Urban Digital Innovation Executive Leadership Programme

(Applications are Upon Interest)


The European Green Deal aims to make the EU a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy by achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Cities play a vital role in this transformation, needing to adapt their innovation ecosystems to leverage digital technologies while addressing ethical and inclusive concerns. An Urban Innovation Executive Program offers guidance on Smart & Resilient Cities, emphasizing agile governance, innovation scalability, finance, citizen engagement, digital inclusion, regulatory agility, ethical frameworks, and technology, informed by the EU-funded Ruggedised smart city project.


This program is designed for leaders and innovation teams from various sectors, including municipalities and regional authorities focusing on sustainability, energy, digital, and data, as well as semi-governmental organizations such as utilities and transport operators. It also welcomes leaders and practitioners from companies poised to contribute to urban innovation agendas or looking to enter this field in the near future.

Learning Objectives.

Urban Prep

Develop a comprehensive framework for resilient, inclusive cities amidst digitalization and the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Digital Blocks

Implement vital components of a digitalization strategy: agile governance, ethics, trust-building, finance, and inclusive design.


Offer a multidisciplinary approach to urban innovation, particularly data-driven initiatives.

Team Unity

Foster cross-departmental team cohesion and alignment.


Enhance organizational impact through hands-on learning.

Critical Lens

Enable specialized expertise through elective modules, while cultivating critical perspectives on ethics, inclusion, and accountability.

Maturity Measurement.

Before the programme every participating team will be asked to fill out a questionnaire. The questionnaire will assess the maturity of the organization with regards to technology/digital capabilities on the one hand, and the innovation capacity/organizational capabilities on the other.

Unique Elements.

Diverse Topics

Holistic set-up with wide range of topics that will be covered.


International renowned guest speakers.


Driving urban transformation towards green goals through agile digital innovation.

Team Work

Hands-on teamwork addressing urban challenges.


Peer-inspired learning with outside perspectives.


Includes site visits and experiences in Rotterdam, with optional coaching afterward.

Action Learning Project.

Participants bring their urban innovation challenge to work on during the program. Projects can range from smart energy applications to optimizing mobility. Through exercises and reflection sessions, they receive coaching and peer feedback. At the end, they create a pitch summarizing their learnings and application to their challenge.

Programme Design.

Module 0

  • Introduction

  • Maturity Measurement Questionnaire

  • Presenting Personal, City and/or Organizational Challenge

Module 1 & 2

  • Explaining the Learning Journey from Urgency to Transformative Attitude.

  • Urban Digital Innovation Strategy Framework

  • The art of Innovation

  • Innovation Cycle

  • Design Thinking

  • Scalling of Pilots

  • Openning Dinner in City of Rotterdam Including Sponsors

Module 3 & 4

  • Digital Reference Architecture

  • Key Technologies

  • Digital Innovation Challenges

  • Ethics & Citizen Engagement

  • Digital Inclusion Framework and Strategies

  • Best Practices from Living Labs in 5 Cities

  • Light Dinner

Module 5 & 6

  • Finance & Business Models

  • Preparing for Success (Handling Procurement Legislation, Scaling)

  • Keynote Speaker

  • Student Panel

  • Recap and Final Presentation with a Mixed Auidence of Experts, Young Talent and Faculty Including Sponsors

  • Drinks & Informal Closing Celebration Certificate Cerenomy

Module 7

  • Peer2Peer  Coaching & Reflection

Module 8

  • Reflect-Connect

  • Reflect: Present your learnings, insights & status during this session

  • Connect: reconnect with your fellow change agents

  • Networking and Drinks

Programme Partnership & Contribution.