Renowned business leaders from across the globe traveled to start-up haven, Silicon Valley, for the 2nd Annual World Open Innovation Conference on November 18-20, 2015. This sold out three-day event hosted over 170 dynamic industry and academic leaders for an opportunity to dialogue about Open Innovation.

Now in its second year, the World Open Innovation Conference serves as a unique space where both industry leaders and academic scholars meet to network, collaborate, and learn about the latest Open Innovation research and practices. This year, the event honored transformational leaders, start-ups, and researchers. The Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation honored winners of the Best Emerging Scholar Paper and Best Student Paper (sponsored by the Garwood Center); and Berkeley Haas Open Innovation Awards in the following categories: Start-Up Disruption, Business Model Transformation and Distinguished Leadership in Open Innovation (sponsored by NineSigma, Inc.).

Mahesh Krishnaswamy

Mahesh Krishnaswamy

The conference hosted sought after industry professionals from world-renowned companies. The pre-conference event began with a tour of the Google Headquarters, followed by an invigorating talk from Mahesh Krishnaswamy, Head of Manufacturing for Google (X) Project Loon. Attendees learned about Google’s innovative project to provide hot air balloons for consumer internet coverage in rural areas. The connection between google’s current innovation projects and Open Innovation was highly noted, and led to thought provoking questions from the audience. This event began the 2nd Annual World Open Innovation Conference, and set the tone for the remainder of the event.


The first day of the conference began with a warm opening speech from Professor Henry Chesbrough. He shared his vision for why the World Open Innovation Conference is in existence, and attributed much of the success to the attendees who have themselves become forerunnuers in Open Innovation, students of Open Innovation, and practitioners in Open Innovation.

On the first and second day of the conference attendees heard from many of these Open Innovation leaders, such as: John Stewart, Head of Silicon Valley Solutions at The Royal Bank of Scotland; Leaders from Deloitte, General Electric, IBM, Siemens, Baker Hughes, HCL, Pfizer, Xerox, Apollo Hospitals, Oration, UnitedHealthcare, Optum, and SAP. Their Open Innovation experiences described how Open Innovation has helped steward their company’s success.  Dr.Piyush Modi, Head of Mobile Labs at GE, talked about the impact and need for Open Innovation in intelligent infrastructures in order to efficiently support consumers. Likewise, SAP shared their Open Innovation business models and how it has helped train and retrain new and existing employees.

Chief Executives Officers from multinational companies shared how Open Innovation has directly attributed to their company growth and achievements. In an intimate networking environment, the exchange of ideas combined theory and practice by unifying academics with industry leaders. Researchers and multinational companies comfortably shared their failures, problems, and solutions. The World Open Innovation conference is a true testament of the power of Open Innovation across industries and within the academic world.

“The energy, participation, and dialogue on the topic of Open Innovation is a result of all of your actions” said Professor Chesbrough. Thank you to all who attended the 2nd Annual World Open Innovation Conference, and for making it another successful event. We look forward to seeing you at the 3rd Annual WOIC in 2016!