The first talk, Challenges in Inter-Disciplinary Research: Strategies from Crafting Research Ideas to Publishing, will take place on May 11, 2009. In this presentation, I will share my experiences in executing inter-disciplinary research projects. Studying complex phenomenon requires us to undertake research that (1) draws on multiple disciplines, (2) engages a diverse group of stakeholders, (3) appreciates a plurality of research approaches, and (4) communicates to a diverse set of audiences. Executing inter-disciplinary research is no easy feat to accomplish. Researchers face daunting challenges from the onset, beginning with the very inception of ideas, crafting of problem statements, executing the research process, and communicating the results via publications in academic and practitioner outlets. However, these challenges should not be viewed as an excuse to abandon inter-disciplinary research in favor of narrow-minded and singular research exercises, which reduce complex phenomenon in deterministic fashions so as to arrive at simplistic problems that lack relevance. I will present a method (process) for executing inter-disciplinary research that has served me well. Illustrative examples of research projects will be used to exemplify this process and outline strategies for researchers to consider when conducting inter-disciplinary research projects.
The second talk, Designing the Innovation Process: Building, Managing, Communicating and Measuring, will take place on May 13, 2009. In this presentation, I will describe the process of innovation and propose mechanisms to measure the value of innovation. The innovation process will be broken down into the discrete stages of idea generation and mobilization, screening and advocacy, experimentation, commercialization, diffusion and implementation. For each stage, context, outputs and critical ingredients are discussed. Findings are based on extensive study of over 30 top US and European companies with mature innovation processes.