On November 23, I had the honor of giving a talk at the NRC Live event for Education. I was scheduled immediately after Bert van der Zwaan, rector magnificus at the University of Utrecht. Van der Zwaan launched his book that day: the result of sabbatical he and his wife took in 2015. During that sabbatical they traveled the world and tried to speak with as many educational visionaries as possible. It led to the work: The University in 2040, does it still exist?Read more
Read full article: The future of planes: one huge artificial window
Over the last few month, the phrase “Responsible Innovation” has been booming on scientific social media. It has emerged from Corporate Social Responsibility as a topic that researches the effect and consequences of innovation on the long term. This could be technological effects, antropological effects or ethical effects.
The fundament of this research topic lies in the Collingridge Dilemma:
The Collingridge dilemma is a methodological quandary in which efforts to control technology development face a double-bind problem: an information problem – impacts cannot be easily predicted until the technology is extensively developed and widely used – and a power problem – control or change is difficult when the technology has become entrenched.
The way to start innovating in order to enhance responsible innovation is three-fold:
1. Value-consciousness in design, research and development: this aspect means that design or R&D should start with a clear answer to the ‘why of innovation’. In other words: does this idea or design provide a solution to one of the grand challenges that we are facing in 5, 10 or 30 years? Values are the key to those answers.
2. Ethical Parallel Research: every step of the innovation management funnel should be taken with the influence of ethical researchers and if possible, also researches from other parallel industries. This way, the impact that the innovation has on the long term can be easily addressed and tackeled early stage.
3. Constructive Technology Assessment: innovation teams shouldn’t be monodisciplinary, but multidisciplinary. That way, early-stage innovation (ideas) can be assessed and tested upon. Multidisciplinary teams form the basis of Open Innovation.
If you are interested in the material, take into account the following material:
Science and innovation have the power to transform our lives and the world we live in – for better or worse – in ways that often transcend borders and generations: from the innovation of complex financial products that played such an important role in the recent financial crisis to current proposals to intentionally engineer our Earth’s climate. The promise of science and innovation brings with it ethical dilemmas and impacts which are often uncertain and unpredictable: it is often only once these have emerged that we feel able to control them. How do we undertake science and innovation responsibly under such conditions, towards not only socially acceptable, but socially desirable goals and in a way that is democratic, equitable and sustainable? Responsible innovation challenges us all to think about our responsibilities for the future, as scientists, innovators and citizens, and to act upon these.
This study deals with responsibility as part of innovation. By nature, innovation gives birth to development for the organization and can only be at the core of any strategy within an ever-increasingly global economic context. However it also raises new questions stemming mostly from the impossibility to forecast the success of the innovations. More precisely, the questions raised by innovation also concern its consequences on society as a whole. Today, the innovator should understand his responsibility, the consequence of each innovation.
Moreover, common acceptance of the word ‘responsibility’ raises some questions about its use and how it should be understood. What does ‘responsibility’ mean? Who is responsible and for what? Through the notion of ‘care’, we aim at providing an evolution of responsible-innovation. The concept of ‘innovation-care’ is centered on people and more precisely focuses on taking care of them. The purpose of innovation-care is indeed to innovate and keep up with the level of productivity necessary to any organization while taking into account the essential interdependence between the status of the innovator and that of the citizen.
This thesis presents a study that aims to explore to what extent corporate researchers in the field of industrial Life Science & Technology (LST) can consider social and ethical aspects of LST innovation to improve their Research and Development (R&D) practices. Innovators, particularly those working in controversial scientific and technology fields such as industrial LST, are encouraged to adopt socially responsible innovation methods. This requires that researchers, who work in such fields, consider the broader social and ethical context of their R&D activities.
The presented study explores first how corporate researchers can integrate such aspects in their daily work and how this could improve their work. Second it investigates whether such integration leads to a quantitatively assessable improvement of the quality of R&D. The results indicate that integration is possible, and leads to a measurable improvement of the quality of R&D work. In addition, researchers see a number of improvements in their R&D work, e.g. in the quality of communication and cooperation, and how to link their own work to corporate strategies and marketing. This thesis can be useful for innovators who wish to enhance socially responsible innovation practices, as it presents a tool for R&D management that allows for the operationalisation of socially responsible innovation and improved R&D performance.
First annual conference Responsible Innovation
Based on the rankings of the SSRN database, we are able to create a ranking of the best – most downloaded – Open Innovation and related topics articles that have been published in 2013 so far. Therefore, this is a list of brand new theories, recent case studies, preliminary results and pioneering research.
- The Theory of Crowd Capital; Prpic, J., & Shukla, P.
Abstract: We are seeing more and more organizations undertaking activities to engage dispersed populations through Information Systems (IS). Using the knowledge-based view of the organization, this work conceptualizes a theory of Crowd Capital to explain this phenomenon. Crowd Capital is a heterogeneous knowledge resource generated by an organization, through its use of Crowd Capability, which is defined by the structure, content, and process by which an organization engages with the dispersed knowledge of individuals – the Crowd. Our work draws upon a diverse literature and builds upon numerous examples of practitioner implementations to support our theorizing. We present a model of Crowd Capital generation in organizations and discuss the implications of Crowd Capital on organizational boundary and on IS research.
- Leveraging External Sources of Innovation: A Review of Research on Open Innovation, West, J. & Bogers, M.
Abstract: This article reviews research on open innovation that considers how and why firms commercialize external sources of innovations. It examines both the “outside-in” and “coupled” modes of Enkel et al. (2009). From an analysis of prior research on how firms leverage external sources of innovation, it suggests a four-phase model in which a linear process — (1) obtaining, (2) integrating and (3) commercializing external innovations — is combined with (4) interaction between the firm and its collaborators. This model is used to classify papers taken from the top 25 innovation journals identified by Linton and Thongpapan (2004), complemented by highly cited work beyond those journals. A review of 291 open innovation-related publications from these sources shows that the majority of these articles indeed address elements of this inbound open innovation process model. Specifically, it finds that researchers have front-loaded their examination of the leveraging process, with an emphasis on obtaining innovations from external sources. However, there is a relative dearth of research related to integrating and commercializing these innovations.
Research on obtaining innovations includes searching, enabling, filtering, and acquiring — each category with its own specific set of mechanisms and conditions. Integrating innovations has been mostly studied from an absorptive capacity perspective, with less attention given to the impact of competencies and culture (including not-invented-here). Commercializing innovations puts the most emphasis on how external innovations create value rather than how firms capture value from those innovations. Finally, the interaction phase considers both feedback for the linear process and reciprocal innovation processes such as co-creation, network collaboration and community innovation.
This review and synthesis suggests several gaps in prior research. One is a tendency to ignore the importance of business models, despite their central role in distinguishing open innovation from earlier research on inter-organizational collaboration in innovation. Another gap is a tendency in open innovation to use “innovation” in a way inconsistent with earlier definitions in innovation management. The article concludes with recommendations for future research that include examining the end-to-end innovation commercialization process, and studying the moderators and limits of leveraging external sources of innovation.
- The Golden Circle of Innovation: What Companies Can Learn from NGOs When It Comes to Innovation, Spruijt, J.P., Spanjaard, T.G.S. & Demouge, K.
Abstract: This paper examines the lessons that companies can learn from NGOs when it comes to the why, the how and the what of innovation. It explains innovation from the inside out: why is it important and what are the grand challenges? Followed by the how: in what way can innovation be managed and how does the innovation process look like in a modern economy?
This introduction is elaborated on with two case studies within NGOs in The Netherlands, Fair2 and Liliane Foundation. It leads to several conclusions and hypotheses for further research.
- Sustainability-Oriented Innovation, Hansen, E.G. & Grosse-Dunker, F.
Abstract: Sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI): the commercial introduction of a new (or improved) product (service), product-service system, or pure service which – based on a traceable (qualitative or quantitative) comparative analysis – leads to environmental and (or) social benefits over the prior version’s physical life-cycle (‘from cradle to grave’).
- Open Innovation and Organization Design, Tushman, M., Lakhani, K. & Lifshitz-Assaf, L.
Abstract: Abernathy’s (1978) empirical work on the automotive industry investigated relationships among an organization’s boundary (all manufacturing plants), its organizational design (fluid vs. specific), and its ability to execute product and/or process innovations. Abernathy’s ideas of dominant designs and the locus of innovation have been central to scholars of innovation, R&D, and strategic management. Similarly, building on March and Simon’s (1958) concept of organizations as decision making systems, Woodward (1965), Burns and Stalker (1966), and Lawrence and Lorsch (1967) examined relationships among organizational boundaries, organization structure, and innovation in a set of industries that varied by technology and environmental uncertainty. These and other early empirical works have led a diverse group of scholars to develop theories about firm boundaries, organization design, and the ability to innovate.
- Managing Crowd Innovation in Public Administration, Collm, A. & Schedler, K.
Abstract: Governments all over the world have discovered the world of social media, for better or for worse. Whereas some of them are making every effort to prevent the unhierarchical and therefore uncontrollable (dissident) opinion-forming process in Web 2.0, others are looking for ways of putting the potentialities of this new opening-up of communication to use. One approach that is increasingly being tried out is opening up innovation processes in government. However, this opening-up of innovation processes is anything but trivial. It requires a thoroughly thought-out strategy and thus confronts government systems with extensive challenges if it is not to suffer the same fate as other unsuccessful attempts at reform in the past. In our essay, we reflect on the consequences of these challenges for public managers.
- Adopting Open Innovation to Stimulate Frugal Innovation and Reverse Innovation, Hossain, M.
Abstract: Frugal innovation and reverse innovation have very recently emerged as interesting concepts. Frugal innovation is based on cost constraints to serve low-income customers in developing countries. When frugal innovation comes to developed countries and becomes commercially successful it is considered as reverse innovation. Recently, many companies, such as GE, Siemens, Procter and Gamble, etc. have engaged heavily in frugal innovation and in reverse innovation. Open innovation, on the other hand, has not been considered in the context of low-income customers in developing countries. We argue that using open innovation concept in developing countries may boast frugal innovation and reverse innovation. Consequently, quality product with low-income will be widely available not only in developing countries but also in developed countries. Hence, western companies need to change their long hold business strategies and reshape their business models. This study aims to illustrate why western companies need to be aware of and take step to become successful in the turbulent business world.
- The Impact of Visibility in Innovation Tournaments: Evidence from Field Experiments, Wooten, J.O. & Ulrich, K.T.
Abstract: Contests have a long history of driving innovation, and web-based information technology has opened up new possibilities for managing tournaments. One such possibility is the visibility of entries – some web-based platforms now allow participants to observe others’ submissions while the contest is live. Seeing other entries could broaden or limit idea exploration, redirect or anchor searches, or inspire or stifle creativity. Using a unique data set from a series of field experiments, we examine whether entry visibility helps or hurts innovation contest outcomes. Our eight contests resulted in 665 contest entries for which we have 11,380 quality ratings. Based on analysis of this data set, we provide evidence that entry visibility influences the outcome of tournaments via two pathways: (1) changing the likelihood of entry from an agent and (2) shifting the quality characteristics of entries. For the first, we show that entry visibility generates more entries by increasing the number of participants. For the second, we find the effect of entry visibility depends on the setting. Seeing other entries results in more similar submissions early in a contest. For single-entry participants, entry quality “ratchets up” with the best entry submitted by other contestants previously if that entry is visible, while moving in the opposite direction if it’s not. However, for participants who submit more than once, those with better prior submissions improve more when they can not see the work of others. The variance in quality of entries also increases when entries are not visible, usually a desirable property of tournament submissions.
- Digital Scholarship: Exploration of Strategies and Skills for Knowledge Creation and Dissemination, Cobo, C. & Naval, C.
Abstract: Widespread access to digital technologies has enabled digital scholars to access, create, share, and disseminate academic contents in innovative and diversified ways. Today academic teams in different places can collaborate in virtual environments by conducting scholarly work on the Internet. Two relevant dimensions that have been deeply affected by the emergence of digital scholarship are new facets of knowledge generation (wikis, e-science, online education, distributed R&D, open innovation, open science, peer-based production, online encyclopedias, user generated content) and new models of knowledge circulation and distribution (e-journals, open repositories, open licenses, academic podcasting initiatives, etc.). Despite the potential transformation of these novel practices and mechanisms of knowledge production and distribution, some authors suggest that digital scholarship can only be of significance if it marks a radical break in scholarship practices brought about through the possibilities enabled in new technologies. This paper address some of the key challenges and raise a set of recommendations to foster the development of key skills, new models of collaboration and cross-disciplinary cooperation between digital scholars.
- Dissenting State Patent Regimes, Hrdy, C.A.
Abstract: Inventors who believe in open innovation should start applying for state patents instead of U.S. patents. Patenting at the state level prevents rivals from obtaining U.S. patents and generates valuable innovation spillovers in other states where the patent has no legal effect. It also creates a unique opportunity to force patent law reform from the bottom up. In exchange for filing fees, inventors can demand patents based on rules that support open innovation, like shorter terms in fast-moving industries, stricter disclosure requirements, or new restrictions on patenting by non-practicing entities. The lobbyists who stymie reform at the national level will have a much harder time blocking reform in all fifty states. Meanwhile, patent law’s dissenters need only one state to start granting patents in order to get courts, the media, and eventually Congress to pay attention.
