Patterns of Digitization work has been informed by our years of experience in industry and research at world-class institutions.  This includes:

Paul Mugge

Paul Mugge has 35 years in product development, global business strategy, and business innovation services at IBM and 15 years of researching and teaching innovation as the Executive Director of the Center for Innovation Management at NC State University. It was through this experience that Mugge learned that more important than technology or product innovation is business model innovation. It, by far, is the hardest to copy—and the most important to establishing long-term growth. He captured these ideas—and the actual methods to perform business model innovation—in a book he co-authored with Dr. Stephen Markham titled, Traversing the Valley of Death: A practical guide for corporate innovation leaders. More recently, Mugge got caught up in the biggest business model innovation of our time—digital transformation. In his latest book titled, Trust: The Winning Formula for Digital Leaders, he and his co-authors, Abbu and Gudergan, explore how “building trust”—and not their technological competence —sets the leaders of this phenomenon apart. Most importantly, Mr. Mugge has spent his entire career, both at IBM and NC State University, listening and sharing what he has learned with scores of organizations that intend to separate themselves through managing innovation.

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Haroon Abbu

Dr. Haroon Abbu is Vice President of Digital, Data, and Analytics at Bell & Howell headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He is an accomplished leader with more than 20 years’ industry experience in leading technology-enabled business transformation while building analytics and digital transformation teams ground up. Haroon brings together world-class research in partnership with NC State University and Germany’s RWTH Aachen University to advance thought leadership on digital leadership. He is a frequent keynote speaker and a panelist at various industry events and has published his work in reputed business magazines and scholarly journals.

In his 2021 book titled, Trust: The Winning Formula for Digital Leaders, a Practical Guide for Digital Transformation, he and his co-authors, explore differentiated actions of digitally mature companies and how their digital leaders succeed by building trust.

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Gerhard Gudergan

Dr. Gerhard Gudergan is the deputy managing director at FIR Institute for Industrial Management at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He is a renowned researcher with over 20 years of experience in the fields of service management, business transformation and digital leadership. Besides his research, Gudergan translates his entrepreneurial mindset into numerous spinoffs. Currently his focus is on the Metropolitan Cities Initiative, as the acting head of this latest project. The vision is to use urban innovation to transform the fifth largest metropolitan region in Europe, Rhine-Ruhr, into the most livable metropolitan area possible.

Ruben Conrad

Ruben Conrad is head of the business transformation department at RWTH Aachen University. He joined the department after his studies in mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen University. His work experience spans three continents, Asia, North America, and Europe, where he worked with Bayer AG and the University of St. Gallen. He has worked on several research and industry projects with a focus on the design of new value creation models and management systems in various industries.

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Gerrit Hoeborn

Gerrit Hoeborn holds degrees in business administration and mechanical engineering from RWTH Aachen University and Tsinghua University. His research focus is business transformation and digital business strategies. Gerrit is a PhD student and is responsible for the ecosystem design section at FIR e.V. at RWTH Aachen University.

Alexander Kwiatkowski

Alexander Kwiatkowski holds a degree in technical communication with a focus on mechanical engineering from RWTH Aachen University. His research focuses on topics such as digital leadership, culture, innovation, technologies, and business strategy.


Rafael Götzen

Rafael Götzen is deputy head of the business transformation department and responsible for the digital leadership section at FIR e.V. at RWTH Aachen University. His work experience spans a wide range of research and industry projects. He has worked on several transformation projects and focuses on the investigation of socio-technical challenges in the adoption of new technologies.

John von Stamm

John von Stamm joined the department of business transformation at FIR institute at RWTH Aachen University as a PhD student after earning his master’s degree in industrial engineering. He works on industry-wide research and consulting projects focusing on corporate strategy, digital leadership, and business culture.