We are a group of scholars fascinated by the new technological infrastructures and novel opportunities available for the generation, distribution and consumption of social, scientific and cultural discourse. In more specific terms, we are interested in where innovation comes from, how it spreads and evolves, and how it affects those who use and consume it. Between the extremes of "big science" and user-led tweaking, there are many forms of organizations, innovation tools, and technology platforms that enable original knowledge generation and its further exploitation by organizations. Currently the full range of opportunities and consequences of these novel innovation platforms are unexplored. Our goal is to focus the talent of some of the leading thinkers in the field to better understand these new innovation systems: their mechanisms, possibilities, and costs; with the aim of informing users, managers and policy makers on their optimal use and potential.

Specific themes and topics include:
Innovation and Innovation Management
  • Open innovation
  • Cultures, infrastructures and tools for creativity and innovation
  • User -and community- based innovations
  • Public policy for innovation and knowledge-based economies
  • Design-driven innovation
  • Intellectual property

Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning
  • The dynamics of knowledge at work
  • Types of knowledge and evolution of knowledge in firms
  • Managing research -based and knowledge-intensive structures
  • Networks and boundaries of organizational relations, network structure and learning performance
  • Teams and learning groups that foster innovation and R & D
  • Scientific & knowledge communities
  • Creation, adoption, and diffusion of sustainable technologies -processes and systems of use
  • Science to business and technology transfer
  • Democratized and "illegitimate" knowledge

Rhetoric and Narratives in Management
  • Narratives and storytelling in organizations undertaking change

Studies of rhetoric in management, understood as the most effective means of persuasion for particular purposes and audiences, is a stream of management research initiated in GRACO, the research group that preceded the Institute. The role of narratives in knowledge transfer and how they form part of managerial processes and organizational change attracts increasing attention and new thinking about the role of manager and change agent as rhetor has opened up innovative fields in empirical research. Persuasion in management was largely neglected by the management disciplines (with the exception of Barnard) until the “communication age” of today. However, it is now seen as a cornerstone of cooperative action and essential for the sharing of understanding and knowledge transfer. Discourse and rhetoric lie at the heart of social science research and so projects centering on management change, knowledge transfer, inter and intra-organizational networks and organizational learning flow directly from this research tradition.

Innovation Platforms & Ecosystems
  • Open cities and electronic democratization
  • Serious games
  • Living labs
  • Technology ecosystem / governance
  • Creativity tools