Helping to drive your future

Partnership with innovation campus Living Tomorrow

Gert Maris, Sales Director BDO Belgium

Keeping tabs on our rapidly changing world. Looking ahead. Daring to question and rethink your company or organisation, wanting to be surprised, exploring things… Essentially, that is what a strong, successful entrepreneur does every day. Discovering opportunities for growth for the business and uniting customers, employees and stakeholders. But, more than anything else, this kind of entrepreneur feeds his or her ambitions. Which also explains why BDO has chosen to partner with the innovation campus Living Tomorrow. 

Walter Vanherle is justifiably brimming with enthusiasm during our Teams meeting from Living Tomorrow’s Eco-System in Vilvoorde. “Exchanging knowledge and experience with so many different partners from just as many different sectors is so energising!” As a digital expert at BDO Belgium, his job is to preach progress, because “the best way to predict the future is to create it”. You can either choose to stand on the side-lines and passively undergo evolution, or you can ride the wave of change and turn it to your own good advantage. “We must keep in step with a world that is changing much faster than we could have ever imagined, while steering clear of tunnel vision. Our way is not the only way.”

Essentially this means that the partnership with Living Tomorrow allows us to consolidate our market position as an innovative player and business challenger. That is the main reason for this partnership. We already discussed it at length in the previous issue of To The Point. In this issue, we look at how we will work together and what we intend to achieve.

Learn, co-create, activate

“The how and what are linked to a 3-step plan,” Walter Vanherle explains. “Learn, co-create and activate or change ourselves. We learn from the partners in the ecosystem, and likewise they will learn from us. In the Living Tomorrow Partner Eco-System, knowledge and ambitions, as well as challenges and risks and so on, are shared transparently. I can’t think of any other instance where so much expertise from different domains and sectors is simultaneously combined in one and the same place. This promotes immersion learning, where we immerse each other in new forms of work and life – by doing, seeing, feeling, and even smelling or tasting. For example, the desserts that are served at events are printed(!) with our BDO 3D ‘food printer’.”

“Thanks to this partnership, our clients and BDO colleagues alike are immersed in the world of innovation.”

Walter Vanherle, Partner BDO Digital

In the second phase, namely co-creation, the partners search for solutions to specific challenges during themed round tables and vision groups or look at ways of anticipating expected opportunities. Developments that they would be unable to tackle single-handedly as an organisation or company. “Just think of drone taxis. So many different aspects are involved, from technology and airspace traffic control down to safety/security and public acceptance. If you only choose to defend your own interests and are afraid of change, you essentially nip any form of co-creation and innovation in the bud. So, it’s time to take off the blinkers and open our mind!”

Steps 1 and 2 are the levers for step 3, activation and transformation. Thanks to the new knowledge and know-how, BDO is better equipped than ever for devising solutions – in addition to developing some of these solutions and putting them on the market. Tailored to (and together with) our customers and stakeholders. “I’m thinking, for example, of everything that is going on in the field of the circular economy. While circular production may be the key objective, the circular business model also requires services in the areas of green taxation, financial modelling, strategy adjustment, transformation processes, and so on. In short, the innovation campus of Living Tomorrow offers a breeding ground full of innovative ideas and concepts that will allow us to have an impact on the world of work and life in the coming decades.”