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Antwerp Management School, opening minds since 1959

August 29, 2019

Antwerp Management School, opening minds since 1959

For the past 60 years Antwerp Management School has been at the forefront of innovation, transformation and entrepreneurship, always in the best interest of people and society. AMS celebrates its 60th anniversary with a four-day festival about the future. Contradictory as this may sound, it is completely in line with the baseline of AMS: “Opening minds to impact the world”. During the opening night on Wednesday 28 August, the audience was already given various mind openers to take home. With top guests such as Dries Van Noten, Winston Ma and Sindi Mabaso Koyana, you would expect nothing less.


The opening night was reserved exclusively for students, alumni, stakeholders and partners of Antwerp Management School. The more than 500 attendees did not get an extensive overview of six decades of AMS, but a powerful debate about the future. The future, after all, starts today. Keeping this in mind, economist and creative thinker Peter De Keyzer was able to gather plenty of food for thought from the international panel, which consisted of:

  • Winston Ma, high-tech entrepreneur and selected as a Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum 2013)
  • Robert Burgelman, Director of SEP (Stanford Executive Program) at Stanford University Graduate School of Business
  • Sindi Mabaso Koyana, founding member of AWCA (African Women Chartered Accountants) and named as one of the most impactful female entrepreneurs in Africa
  • Steven De Haes, Dean of Antwerp Management School and expert in digital strategy and business technology management.

Following the debate, Dries Van Noten received the AMS Global Citizen Award. Antwerp Management School presents this biennial award to exceptional, inspiring people with a sustainable impact on society. In previous editions, the award went to among others Count Jacques Rogge, former President of the International Olympic Committee, and Baron Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. An international jury nominated Dries Van Noten as the winner of the 2019 edition, which focused on the fashion industry. Dries Van Noten was honored for his unique business model and his focus on sustainability. Quite a challenge in the volatile sector of the fashion industry, as he himself explains: "What’s trending today, is gone tomorrow. And gone usually means: throw it away. I don’t like this principle. Most of the clothes I made in the nineties can still be worn today. Our customers really relate to our story. Our clothes are like the letters of the alphabet they use to express themselves."

The opening night ended with another master of expression: Jef Neve. Together with Teus Nobel, he presented the audience with a totally different kind of mind opener.

In the next few days it is up to the general public to enjoy inspiring thinkers in and around De Boogkeers, the brand-new campus of AMS. On Saturday, August 31, seven alumni of AMS will pitch their most innovative products before a jury of experts in innovation and entrepreneurship. From using artificial intelligence to create a virtual health coach to a first-response drone for emergency services: our future is secure with AMS.

For the full program of the Future Forward Festival go to www.ams60.be.

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