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Ecosystem Intelligence E.I.

Using social network analysis to manage complexity in a volatile, uncertain, and ambiguous environment


PLEASE NOTE: All lectures will be held in English.

Early Bird:
You will receive a discount of 5%, if you register for this seminar until June 30, 2016.

Executive managers, non-executive directors and investors alike are currently facing an environment characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). Making the right decisions is becoming more difficult. This seminar series aims to help decision makers go beyond financial and non-financial data (such as ESG data), expand their tool sets and make use of the unique and complementary social network analytical perspective. Dr Murat Ünal and his team, who are well known for having pioneered the systematic application of social network analysis within the investment industry globally, will provide unique insights alongside Dan Evans from the Network Science Center of Westpoint Military Academy USA and Dr Remzi Gözübüyük, Sabanci University Turkey, both of whom are also experts in social network analysis.Using multiple case studies, Dr Ünal and his academic peers will:

  • demonstrate how social network analysis can be used to build up a country specific, regional or global ecosystem intelligence system which provides dynamic and actionable intelligence
  • Illustrate the implementation of an ecosystem intelligence process at one of the most well-known corporates in the world, covering Europe, Africa, and the Middle East
  • Demonstrate how dynamic and “actionable intelligence” can boost a company's strategic position against industry peers.

Decision makers will receive deep insights into the application of social network analysis and the role of social networks along the entire decision making process.

They will learn

  • how to look at the entire ecosystem in which a company or a portfolio of companies is embedded, including customers, competitors, governments, associations, universities, NGOs and other institutions
  • how their social ties that bind them affect outcomes
  • how to view the developments and organizations not in isolation, but from an integrated, embedded perspective.

The team will also demonstrate how social networks among others affect

  • investment decisions (and co-investment clusters that emerge)
  • M&A activities
  • the corporate governance of companies (among the largest 50 European companies) and corporate outcomes
  • whether a company will be potentially bailed out or not
  • investments and business in frontier markets (such as in Africa)

Participants will thus be provided a solid introduction into what the speakers see as the third pillar in future decision making processes, i.e. social network analysis, which effectively complements financial and non-financial data and more importantly provides unparalleled actionable intelligence which gives the user a cutting edge and provides guidance in a dynamic world of information overload where managing complexity becomes ever more crucial.




9:00 a.m. Welcome

9:05 a.m. Going beyond financial and non-financial data when taking tactical, and strategic decisions

Dr. Murat Ünal, SONEAN (acronym for Social Network Analysis)

10:30 a.m. Coffee break

11:00 a.m. Ecosystem Intelligence E.I. – Using social network analysis to manage complexity in a volatile, uncertain, and ambiguous environment

Dr. Murat Ünal, SONEAN

12:30 p.m. Lunch

2:00 p.m. The role of social network analysis in frontier markets, the case of Africa

Dan Evans, United States Military Academy, West Point

2:45 p.m. The social dependence of independent directors in Europe’s largest companies

Dr. Remzi Gözübüyük, Sabanci University

3:30 p.m. The crucial and complementary role of social network analysis (SNA) for investments in startup companies

Dr. Murat Ünal, SONEAN

4:00 p.m. Coffee break

4:30 p.m. Panel discussion on the complementary role of social network analysis for decision making as well as Q&A with seminar participants

Dan Evans, Dr. Remzi Gözübüyük, Dr. Murat Ünal

5:15 p.m. End of the day, and get together for a mutual drink

Strategischer Partner

is a strategy consulting and intelligence firm, operating internationally out of the Frankfurt region, serving boards of major companies, and institutional investors across the world.

Decision makers face an environment that is characterized by increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. SONEAN`s ecosystem intelligence service helps its clients to go beyond financial, and non-financial data (such as ESG data), and bring the unique social network analytical perspective into their decision making process, thus giving them back the locus of control and enable them to take better decisions based on “actionable intelligence”.

Hereby we dynamically and systematically monitor for our client the entire ecosystem in which its organization is embedded, across the world, connecting data intelligently into actionable intelligence to be used across the whole organization. Our clients, executive managers and non-executives of internationally operating companies, but also institutional investors whose portfolios of companies we monitor, are empowered with unique and independent intelligence and regain control as we systematically monitor the ecosystem for potential opportunities and threats that may affect our client's business.

