Consultancies challenge students to design the ultimate company

27 May 2016

Consulting firms from seven different European countries have joined forces to launch an international student competition. Students are challenged to, in teams of three, design the “ultimate company” of the future. Students have up to the 1st of July to sign up, with the winning team provided, besides the privilege to visit Paris, the support to prototype their blueprint.

Digital technologies have in recent years developed into a key enabler of market change and innovation, transforming the business environment. New business models, new propositions and new ways of working are changing corporate ecosystems, re-defining customer relationships and challenging corporate cultures. The new digital environment is also giving rise to new rules and new expectations, with innovation and agility taking precedence. 

In addition to the transformative conditions formed by the convergence of technologies, the rise of the millennial generation and the strong values that they bring with them, are also sending waves through traditional corporate employment structures, from diversity and remuneration to leadership and work-life balance. 

Nextcontinent Student Challenge

In a bid to unravel the DNA of future-proof organisations, eight member firms* of Nextcontinent – a network of management consulting firms with operations in 20+ countries – have turned to the bright minds of the next generation. Students from across Europe are invited to participate in ‘Design the ultimate company’, a competition that seeks to develop concrete prototypes that could be implemented in companies. 

The participating students are challenged to unleash their imagination across three areas: Leadership, Digital Organisation or Collaboration. What are the qualities of a leader that effectively encourages their engagement? What are organisational structures that attract them, and how do they fit in with their wider social values? What kinds of collaborations, internally and externally to corporates, improve outcomes for their wide array of stakeholders?

The engagement is open to all European students. Student are encouraged to create multidisciplinary and diverse teams in a bid to reduce group-thinking, including a mix of qualitative and quantitative skill sets and thinking forms. The team then selects where they would like to present their prototypes, with offices available in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Paris, Rome and Stuttgart.

Nextcontinent members

The first step is to send in an around 5 minute presentation to pitch the idea, in a format that effectively, or otherwise, communicates the idea to a jury. The following step involves pitching the idea in front of the jury at the selected office. The ideas that come through the jury’s due diligence, deemed interesting to the corporate world, will be invited to participate in a final round in Paris. In the French capital, students will work with experts from a range of subject areas – designers, hackers, consultants – to rapidly prototype the idea for potential implementation.

The deadline for submitting ideas is July 1st, with the presentation at an office on July 6th and the Paris hackathon event on July 20th and 21st. Students that want to participate can send their questions and/or entries to challenge coordinator Audrey

* Consultancies affiliated to Nextcontinent taking part in the event are Eurogroup Consulting (France, Portugal, Italy and Germany), Magnus (Netherlands), Arch (Belgium), P3 (Germany) and Nexe (Spain).

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Two consultancies among UK’s best office breakout spaces

05 April 2019

A pair of Bristol-based consulting firms have been recognized for having among the UK’s best office break areas. People Source Consulting and Ashville were marked out for their vibrant and fun spaces, which feature table games, picnic areas, and even beer.

With competition for talent in the UK continuing to heat up – as the nation continues to enjoy its highest employment rate since the 1970s – firms have been upping their game on multiple fronts to help attract the cream of the crop. In order to successfully court the best candidates, companies are not only taking into account pay and benefits, but are also working to lure potential employees to their firms with the promise of innovative and vibrant work spaces.

In late 2018, employment website Glassdoor announced ten offices had been named the coolest places to work in the UK. Among those lauded for their work in enriching the working day of their employees was Capco – the only consultancy to make the grade.

Two consultancies among UK’s best office breakout spaces

Now,, a leading games room specialist based in the UK, has announced the ten offices it believes have made the cut for its inaugural Office Breakout of the Year competition. The contest has pitted a diverse range of companies against one another to be named the best office-based breakout space that the UK has to offer. Research from recently revealed that 65% of workers would consider switching employers for a better working environment, making the appearance of two consultancies on the list especially important for their recruitment ambitions.

People Source Consulting – a recruitment business from Bristol – hosts a brightly lit and vibrant space, complete with faux grass and picnic benches, along with a well-stocked beverage fridge – alcohol appears to be an option – as well as an array of tabletop games, including pool. Ashville, an asset management consultancy also based in Bristol, meanwhile boasts a break room decked out with table football, a table tennis court and even arcade machines.

Two consultancies among UK’s best office breakout spaces

The other eight finalists exhibit offerings including swinging hammocks, scooters and a bizarre and brilliant variety of other features. The other nominees are accessplanit – a software business from Lancaster; Digital 22 – a marketing and design agency from Clitheroe; Roc Search – a tech and engineering recruitment specialist from Reading; Sales-i – a provider of sales analytics software from Solihull; SEC Group – an office fit out company from Stevenage; SLG Brands – a portfolio of beauty brands with a head office in Cheltenham; Zest Digital – a digital marketing agency from Oxford; and 16i – a digital design agency also from Cheltenham.

Andy Beresford, MD of, said, “According to recent reports, the UK is currently seeing record levels of employment, and while that might be a great statistic, the knock-on effect is that it’s becoming harder and harder to recruit top talent… Being named as a finalist gives those shortlisted businesses the opportunity to showcase how they go about delivering a better working environment for their employees, with some top effort evidently involved judging by what we’ve seen.”