Hello, my name is Marco.
Nice to meet you.

I am an independent strategy consultant working on the edge of strategy x creativity x futures. I help forward-thinking organizations and ambitious people to rethink their status quo – and to reimagine and reinvent businesses and brands of tomorrow. In turbulent times, I co-create sound, bold and future-ready strategies focusing on what’s possible – and what’s desirable.

Let’s figure out what’s next.
Let’s move from what is to what if ..?
Let’s reinvent the world of tomorrow.

Today, I oversee a 14-years long strategy and consulting experience with a track record of 100+ clients across 25+ categories. I have been collaborating with rising start-ups, hidden champions, and world-leading giants on a wide range of business challenges, including iconic brands like Bosch, BMW, McDonald’s, Porsche, Samsung, Siemens, Telekom, Toyota, or TUI. During the past years, I’ve been collaborating with 30+ partners including some of the best-in-class companies from the creative industries worldwide as well as with the most forward-thinking companies, actively shaping the future. Occasionally, I do some more things with passion and purpose: sparring, training, speaking, lecturing, mentoring, and some more.

As an independent thinker, I am always on the hunt for courageous clients, exciting challenges, and enlightening collaborations with bright minds. Let’s figure out what’s next, let’s figure out what if ..?

years of experience
partners I’ve worked with
clients I’ve worked for
industries I’ve worked in


I’ve worked for rising start-ups, hidden champions and world-leading giants from a wide range of industries. Their status quo, the dynamics of their business and the challenges ahead are quite different. But what they all have in common: the ambition and power to redefine the future of their markets.


During the past years, I’ve had the pleasure to collaborate with some of the best-in-class companies from the creative industries worldwide (Publicis, WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic, and Dentsu), plus the leading agencies from Germany as well as with some of the most forward-thinking organizations.

What some say

Michael Jordan once said: “Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.” I feel very grateful of teaming up with so many inspiring minds and diverse teams around the world. Here are some of them. Thanks for your kind words.

“The quality of his work was first class. This enabled us to deliver a comprehensive strategy to a tier one client.”

Stephanie Trachsel, Head of Strategy // TBWA

“A fast thinker and a truly creative mind, always looking for the new and unseen.”

Vera Schnitzlein, Head of Strategy // KMS TEAM

“Working with Marco is just a pleasure. He is a genius when it comes to strategy.”

Marcel Aberle, CEO // Zukunftsinstitut Consulting

“Marco brings a strong creative mind to the table, paired with killer business acumen.”

Sebastian Wuerz, Co-Founder & CEO // Homefully

„A visionary and progressive mind. He combines smart strategic thinking with a great sense for outstanding creative work.”

Davide Tagliabue, Global Client Lead // Ogilvy

“Marco has done a fantastic job in capturing the complexity of the APF – that will allow us to clarify our future positioning.”

Tanja Schindler, Vice-Chair // Association of Professional Futurists

“He has a broad experience across industries and disciplines, and a passion for people, brands and unexpected business solutions.”

Anna Hoehn, Chief Strategy Officer // Leo Burnett

“One of the hungriest and most committed people I’ve ever met. His belief that meaningful strategies are those that create value is inspiring.”

Heidi Strunz, Head of Human Resources // Outfittery

“Not only is he a savvy strategic thinker, but also a very nice person who is fun to talk to.”

Johanna Sieveking, Head of Strategy // Jung von Matt

“His view on innovative business models combined with the knowledge to build and develop brands has given the right drive.”

Florian Wienbrügge, Partner // Martian & Machine

“Inspiring, humble, and fun. He makes people, teams and projects better. One of my favorite all-round pros with broad and deep knowledge.”

Sebastian Strubel, Executive Director Strategy // Leo Burnett

“Someone who is able to map the unmapped – and inspires others to follow.”

Wolfgang Tonninger, Co-Founder // Beyond Storytelling

“Two skills inspired me: simplifying complexity and turning an uncertain future into exciting strategic perspectives.”

Eduard Posch, Consultant // Zukunftsinstitut

“Marco is one of these super rare pros who are hard to find: he is creative and strategic both ways. A true hybrid.” 

