Innovations Management. How to manage business renewal in an unknown future?

Date: December, 6, 2016 | From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. - CET

The main message of the presentation is that innovation and entrepreneurship is the only way to sustainable stay competitive in a fast changing world. The presentation illustrates and explains new patterns of innovation and competition and its implication on innovation development. Hence, the presentation discusses the innovation challenges you have to manage to be successful and improve competitiveness even though you are facing an unknown future that you cannot predict.

Relator: Mr. Kjell-Håkan Närfelt

Chief Strategy Advisor, VINNOVA, Sweden

Kjell-Håkan Närfelt has been working with technology driven business development and R&D for more than 20 years in different management positions. He has also served as a board member and advisor to several R&D based start-ups during his time as an investment director in a corporate venture and as partner in a private seed investment company. Besides his work at Vinnova, he is also member of the programme board of the commercialization programme for academic research FORNY2020 in Norway, member of the international advisory committee for TISTR – a national science, technology and innovation institute in Thailand, and member and vice-chair of EU’s expert advisory group on Innovation in SMEs. He has a research background in computer science which resulted in an academic spin-off that encouraged him to leave academia and to exploit the research results in a commercial context.

User-focused innovation management and women’s empowerment in global value chains

Date: November, 23, 2016 | From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - CET

After an introduction on the initiatives offered by the EUROMED Invest Project coordinated by ANIMA Investment Network, Mr. Dario Mazzella, Project Manager at META Group will share an overview of lessons learned on entrepreneurship and internationalization with a focus on the user with regard to innovation management. During the second part of the webinar BSR – Business for Social Responsibility will present its recently published report, “Women’s Empowerment in Global Value Chains: A Framework for Business Action.” which aims to unlock business opportunities that advance health, rights, and well-being of women in global value chains. It highlights the benefits of investing in women along the value chain and provides a framework for action and practical guidance for companies to identify and strengthen value-chain investment opportunities that deliver positive returns to business, women, and society. An additional chapter of this session will be dedicated to necessary skills to be proficient in managing growth and change. This webinar is the last session of an in-depth follow up on the Training on innovation and entrepreneurship for start-ups, young entrepreneurs/women and diaspora organized within the frame of the EUROMED Invest Project.

Relator: Ms. Inmaculada Ruiz, Mr. Dario Mazzella, Ms. Magali Barraja and Ms. Elissa Goldenberg

Communication Officer, ANIMA Investment Network; Project Manager, META Group; Manager BSR - Business for Social Responsibility; Manager BSR - Business for Social Responsibility

Inmaculada Ruiz has been working as Communication Officer for ANIMA Investment Network since April 2015 and she is in charge of the EUROMED Invest project communication and visibility since June 2016. She has cooperated to the communication and web management of different Euro-Mediterranean projects (LACTIMED, MedGeneration, EUROMED Invest, EDILE, Diamed, SAHWA), besides the communication and web activities of the ANIMA Investment Network association. In 2012, she successfully obtained a degree in Journalism at the University of Malaga, in Spain, as well as a master degree in Digital Communication and Web Management in 2015 at the Ecole de Journalisme et de Communication d’Aix-Marseille (EJCAM), in France.

Dario Mazzella is currently working for META Group, an international group supporting the creation of knowledge intensive companies, developing new entrepreneurial programs for the European Commission, mentoring start-ups and young entrepreneurs looking for early-stage capital, and managing the company’s participation inside international networks. He also managed the overall organization of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2015, held in Milan last March 2015 and gathering professionals from 159 countries. He is currently doing a PhD in Geopolitics at the University of Pisa, focusing on the economic development of the Mediterranean Sea Basin. He holds a Master Degree in Innovation Management from the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies.

Magali oversees a three-year project funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing on catalyzing private-sector action for women’s empowerment. Prior to joining BSR, Magali was part of the sustainability team at Kering. She has also worked for several European supply chain initiatives, including the Ethical Trading Initiative and the Business Social Compliance Initiative, advising companies on design and implementation of ethical trade strategies that deliver impact for supply chain workers. Magali holds an advanced Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Geneva and a Master’s in International Affairs from the Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva. She also holds a B.A. with Honors in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) of Aix-en-Provence.

