After much anticipation, the TOPSIM – Business Simulation Congress finally took place on September 21 and 22 at Lake Constance. Business simulation enthusiasts from all over Europe attended our interactive advanced training session and informative workshops. Attendees were inspired by compelling presentations from our users and had the opportunity to network and share ideas.
TOPSIM – Business Simulation Congress: Day 1
In the advanced training, our users first took on the role of department managers within a company and experienced typical goal conflicts. They had to assert themselves against the interests of the other department heads. Then they negotiated specific benefits for their company with external stakeholders and identified which stakeholders were of interest to them. They also learned how to negotiate with them and how to implement the negotiated bonuses into our business simulations. The third part of the advanced training focused on analyzing and reflecting on the previous case studies. Participants gained insight into methods for incorporating soft skill analyses into number-based business simulation seminars.
After the advanced training, the congress started, moderated by our colleagues Sonnur Akbas-Gaspar and Patrick Müller. We started with a presentation on the current projects of the TOPSIM teams. We presented various innovations such as optimization of calculation times, upcoming business simulations and many other updates within the TOPSIM-Cloud. The congress continued with an exciting speech and workshop by Prof. Dr. Torsten Forberg from the University of Cooperative Education Saxony on the topic of “Participant Activation through the Establishment and Operation of a Business Simulation Press Agency“. This innovative concept removes students from the business simulation teams for individual periods in order to be deployed, supported and challenged as critical journalists.
To end the day in a cozy atmosphere, we took the ferry to the island of Mainau for dinner.
TOPSIM – Business Simulation Congress: Day 2
On Friday, our users held five more presentations and a team exercise for the other participants. In the first presentation, Prof. Dr. Mike Schulze reported on the different implementation concepts and examination services of the CBS International Business School at the Mainz Campus, which systematically integrates our business simulations into its study program portfolio. Particularly exciting were his lively insights into the train-the-trainer concept that all new internal and external lecturers at CBS undergo to prepare for their business simulation courses.
This was followed by an extraordinary field report by Prof. Dr. Britta Rathje and Prof. Dr. Sven Fischbach from Mainz University of Applied Sciences. Full of enthusiasm, they told the audience about their block event with TOSPIM business simulations, where students spend time together in a youth hostel. During a brainstorming session, we exchanged ideas on how to make this event even more attractive to students in the future.
After the coffee break, our experienced user Dipl.-Oec. Birgit Zürn from DHBW Stuttgart activated the participants in a team exercise on negotiation situations. We learned how to negotiate successfully and that different interests can be satisfied especially when the negotiating partners face each other openly and communicate their personal interests transparently. Prof. Dr. Beate Scheubrein from DHBW Heilbronn then reported on the long tradition of TOPSIM business simulations at her institution. She also described different concepts of use and her positive experiences with the TOPSIM-Cloud.
During lunch, the participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas before Prof. Dr. Josef Duttle from Management Wissen GmbH and Prof. Dr. Andreas Jattke from the Technical University Ingolstadt of Applied Sciences presented the haptic business game SEED. As a precursor to computer-based TOPSIM business simulations, SEED teaches the business fundamentals for our cloud-based simulations in a simple and easy-to-understand manner. We were given the opportunity to try out SEED ourselves and experience the advantages of haptic business simulations live.
Last but not least, Prof. Aron Braun from the Bern University of Applied Sciences gave a fascinating lecture on the topic of “Cognitive Biases in Management Decisions Using TOPSIM Business Simulations“. At the Bern University of Applied Sciences, his colleagues Prof. Dr. Nadine Gurtner and Prof. Dr. Pascal Dey use TOPSIM business simulations as part of the module “Strategic Decision Making”. Here, however, the business aspects of the simulation are not at the center of the didactic learning objectives, but rather the business simulation serves as a framework or experimental field for the actual topic of the module. As the teams play against each other in the simulation, they must repeatedly reflect on which cognitive biases they and their teams have encountered and which may have influenced their decision making.
We are honored that numerous business simulation enthusiasts participated in this year’s simulation congress and are deeply impressed by the lively exchange and joint discussions.
We would like to thank the speakers for their valuable input and our users for their participation.
Save the Date: Be there in 2024!
We are already looking forward to the next TOPSIM – Business Simulation Congress, which will take place in Tübingen, Germany, on September 12 and 13, 2024. Please note that the event will be held in German. We will inform you about further details in due time.