Innovation in European Business: Business Models, Leadership and Design (combined 5 weeks' track) - Track

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level

Innovation is key for companies to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment and is arguably the most important factor for long-term organisational success. During this track we will introduce you to the drivers and challenges of innovation in Europe and how people and organisations handle these. You will gain experience, insights and in-depth knowledge of innovation in Europe. We will look at different perspectives of innovation, on an individual level as well as on an organisational level, for you to explore innovative supportive features of leaders, organisations and processes.

The first two weeks of this track focus on the various innovation challenges faced by European companies; how governments and business (cultures) in the European Union (EU) influence innovation, and which traits characterise innovative ventures and people. You will learn the fundamentals of how to perform a trend analysis, scenario planning, and form ideas about innovative business models. By organising a variety of site visits, we will help you obtain a good grasp of the various ways in which companies tackle these challenges and are able to innovate.

During the second part of the track, we would like to welcome you to our innovation lab! Together with a group of fellow students, you will discover the ins and outs of design thinking, the importance of user-experience and co-creation, and experience first-hand how to innovate products and services by getting out the door. Our client will provide your team with an assignment, give input and help evaluate your group’s performance. Of course, you won’t have to face this challenge alone; besides the support of your team members, you will receive intensive coaching from skilled work-field professionals.

The last week will focus on the role of leadership in supporting innovative behaviour and performance happiness. Together with other students you will discover the key variables of leadership and how leaders can support innovative behaviour, learn how workplace happiness can lead to improved organisational performance, and apply newly found insights by working together with local companies and helping them innovate.

Course director
Bart Toering MSc; Jens Gijbels MBI; Sandra Hendricks MSc

Target audience

This course is open to all bachelor and master students in the field of business studies and all students who have a background or an interest in innovation within a business setting. Students are expected to have a good command of English.

Aim of the course

This track aims to provide students with fundamentals, best-practices and experience in innovation within European business. The specific learning outcomes of the programme are:

  • Understand what the drivers of innovation are;
  • Explore business models of successful (socially-relevant) innovation
  • Perform and understand the fundamentals of trend analysis and scenario-planning;
  • Have a broad knowledge of the challenges of innovation within Europe;
  • Use design thinking to innovate and design services;
  • Understand the importance of co-creation and focusing on the user perspective;
  • Have insight into the relationship between innovation, leadership, workplace happiness and performance;
  • Understand how you as a leader could enable other people and organisations to innovate.

The courses part of this track are the following:

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Europe: Business Models and Financing Models

Innovation Lab: Design Thinking for Socially-Relevant Innovation

Leadership for Innovation and Performance Happiness


Study load

This track requires students to be motivated and able to keep up with a high study load of more or less 40 hours a week. This includes lectures, group assignments, field trips and self-study.


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School

Additional information

Students will pay a discounted fee of € 2250 for this track

Professionals will pay the full course of € 2815. 

Note: The Student Fee applies to all students currently enrolled in a Bachelor, Master or PhD programme and also to 'Fresh Alumni' of any of these programmes. If this applies to you and you therefore believe that you are eligible for the discounted student fee, please include this in your motivation.

More information


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline