In today's business world, it's more important than ever to have a strong online presence. One of the best ways to achieve this is through the use of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs are unique digital assets that can be used to represent anything from ownership of a piece of digital art to a stake in a company. NFTs can be bought and sold like any other asset, making them a valuable addition to any business's portfolio.

Businesses are embracing this new technology and it will only become more essential to the way we do business in future. MBA students are looking to take advantage of their year here by creating knowledge, experimenting with technologies like blockchain and building networks of key movers in the technology.

Today we discuss The Savvy Salamander Study Club (SSSC)founded by five MBA friends and INSEAD looking to explore the intersection among fundraising, education and tech. The club vows that 100% of the net NFT sales will be spent on scholarships and the building of SSSC.

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Our Guests

Alex Berghofen, MBA'07D

Alex is a former McKinsey Consultant with 22 years’ experience. He now wears three hats: he runs an executive search firm, does HR consulting, and is a career coach.

He has 12 years' experience in placing Chief Strategy Officers and other C-Suite roles where a top-tier consulting background is critical. Alex focuses on high-impact roles where the risk of making the wrong hire is big. He helps companies improve their HR and esp. talent acquisition processes. He offers interim management, benchmarking, salary surveys, HR diagnostic and transformation. He is passionate about improving the candidate experience. He also offers outplacement services for senior staff.

Outside of work, he trades options, dances salsa and bachata and loves to try exotic foods. He tweets about crypto and blockchain topics.

Ferdinand Issels, MBA'22J

Ferdinand manages Government Affairs and Comms for Helsing, one of Europe’s fastest-growing tech companies in new defence. In previous roles, he has led communications and marketing for two of Germany’s most prominent industry associations (BDI, VDA) and rebuilt the brand of Europe’s largest automotive and mobility fair (IAA).

Together with Joning Lee, Jack Ni, Michelle Yu and Rodrigo Pérez Antolin (all MBA 22Js), Ferdinand co-founded the NFT club on campus. After the INSEAD MBA Programme, he moved back to Berlin where he enjoys his spare time with his wife and two-year old son.

Oktawian Zajac, MBA'09D

Oktawian is Head of BCG in Poland. He is an experienced international leader specialising in transformations and large-scale value improvement programmes across industries. He has helped leading players substantially improve their bottom line and accelerate growth across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas leveraging innovative approaches and cutting-edge technology and advanced analytics. Oktawian is the author of several innovative strategies and tools for improving the resilience and adaptability of companies in volatile market situations and highly competitive environments.

Oktawian is also a husband, father of two, and motorsport and racing enthusiast.

The Savvy Salamander Study Club (SSSC)

SSSC is a collection of unique generative collectibles bred on the Ethereum blockchain. The club is a community of crypto pioneers that look to connect, explore, and shape the future of crypto and tokens while doing good. 100% of the net NFT sale will be spent on INSEAD scholarships and the building of SSSC.

The Salamander NFTs work as a token for club membership that will grant access to member-only events and networks.


NFTs as a Force for Good: The Case of the Savvy Salamanders

A recent article on INSEAD Knowledge on How a group of MBA students built a community of crypto pioneers and a unique approach to fundraising. 


Leveraging our team of leading academics researchers, corporate partners and global alumni network, digital@INSEAD probes this rapidly evolving space and offers insights, strategies, and value for individuals and businesses to thrive in today’s digital age.

INSEAD's Digital Programmes

Read more on INSEAD MasterExecutive as well as Open and Customised Online programmes 

Web3 projects by INSEAD MBAs include:

Messari: Crypto Research, Data, and Tools

Gain an edge over the crypto market with professional-grade data, tools, and research.


BCG recognise that solving the world's biggest problems requires instinct and imagination. They are building the future of business by bringing together a broad set of data, digital, and technology capabilities.



2:26 - Tell us a little more about yourself, how did you get to where you are in your career today?

7:43 - Can you share one of your proudest career achievements with us?

11:57 - Can you describe the way you have been able to interact with the INSEAD network to help embrace the opportunities offered by blockchain?

13:48 - What are NFTs to you and what has been your experience with them to date?

17:45 - Can you tell us how the SSSC came to be and can you describe the moment that you and the team decided to make the club a reality?

24:23 - Introducing the Salamander NFTs and their function as tokens for club membership and the benefits of joining INSEAD’s crypto family.

28:56 - Can you outline how the net NFT sale will be spent on scholarships and the building of SSSC?

34:50 - On the topic of investments, what is the most meaningful investment you have made in the last year?

38:25 - How can businesses and individuals use NFTs to their advantage?

44:44 - What resources can you share with listeners who want to know more about the blockchain and NFTs?

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