Strengthen Your Innopreneurial Competencies by Tackling Societal Challenges

As part of the ENGAGE.EU initiative, the recently formed partnership between WU, TIAS (the business school of Tilburg University in the Netherlands), and Caritas, offers learners the opportunity to participate in a Bootcamp in order to acquire new skills and perspectives while improving the performance of a charitable project at the same time. By using Design Thinking and knowledge about the principles of value creation, digital platforms, and linkages between ecosystems, you will tackle a challenge related to the Josefbus, a volunteer project of Caritas that has been suffering under COVID-19 conditions. In online preparatory sessions, you will gain the theoretical knowledge and methodologies necessary to successfully do so. Taken together, this unique learning experience will enable you to find innovative approaches and sustainable solutions to future challenges in your career.

The Josefbus was established as a service for people with limited financial resources who need help with minor repairs in their homes. For people with low or no income, hiring professionals to make these simple repairs is financially challenging. Therefore, volunteers equipped with basic tools and the necessary craftsmanship come to their homes to help. During the pandemic, the operation could not be maintained in its original form. Caritas is now rethinking the business model and considering expanding the services offered by the Josefbus.

This is where you come in by leveraging your know-how and experience for a good cause!

Restart & Rethink the Josefbus

Applying the methodology of Design Thinking, the Josefbus business model is to be elaborated and defined.

The core guiding questions are:

  • How can the offer be adapted to the needs of the target group?

  • What additional or new focus areas would be suitable for the Josefbus (e.g. consulting on energy efficiency)?

  • What could a sustainable business model for the Josefbus look like?

The program set-up is modular and consists of 3 online Deep Dives and a 4-day on-site Bootcamp:

    • (Online) Deep Dive 1: Ecosystems & Purpose-Oriented Networks

      You will learn how understanding and linking ecosystems is crucial for operating NGO ventures like the Josefbus. Participants in such ecosystems may be customers, volunteers, sponsoring organizations, and more. Considering each stakeholder’s needs and interests and bringing them together is key to the development of a successful business model.

      Lecturer: Prof. Patrick Kenis

      When: October 5, 2022 - 5-8pm

    • (Online) Deep Dive 2: Digital Platforms

      The Josefbus aims to connect customers (people in need) and suppliers (volunteers) of its services. Setting up a platform that is easy to use and provides the data required to match supply and demand has been a challenging task for Caritas, calling for further analysis as well as an optimization of the respective product portfolio. You will learn which obstacles and opportunities to expect in the digital world and how to address them.

      Lecturer: Prof. Erik Beulen

      When: October 10, 2022 - 6-9 pm

    • (Online) Deep Dive 3: Public Value

      This session focuses on public value creation. Being heavily associated with non-profit activities, creating social value is often assumed to be “not profitable”. So how can social value be provided to vulnerable target groups in a way that is economically feasible and sustainable at the same time? Input on questions like this will allow participants to set up a meaningful and successful digital business model.

      Lecturer: Prof. Marc Vermeulen

      When: October 11, 2022 - 6-9pm

    • Design Thinking Bootcamp

      Applying the knowledge acquired in the online modules, the challenges the Josefbus faces will be tackled from a Design Thinking perspective. Together with fellow learners from diverse academic and professional backgrounds and guided by experts from Caritas and WU, participants will develop new ideas for the Josefbus ecosystem. Among other things, you will work on how to revitalize and optimize the website/app, explore untapped potential, and creatively think of possible new services.

      On the last day, the final results will be presented and discussed with participants and stakeholders from Caritas. The Bootcamp will be wrapped up with a cordial networking dinner at the WU campus.

      Kulturhaus Brotfabrik
      Absberggasse 27, Stiege 3, 2.Stock
      1100 Wien

      WU Executive Academy
      Welthandelsplatz 1
      1020 Vienna

      When: November 4-7, 2022
      Friday, November 4, 2022: 4-8pm (Kulturhaus Brotfabrik)
      Saturday, November 5, 2022: 10am - 6pm (Kulturhaus Brotfabrik)
      Sunday, November 6, 2022: 10am - 2pm (Kulturhaus Brotfabrik)
      Monday, November 7, 2022: 5:30pm - open end (WU Executive Academy)

    • The Bigger Picture

      ENGAGE.EU is an alliance of leading European universities in business, economics, and the social sciences that strives to equip European citizens with the skills and competencies they need to address major societal challenges. These existing and emerging challenges, such as digitization and AI, climate change, aging societies, and migration, must be successfully tackled to safeguard a sustainable and prosperous future. The people who can make this happen are those with an innopreneurial mindset - a recently coined term to describe someone with entrepreneurial skills, sustainability-focused professional experience, and innovativeness. In short: you!

Contact Sophie Eberhard for more information and to sign up to participate in the Design Thinking project!


Prof. Dr. Patrick Kenis

Professor at Tilburg University

- Health & Education
- Management & Organization

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Portrait Erik Beulen

Prof. Erik Beulen

Professor at Tilburg University

- Accounting & Control,
- Information Technology
- Management & Organization

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Portrait Marc Vermeulen

Prof. Marc Vermeulen

Professor at Tilburg University

- Health & Education
- Strategy & Innovation

More information

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