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 desirable futures. In turbulent times, I co-create sound, bold and future-ready strategies focusing on tomorrow’s opportunities and what’s possible.
Let’s figure out what’s next.
Let’s move from what is to what if ..?
Let’s reshape 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 also 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, strength of his analysis, and unpacking of insights 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, most passionate and committed people I’ve 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

“He brings order to the chaos.”

Dorothea Eckhardt, Creative Director // Publicis

“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

“He manages to solve even complex strategic issues creatively and efficiently.”

Benjamin Trogisch, Creative Director // Saatchi & Saatchi

“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 human behavior might shift, how markets might evolve, and how environments might change. I do this always in the right balance of profit, people, and planet. I am happy to partner up with organizations and people who want to figure out what’s next and what’s possible.

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 creativity, 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 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 for organizations. It’s about making businesses and brands the best they can be – whatever ‘best’ means. I believe that incremental changes can keep you in the game for a time, but it requires bold thinking and iconic moves to stay in or even ahead of the game in the long run. So, heads up: someone else is already rethinking your category and attempts to redefine it. It might be a good idea to invent the future before someone else does.

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 intelligence. Strategy always deals with the uncertainty and the tensions between today and tomorrow. Strategy means: moving from today’s problems to tomorrow’s possibilities.



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. Because the right thing is good enough. But good enough is not enough. Don’t do it. 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 rarely the safe bet. But it aspires to challenge the status quo and to invent something novel. It means to discover new and oftentimes 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 strategy. 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

Better strategy is creative: it moves people. But is this really enough? I don’t think so. Great strategy is anticipative, it’s imaginative. Great strategy follows a future-first approach: it not just moves people but it moves people forward. It thinks about strategic opportunities that don’t yet exist – and it gives the right direction for reaching them. Let’s be clear: The future is an unknown space that doesn’t exist yet. From a today’s perspective, the future is not the future but multiple ones. Anything is possible, anything might happen. It is on us to shape it. Reshaping the future requires two skills: First: understanding what’s currently going on in the world: sense making of major shifts. Sound foresight with comprehensive trend monitoring helps us to gain a critical knowledge of what might happen in the near future and what’s possible. It’s all about opportunities. Secondly, shaping the future requires a visionary and inventive mentality that defines what’s desirable. And ultimately: how to make it happen. Or to quote the unmatched Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I truly believe: futures thinking makes strategy bold. It has the power to leverage momentum and shape the zeitgeist of tomorrow. It even puts truly 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 with passion and purpose

Besides co-creating strategies, I do some more things with passion and purpose. Over the years, I’ve done lots of different things: I facilitated workshops, ranging from go-to-market strategies for Japanese B2B corporates to brand narratives and for rising start-ups. 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 some years ago. 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. If you are interested in collaborating in one of the following areas, please let me know.

  • Sparring

    Coachings, Sparrings & co.

    From time to time, we all need a sparring partner at eye level, another brain, to share or thoughts with, to question our thinking and to sharpen our mind. And sometimes it’s even better to share it with an independent expert. That’s why I’ve launched Strategy Sparring as a dedicated service for executives. It creates a space to reflect and reshape your thinking. I offer one-time sessions as well as packages. Schedule your session on

  • Training

    Trainings, Seminars & co.

    Working together with teams and making them better in their day-to-day work 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.

  • Facilitating

    Workshops, Sessions & co.

    During the past couple of years, I've successfully designed and facilitated 100+ workshops and working sessions across all kinds of categories, addressing a wide range of issues, realizing them on-site, hybrid or fully remote, moderating them in German and English, and involving all kinds of stakeholders (from customers to inter-divisional teams to C-suite). I am happy to discuss how I can help you in designing and/or facilitating your workshop.

  • Speaking

    Keynotes, Talks & co.

    On occasion, 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, German Marketing Associations, Plot, or Gravity. Recent topics: Mighty Momentum, Unlimited Creativity, Beyond Tomorrow, A collaborative culture, etc. Feel free to reach out for discussing an engagement.

  • Lecturing

    Lectureships, Classes & co.

    Transferring knowledge to young talent is something I really enjoy doing. Because I strongly believe that the vivid exchange of perspectives stimulates new thinking from rising talents. 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 globally operating Miami Ad School.

  • Exploring

    Trend Safaris, Visitations & co.

    During one of my first jobs at Saatchi & Saatchi, we conducted so called "Xplorings". We visited people in real life: at home, at work, at university, etc. We observed keenly and we understood better. The idea was: “If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo. Go to the jungle.” I cannot agree more. So, the best way to explore culture, customers or competition is probably not reading another report or setting up another focus group but to go to the real world and understand what's going on out there. Curious?

  • Brainstorming

    Ideation, Innovation & co.

    During the past couple of years, I've successfully designed and facilitated 100+ working sessions, brainstormings, and ideation sessions. I've been working together with some of the most creative agencies and minds where I successfully applied a wide range of creativity techniques. I am experienced and well-versed in stimulating, reviewing, and assessing ideas, no matter it's about new marketing activities or new products and services. I am happy to discuss how I can help you in designing and/or facilitating your ideation session.

  • Partnering

    Diverse Projects, Collaborations & co.

    Occasionally, there emerge exciting and enlightening opportunities to collaborate and partner up with bright minds in most different set-ups. Two examples: In 2021 and 2022, I represented the state Baden-Württemberg aka THE LÄND 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 and make it future-ready. I am always open for any kind of collaboration.

  • Mentoring

    Partnerships, 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.

  • Writing

    Articles, 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. a blog about the creative industries in the Baltics (, and about my sabbatical in Down Under at the Miami Ad School ( Both have been mentioned by international media such as Campaign Brief, or Business Punk. In 2018, I contributed a chapter about narrative brand management to a book named Beyond Storytelling published by Springer Science.

Things happening

Stories that are worth to share.

Lectureship Strategic Brand Management

9. Dezember 2022|

Back to the roots: Fourteen years ago, in 2008, I started my Bachelor studies in Marketing at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (known in Germany as the DHBW). Today, more than one decade later, I switched sides and reviewed more than one dozen presentations in the area of strategic brand management, ranging from brand design issues to brand relations to brand activities. It’s great to see the next generation of brand thinkers coming up and sharing their perspectives on how to lead brands in the present age.

Category: Lecturing
Topic: Strategic Brand Management
Institution: DHBW Heidenheim

Collaborating with the top agencies

2. Dezember 2022|

All good things come by threes. According to HORIZONT, one of the most important media platforms for Marketing in Germany, the top 3 creative agencies in 2022 are Serviceplan, Jung von Matt, and Publicis Groupe (incl. Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett). Congrats to everyone! It’s great to see people I work with for many years, getting recognized for their high-quality work. Besides those top three, some more partner agencies of mine made it to the top 10: Scholz & Friends (4), BBDO Group (7), Ogilvy (8), and TBWA (9). Happy to collaborate with the best.

Category: Strategy Project
Partner: various
Client: various

Effie award for my client Jack Wolfskin

9. November 2022|

Again congratulations! This time for my friends at Jack Wolfskin. Jack Wolfskin is one of the most successful outdoor brands in Germany with a strong global footprint. Almost two years ago, I worked together with the marketing team of Jack Wolfskin to rework and refine their target groups including customer journeys. This was just one puzzle piece of a bigger initiative to reshape the entire brand experience and to attract younger audiences. The brand turnaround has been recently recognized with an Effie Award in Germany. Well done!

Category: Strategy Project
Partner: none
Client: Jack Wolfskin

Marco Ruckenbrod
Strategy Consulting for Tomorrow

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