Aarhus-BSS_2On this page you can find thesis projects (MBA, MSc, BSc) offered by the Strategic Foresight Research Network at Aarhus BSS. For more information on the projects, please contact the project supervisor, mentioned in the description of the individual projects.


The Future of the Car Industry

SupervisorRené Rohrbeck and Christina Bidmon


Massive and dramatic shifts in the auto industry represent challenges for a century-old sector. In the light of new technologies and business models car manufacturers face the “incumbent’s dilemma”, i.e. disrupting themselves, coping with multiple radical innovations and challengers; cooperating with competitors new and old; identifying key factors to navigate change; and better predicting and preparing for the most likely future scenario.

Aim: The thesis uncovers how the car industry deals with trends such as connected, autonomous, shared, or electric driving. It can do so from a variety of angles such as considering the firms’ foresight capabilities, entry timing, or innovation strategies.

Support: The thesis can rely on a comprehensive dataset consisting in CEO interviews and annual reports from 5 German car manufacturers. Fluency in German is required to work with the data.


Corporate Foresight at Grundfos

Supervisor: René Rohrbeck

Background: Grundfos is reinforcing its exploration of new markets and growth drivers.

Aim: Applying strategic foresight to detect and explore markets that are created through digitalisation, servitization, and system integration in smart cities.

Structure of work:

  • PHASE 1: Read on and describe the foresight radar approach
  • PHASE 2: Scan for change drivers in the domains: digitalisation, servitization, and system integration in smart cities
  • PHASE 3: Describe Transformational Waves
  • PHASE 4: Identify innovation and pioneers
  • PHASE 5: Develop a transformational wave radar

Scope: The project can be conducted by MBA, MSC and BSC students and is large enough to also be worked on by two students working as a team.


Mapping the Opportunities of the Emerging Ocean Economy

Supervisor: René Rohrbeck and Matt Spaniol

Background: The expectations for the Earth’s oceans in the future global economy are high, and the pressure on the sustainability of the oceans as human population will grow to 10 billion is increasingly called into question. But where exactly will the opportunities be? The ocean is full of potential, and new segments are emerging in ocean biotechnology, aquaculture, seabed mining, and renewable energy. Furthermore, long-established segments such as offshore wind, maritime transportation, and offshore oil are evolving and subject to disruption. The world is 70% water, and this project week focuses on blue ocean innovation and market opportunities, and uses approaches developed in foresight and forecasting to re-assess of the role that our oceans will be able to play in future human society.   

Aim: The thesis will contribute to developing a innovation radar for the blue economy, currently being developed by the PERISCOPE project. It will focus on identifying, describing and quantifying business opportunities. The thesis aims to  support innovative business ventures, and to work with new actors in the highly promising Ocean economy.

Support: Students will receive support through

  • An introduction to the ocean economy
  • An introduction to the toolbox of strategic foresight
  • Support in applying the tools to emerging opportunities
  • Tutoring in blue-sky thinking on the opportunities of the future ocean economy
  • Regular feedback and the prospects of launching new innovative solutions into the blue economy

Scope: The project can be conducted by MBA, MSC and BSC students and is large enough to also be worked on by teams of students.


Foresight into the Future of the Hydrogene Market

SupervisorRené Rohrbeck

Background: Hydrogen is believed to be one of the most interesting energy carrier to decarbonise transport and fight global warming. Promoting hydrogen and fuel cell solutions require a mix of technological innovation, prospective investing and new regulatory frameworks. Denmark has particularly ambitious targets for reducing CO2 and hence could become a lead market for hydrogen solutions.

Aim: The thesis will benchmark different hydrogen production technologies and create scenarios on the future of the hydrogen economy in Denmark.

Support: The thesis can rely on the support of the partners of the EEEHy project, who will help through workshops, interviews and direct feedback on the work.


Benchmarking Future Preparedness of Organizations

Logo Rohrbeck Heger - Strategic Foresight + Innovation ConsultantsSupervisor: René Rohrbeck

Background: Both from the academic research and consultancy practice at Rohrbeck Heger, we have developed a Maturity Model for benchmarking the Future Preparedness of Organizations. This model is regularly applied across industries and in public and private organizations. In your thesis project you can apply the model to one or multiple organizations of your choice, or join us in one of our ongoing assessments.

Aim: Benchmark the Future Preparedness of organizations and prepare proposals for upgrading the organization’s capabilities.

Structure of work:

  • PHASE 1: Assess organization
  • PHASE 2: Compare your organization’s scores with industry peers and with best practices
  • PHASE 3: Run (top) management workshop to validate and discuss your findings
  • PHASE 4: Develop proposal on how to best upgrade existing capabilities
  • PHASE 5: Run (top) management workshop to discuss and prioritize development activities

Scope: The project can be conducted by MBA, MSC and BSC students and is large enough to also be worked on by two students working as a team.

Location: You may conduct the project from Denmark or join Rohrbeck Heger in their Berlin office.