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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVI2021U  Beijing-Copenhagen Urban Challenge

English Title
Beijing-Copenhagen Urban Challenge

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 32
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Stefan Meisiek - MPP
Stefan Meisiek,
Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, CBS

Lecturers include:
Balder Onarheim
Department of Management Engineering, DTU

Daved Barry
Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, CBS

Lecturers at Peking University to be confirmed

Regarding enrolment:
Please note that the students cannot enroll on-line. The number of CBS seats at the Urban Challenges is very limited.

Students are kindly asked to e-mail:
Magnus Tranum Mortensen mtm.ino@cbs.dk for inquiries regarding application to Beijing-Copenhagen Urban Challenge

Please note that the course has been approved by the cand. merc. Study Board at CBS. Approval at other Study Boards at CBS is outstanding.
Main academic disciplines
  • Marketing
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 20-03-2014
Learning objectives
This course provides students with an opportunity to gain hands‐on experience with real‐world projects, and to apply relevant models, concepts and theories in order to understand topics within green innovation in cities, and particularly the challenges and opportunities that arise in exploring these opportunities in China.

The course is part of the educational program Green Innovation in Cities and is a collaboration between CBS, DTU, and Peking University, China. The course is cross-disciplinary and is designed to challenge students to cooperate with peers from other scientific fields.

The Learning Objectives for the course specify that at the end of the course the student should be able:
  • To know the relevant models, concepts and theories from the curriculum
  • To apply the models, concepts and theories to the selected projects
  • To develop marketing strategies for internationalization, particularly with a view to China
  • To critically assess the value of these models, concepts and theories for developing green innovations in relation to the selected projects
  • To demonstrate an ability to approach business problem through business studio methods
  • Besides these objectives, it is an important objective that the student develops an understanding of how different scientific fields contribute to understanding and addressing the issues discussed in this course, i.e. reflect on potential cross-disciplinary synergies.
Course prerequisites
Basic knowledge of innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing, organization, management and sustainability is useful, yet not a prerequisite, for this course.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 1
Beijing-Copenhagen Urban Challenge 2014:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Written product to be submitted by 12.00 on August 8, 2014, sent directly to CIEL administration
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period August
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

This course is offered as part of the CIEL (Copenhagen Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab) Green Innovation in Cities program. It is a new educational initiative developed by CIEL at Copenhagen Business School working in conjunction with Peking University and the Technical University of Denmark. Registration will be limited to students from these institutions with preference given to students taking courses in the Green Innovation in Cities program.

By 2008, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities and by 2030 it is expected that more than 5 billion people live in urban settings. Over the next decades we need to learn how to address the challenges that urbanization poses, and to exploit the possibilities that grow out of these challenges. A key issue is that cities need to become sustainable to provide good living conditions for its inhabitants. Moving to a post-carbon energy supply means integrating renewable energy elements in suitable ways in the town structures and surfaces. For example, the price of solar cell panels has dropped significantly and integrating solar cells in new, as well as in existing, building surfaces is becoming an economically viable. However, the challenge is how to integrate the panels in designs that conform to existing and new building structures and surfaces in esthetically satisfactory ways. The challenges facing businesses and the public sector are formidable. Without effective multi-stakeholder collaboration that involves, for instance, users / citizens and investors suppliers, public sector, business partners, progress on sustainability is likely to be severely compromised. Exploiting the business opportunities in sustainable housing is a task that demands collaboration of the social and natural sciences; managers, public officials, and scientists.
The academic world has only recently begun to study innovating urban planning for green energy from a multi-stakeholder public-private perspective, and much less has the exploitation of emerging opportunities been placed into this context. Consequently, the course will have to borrow theories from a number of other disciplines, e.g., organization, multi-stakeholder management, public-private partnerships, entrepreneurship, strategizing, innovation, etc.

The course is built on a case, which frames our view on the subject matter. It is the start-up company Future Industrialized Sustainable Housing (FISH), which has developed and is currently commercializing World Flex Homes: Sustainable housing solutions for the Chinese market. The case shows how company size, product maturity, marketing power, and stakeholder involvement influence commercialization strategies. The case is open, meaning that students need to gather additional information in order to address the challenges of the case company.

Key business topics include the following related to innovating urban building-integrated designs for green energy:

  • The role of business and public sector (process) innovations
  • The role of multi-stakeholder networks supporting these innovations
  • Public-private partnerships related to organizing, managing or implementing innovative projects
  • International Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Market Creation
  • Urban green energy innovation and (building-integrative) innovative designs.

The course aims to provide students with an opportunity to gain practical hands‐on experience with real‐world urban building-integrated designs for green energy innovation projects and processes in the context of multi-stakeholder public-private collaboration, and reflect academically on the selected topics and processes. Especially, in this course the student with gain experience on working in both cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural teams, including working on the project both in China and Denmark. In this sense certain work aspects from global companies are simulated and experienced.