Petra Sammer, Storytelling Expert, ex-CCO // Ketchum

“Marco has shown a deep understanding of our client’s business challenges and turned it into real opportunities through reasonable strategic advice.”

Jasmin Isabel Wodniok, Account Executive // Publicis

“A quick thinker. He grasps a strategic task and at the same time his brain is already looking for solutions.”

Erich Posselt, Independent Consultant

“An absolute engaged and inspired strategist. Always on fire, very focused and result-oriented. Our collaboration was very flexible and reliable.”

Jens Erichsen, Managing Director // Carat

“His strategic thinking is sharp and is creative approach inspiring – a combination that is rarely found. He brings passion, curiosity and playfulness into each project.”

Kira Tschierschke, Freelance UX Consultant

“Clear, smart, open-minded, a good listener, a consultant, fast, intelligent, helpful, empathic, structured, and highly creative. Always on my wishlist.”

Markus Freilinger, Director Client Services // Publicis

“Marco has got a very sharp mind combined with the ability to reveal business issues and turn them into strategic solutions.” 

Katharina Lohse, Vice President Marketing // E.ON

“Marco is a brilliant strategist. His strategic vision was always incredibly clear which created an inspiring direction for the team.”

Thilo Friedrich, Executive Client Service Director // Saatchi Pro

“A fresh mind and exceptional attentiveness to detail combined with great expertise.”

Andreas Schill, Client Service Director // SYZYGY

“A solid strategist with a strong creative lead, a driving force in proactive thinking with a wide range of skills. Someone who brings energy and passion to the table.”

Hugo Moura, Head of Design // BBDO


To my mind, one of the best ever-written statements is: „Stay hungry, stay foolish.“ It reminds me not to remain in the comfort zone of the status quo. Instead, it challenges me to stay curious, to aspire for more and to keep on growing.


Bachelor of Arts


Master of Arts
Cultural Management


Postgraduate Diploma
Futures Studies



The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

Albert Einstein

As a curious and critical mind, I aspire to rethink the status quo. Because “We’ve always done things this way” might be neither the smartest possible answer nor the most thriving mindset. Together with forward-thinking partners and ambitious clients, I help to reimagine the world of tomorrow: how cultures and human behaviors shift, how business models and market landscapes evolve, and how circumstances and environments change.

As a consultant, I work on the edge of strategic, creative, and futures thinking. I combine the intelligence and acumen of business and brand strategy, with the intuition and unruly power of creative thinking, and ultimately with the unlimited spirit of imagination, inspired by bold futures thinking and backed by sound foresight. I am confident that this mighty blend enables us to solve almost any strategic challenge of the modern age – and leads us the way to a brighter and more inspiring future.

Hybrid Thinking
Strategy x Creativity x Futures

The sweet spot of strategy x creativity x futures brings intelligence x intuition x imagination together. This is what I call ‘Hybrid Thinking’ – the combination of different schools of thought and different ways of thinking, cross-fertilizing each other. This combination intends to create true momentum for brands and real business impact. It’s all about making businesses and brands the best they can be – whatever ‘best’ means.

How to get there? I believe that incremental changes can keep you in the game for a time, but these times require bold thinking and iconic moves to stay in or even ahead of the game in the long run. Because someone else is already rethinking your category and attempts to redefine it. So it might be a good idea to invent the future before they do.

If you want to learn more about my understanding of strategy, creativity, and futures, keep on reading. Otherwise feel free to jump forward to my Services or to my Work.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Leonardo da Vinci

Today, we live in a world which some characterize as being VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. In this world, business models are changing dramatically. Organizations from all industries, sizes, regions and cultures are increasingly faced with ‚wicked problems‘: problems that are simply too complex to be solved. Instead, these kind of problems can be tackled, tamed, and ideally managed. Translating those wicked problems into manageable challenges, and ultimately into valuable strategic solutions, which not only address current issues but rather focus on future opportunities, is the ultimate sign of sophistication. Strategy always deals with the tensions between today and tomorrow. Strategy is: moving from today’s problems to tomorrow’s possibilities. From what is to what if ..?