Akademischer Partner

Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program

As an experienced professional, enrolling in Kellogg-WHU’s top-ranked Executive MBA Program is one of the best investments you can make in your future. In the company of the highest caliber students and world’s top leaders, you will strengthen your skill set as you realize your full leadership potential. Management education at Kellogg-WHU provides you with access to influential global networks, expert knowledge, vital connections, endless opportunities, and delivers the highest business teaching standards. By joining our top-ranked EMBA program, you will get unparalleled and rigorous business management training; you will be able to perfect and train your leadership skills and you’ll grow into a visionary leader who can see new opportunities and seize them with confidence.

The Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program stems from a partnership between America's Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Germany's WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. The almost 20-year old transatlantic alliance - the first of its kind at its genesis- stays true to the vision of its founders. Today, the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program is a vital partner in a global network of top-ranked EMBA programs. Our Executive MBA network includes seven campuses around the world – the largest and most immersive global network of its kind.



Bloomberg connects decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


International corporates (non-executive and independent directors as well as executive board members and managers), asset management related companies, asset owners, insurance companies, private banks, family offices and investment consultants who are facing an environment characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). 


Dan Evans
Dan Evans

Dan Evans is a Senior Researcher at the Network Science Center at West Point and the founder of Storm King Analytics, a firm applying innovative network-based approaches to challenging real-world problems. His recent work has focused on economic development and market intelligence on the continent of Africa. Dan served in the United States Army for over twenty years as an Infantry Officer, an Operations Research Analyst, and as an Assistant Professor of Economics at the United States Military Academy, West Point. He is a combat veteran and graduate of the prestigious US Army Ranger School. Dan is a 1987 graduate of West Point and completed his Masters of Business Administration at the College of William and Mary.

Dr. Remzi Gözübüyük
Dr. Remzi Gözübüyük

Remzi obtained an undergraduate degree in engineering from Middle East Technical University and an MBA from Bilkent University, both in Ankara, Turkey. After working for the family business in Ankara, he moved to the USA and obtained a Ph.D. in business administration from University of Minnesota in 2007. He also received training from Harvard University on teaching and writing cases in 2009. After completing his PhD, he moved to Madrid in order to work at the IE Business School, a top business school in Europe, as a full time faculty. Following 5 years in Spain, Remzi went back home to Turkey and is currently working at the Sabanci University and living in Istanbul. He has also been working with SONEAN, an innovative consulting company focusing on social network analysis located in Frankfurt, Germany. In the last 10 years, Remzi has been teaching social network analysis, strategy, international business, and organization theory to executives in MNCs in addition to MBA and doctoral students. He also conducts cutting-edge research on social network analysis, particularly on the effects of networks on managers and firms’ behavior and performance. He published his work on top journals such as Strategic Management Journal and Academy of Management Perspectives.

Dr. Murat Ünal
Dr. Murat Ünal

In 2001 hat Dr. Murat Ünal die Funds@Work AG gegründet, ein Pionier in der Strategieberatung der Investmentindustrie. 
Seitdem haben sein Team und er über 250 internationale Projekte begleitet und mehr als zwei Dutzend internationale Preise für ihr einzigartiges Research und ihre sich sehr differenzierende Beratungstätigkeit gewonnen.
In 2013 hat er SONEAN gegründet, um institutionellen Investoren und Unternehmenslenkern einzigartige soziale Netzwerkeinsichten zu verschaffen, die sie entlang des gesamten Investment- sowie Entscheidungsprozesses nutzen können.
SONEAN ( wurde 2015 vom Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie als "innovatives junges Unternehmen" designiert und mit seiner Ecosystem Intelligence (E.I.) erhalten Investoren und Unternehmenslenker eine einzigartige und dynamische Intelligenz über ihr gesamtes Ökosystem, um Chancen und Risiken frühzeitig zu identifizieren und in die Entscheidungsfindung mit einfließen zu lassen. So wird die Ecosystem Intelligence Lösung von SONEAN auch in der aktuellen "Germany – Excellence in Big Data" Kampagne international gefeatured.
Dr. Ünal hat einen B.Com Abschluss der University of Adelaide/Australien und besitzt einen M.B.A der Kellogg School of Management/USA in Kooperation mit der WHU/Deutschland und seinen Netzwerkpartnern Tel Aviv University/Israel und Hong Kong University of Science and Technology/China SAR. Er hat außerdem einen LL.M. der School of Law/Northwestern University (NLaw) in Chicago und promovierte an der IE Business School (Instituto de Empresa) in Madrid mit Fokus auf die soziale Netzwerkanalyse (SNA). Er hält regelmäßig Vorlesungen an führenden internationalen Universitäten mit dem einzigartigen Fokus auf die Anwendung der SNA. Dr. Murat Ünal ist Mitglied der International Network for Social Network Analysts (INSNA) und auch im Editorial Board des Journal of Network Theory in Finance.

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