Elissa manages buyer engagement and communications for BSR’s HERproject—a program empowering women working in global supply chains through workplace programs on health, financial inclusion, and positive gender relations. She also contributes to BSR’s growing women’s empowerment practice. Prior to HERproject, Elissa worked with companies across sectors on human rights. She was also on BSR’s Communications team for four years, where she provided strategic marketing support and produced and gave direction for member publications. Before joining BSR, Elissa was the communications intern for GlobalGiving, a Washington, D.C.-based international development nonprofit. Elissa holds a B.A. in Political Economies of Industrial Societies from the University of California, Berkeley

Use of communities for knowledge retention, sharing and learning

Date: October, 27, 2016 | From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. - CEST

This talk will introduce the concept of communities for harnessing and sharing knowledge. Communities is one of the most applied tools in Knowledge Management. Common types of communities and their purposes will be explained. Furthermore, the issues and challenges faced by communities at different stages of its maturity will be highlighted. Attendees will also learn about how organisations have used communities for various purposes including a helping centre, development of good practices, co-creation of ideas and learning.

Relator: Prof. Eric Tsui

Associate Director of Knowledge Management and Innovation Research Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Eric Tsui joined Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in 1989 after years of academic research in automated knowledge acquisition, natural language processing, case-based reasoning and knowledge engineering tools. His research was supported by grants and scholarships from Arthur Young, Rank Xerox, CSC, Graphic Directions, and the Australian Research Council. He was also a gratis visitor to Microsoft Research in February, 2000. Between August 2000 and January 2005, he assumed the roles of Chief Research Officer, Asia Pacific for CSC as well as Innovation Manager at Australian Mutual Provident (AMP) and Maybank, two strategic outsourcing accounts at CSC in Asia Pacific region. Eric was responsible for strategic research, knowledge brokering (between CSC and the clients), innovation management and university-industry collaborations. During his tenure at CSC, he made significant contributions to CSC’s expert systems products, applied research and innovation programmes. His research areas are on knowledge management technologies, portal engineering, cloud knowledge services, and blended learning.

Stimulating creativity and innovation: the impact of design thinking on idea management

Date: September, 27, 2016 | From 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. - CEST

“Innovation” is what business, finance and market analysts crave as it represents the hope of finding the key to solve their future problems. But there is no magic formula to predict if what is coming next will be the next big thing. However today, any kind of business and organization can benefit from the designers’ way of thinking and working which leads to transformation, evolution and innovation, to new forms of living and to new ways of managing business. What are the principles behind the thinking process of conceiving new realities, expressing the introduction of design culture and its methods into fields such as business innovation? The Innovation Movement as it is postulated and practiced today has both a bright and a dark side that will be explored during the session. The webinar will look at breaking it down to reveal the most useful aspects of its DNA and whether it will work for your vision, your groups, your business and your goals.

Relator: Mr. David Moore

Industrial Designer, Visionary, Instructor, Stanford’s Design Program & Managing Director, Zero Nine Design, United States of America

For 15 years San Francisco based Zero Nine Design has been carving out a reputation as one of the most innovative and forward thinking design groups. A unique approach to exploring alternative business models and a commitment to creative thinking has led to work with some of the most creative businesses and institutions across a multitude of disciplines. Zero Nine is both a design consultancy and visionary incubator designing “what comes after what’s coming next”. David got his first design degree in San Francisco in Corporate Identity then working for J. Walter Thompson, Addison S&O and CBS Retail. Drawn to the deeper development process of product design he earned his BS in Industrial Design from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in 1993. David is a guest instructor at Stanford’s Design Program, speaks at corporations and conferences on Creative Leadership as well as UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University’s MBA program. He also designs, writes and publishes WHEN Magazine, a cultural look at “what’s coming after what’s coming next”.