Don´t do the right thing.
Let´s do the brave thing.

Don´t do the right thing. Let´s do the brave thing.

Lee Clow



Don´t do the right thing.
Let´s do the brave thing.

Lee Clow

Strategy alone can’t win. It can’t inspire people, it can’t move people. What it needs to make an iconic move: game-changing creative thinking. Strategy is good in defining the right playground and the right direction, but only creativity adds the punch to it. To frame it with the words of Lee Clow from The Disruption Company TBWA: “Don’t do the right thing.” Instead: “Do the brave thing. The thing that troubles your sleep. The thing with the million unknowns. Do the brave thing.” Obviously: creativity is not the safe bet. But it challenges the status quo and aspires to invent something novel. It means to discover new and unknown territories: “Do the thing that disrupts. Do the thing that does not just defy the status quo but reshapes it.” That’s why I absolutely believe in the creative impetus of strategic thinking. The mantra for each strategy should be: no vision is too bold. Because in these rapidly shifting times, iconic moves are the most reasonable ones.

Everything you can imagine is real.

Everything you can imagine is real.

Pablo Picasso

Strategy should be creative to move people. But is this really enough? I don’t think so. Great strategy is imaginative. It follows a future-first approach. And it not just moves people but it moves people forward. It anticipates opportunities that don’t yet exist – and it gives the right direction to reach them. From a today’s perspective, the future is not the future but multiple ones. It’s an unknown space. Anything is possible, anything can happen. We can shape it. Reshaping the future requires two skills. First: understanding what’s going on in the world. Sense making of major shifts. Sound foresight with comprehensive trend watching helps us to gain a critical knowledge of what might happen in the future. It’s about potential. Secondly, reshaping the future requires a visionary and inventive mindset that defines what’s desirable and how to make it happen. Or to quote the unmatched Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I believe: futures thinking makes strategy bold. It has the power to leverage momentum and shape the zeitgeist of tomorrow. It puts progressive businesses at the forefront of tomorrow’s zeitgeist.



Pablo Picasso

Everything you can imagine is real.

Strategy Services

I offer a wide spectrum of strategy services, from discovery to doing, from where to play to how to win. All services can be booked separately as individual modules or as a comprehensive strategy package. If you are not decided yet where to start, what to do, and where to strive for: let‘s have a chat and book a Strategy Sparring Session.

What else I do 

Over the years, I’ve done lots of different stuff with passion and purpose: I facilitated countless workshops in all varieties. I gave keynotes about creativity near the northern polar circle at the Arctic Design Week and about the power of momentum at the global gathering of futurists at PRIMER. I mentored top talents from German Universities in collaboration with the GWA as well as upcoming Sri Lankan strategists at the Miami Ad School. I launched blogs about the creative industries in the Baltics and about my sabbatical in Down Under. I trained the strategy department from Jung von Matt in futures thinking and I contributed a chapter to a book named Beyond Storytelling, published by Springer Science. I represented the state Baden-Württemberg aka THE LÄND at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in 2021 and 2022. And I did some more stuff.


    Coachings & co.

    From time to time, we all need a sparring partner at eye level, someone to share or thoughts with, to question our thinking and to sharpen our mind. And sometimes it’s even better to do it with an independent expert. That’s why I’ve launched Strategy Sparring as a service for executives. I offer one-time sessions as well as packages. Check out:


    Seminars & co.

    Working together with teams and making them better is a passion of mine. That’s why I help teams to refine their current skill set and to explore new horizons. All training programs are rooted in the areas of strategy, creativity, and futures. They are available as half-day and full-day programs, remote or on-site. I also offer training sessions as part of offsite team events. Please reach out for further information.


    Workshops & co.

    During my career, I've successfully designed and facilitated 100+ workshops, addressing a wide range of issues, realizing them on-site, hybrid or fully remote, and involving all kinds of stakeholders (inter-divisional teams, C-suite, customers, partners etc.). I am happy to co-create and facilitate a customized workshop with you.


