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Past Events

4 CPD points

When Disruption Meets Tradition

Erik P.M. Vermeulen

In a technology-driven and digital world, companies must operate with a new set of assumptions and principles in order to remain relevant, competitive, and successful. Consider the growing number of startups companies that are doing something that once seemed unthinkable: challenging and disrupting traditional corporate giants, and the many large and highly successful businesses that are operating as ‘platforms’. The re-organisation of companies into platforms is now seen as the optimum way to succeed in this digital age. These 21st century firms leverage on networked technologies to facilitate economic exchange, transfer of information, connecting people and making predictions. These “community-driven” companies are already disrupting multiple industries, including retail, hotels, taxis, etc., and are aggressively moving into new sectors, such as financial services.

How are these disruptive forces blowing up business models around the world and will they bring upon dramatic changes to the boardroom?

Although there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, there are three key interconnected
strategies that all businesses need to comprehend today.

  • Leveraging Current and Emerging Digital Technologies to Create More “Community-Driven” Forms of Organisation
  • Building an Open and Accessible Business Culture
  • Facilitating the Creation, Curation and Consumption of Meaningful “Content”

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the “gradually, then suddenly” principle of disruptive innovation.
  • Discover how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, algorithms and blockchain are affecting organisations and business operations.
  • Better appreciate how technology, content and culture are crucial in building a successful and sustainable business.



Erik P.M. Vermeulen is a Senior Legal Counsel at Signify (f.k.a Philips Lighting), an Innovation Advisor at a law firm in the Hague and a board/advisory member of several organisations, including a healthcare provider in The Netherlands and several startups. He is also a Professor of Business and Financial Law at Tilburg University and teaches international business law regularly at universities in Europe, the United States, Colombia and Japan and has appeared at numerous conferences as a featured or keynote speaker. Erik is also a co-owner of a Michelin star restaurant.

Erik can best be described as an innovator and has a blog where he shares insights and ideas about how the digital world is changing the way we live, work and learn. He has a particular interest in how artificial intelligence, sensors, data-analytics and blockchain are amplifying and accelerating each other, thereby creating new opportunities across all areas of the economy and society.

Erik’s thought-provoking and innovative views on business, leadership, governance, regulation and education have attracted international attention. He regularly serves as an expert advisor to international organisations, such as the European Commission, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations, the World Bank, and national and local governments around the world.

Download the brochure and executive summary at the right sidebar to read more.

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