This course forms part of the Green Innovation in Cities program -  http:/​/​greeninnovationincities.com​

 Main academic disciplines
- Green Innovation in Cities
- International Marketing
- Strategy
- Public-Private Partnerships

Teaching methods
The course starts in Beijing with a data gathering and analytical focus. Students will collect data and analyze it to test their assumptions about commercialization of sustainable housing products in China. At the same time they will have classes on topics relevant to doing business in China, and public-private partnerships, and marketing.
The Copenhagen-based part of the BCUC summer school picks up where Beijing left off, and it is distinguished by its use of a studio pedagogy, which stresses inquiry, experimentation, prototyping, and demonstration—all done during class time and partly outside of class. Experts, small lectures, and company visits will complement the studio elements. The core orientation is towards creative synthesis. After two weeks, students have developed the basic concepts, understandings, models, and trajectories for their casework.
As only 8 students from each university can participate, students should email the course coordinator (sm.mpp@cb.sdk) a max. 3 page application including the student’s: short resumé, business experience, interdisciplinary and intercultural skills as well as motivation and personal skills.
Students from the four participating universities/departments (CBS, DTU, and Peking University’s College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and Guanghua School of Management) will for groups of four students (2 participants from each city on each team).
The teams will work on their challenge for two weeks in Beijing and two weeks in Copenhagen, respectively, followed by a short study break for students to theoretically reflect on the innovation project and a final exam based on an individual written report.

The course includes a Preliminary Assignement.
A Preliminary Assignment asks students to prepare for the course. Students are asked to read up on Chinese business, politics, and issues of sustainability. The deliverable is a set of slides to be brought to the first class.
Further Information


Week 27-28 in Beijing
Week 29-30-31-32 at CBS
Exams take place in week 32 (8/8 noon)

Lessons will take place in their own premises and will be published in the program from CIEL.
The course-program will be available primo April.

Expected literature
  • Todorovic, Marija S. (2012) BPS, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources for buildings greening and zero energy cities planning. Harmony and ethics of sustainability, Energy and Buildings 48  180–189
  • Sabine Barles (2010): Society, energy and materials: the contribution of urban metabolism studies to sustainable urban development issues, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 53:4, 439-455
  • Milly Tambach & Henk Visscher (2012): Towards Energy-neutral New Housing
    Developments. Municipal Climate Governance in The Netherlands, European Planning Studies, 20:1,111-130
  • Nidumolu, R., Prahalad, C.K. and Rangaswami, M.R. (2009), “Why sustainability is now the key driver of innovation,” Harvard Business Review, Vol. 87, No. 9, pp. 57-64.
  • Johnson, M. W. and Suskewicz, J. (2009), “How to jump start the cleantech economy,” Harvard Business Review, November, pp. 52-60.
  • Simanis, E. and Hart, S. (2009), “Innovation from the inside out,” MIT Sloan Management Review, Summer, pp. 77-86.
  • Ambec, S. and Lanoie, P. (2008), “Does it pay to be green? A systematic overview,”Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 45-62.
  • Amabile et al (1996) Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 5. 1154-1184.
  • Marshall, R.S. and Brown, D. (2003), "The strategy of sustainability: A systems perspective on environmental initiatives." California Management Review, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 101-126.
  • Tilley, F., & Young, W. (2009). Sustainability Entrepreneurs: Could They Be the True Wealth Generators of the Future? Greener Management International, Winter(55), 79–93.
  • Gibbs, D. (2009). Sustainability Entrepreneurs, Ecopreneurs and the Development of a Sustainable Economy. Greener Management International, Winter(55), 63–79.
  • Patzelt, Holger; Shepherd, Dean A.(2011). Recognizing Opportunities for Sustainable Development.  Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice. Jul, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p631-652
  • Bos-Brouwers, H. E. J. (2010). Corporate Sustainability and Innovation in SMEs: Evidence of Themes and Activities in Practice. Business Strategy and the Environment
  • Lieberherr-Gardiol, F. (2009). Urban sustainability and governance : issues for the twenty-first century. International Social Science Journal, 59(193/194), 331–342.
  • Hossein Azadi, Peter Ho, Erni Hafni, Kiumars Zarafshani & Frank Witlox (2011): Multi-stakeholder involvement and urban green space performance, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 54:6, 785-811
  • Schlange, L.E. (2009). Stakeholder Identification in Sustainability Entrepreneurship The Role of Managerial and Organisational Cognition.Greener Management International, Winter (55), 13–32.
  • Neill, G. D. O., Hershauer, J. C., & Golden, J. S. (2009). The Cultural Context of Entrepreneurship Greener Management International, Winter(55), 33–47.
  • Neville, B. A. Neville and Menguc, B. (2006), “Stakeholder multiplicity: Toward an understanding of the interactions between stakeholders,”Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 66, No. 4, 377-391.
  • Greve, Carsten. (2010). “The Global Perspective on Public–private partnership Industry”, in Hodge, G.A., Greve, C. and Boardman, A. (Eds) International Handbook in Public-Private Partnerships, Edward Elgar, UK, pp499-510
  • Foley, H.C., Freihaut, J., Hallacher, P. & Knapp, C. (2011). „The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy-Efficient Buildings: A New Model for Public-Private Partnerships”. Industrial Research Institute, November-December, pp.42-48.
  • Parker, B., Segev, S. and Pinto, J. (2010), “What it means to go green: Consumer perceptions of green brands and dimensions and "greenness," American Academy of Advertising Conference Proceedings, pp. 99-111.
  • Bagozzi, R.P. and Lee, K.H. (1999), “Consumer resistance to, and acceptance of, innovations,” Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 26, pp. 218-225.
  • Braungart, M., McDonough, W. and Bollinger, A. (2007). “Cradle-to-cradle design: Creating healthy emissions – a strategy for eco-effective product and system design,” Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol.15, pp.1337-1348.
  • Jansson, J., Marell, A. and Nordlund, A. (2010), “Green consumer behavior: Determinants of curtailment and eco-innovation adoption,” Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 358–370.
Last updated on 20-03-2014