Programme themes

What makes a successful innovation climate?

How universities can create a national innovation culture

Supporting innovation is an essential pre-requisite to supporting a stable democratic process. It enables generations to experience better quality of lives than their predecessors and it guarantees people the opportunity to participate in civic activities, because they know that their lives can be sustained in terms of their health, security, education, sustenance.

Universities can play a crucial role in securing globally-focused innovation within a national culture. These sessions will explore how the northern European socioeconomic model that has yielded such positive results in tables of ‘human development’ and income inequality can also act as an incubator to innovative companies and research that has a global impact. What are the distinctions between innovation-led companies originating from northern Europe compared to their peers with origins from North America and East Asia? What cultural factors might affect those companies?

Universities themselves are key providers in the development of talented individuals, and the space where they may network and catalyse innovation. But do all universities share the same vision of a talented individual?


Regulating responsibly

Our hyper-connected world accelerates international collaboration and innovation for global markets, increasingly beyond the capacity of individual national regulators or legislators to keep pace. Is the market the most effective regulator, or can there be a common, internationalized understanding of social responsibility? We will explore how universities can contribute to this debate, and examine how cities choose where to invest in new technologies to improve services and quality of life for their inhabitants. Can universities learn from this? What can universities, as singles institutions and as networked bodies contribute to the understanding and practice of 21st century social responsibility?


Lean innovation – the value of diversity

Does the greatest research and innovation come from those institutions with the biggest resources? Or can success foster complacency? These sessions will investigate what models are available for university leaders with limited budgets and facilities. Is there a formula to find the right balance of diversity of talent and restricted funds that can support innovation? Are performance metrics and targets vital measures of success or bureaucracy that suppresses free thinking? How important is geographic location? What do investors and industry leaders view as the mix of talent and the most attractive environment for creating innovation with high impact? And how can universities create that scenario?