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NRC Live Impact Challenge

5 March - 27 June 2019

All kinds of organisations in every kind of industry strive to use new, responsible forms of entrepreneurship – and succeed in doing so. They include sustainable food producers, climate-neutral construction companies, and manufacturers embracing the cradle-to-cradle (or circular) economy. 

The NRC Live Impact Challenge is organised by RSM Executive Education and NRC Live, and invites 100 change-makers from industry, government and NGOs to take part, in order to give them the knowledge, the inspiration and the network to make a positive difference.

NRC Live Impact Challenge: 100 days, 100 participants

100 days, 100 participants

The NRC Live Impact Challenge is a 100-day online programme from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) that includes several peer review sessions, and two live events. The online modules give 100 participants the necessary skills and knowledge to initiate and implement sustainable innovations within their own organisations. 

The Challenge aims to inspire the 100 participants and offer them a new network for innovating within their organisation by contributing to one or more of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Becoming positive change leaders

There are only 100 places available. At the end of the programme, participants will become a 'Positive Change Leader' with a certificate from RSM. The best idea of the NRC Live Impact Challenge will: 

  • be published in NRC
  • receive a learning budget for RSM's Executive Education courses
  • experience the network and services of ImpactCity.

I WILL testimonials

During the kick-off event on 5 March 2019, NRC Live Impact Challenge participants had the opportunity to take their I WILL photo, hereby joining the RSM community of individuals who are making a commitment – saying I WILL – to the future they want to create. Here's what participants have to say about their statement:

I WILL connect people and enable them to make an impact

“Connecting people, ideas and values really makes me tick. This puts other people in a position to grow, develop and shine in life. I want to boost my platform EngelenTafel, which is about celebrating Christmas together for people who don’t have a chance to do so. I feel it gives people a positive boost and meaning in life to feel strong enough to reach out to others. The reactions of the guest after Christmas gave me the most amazing feeling I’ve had in the past year. The focus is on Christmas, however there will be a spin off for activities year round.

Somehow people, money and solutions come to me. The universe works somehow when you have a good idea, a strong base and a passionate aim. Small is the new big. Anyone can create social impact and make a significant change.

The NRC Live Challenge helps me focus on gathering new ideas and working them out to spread the idea nationwide. I share the goals and what we need to reach them. When other people see the incredible impact and outcome, they react on it by talking about it and starting to act themselves. These people are what make the EngelenTafel come to life.” 

Jeannette Saatrube Vernooij, founder and chairman at EngelenTafel

I WILL inspire my employer to create a sustainable business

“I want to be brave, grow and develop to have a positive impact much bigger than I can have by only changing my personal life. My company can drastically improve its efforts towards environmental sustainability. Together with a colleague, who is also participating in the NRC Live Impact Challenge, we want to learn what data we need to make business cases that can support our proposals for change towards a more circular business. 

With good, convincing and appealing stories towards management and leadership, we hope to achieve buy-in from our company leadership. We need to create an inspiring story of how a circular business will eventually benefit our business to make it stronger and future-proof. 

I created a ‘sustainability team’ at our Eindhoven site, which has about 1,000 employees. We organise awareness events and actions such as a waste reduction project, a clean-up event, and a bike to work event. This resulted in a surprising new network, with people who help find data across our organisation including from operations, logistics, sourcing and marketing. I can suddenly reach much further corners of the company. Through the NRC Live Impact Challenge, I can also reach people in companies like Philips that are years ahead of us. 

My plan is to initiate more sustainable business cases in my company, and inspire change in several sections such as renewable energy, sustainability in new product design and business travel. I’m flexible in the topic, but want to inspire my employer to initiate change.”

Linda van Driel, market intelligence analyst at Thermo Fisher Scientific

I WILL make a step to a better future

“I believe that many small steps is also one big step. I want to use my new knowledge and tools to implement the SDGs into our company – in big and small steps. I’m exploring how our parent company in the UK is involving our stakeholders to achieve the SDGs. And in our department of geohydrology we’re looking into extending our work scope with advising about warm and cold storage, on an international scale. In my role and as a member of the CSR team, I aim to inform and inspire as many people as possible to get on board to achieve the best results.”

