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A joint initiative of Vlerick Business School and Florence School of Regulation

The programme wants to tackle the management challenges and opportunities specific to the Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and Distribution System Operators (DSOs) in the power and gas industries in Europe.


The energy sector in general, and the electricity transportation and distribution business in particular is likely to face more changes in the next 10 years than in the last 100. A whole range of concurrent issues like organisational challenges and changes in regulation will mean that there are many options and decisions to be made that will not only affect the future of the industry, but certainly you as a business leader!

The Future Grid Managers Programme is a truly unique offering towards Senior Managers in European DSOs and TSOs. We bring together thought experts in the energy field from academic, business and institutional levels and build together a platform to create visions for the future.

As a perfect run-up to the Vlerick programme, with a focus on the managerial and leadership challenges, Florence School of Regulation has the online programme called EU Electricity Network Codes. This course provides experts a platform to share experiences with the implementation of the Network codes, while also providing an opportunity to the community of non-experts to get up to speed with these rules that affect all stakeholders


Module 1: Our business in 2030 – seeing the bigger picture

The EU Clean Energy Package simulation

What’s in these regulations? How will they affect organisations like yours – and the industry as a whole? What are the challenges? And importantly, what are the opportunities?

This business game, designed around the EU Clean Energy Package, gives you valuable insight into these wide-ranging, ambitious regulations – including the significant impact they can have on your organisation. You’ll gain an understanding of the fundamental economic, technical and policy considerations – and quickly develop strategies for finding common ground with other stakeholders.

Non-market strategy

To compete in today’s complex, uncertain world, you need to tailor your organisation’s strategy. It needs to work equally as well for your non-market environment – your organisation’s legal, political and social context – as for your market. In this session, you’ll analyse political, legal and social sources of tension and ambiguity. You’ll start to use a framework that will help you identify and address any issues that could harm your organisation’s reputation. And you’ll learn that if you handle these issues strategically, they could help you to gain the competitive edge.

Business model innovation

Successful organisations don’t see a difference between customer focus and innovation. They take an outside-in perspective – using the market they operate in to create their strategy, rather than simply doing more of what they’re good at.

This session is all about connecting, converting and collaborating. You’ll discover how to become an outside-in organisation by engaging with the market, addressing customer needs and entering smart partnerships.

Module 2: Fostering new business opportunities

Digital transformation vs digital innovation

Even though we live in a digital age, many people still have a vague definition of what digital means. Is it simply technology – big data, social media, the cloud and the internet of things – or does the concept of “digital” go beyond this?

This session challenges you to explore what digital transformation really means. You’ll get a framework to help make transformation a success in your organisation – and you’ll take part in a digital leadership game designed to prepare you for the future.

Negotiation and influencing

When used well, influencing skills give you the ability to shape the thinking and behaviour of others – and to communicate information effectively. These skills help you to build strong relationships, exert greater influence on colleagues – and present a positive image to your organisation.

In this session you’ll further refine your negotiating and influencing skills, so you can connect even more with stakeholders across the European energy landscape.

Module 3: Leaders of the future grid

Leadership in times of turbulence

This simulation considers leadership as part of a system – and focuses on improving the system rather than fixing people.

By the end of the session, you’ll have a new appreciation of the issues experienced at all levels of an organisation. You’ll know how to identify and avoid predictable and dysfunctional patterns – and how to deal with challenges that stand in the way of success. You’ll also have a number of strategies up your sleeve to help you build the successful partnerships that make for successful organisations.

The ins and outs of the European Commission and Parliament

How do these institutions make decisions? And how do their policies translate to national levels? In this session you’ll gain answers to both of these important questions.

Future grid scenarios

For the final session, you’ll join thought experts and executives for a round-table debate to discuss the many new business models to come in the next 10 years.

This could include topics like:

  • 2050 energy future scenarios
  • Electricity network pricing, taxes and levies
  • Story H2020: Energy storage regulations and business models
  • Local energy communities
  • Innovative business models
  • TSO and DSO cooperation and coordination
  • Renewable energy business models

Who should attend

The Future Grid Managers Programme targets senior managers from power Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs) in Europe. This programme is ideal for you if:

  • You need to build capabilities to shape the future of your business
  • You are looking for a platform to exchange best practices with other European DSOs/TSOs
  • You are a leader who believes that the future of the industry is shapeable
  • You have already embarked on a strategic innovation journey and are now hungry to address cross-departmental or cross-organizational challenges on a larger scale that goes beyond fine-tuning


Barney Jordaan is professor of management practice at Vlerick. He holds a doctorate in law from Stellenbosch University, where he was professor of law until 1997 teaching employment, contract and intellectual property law. He thereafter taught negotiation at Stellenbosch University Business Schoo...
Stijn is a passionate Faculty Member with his mind set on teaming up business and IT for value creation.Stijn is passionate about what it means to successfully create a digital enterprise, capturing the value that comes with the use of novel technological advances such as big data, analytics, soc...
And over 30,000 online and printed journals + well-known business databases like Bloomberg, Euromonitor,... available for you. Fredrik Hacklin is Professor of Entrepreneurship at Vlerick Business School and Managing Director of the Corporate Innovation Lab. He further serves as Associate Professo...
And over 30,000 online and printed journals + well-known business databases like Bloomberg, Euromonitor,... available for you. Daniel Dobbeni is Executive in Residence at Vlerick Business School. In his role he is chairman of the advisory board of the Centre for Energy Management. Daniel Dobbeni ...
Leonardo Meeus is Associate Professor of Energy Markets at Vlerick Business School in Brussels, Belgium. Before joining Vlerick, he worked in Ireland for an energy infrastructure project developer, and in Italy for the Florence School of Regulation at the European University Institute. Leonardo ...
Director Strategy at Alliander, the Dutch DSO, will give you a completely different view on business model innovation and share her story at Alliander. This visionary leader invites you for an informal session in which she discloses her personal thoughts, experiences and challenges you to think o...
Ian Smyth is not only the host of the first module, he will also enlighten you with his testimonial on how UKPN is developing new business models and succeeds in creating a whole new playfield! Ian joined UK Power Networks as Director in August 2016, to lead the commercial division called UK Powe...


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