    Keynotes & co.

    I happily attend conferences and events as a speaker or as a panelist to share my thinking in the intersection of strategy, creativity, and futures. Among others, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at international conferences like PRIMER, Beyond Storytelling, Arctic Design Week, Plot, or Gravity. I can offer a wide range of relevant, up-to-date and inspiring topics. Feel free to reach out.


    Classes & co.

    Transferring knowledge to top talent is something I really enjoy doing. Because I believe that the exchange of perspectives stimulates new ways of thinking and doing. That’s why I lecture on occasion, e.g., at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, at the European Academy of Media and Business (EMBA), at the Hochschule der Medien (HdM), and at the Miami Ad School.


    Trend Safaris & co.

    During my time at Saatchi, we conducted 'Xplorings'. We visited people in their real life. We observed. We understood. Because “If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo. Go to the jungle.” The best way to understand culture, customers or competition is not reviewing another report or setting up another focus group, but to go to the real world and experience what's going on. Curious?


    Ideation & co.

    During the past years, I've designed and facilitated a variety of 100+ working sessions. I've been inspiring some of the most creative agencies through the application of a wide spectrum of creativity techniques. I am well-versed in inspiring, leveraging, and assessing ideas from very different areas (business models, products/services, marketing). Happy to discuss how we can set up or improve your ideation process.


    Collaborations & co.

    I am open for any kind of collaborations. Just reach out. Two examples: In 2021/2022, I represented the state Baden-Württemberg at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. During the same time, I helped the globally operating Association of Professional Futurists (APF) to redefine their brand strategy and make it future-ready. I am open for any kind of collaboration.


    Mentorships & co.

    If you are a young talent who needs some kind of guidance, mentorship, or exchange: drop me a line. I am excited to discuss your idea or enterprise. During my career, I've luckily experienced people who mentored me – and some still do. So I know how important it is to have an experienced sounding board. Let's sound!


    Publications & co.

    Telling stories has been always a passion of mine. That’s why I’ve set up various blogs in the past, e.g. about the creative industries (, or about my sabbatical in Down Under ( Both have been mentioned by international media such as Campaign Brief, or Business Punk. I also contributed a chapter about narrative brand management to a book named Beyond Storytelling, published by Springer Science.

Things happening

Stories I’d like to share

New collaboration: MRM x Mastercard

21. Februar 2024|

Hello 2024: new year, new partner, new brand. Together with the MRM team, I work on various strategic issues for Mastercard. MRM acts as the lead agency in Germany responsible for all comms activities of Mastercard. MRM is part of McCann Worldgroup within the Interpublic Group (IPG), one of the big four marketing firms worldwide. Happy to work with such a great team on such an iconic brand, which has experienced a boost in relevance since the corona pandemic. Stay tuned.

Category: Strategy Project
Partner: MRM
Client: Mastercard

Outstanding creative partners

4. Dezember 2023|

The German marketing magazine HORIZONT recently published its 5-year creative ranking. It is great to see - and even a greater privilege - that I have been able to work with 8 of the top 10 agencies over these past five years - on iconic brands such as Bosch, BMW, Coca Cola, Telekom, or Siemens. Congratulations to all the talented people at #1 Serviceplan, #2 Jung von Matt, #3 Scholz&Friends, #4 HeimatTBWA, #6 DDB, #7 BBDO, #8 Publicis Groupe, and #10 Ogilvy. Keep it up!

Category: Strategy Project
Partner: various
Client: various

MUTABOR meets mobility

20. November 2023|

Two things are already shaping the year 2023: my collaboration with MUTABOR - one of the top design agencies in Germany. And the topic of the mobility transition in Germany, which is certainly one of the most demanding and dynamic topics at the moment. Together with the MUTABOR crew, I am currently working on this exciting topic for a market leader who is actively shaping the transition. So: what does mobility mean in the future? How do we get from A to B? What do people expect from mobility providers, today and tomorrow?

Category: Strategy Project
Partner: MUTABOR
Client: various

Marco Ruckenbrod
Strategy Consulting for Tomorrow

Nach oben