Open innovation 2.0 calls for magnetic organizations & the importance of financial education for women entrepreneurship

Date: July, 12, 2016 | From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - CEST

Open Innovation 2.0 is a paradigm strongly rooted in our 21st century society and will affect all of our 20th century organizations both private and public. It is essential that large and small organizations appreciate the disruptive capacity of open innovation 2.0’s reversed innovation pyramid and master the elementary conditions that are needed to adapt. The first part of this webinar focuses on the elementary conditions and drivers for large and medium sized organizations to be effective in Open Innovation 2.0. The seminar introduces the principal characteristics of Open Innovation 2.0 and how it evolved from the initial concept of Open Innovation. The notion of Magnetic Organizations is described consisting of the right mixture of initiatives and a compelling attractive goal. Examples of practical implementations are given to illustrate how Magnetic Organizations flourish and contribute in an Open Innovation 2.0 society. The second part of this webinar will focus on how adequate innovation management can help companies to prosper and extend their activities to serve new markets and remain competitive at a global scale. The discussions will go into detail on the importance of financial education by considering especially female entrepreneurship and its impact on society for sustainable growth. The extended Q&A session will be a suitable occasion to further discuss opportunities generated through the EUROMED Invest Project, coordinated by ANIMA Investment Network and to connect with peers coming from all over the world.

Relator: Dr. Geleyn Meijer and Dr. Soukeina Bouraoui

Dean of the Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands and Managing Director, Centre of Arab Women for Training & Research, Tunisia

Geleyn Meijer is Dean of the Faculty Digital Media and Creative Industries at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He heads the education and research departments and drives the digital renewal programs in the University. Geleyn initiated the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network, bringing academic and applied science scholars together with leading industries and start-ups. He is chairman of the National Knowledge & Innovation Network for the Creative Industries, CLICKNL ( He is expert in the Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group, a EU-wide think-tank. He directs, together with academic colleagues from Amsterdam, Delft and Twente, the 100M€ ICT research programme COMMIT ( Geleyn Roelof Meijer (1960) received his PhD in Robotics and Computer Science at the University of Amsterdam in 1991.

Since 1999, Soukeina Bouraoui has been Executive Director of the Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR), a regional organisation established in 1993 and based in Tunisia. The mandate of CAWTAR is to promote the status and role of women in development for the Arab region. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tunisian Association of Criminal Law, the International Association of Economic Law (AIDE) and the International Centre of Comparative Environmental Law (CIDCE). In 1997, she was elected as Regional Governor of the International Environment Council. Since 2000, she has been a member of the International Court of Environment Arbitration and Conciliation (ICEAC).

Accelerating smart SME innovation through collaborations and partnerships

Date: May, 25, 2016 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CEST

SMEs face the permanent challenge of executing with speed and agility with limited financial and human resources. Effective collaborations and partnerships enable SMEs to leverage their own resources and achieve more with less. However, whether working with other companies or post-secondary institutions, it is critical that there be alignment on expectations and objectives. This session will discuss techniques and considerations for establishing an effective collaboration-oriented SME.

Relator: Mr. Carl Byers

Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Contextere, Canada

Carl Byers applies thirty years of experience in modeling and simulation, virtual environments, and augmented reality to software applications that improve knowledge-based productivity enhancement and decision making in complex distributed organizations. Throughout his career, he has actively developed strategic relationships between companies and academic institutions to accelerate the development of new products and reduce the barriers to commercialization. As co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Contextere, Carl drives integrated R&D, product development, and collaborative partnerships that leverage the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) to empower the 21st century workforce. Carl holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Schülich School of Business in Toronto, a Master’s in Human Security & Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University in Victoria, and a Bachelor’s in Applied Science in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University at Kingston.

Developing and managing SMART SMEs in SMART environments

Date: June, 23, 2016 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CEST

Smart SMEs operate best in smart environments, where an effective ecosystem of smart people, smart organisations and smart infrastructure are best realized. The urban environment is generally perceived to offer real opportunities for such an ecosystem to thrive. So how can smart SMEs make the most of such ecosystems to thrive, prosper, improve their bottom line, and contribute to society? Smart technologies, smart cities and smart enterprises appear to have acquired a level of significance which may be in keeping with the rapid advances made on the technology frontier. How we keep up with the whirligig of software, sensors, apps, artificial intelligence, nano and other technologies, has become a critical issue for entrepreneurs, managers, and policy makers. On the one hand we have this extraordinary proliferation of technologies, and on the other we find the rather confused response that we make as entrepreneurs, decision makers and citizens in shaping new ventures that can mobilise these resources creatively in especially urban environments. Somewhere in the middle lie opportunities. In this presentation I will explore critically the urban context of smart, productive entrepreneurial responses to the issues stated above and how creative managers can derive optimal value for their businesses, for themselves, for their customers, and for the wider society in which they are embedded.