Started in early 2009, Google Ventures has seen an increasing number of successful investments over recent years. As part of the program Google Ventures launched a Start-up Lab program to create an innovation lab; a place where entrepreneurs can develop their products, collaborate and tap into google employees. Moreover, to develop in-depth knowledge, Google Ventures created the Start-up University, a place where entrepreneurs “can bring questions, curiosity and unsolved problems to the table.”
This University program has been a huge success, according to Bill Maris, Google Ventures’ managing partner: “This is a program that people are vigorously signing up for,” Maris said. “We have a waiting list of teachers, and these are all people who have started companies before, and who have been there. We can’t feed this stuff to our portfolio companies fast enough,” so he said to the Wall Street Journal. Therefore, Google Ventures is expanding: from 1100 m2 to 2250 m2 in the near future. The total amount of capital has grown from 100 million dollar annually in 2009 to 200 million dollar annualy in 2012.
Some of the most successful results of Google Ventures are the exits of HomeAway vacation rental services and gaming company Ngmoco who exited for 400 million dollar each last year. Another company, Silver Spring Networks, developing smart grids, went public last year.
Read the full article here.
Imagine: entrepreneuring in 2030. Still 20 years to go, quite far ahead. 20 years ago, nobody had a PC, let alone a cell phone. 12 years ago we still used “greenpoints” for mobile calls. 5 years ago, we were trying the first forms of WAP. 2.5 years ago, Facebook was founded. Is it possible to look into the future? And if yes, how will we be using innovation in 20 years?
We are all sure about a shift in the way entrepreneuring will take place. In 20 years, we will innovate quadratic faster than we do now. By then, innovation has become a “commodity”. Anno 2030 we won’t talk about innovation that much anymore, because what is currently a challenge for approximately 90% of the organisations (the other 10% are not even thinking about innovation), will be standardized in 2030. Without innovation, a company won’t exist. Just like safety on the floor 20 years ago. So, in 20 years, a company can’t be proud of the fact that they are innovative; if you don’t you simply don’t exist. So, what will be competing factors in 2030?
In the figure below, you’ll find a schematic perspective on positioning in 2030, using 2 views: price and innovation. To build a bridge between these factors and innovation, I added the target group definitions of Rogers. And the second figure, we’ll see the result of slow shift that will take place in the next 20 years: we can’t compete on innovation.
Most of you won’t believe me now. And you’re most likely right for the next few years. Because of social media and comparative sites, it will be easier for consumers to check quality, trustworthiness and price. And of course, they will go for the most lucrative combination. Lots of researchers are therefore concluding that customer loyalty will disappear. Customers seem to become less sensitive to brands and even with creative and challenging techniques it becomes harder to create a high retention.
However, the opposite is the case. Where everybody thinks that customer loyalty disappears, I believe sincerely that it will be the key to successful entrepreneurship in 20 years. Currently, organisations position themselves on quality, thrustworthiness and price, in 20 years they will use different aspects. But they will keep positioning themselves. Most likely, they will themselves at great service, customer participation and transparency. And all together, this will lead to customer loyalty.
- Service: service – or: customer value – will play more and more a critical factor in decisions. If the quality, creativity and price are all good, what other aspects will influence the decision of the customer? On all aspects that coming together with the product: service, speed, completeness, et cetera. Customers expect service to be 100%, and you will have to make that happen or you’ll lose the battle.
- Customer participation: In 2030, your customers will be part of your community. They will be part of your enterprise. Co-creation 2.0: your customers start entrepreneuring, you are producing. They will create, you will execute. They experience, you adapt. They tell you how to run your company, you will thank them for that.
Transparancy: participating customer snot only want tob e part of your organisation, they als act in it. Therefore, they expect you to be complete transparent. This means that want to get updated about (strategic) decisions, the (informal) organization structures and internal communication. In other words: personal and accessible.
Though 2030 still seems far ahead, some companies are already on track. A good example is Lego. If you can’t win the battle on price, intellectual property rights or quality, you’ll have to find another way:
Obviously, this traject will not be easy. Talking about ‘customer participation’ and ‘transparancy’, you’ll find out that customer will start to play a shifting role in our markets. If the co-develop and co-create, will they be co-owners? And who has the right on intellectual property then? Will IP even exist by then? More about this topic soon.
If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”
William Arthur Tard (1921-1994)