Global Residency Europe brings OneMBA cohort to Rotterdam

Participants from the Global Executive OneMBA Class of 2018 gained an insider's perspective on the business climate in two European economies during the recent Global Residency Europe, which took place on 12 – 18 March 2017. Hosted by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the Gdansk Foundation in Management Development (GFMD) in Poland, the event brought together 96 participants from all five OneMBA partner schools, including 31 participants from RSM, for a week of presentations and company visits in the cities of Rotterdam and Warsaw.

Speakers from RSM and GFMD, as well as senior managers from companies in the Netherlands and Poland, shared insights into the local and regional threats and opportunities for business within the two contrasting economies. The residency is the second of four global residency weeks that OneMBA participants take part in, which are designed to lift the lid on the dynamics within a specific economic region.

Participant Koen Pijnenburg, head of IT corporate services at the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), said, “The residency was a once-in-a-life experience. It was like an international deep dive into the major societal discussions that are going on throughout Europe and their impact on society and business. As global business leaders, it is us who will be responsible for the changes that lie ahead.”

Rotterdam: a developed European economy

First stop for the OneMBA participants was RSM, where leading faculty members gave an overview of the current business and economic landscape in Europe, including the implications of events such as Brexit and the rise of populism in politics. Faculty members also spoke of the obligation of business leaders to lead responsibly.

Perspectives on global business were then shared by those at the helm of some of the country's largest companies. Jan Kornelis van Oord, the Deputy Managing Director of MerweOord B.V., spoke on managing a family global business from the Netherlands. Camilla Schwartz – Björkqvist (OneMBA 2010), global head HR projects and chief data officer global HR for ING, discussed people transformations. Her colleague Walter Kok, COO bankwide of Operations ING, spoke on how ING is being transformed from within. Participants then visited one of three companies: ISM eCompany, RDM Makerspace, or Unilever CIIC – for an inside-look at a multinational's operations, as provided by those who manage them.

Warsaw: an emerging market

Among Europe's emerging markets, Poland is considered one of its most promising. Participants headed to Warsaw for the second half of the residency, where they learned about the country's evolving market during presentations by academics and business managers.

President of the Board of GFMD, Andrzej Popadiuk, welcomed participants to Warsaw with an overview of the Polish economy. A strong line-up of senior managers then gave presentations on a wide range of subjects over of the course of three days.

Paweł Ciacek from Millward Brown spoke on the characteristics of the Polish market; Grażyna Piotrowska-Oliwa, president of Virgin Mobile Polska, talked about state-run companies versus the private sector; Sylvie Prokopowicz, board member of the Polish Humanitarian Action and specialist in the area of medical surgical care, spoke on Polish humanitarian activities; Adam Klepacki, project manager of Energoprojekt Katowice talked about the question of 'To coal or not to coal?'; Piotr Muszyński, vice-president of Orange Polska spoke of the characteristics of the Polish telecommunication market; Beata Stelmach, CEO and general director GE Poland and Baltic States shared insights on multinationals operating in Poland; and Karolina Markiewicz-Kuskowska, marketing director at Henkel Polska discussed the Polish retail market in FMCG.

Also on the agenda were visits to a range of innovative and influential organisations including ARP, Arche, mBank, Optima Logistics, Budimex, and the Warsaw stock exchange.

OneMBA Class of 2018

The OneMBA Class of 2018 is a diverse group of 98 executives representing 24 countries and with various backgrounds and expectations. Participants will graduate in 2018, with the RSM cohort graduating at RSM on 29 June 2018. The next global residency will be in Latin America from 22 to 28 October.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 research-based business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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