Relator: Prof. Jay Mitra

Chair, International Entrepreneurship Forum and Professor of Business Enterprise and Innovation, Essex Business School, University of Essex, United Kingdom

Jay Mitra is Professor of Business Enterprise and Innovation, Director of The Venture Academy and director of International Development at Essex Business School, University of Essex, UK. He has acted as a Scientific Adviser to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and is a Visiting Professor at University Externado in Colombia and EDHEC Business School in France. Jay Mitra also leads the International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) a unique network and forum for researchers, policy makers and business practitioners working on entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development. He has written widely on the subjects of entrepreneurship and innovation in refereed journals worldwide and won several best research paper awards in the UK and the USA. He has represented his institution as a keynote speaker in distinguished international policy, practitioner and research forums, and has worked with leading agencies such as the OECD, UNCTAD, UNIDO, the EU, and with several government agencies worldwide. He is the editor of the ‘Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies’, published by Sage and he sits on the editorial board of various referred international journals.

Green entrepreneurship & women and the essential role of public-private partnerships to encourage innovation

Date: April, 27, 2016 | From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - CEST

This webinar will treat the current status quo of green entrepreneurship with a special focus on implications for women intending to launch or foster a business. The question on who shall be responsible for driving the inclusion of more women in the Southern Mediterranean workforce will animate the discussions together with the query on how our shared responsibility to invest in and strengthen green entrepreneurship can be implemented by Governments, NGOs, employers and young women themselves. As an enterprise is a risky and complex venture, public authorities can help entrepreneurs minimize the risk and grow by providing good framework conditions, financial and non-financial support services. To do this, they can put dedicated intermediary organizations in place. Public-private partnerships are essential to encourage innovation and drive economic growth in women-led businesses. The extended Q&A session will be a suitable occasion to further discuss opportunities generated through the EUROMED Invest Project, coordinated by ANIMA Investment Network and to connect with peers coming from all over the world.

Relator: Ms. Fatma M'Selmi, Mr. Christian Saublens and Mr. Oussama Dahmani

Laur'us Consulting, EURADA and Anima Investment Network

Fatma M’Selmi has a Master degree in Strategic Management. She has over 10 years of management experience with EU institutions and monitoring of complex consulting projects. With the German Cooperation for development (GIZ), she worked as an innovation expert and innovation component manager. She also worked on economic women development and developed strategies, managed and supervised their implementations in partnership with Tunisian Ministries and the European Union. At the national level, she developed a pilot Innovation management training course and an innovation toolbox after studying the needs of Tunisian SMEs. She also worked with several enterprises to implement the innovation management system with focus on gender matters.

Christian Saublens is Belgian and has an experience of more than 30 years in lobbying the European Community authorities. He is the Former Executive Manager of EURADA, the European Association of Development Agencies. Christian helped the creation of EBAN, the European network promoting the stimulation of informal venture capital at regional or national level. Christian has written several papers regarding the impact of EU regulations on regional development and the role of development agencies in Europe. Christian is the chairman of the S³ Mirror Group, the expert group of the Smart Specialisation Strategy Platform of the European Commission.

Oussama Dahmani is an International Development Expert with more than 12 years’ experience in the fields of private sector support, economic inclusion and business environment with emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. Oussama is in charge of coordinating EUROMED Invest, one of the major European programs launched end 2013 and aiming at supporting the private sector and improving the economic relations in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

The countries doing the most to advance global innovation

Date: March, 22, 2016 | From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. - CET

Robust innovation is essential for economic growth and social progress around the world. Innovation is a global public good, as innovations in one nation spill over beyond the country’s borders to benefit all the world’s citizens. Yet innovation suffers from a collective action problem, as countries traditionally pursue innovation initiatives from their own narrow economic goals, or, worse, disadvantage innovators in other nations in an attempt to favor their own enterprises. Thus, how nations decide, individually and collectively, to pursue innovation-based growth strategies holds critical implications for the global innovation system. Yet until now, most studies of innovation policy looked only at how nations’ policies affect innovation in their own country. In contrast, ITIF’s report assesses 56 countries – which comprise almost 90 percent of the global economy – on 27 factors reflecting the extent to which their economic and trade policies contribute to and detract from innovation globally. During the webinar both experts will elaborate on which nations are doing the most to bolster global innovation (a combination of more effort on policies that support innovation and less on policies that harm it) and discuss the correlation between countries’ contributions to global innovation and their levels of innovation success.

