Strategizing for Start-Ups Part II: Unstrategizing

Event Info

Wed 18 Feb, 2015 at 6:15pm
Unruly HQ
42-46 Princelet Street
London, E1 5LP, UK
Cost: Free


Strategizing For Start-Ups - Part II (Unstrategizing)
By Dr Paolo Aversa, Dr Simone Santoni (Cass Business School City University London) & Chris Blake (The Green Valleys)

This is the second of two sessions on strategizing for start-ups!

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” (Charles Darwin).

In ever-changing environments, strategies and planning provide a valuable roadmap for action, but also engender risks such as rigidity, inertia, and lack of adaptation. In this interactive seminar we will discuss the pitfalls of strategy, and why in certain cases one is better off with leaving a planned strategy for an emerging set of adaptive tactics. The discussion will develop around several practical examples as well as the real life experience of a successful professional (Chris) who has been long involved with start-ups. Participants will practice a toolbox of analytical techniques to identify when it is better to “strategize” and then to “un-strategize”.


Paolo Aversa is lecturer in strategy at Cass Business School, where he teaches at the MSc in Management, the Full Time MBA and the Executive MBA in Dubai.  He taught and tutored at the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania), University of Bologna and Padova. He is mostly known for his research and engagement with the motorsport industry, particularly with Formula 1. He often presents his works and industry analyses in international conferences, firms, and institutions. He works as advisor for companies mostly working in technological sectors. His research featured more than 250 times around the world in international media, including Financial Times, New York Times, BBC, Sky, Forbes, Reuters, Sunday Times, The Telegraph, City AM and the Sidney Morning Herald. In 2014 he has been runner-up for the prestigious ‘“Marie Skłodowska-Curie Communicating Science Prize” which shortlists the EU funded scientific projects that excelled in the outreach to the general public, had the widest coverage in mainstream media, and displayed the most innovative approach to dissemination. In his spare time, he combines his passion for racing and adrenaline sports with playing music, traveling and drawing. 

Simone Santoni is a research fellow at Cass Business School, City University London. His primary research interests concern the interrelationship of individuals and organizations and the sources of innovation and change. His main fields of experiences are entrepreneurial organizations and creative industries. He holds a PhD in Management with a concentration on organizational theory from University of Bologna. 

Chris Blake is a passionate advocate of social enterprise and a founding Director of The Green Valleys – joint winners of NESTA’s Big Green Challenge. He is also a founding director of The Green Valleys subsidiary TGV Hydro Limited - dedicated to support the design and development of community microhydro schemes in Wales. He is also Chair of Community Energy Wales and the Lottery Funded RENEW Wales peer mentoring project. Previously he has had a varied career that has included managing educational and professional publishing businesses, a successful internet start-up, early-stage venture funding, business angel, university lecturing, and an author on decision making in management. Alongside his interests in social enterprise and sustainability he finds time to be a non-executive director of the award winning social video agency Unruly.