Prepared for the unexpected

We live in a world that is currently undergoing major changes. Many of our previous plans can no longer continue in this form and we are faced with the challenge of acting in the here and now. Improvisation means dealing with the unforeseen ("improvisus" - the unforeseen).

In our applied research project "Organizational Improvisation", we investigate the mindset and skills of experts in the arts, science, and business and provide current activities on this website. The aim is to better understand the ability to improvise in different contexts, including improvisational theater, jazz, creativity and innovation, entrepreneurship, as well as emergency forces.

How do experts "think on their feet", playfully adapt to changing situations and radically collaborate for real-time creativity? These scientific findings will be applied for entrepreneurial purposes to be prepared for the unexpected.

Interview with Lukas Zenk about the project ("The ability for professional improvisation")

Video-Interviews with experts (YouTube Channel)

Ressources on Improvisation (Publications, Videos, Blogs)

Interviews at the Peter Drucker Forum

Amy Edmondson (Professor at Harvard University)

Psychological Safety


Edivandro Conforto (Managing Director at Accenture)

Capabilities for organizational change


University Course on Business Improvisation

In the last course (May 25-29, 2020), international experts from the arts, science, and business conducted highly interactive online sessions to teach the mindset and methods for professional improvisation. The basis of improvisation is found in the arts (theater, music), however, in Business Improvisation it is applied for entrepreneurial purposes to better deal with unexpected situations. For the research project, all lecturers were additionally interviewed to give a deeper insights into their field of expertise.

  • Sessions (Forenoon: 9am-12pm, Afternoon: 3pm-6pm)

    • Interview with lecturer (30min - open for the public)

    • Interactive Session (90min)

    • Learning Insights (30min)

    • Knowledge Transfer (30min)

  • Late Night Interviews: 8.00pm-8.30pm

The next course will be offered in May 2021 (

Monday, May 25

Prof. Ralf Wetzel (Organization & Arts, Clown)

The power of PLAY in societal disruption

University Website

Prof. Barbara Tint (Conflict Resolution, President of AIN)

Improvisational Collaboration and Conflict Resolution

University website

Prof. Gerald Steiner (Dean at Danube University Krems)

Real-world problems and innovation

University Website

Tuesday, May 26

Simon Severino (CEO, Strategy Sprints)

The Strategy Sprint. How to maximize your ROL (Return on Luck)

Paul Z Jackson (Trainer & Co-Founder of AIN)

Applying principles of improvisation in your life and work

Prof. Keith Sawyer (Creativity & Improvisation)

Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration

University Website

Wednesday, May 27

Agnes Zenk (Trainer, Coach, Actress)

Psychological Safety - Vulnerability and Courage at work

Kat Koppett (Trainer, Consultant, Performer)

Story on the Spot: Using Improvisational Storytelling Skills for Influence, Problem-solving and Connection

Prof. Miguel Pina e Cunha (Organizational Theory and Behavior)

Organizational Improvisation

University Website

Thursday, May 28

Prof. Wolfgang Stark with Christof Zürn and Lutz Hempel (Organization & Music)

Strategic Business Improvisation and Music

Prof. Dan Klein (Lecturer at Stanford University)

Playful Work

University Website

Dr. Gunter Lösel (Lecturer at Zurich University of Arts)

Inside a cocoon - an environmental approach to improvisation

University Website

Friday, May 29

Gabriele Amann (Trainer & Entrepreneur)

Organizational and Individual Resilience in Dynamic Environments

Prof. Lukas Zenk (Innovation & Networks, AIN Board)

Creativity & Innovation: the mindset of improvisation

University Website

Elger Oberwelz (Executive Design Director at IDEO)

Culture of Creativity and Play at IDEO