Personal profile

Research profile

I researcher (but also teach, consult and speak) in the fields of strategy, innovation, and sustainability.

My research lies at the intersection of Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability and has been published on outlets such as the Academy of Management Annals, the Journal of Management, the Oxford Handbook of Innovation Management and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Business and Management among others. The 2011 paper titled “Business Model: Recent Development and Future Research” authored with C. Zott (IESE) and R. Amit (Wharton) has received more than 6000 citations and has been granted the 2016 Scholarly Impact Award from Journal of Management.

With Mike Rosenberg (IESE), I am author of several teaching case studies on business model innovation and sustainability (IESE Publishing), which are currently used in IESE’s post-graduate programs.

With Florian Lüdeke-Freund (ESCP) and Henning Breuer (HMKW), I have written and self-published the book Sustainable Business Model Design:45 Patterns. 

I have the priviledge to serve as the Managing Director of the Business Design Lab (formely the Business Design Center, founded by my esteemed colleague Prof. Chirstian Nielsen) and Full Professor at Aalborg University Business School.

I am also member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network for Innovation and adjunct professor for executive education at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology (AISTS), Frankfurt School of Finance and Management as well as Bologna Business School (BBS). Prior to joining AAU I have been scientist at the College du Management (CDM) of EPFL, at the chair of Corporate Strategy and Innovation (CSI) and at the chair of Green Economy and Resource Governance (GERG), visiting scholar at the Sol. C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (USA), visiting researcher at MIT Sloan School of Management, Boston (USA) and Assistant professor (Strategy and Innovation) at Department of Strategy, Innovation and Management Control, Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), Vienna (Austria).

I teach in EMBA programs, MBA programs and M.Sc. programs, to my humble delight with often outstanding valuations from participants. I have also been involved in designing and delivering science and high-technology entrepreneurship and innovation programs. Designed specifically for scientists and engineers working in corporate startups, institutes of technology, research centers and university spinouts, these programs aim at offering scientists and engineers to extend and complement the science and engineering worldviews with governing ideas in strategy, technology and innovation management, including recent advances in business model design, design for complexity and design thinking and support their ability to turn inventions into innovation.

I sit on the advisory boards of EPFL based Innovation Forum Lausanne (IFL), of digital platform Tayo, of design and innovation consulting boutique NieW, among others. I serve as a trusted strategy, innovation and sustainability advisor to executives of companies and organizations across industries, such as for example Robert Bosch AG, Chiesi Farmacautici Spa, Ansaldo Energia Spa, Alce Nero Spa., the Italian Institute of Technology, the Swiss Space Center at EPFL, the Swiss Federal Office of the Environment, or the Centre suisse d'électronique et de microtechnique (CSEM). I am expert mentor for Mass Challenge Switzerland and a trusted advisor to Fondazione Golinelli for which I have co-designed ICARO, an innovative entrepreneurship and innovation program based on action and problem-based learning. I have been involved in the design of G-Factor, an acceleration-incubation program for science and high tech based startups in the healthcare – biotech and medtech domains.

I completed my Master and Ph.D. in Management at IESE Business School, focusing on research at the intersection of Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability. During my Ph.D. I have been a researcher fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute (Boulder, Colorado, US) working on business model design for the diffusion of renewable energies. I hold graduate degrees, both with distinction, in Mechanical Engineering from the Dublin Institute of Technology (B.Eng.) and the University of Genoa (M.Sc. Eng.). As an engineer I worked n the Iron and Steel making industry, as a technologist focusing on the design of blast furnaces, and later as a project lead for a company developing technologies for green buildings. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Management, Ph.D. , Corporate Sustainability: theoretical roots, pedagogical elements and empirical evidence, University of Navarra

Award Date: 3 Nov 2011

Engineering (Mechanical), M.Sc. (Laurea Degree)

Award Date: 3 Nov 2004

Engineering (Mechanical), Bachelor Engineering, Dublin Institute of Technology

Award Date: 1 Aug 2003

External positions

Member Expert Network (Innovation) at WEF, World Economic Forum


  • Management and Organization
  • Innovation
  • Strategy
  • Sustainability


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