree; be creative and bold

Personal assignment: Work on your empathy-based stories for your PTJ – see roadbook

Lesson materials

Session specific resources

Session 1

Theoretical scope on the context: complexity, exponential technologies, societal exponentialities, agility.

Session 3

The potential of collective intelligence: values as a driver


What does the Eindhoven Engine Academy offer? There are a few ways to facilitate collective intelligence in teams that are working on pressing problems (via co-creation and co-location) in an environment that is ever-changing and uncertain.

Power of design thinking

Over the last decade, we have seen the tremendous power of design thinking in the rapid and agile prototyping of innovations. This way of thinking (as well as processes to act on) solve a number of important issues, such as bringing the client into the scope of things early in the process. They focus on the need to correctly frame what is being done in order to ideate and enrich it in ways that are not evident at first sight. The Eindhoven Engine Academy is partnering with the Design Forum to provide this support.

A second major insight is the use of systems thinking beyond systems engineering. Systems thinking deals with wicked problems for which the purpose and impact are unknown at the beginning and evolve during the process. Systems thinking (both a way of thinking and a toolkit) allows easier understanding of the bigger picture, driving more meaningful contextualization.


Innovation is and remains work for people. It can only happen through people with an innovative mindset. However, this often requires a continuous willingness to reconsider what one knows, thinks, believes and has seen. An innovator is able to introspect easily and regularly. The Academy is going to work with the Human Performance Management Group of TU/e in order to support the project teams in this development.

While this is offered to the projects on-site, it could also be delivered in any virtual format, off-site and to a wider circle than the projects only.

Wicked challenges 1

The Eindhoven Engine Academy aims to support teams in a transformation that will allow them to innovate faster, become more agile and develop the capabilities to deal with increasingly more wicked problems. Indeed, the complex world and the exponentiality of many processes makes a control-driven, top-down organization (of innovation) less and less adequate. For innovation, organizations need to move away from the linear and towards the complex, from control towards co-creation. This is the transformation that we want to facilitate.


At the same time, it is and remains all about people, impact and meaning. We have the huge potential of (exponential) technologies but want to make them available for solving impactful issues.

While we need to look differently at business (model) innovation – to make it faster and more meaningful – we also need to pay more attention to solving wicked problems. The Eindhoven Engine Academy wants to facilitate this too.