Renate de Man, KAM co-ordinator (quality, health and safety co-ordinator) at RSK Group Netherlands


The NRC Live Impact Challenge consists of 100 change-makers from industry, government and NGOs that want to make a positive difference.


I WILL photos

During the kick-off event on 5 March 2019, participants had the opportunity to take their I WILL photo, hereby joining the RSM community of individuals who are making a commitment – saying I WILL – to the future they want to create. 


The NRC Live Impact Challenge has four online modules that give participants the skills and knowledge to initiate and implement sustainable innovations in their organisations. 

5 - 30 March 2019

Shape your idea by learning about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the concept of social intrapreneurship. Is your idea a problem or a solution? Become inspired with ideas that are not only ‘doing good’ but truly transformational. This module shows that globally, implementation of the SDGs is not fast enough. This is why we applaud your willingness to make a positive contribution by taking on the NRC Live Impact Challenge.

25 March - 25 April 2019

Now your social innovation is starting to take shape, it’s time to focus on a thorough analysis of the industry and your organisation. Why should your organisation be interested in adopting your idea? This module gives you the tools and methodologies with which you can define its business case. Let yourself be inspired, and look deeper into to the trends in your industry; take a closer look at your organisation’s business processes and get inside the minds of your customers and stakeholders. Internal alignment is where social intrapreneurs can make the biggest difference.

25 April - 31 May 2019

Now that your challenge is becoming more clearly defined, it is time to develop your value proposition. In this module you will validate your idea with the Erasmus Value Proposition Framework. How innovative is your idea? How can you assess its feasibility, resilience and strategic impact? Get inspiration for preparing your progression scan so you can win this challenge. 

31 May - 27 June 2019

In this final module you will make your first steps towards implementing your idea through lean innovation and creating a compelling pitch to persuade your stakeholders. Do you have the power and impact to convince others about your story? Is your challenge innovative and transformational enough to convince the jury?


The online modules are presented by RSM professors Prof. Jan van den Ende, Prof. Daan Stam, Prof. Rob van Tulder, and lecturer Thijs Geradts.

Jan van den Ende is professor of management of technology and innovation RSM. His expertise is in the development process of new products and services in firms – a process that is important for a company’s performance. Creating ideas, selecting projects, developing products and commercialising them must be well organised. By studying innovation in firms such as ING, ASML, Philips and Unilever, Jan’s research group investigates the effects of networks between people at the forefront of innovation, the proper balance between freedom and control in innovation activities, and innovation activities in service and creative firms.

Prof. Jan van den Ende

Prof. Jan van den Ende

Daan Stam is professor of innovation at RSM. His academic research focuses on leadership in situations of change, including the role of leadership in innovation and business development. A second area of his research is creativity, including the effects of leadership on creativity, creativity in online settings, and group creativity. Daan teaches creativity and brainstorming to bachelor and master students as well as to executives.

Prof. Daan Stam

Prof. Daan Stam

Rob van Tulder is a professor of International Business at RSM. Rob has published extensively on the topics of European business, multinationals, high-tech industries, corporate social responsibility, issues management, skills, network strategies, smaller industrial countries (welfare states) and European Community/Union policies. He is the academic director of The Partnerships Resource Centre, an expert centre bringing together leading NGOs, firms and governments in the study and management of cross-sector partnerships for the social good.

Prof. Rob van Tulder

Prof. Rob van Tulder

Thijs Geradts is a lecturer in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship and a PhD candidate at RSM. His research focuses on sustainable internal corporate venturing and social intrapreneurship inside large multinational corporations, among which AkzoNobel, Interface, Johson & Johnson, Pearson, Philips, UBS and Unilever. Previously he was appointed as a visiting associate at the Cambridge Judge Business School, a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a visiting fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Thijs Geradts

Thijs Geradts