Relator: Mr. Stephen Ezell and Mr. Adams Nager

Vice President, Global Innovation Policy and Economic Policy Analyst, The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation - ITIF, USA

Stephen Ezell is Vice President, Global Innovation Policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington-DC based technology and economic policy think tank, where he focuses on science, technology, and innovation policy as well as international competitiveness, trade, and manufacturing policy issues. He is the co-author with Dr. Robert Atkinson of Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale, September 2012) and a co-author of Innovating in a Service-Driven Economy: Insights, Application, and Practice (Palgrave McMillan, November 2015). Mr. Ezell holds a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, with an Honors Certificate from Georgetown’s Landegger International Business Diplomacy (IBD) program.

Adams Nager is an economic policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He researches and writes on innovation economics, manufacturing policy, and the importance of STEM education and high-skilled immigration. Adams holds an M.A. in Political Economy and Public Policy and a B.A. in Economics, both from Washington University in St. Louis.

Beyond Speed – why agility is important for sustainable success in SMEs

Date: February, 22, 2016 | From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. - CET

How can an SME be agile enough to navigate through the unknown waters of the future? In an increasingly complex world the next big disruption could appear from the most unlikely of places and organizations need to be both agile in response to these threats and able to take a long term view. Strong winds can make a ship go fast – but also crash against the next iceberg. So speed is good – but for sustainable competitive advantage and long term success, other factors like stability (e.g., control of the ship) are equally important. For the last 10 years McKinsey and Company has been looking at the impact of ‘Organizational Health’ – how an organization aligns, executes with excellence and renews itself – on the long term performance of organizations. The initial work was documented in the 2011 book ‘Beyond Performance’ and is core to the way that the firm thinks about culture. Based on data gathered from over 3 million individuals and 2000 studies, McKinsey was able to demonstrate that health has a strong link to performance: healthy companies achieve 3 times greater total return to shareholders (TRS). Recently the team has taken this further to understand how the concept of ‘agility’, currently in vogue, links to this result and how organizations can best set themselves up to be ‘agile’. The discussion will touch on the components that make up organizational health, how these are translated into reality, and Jannis and Tom will present real world examples of the impact of focusing on health. They will then go a step further – exploring the concept of agility and how it can be mapped to the existing research on organizational health, combining the two to create powerful insight for SMEs and addressing the apparent conflict between the need for speed and stability.

Relator: Dr. Jannis Vitzthum and Mr. Tom Welchman

Client Services Lead, EMEA McKinsey & Company, Inc. Germany and Organisation Specialist, McKinsey & Company, Inc. United Kingdom

Jannis Vitzthum is based in Munich and works with various clients in EMEA on improving organizational performance, with a distinct focus on analytics, organizational design and organizational health. Prior to working with McKinsey he has been a Senior Manager with Siemens, serving their businesses in +100 countries with in house advisory in the organizational and HR domain. Before this role he had worked with global consulting firm Deloitte, where he led numerous projects in various sectors and countries, e.g. aerospace and defense as well as health care and life sciences. He started his career at the army where he held several roles in the medical corps and defense research.

Tom Welchman is based in London and is part of the McKinsey OrgSolutions EMEA leadership team - a group that uses data and analytics to support Organizational Design, Transformation Change and Human Capital issues. Tom spends most of his time running transformation programmes for clients across a variety of industries and sectors including automotive, pharmaceuticals, NGOs, advanced industries and financial services. Before joining McKinsey, Tom worked as an Engagement Manager at the strategy consultancy Monitor Group and subsequently Monitor Deloitte where his focus was on corporate strategy, leadership and big data in healthcare and life sciences. Tom has also worked in the UK Government as an Assistant Economist, at Deloitte as a Strategy Analyst and holds an MA and MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University. He holds an MD from Ulm university, a doctoral degree based on a thesis in clinical psychology and an MBA from Augsburg/Pittsburgh.