verrocchio – The Fellows

The verrocchio Institute awards personalities, who contribute in a unique way to the institute's work, the title "verrocchio Fellow". Unique contributions may be:

  • new innovation methods
  • new insights in innovation research, which will influence the development of innovation culture within an organization
  • decisively special competences, which complement Verrocchio's services in an ideal way.

Besides the professional achievement, another pre-requisite is commitment to the "verrocchio principles", which are the basis for cooperating with the verrocchio Institute.

The person is authorized to hold the title verrocchio Fellow throughout the period of cooperation with the verrocchio Institute. He or she will obtain a written certificate and a seal, which might be used on his or her own media like e. g. their own website.

The following persons have been appointed as "verrocchio Fellow" so far:

  • Luki Huber und Gerrit Jan Veldman
  • Prof. Dr. Nicolas Burkhardt
  • Daniel Ziegler

Luki Huber and Gerrit Jan Veldman

The two innovative designers Luki Huber and Gerrit Jan Veldman from Barcelona have been developing excellent products for international customers from industry and economy for many years now. Incidentally, so to speak, they created the visual creative tool "Manual Thinking", which caught attention also in Germany since 2016. 

Luki Huber (1973) founded his product design studio in Barcelona in 1999 after finishing his academical career in the field of industrial design at the Higher School of Design Luzern and later on at the Escola Massana in Barcelona. Between 2001 and 2005, he worked exclusively for the creative team surrounding the famous cook Ferran Adrià and his restaurant elBulli. Besides the use in the restaurant, the products of this unique combination from design and catering were exhibited at Centre Pompidou in Paris. Until 2010, Luki Huber was teaching design at the EINA, School for Art and Design in Barcelona.

Gerrit Jan Veldman (Leicester, 1983) joined Luki Huber's studio in 2008 after his studies at the Technological University of Delft and EINA in Barcelona. Since 2009, the studio is located in the city center of Barcelona, where Huber and Veldman create a perfect atmosphere for the mutual product development with their clients.

Parallely to the product design, the two of them developed the tool "Manual Thinking", which enables teams in a unique way to develop ideas.

The contribution of them as verrocchio Fellows:
The verrocchio Institute was one of the first companies to implement the tool "Manual Thinking". Benno van Aerssen as well as Christian Buchholz, Luki Huber and Gerrit Jan Veldman attribute extremely high significance to visual tools in innovation work and they are discussing the subject regularly. In January 2017, the two teams agree on a strategical cooperation in the framework of which the verrocchio Institute acts as "Competence Partner" for Manual Thinking. This way, Manual Thinking has become a component of the Innovation Coach training.

Read more about Luki Huber and Gerrit Jan Veldman here.

Prof. Dr. Nicolas Burkhardt

Prof. Dr. Burkhardt teaches the study subjects of innovation change and leadership. He is the founder and General Manager of Kopfspringer GmbH, a strategical consulting company, which focuses on business model innovations, digitalization and transformation processes.

He is an author, industry insider of the XING platform and popular keynote speaker at different conferences and business forums. From 2008 until 2012, Prof. Burkhardt dedicated himself to the "Lebenshilfe für Afrika" (charitable support for Africa) and promoted the creation of an educational village for orphans in Moduli, Tanzania. He is a co-initiator and jury member of the Wirtschaftwoche-Quantensprung-Award (quantum leap award of the business magazine Wirtschaftswoche), of HR-garage as well as the RoundTable Innovation Management.

During the many years of his career in the industry, he was responsible for building up numerous innovation units in different, internationally operating companies. During his last employment in a DAX group, he was honored by the Ministry of Economy of North Rhine-Westphalia, together with his team as winners of the prize for digital transformation in large-sized companies.

Prof. Dr. Burkhardt completed his broad academic training in Germany, Iceland and Switzerland and finally at the renowned MBA Program of Henley Business School in the UK. He is a passionate extreme athlete and lives with his family in Düsseldorf.

Prof. Dr. Nicolas Burckhardt's contribution as verrocchio Fellow:
During a mutual innovation project in a DAX group, Burkhardt, van Aerssen and Buchholz got to know each other. They have been sharing insights as to the subject of innovation for many years. They are elaborating lectures and tools together. Finally, the "Innovation Performance Radar" arose from this cooperation. The extent of innovation ability of a team or organization can be measured with this tool.

Daniel M. Ziegler

Daniel Maurice Ziegler is a musician, team coach and speaker and has been working with Benno van Aerssen since 2014. He talks about innovation subjects from a musician's point of view and has been working successfully with non-musicians in all aspects of creativity for many years.

The composer and jazz piano player was born at Neuss in 1973 and was studying jazz and improvised music in Amsterdam/NL from 1993 until 1999. From 1999 until 2015, he was the leader of the „rhythm & groove factory, School for Jazz and Popular Music“. He was the head of several own ensembles, for which he was composing the music, as well as for other independent ensembles up to big band line-ups.

He can be heard as multi-instrumentalist on CDs as well as in live performances. He expanded the musical teaching occupation already in 2003, when he started to conduct creativity trainings for teams in companies. This lead to the format "team in sync" and later on to "Sounds Like Innovation" together with Benno van Aerssen. The two coaches implemented their mutual workshop concept for instance in a two-day workshop with a huge German automotive group.

During his solo performance with his piano on the stage, Ziegler talks about different aspects of innovation in his lecture "Composition - Improvisation - Innovation". Underpinned by music examples, which he is playing live on stage, he talks about courage, risk, curiosity, finding ideas and change management. In doing so, he bears the European corporate landscape in his mind and reveals transfers from artistic creativity to business.

Daniel M. Ziegler's contribution as verrocchio Fellow:
The creation of sound and music has a lot in common with business innovation. Daniel M. Ziegler and Benno van Aerssen developed a the format "Sounds Like Innovation", which enables also non-musicians to use the quality of music and improvisation. Sounds Like Innovation has been implemented already with several verrocchio-projects and contains the idea of verrocchio Fellowship in a particularly inspiring way.

verrocchio Notes

Are you willing to make yourself familiar with new innovation methods? Are you wondering what the job of an Innovation Coach looks like? Are you willing to be up-to-date as to the subject of innovation?

We will send you hand-picked innovation know-how in the monthly verrocchio Notes. Free of charge and geared to practice. At first hand from Benno van Aerssen and Christian Buchholz, the founders of verrocchio Institute.

Just fill in the form, send it to us and confirm the response e-mail - that's how easy you will become a recipient.

By the way: We don't like spam mails and, certainly, neither do you. For this reason, your data will be safe with us and we will never pass them on to third parties.