Beyond Better Business – Disruption & Transition with Purpose

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” - Buckminster Fuller.

The times are changing. Today’s societal challenges demand a new DNA of businesses. In this minor, current paradigms are challenged, and students are encouraged to be “Unreasonable People”, which embodies tenacity, commitment and “against all odds” approach. Students explore innovative, scalable and sustainable business models that are “Beyond Better”.



  • Semester: Period 4 in Spring Semester (Mid April - June)
  • Location: Leeuwarden
  • Study load: 15 ECTS
  • Availables places: 15
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What is the purpose of businesses for this 21st century? How sustainable is consumerism and profit maximalisation? Are there ways for businesses to be purposeful?

Sustainability, shared values and social entrepreneurship are increasingly shaping the business landscape and thus, inevitable for the 21st century businesses. Contemporary theories and practices on leadership, innovation, co-creation and entrepreneurship are shared and at the same time enforced with a design thinking mind-set. Students practise learning by doing while addressing current real-life societal issues critically. The end goal of this minor is to envision innovative, scalable and sustainable business models that are “Beyond Better”.

The new business DNA is addressing the triple bottom-line namely people, planet and prosperity – instead of a single bottom-line of maximising profit. And undoubtedly we want our work and life to be purposeful, so why not add some purpose and pleasure to it?

The minor expands on the knowledge obtained in other parts of the curriculum regarding strategic management, leadership, innovation, human resource management and marketing. This minor enables students to learn and to apply aspects of creating better businesses, while benefitting from the cutting-edge knowledge on entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship and social enterprises.

The learning goals are based on the “5 Minds for the Future” by Howard Gardner (2009):

  • The Disciplinary Mind: Apply concepts of strategic management, innovation and organisational theory to business models that challenge social issues.
  • The Ethical Mind: Evaluate the responsibility that businesses, professionals and individuals take and the impacts as a result of positive and negative contributions to social issues.
  • The Synthesizing Mind: Array information to make sense of social issues and to envision how current trends and paradigms in society can be combined with current unmet societal needs.  
  • The Creating Mind: Challenge the existing practices while generating and creating innovative business solutions that push the boundaries of existing frameworks.
  • The Respectful Mind: Reconcile different opinions and values with respectful communication and collaboration.

The topics of various learning activities include amongst others:

  • Business Development and Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship/Intrapreneurship
  • Transition Management
  • Business Ethics
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Purpose Economy
  • Personal Leadership
  • Critical Thinking
  • Marketing & Storytelling
  • Collaboration & Network Economy
  • Creative Thinking
  • Reverse Accounting
  • Start-up Finance
  • Evolutionary Economics
  • And many more contemporary topics and highlights through Student-Led Seminars!
  • Study load/credits: 15 ECTS
  • Educational methods: (Guest) Lectures and workshops, Student-Led Seminars, Case-Based Learning, Project based learning, Field trips
  • Examination: Case Based Learning, Student-Led Seminars, Minor Assignment, Individual Portfolio
  • Course language: English
  • Semester: Period 4 in Spring Semester  (Mid-April - June)
  • Location: NHL Stenden Leeuwarden
  • Admission requirements: Completed the first two years of a business-related bachelor study programme
  • Possible participants: Students from NHL Stenden and other universities of Applied Sciences
  • Offered by: Business Administration (International Programme)
  • Contact person: Erik Jan Rodenhuis