Business Design Agency logo

Ask us for challenges that affect everything: our urban surroundings, the natural environment, our societal structures, and the need for development. We have expert knowledge about the value of green.

We don’t mind to calculate the business case in the process. On the contrary. We know a sound financial foundation makes the difference between just another daydream and a concrete plan.

So see us as the reality check for complex ventures in the public space. We help you make viable choices that have positive social, ecological and economical impact.

We know it can be done, as we have seen this win-win-win situations in practice. Even (especially!) in multifaceted situations with many stakeholders. Exactly the kind of positions we thrive in.

Mark Bode and Lennaert van der Hoeven from Business Design Agency in their office in Rotterdam
Photo by Business Design Agency


We are a boutique consultancy with roots in the creative industry and a strong network of creative pioneers, experts in tech, local economy, and urban innovation.

Mark Bode

Founder & Strategist

I design and launch propositions that help push the economy in the right direction. My speciality is to find business models in complex contexts with multiple stakeholders, and anything to do with innovation, real estate, green and circular development. I pair creative thinking with business sense to find the best solution.
LaatBloeien office in Rotterdam seen from a green park
Photo by Business Design Agency

How it started

BDA was started because there are 2 gaps to fill: first, an agency that works on social and ecological values as an integral part of our economy and where those values are more evenly balanced out. Second, an agency that not only does research and consultancy, but is also there to make it work. So from strategy to execution. And therefor: an entrepreneurial agency.

The journey

During my studies Strategic Management it appeared I have a creative mind that can help in solving complex issues. But at the time, I could not find the right place as a ‘creative economist’. So I started working for corporates but felt I could not use enough of my creative skills. I was fascinated by contemporary design and at the time (around 2000) there was a lively underground scene of creatives in Rotterdam. I joined agency Shop Around to represent those creatives, ending up in agency of around 80 creatives, a design agency (DC) and the Rotterdam Dance Parade. After a while, I started missing strategic work and felt that it was time for a change in our economic system. To close down the period of working as an economist in a creative scene (around 2016), I shared my knowledge by teaching at the WdKA School of Arts. I dove deep into creative thinking and how it differs from lineair, or business thinking. This ended up in a method for creatives to build their business, called the Creative Business Map. This method is still there and used. We also set up a business lab, where students could come to work on their plans.

At the same time I co-founded design label Basematters that aimed for local production of circular design furniture. We were too early.. As an independent consultant I became business partner of service design agency Livework. With them I worked on innovation projects for corporates such as Delta Lloyd, Oce and Unive. It was in that period that my interest in urban green arose. I grew up in Apeldoorn - rich of trees - and now live in Rotterdam - poor of trees. In 2017 I decided to spend one day a week learning about green and it’s values for our living environment. I met the City Forester and we started the green tech lab TreeCollective that aims to bring trees from cost to profit. And I met Studio Wolfpack, a more radical innovation agency working on the new economy, such as the Roadmap Next Economy, blockchain for a decentralized energy system etc. After a period of partnering with Wolfpack, during the Covid pandemic it became clear that each of the partners had different plan with the agency. We decided to split up and I started working a full 100% on Business Design Agency. A label I had for a longer period of time, but did not actively promote. We had a running start as the matters we were working on became more apparent during the pandemic. That’s where we are today and looking forward to a new phase to continue our growth. Not for the sake of growth, but our solutions deserve more scale.

And for my personal life: I live in the center of Rotterdam with my girlfriend (who is an artist) and 2 kids aged 9 and 12.


Tree ecology


Internet of nature

Nadina Galle

Service design

Sharon Vos

Service design and innovation strategy


Transition research / crowd based innovation

Mattijs Taanman

Tech impact & strategies

Janjoost Jullens

Impact management

Pieter Brouwer / Cigarbox



Real estate expertise

Stef Weekers

Tech Investments

Maarten Timmerman


Gemeente Rotterdam
Gemeente Eindhoven
IVN Natuureducatie
CityLab 010
Weverling Groenproviders

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