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The prestigious KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award will be presented at the RSM-STAR Changemaker Forum on Wednesday, 24 May. The student selection team of the Positive Change Initiative has identified their top five theses that will go on to be reviewed by a professional jury of KPMG-identified business managers.

The Sustainability Master Thesis Award 2023 covers the period of September 2021 until August 2022. A total of 1,833 master theses were posted in the Erasmus University thesis repository during this time. To be eligible for the award, a thesis must show academic excellence, practical relevance for companies, potential environmental or social impact, and originality.

The nominees and their theses for this year’s award are:

  • Maximilian von Wels (MSc Global Business and Sustainability) for his thesis The Social Acceptance of Agrivoltaics in which he proves that communities are more willing to accept agrivoltaics than ground-mounted solar energy.
  • Ellen van Avesaath (MSc Strategic Management) for her thesis The Social Biotechnology Enterprise: The New Kid on the Block? which investigates the launch of social biotechnology ventures to address unmet medical needs to contribute to restoring the healthcare disequilibrium.
  • Julius Kuhmann (MSc International Management/CEMS), for his thesis Do Good Alone – Do Better Together? Competition and Cooperation in Sustainability-related Coopetitive Alliances in which he questions how different motives of firms’ competitive and cooperative orientation affects sustainability-related cooperative alliances.
  • Joël Kuiper (MSc Business Information Management) for his thesis The Commuting Behavior Potential to Reduce the Electricity Mismatch Through Altered BEV Use: A Charging Behavior Simulation at a Household Level.
  • Jasper Arendt (MScBA Master in Management) whose thesis focused on Strengths and weaknesses of the aquaponic industry in comparison to the organic industry regarding environmental and economic sustainability, consumer perceptions, and labelling.  

The winner and runner-up of the 17th annual KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award will be announced by KPMG representative Ödön Engegård at the RSM-STAR Changemaker Forum on 24 May. The award winner will receive eternal fame and the €1,000 prize that comes with it. The runner-up will receive €500.


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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