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Four free Open Lectures to celebrate the first 50 years of one of Europe’s top business schools start later this month, exploring the hot topics in everyone’s day-to-day lives. The livestreamed lectures will showcase business knowledge and research at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and will be presented by RSM academics – and by business practitioners from well-known companies – during the first part of RSM’s 50th academic year

The four hot topics are the future of professions, AI, employment megatrends, and sustainable finance. All four Open Lectures are free, livestreamed and interactive, and have been devised to open up RSM’s world-class learning and expertise to the wider community in Rotterdam and beyond.

Everyday lives and household names

It’s not necessary to have studied business to benefit from the lectures either. They are about issues that we all experience as we go about our daily lives, presented by RSM professors who will be joined by top-level practitioners from highly reputable companies. Anyone in the online audience can put questions directly to the experts and vote in the opinion polls.

Participants can book a free place for just one lecture, or for all four. Registration requires only basic details so RSM can supply the livestream links.

The demise of professions – 22 September

The first celebratory lecture on Tuesday 22 September at 19:00 considers professions that have existed for centuries.

Prof. Ansgar Richter, dean of RSM, and Professor of Strategy, Organisation and Governance, will ask a question that many parents are probably thinking about right now. “If your 18-year old decided to study law or accountancy, what skills are you afraid they might not be getting in their studies that you believe will be essential to their future work in that profession?”

Another way to frame the question is to ask who needs human providers of professional expertise when computers can provide this expertise faster, cheaper, and more widely? Over the last 40 years, the rise of information technology has had a massive effect on many professions, yet the biggest effects are yet to come. The development and rise of IT, the internet and artificial intelligence are challenging many professional sectors. They will undergo massive change, to the point of being unrecognisable from the way they look today.

Ansgar Richter will be joined by RSM alumnus Berry Diepeveen, Partner in Bain & Company’s Amsterdam office, who will bring his valuable insights from business to questions such as:

  • What are the consequences of this digital transformation on professional expertise?
  • What will the jobs of those currently working in the professions look like later?
  • Which skills will business students need to thrive in the future?
  • What are the implications for management educators and universities in this context?

Challenges and opportunities of Artificial Intelligence – 7 October

Businesses often find themselves walking a thin line between using AI to deliver personalised services and being intrusive. Is there a middle ground for AI that’s still cutting edge? Prof. Ting Li, RSM’s Endowed Professor of Digital Business, delivers the next free online Open Lecture for RSM’s 50th anniversary year and reveals more of what business research can tell us about hot topics in the everyday lives of normal people at 19:00 on Wednesday 7 October.

People first – 5 November

After the upheaval of 2020, what does the future of work look like? Our series of free online Open Lectures on hot topics for our 50th anniversary continues. Dr Rebecca Hewett is an Assistant Professor specialising in the interface between HR practices and people's everyday experiences at work. In her lecture, she explores ways to preserve employee wellbeing in the face of external crises. The gradual return to work throughout 2020 is an opportunity to redesign how we work – so what did we learn from the crisis?  Join Dr Hewett at 19:00 on Thursday 5 November.

Editor’s note: A change to our schedule means that this event will now be presented by Dr Anne Burmeister, RSM’s Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management. The description and registration link are here

Social licence to operate for business and finance – 17 November

Addressing the idea that maximising profits is outdated, Prof. Dirk Schoenmaker, Professor of Banking and Finance, concludes the series of free online Open Lectures. Balancing profit with social and environmental impact is the way to go – and the financial sector can steer this process by investing in and lending to companies that balance profit and impact. Prof. Schoenmaker will be joined by the chief economist of Triodos Bank, Kees Vendrik at 19:00 on Tuesday 17 November.

To find out more, or to register, see

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked 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 can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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Ansgar Richter , D. Schoenmaker , Dr Rebecca Hewett , Prof. Ting Li