Leading Creativity and Innovation in Entrepreneurial Organizations

Solutions for Sustainable Tourism in Iceland

Whatever your future career may be, your skills in leading entrepreneurial teams and projects will be valuable. The University of Southern Maine (USM) and Reykjavik University (RU) offer students the opportunity to attend a 10-day course designed to encourage creative and innovative thinking in Iceland. During the course students will learn about and work on solutions for a sustainable Icelandic tourism industry.



Solving problems through innovation

For business success, creativity and innovation has become fundamental. Summer School students will learn important techniques on how to apply creative thinking to business challenges with emphasis on interdisciplinary skills to prepare them for addressing opportunities in a changing world. They will embrace new, innovative ideas and models for value creation, develop skills to lead creative teams and understand the role this leadership plays in guiding creative problem-solving within organizations.

Learning from real challenges

During the course, students will tackle problems facing sustainable tourism in Iceland. By focusing on this fast-growing sector they will learn to use the tools and approaches required for modern leaders. Through hands-on, experiential learning, they will learn about the real challenges facing tourism companies in Iceland and creatively address these challenges. The course is aimed at undergraduate students from USM and RU, and other universities. The course is delivered through a combination of lectures and visits to companies in the Icelandic tourism and innovation industry.

Sustainable tourism in Iceland

In recent years, the number of tourists visiting Iceland has increased dramatically. The average growth rate is 22% per year, which is five times higher than in the rest of the world, as average. Used to having the island all to themselves, Icelanders now receive quadruple the number of inhabitants every year. Iceland has received ever increasing attention on mainstream and social media. Some of this is planned coverage, most of it is not. Places visited by celebrities have become landmarks not to be missed, almost overnight, and factors such as the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption have had a great impact. Tourism has in a few years become one of Iceland's most important industries and companies are creating new jobs and new attractions at a fast pace. This begs the question: How can this sector be controlled and made sustainable?

Reykjavik University

Reykjavik University is a dynamic international university with 3.600 registered students and 250 permanent faculty and staff. RU places a strong emphasis on excellence in research demonstrated by the high number of articles published in key academic journals each year. Research is carried out in close collaboration with leading international universities, industry, and other partners. The undergraduate programme at RU School of Business is EPAS accredited.

Study at Reykjavik University Outstanding facilities 

Set in one of the most beautiful areas of Reykjavik, right next to Iceland's only geothermal beach, the newly built campus offers students first-rate modern facilities. All of RU´s operations are set under one roof.

Focus on sustainability

The RU Department of Business Administration has signed the United Nations' Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). The University collaborates with Festa, Icelandic Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and the Reykjavik city council to combat climate change.

Studying in Reykjavík

The world's most northern capital offers a rich and vibrant lifestyle, while in close proximity to Iceland's amazing nature. Although the native language is Icelandic, English is like a second language to most Icelanders. The people of Iceland rank among the top internet users in the world, so students should not encounter any problems staying in touch online. Situated mid-way between Europe and the US, Iceland is only 4-5 hours flight from Boston and three hours flight from London.


Nemendur spjalla saman við veggspjald í SólinniBetter business

After completing the Summer School, students will be better equipped to adapt to an ever-changing business environment and to analyze and organize work to solve challenges, from idea-creation and evaluation to execution. They will learn how to evaluate entrepreneurial business opportunities, develop and vet business ideas to shape market opportunities, and understand, design, and implement business models. They will learn about the role social entrepreneurship and triple bottom line business play in venture success and understand the part diversity plays in the development of successful business ecosystems.


One of the cornerstones of innovation success is collaboration. The aim of the Summer School is to encourage students to find shared vision, norms and values, and encourage participation and collaboration. Students will work together during the summer school and get training through communication in oral and written speech.



Summer 2021. 


The USM and RU Leading Creativity and Innovation in Entrepreneurial Organizations Summer School is held in Reykjavík University.



Language of instruction


Degree level


Necessary preparation

Before the course starts, students will complete an online learning module that reviews the Business Model Canvas, SWOT, and Empathy Map. Students will need to be familiar with these tools before beginning the 10 day course.

Enrolled students are expected to have read other required reading material, as made available in the course's syllabus, prior to the 10 days together. 

Teaching schedule 

Teaching consists of lectures from academic staff and guest lecturers, teamwork, and company visits. Students will benefit from interactive and engaging approaches to teaching including meditation, music theory, drawing, LEGO-ing, ideation and brainwriting, prototyping, and team-mentoring.

Academic staff

The Summer School is taught by international and experienced faculty from Reykjavik University and the University of Southern Maine. The course is a combination of lectures, discussion, industry analysis, experiential learning, team building, and practicum.

From USM School of Business


Heidi Parker

Associate Professor


Richard Bilodeau

Lecturer of Entrepreneurship

From RU School of Business


Hallur Þór Sigurðarson

Assistant Professor


Hrefna Sigríður Briem

BSc Programme Director

Admission and Fees

Application deadline




Fees do not include accommodation or living costs.

Students that can apply

This course is for undergraduate students at USM, RU, and other universities. 

How to apply

  1. Go to the RU application website
  2. Select: Individual courses RUSB undergraduate studies
  3. State that the application is for the Leading Creativity and Innovation in Entrepreneurial Organizations

Required documents

Applicants from USM

Applicants from USM do not need to send transcripts or other accompanying documents and are advised to contact the USM School of Business to apply.

Applicants from RU and other universities

Other applicants should attach a transcript of their completed university education.

Contact us

Got any questions?

If you have any question regarding the USM and RU Summer School, please drop us a line or give us a call.


Saga Ýr Kjartansdóttir

Programme Administrator at RU Department of Business Administration 

Tel: +354 599-6358
E-mail: bsnamvd@ru.is


Was the content helpful? Yes No