June 3, 2009

OUI: Year Seven, Day One

The first (half) day of OUI 2009 here in Hamburg is now completed. This was just the tease — authors presenting 3-4 minute previews of their papers (about half of the papers were teased this afternoon).

Nikolaus Franke — host of the first User Innovation Workshop in 2003 — has attended all seven workshops and recalled the list from memory:
  1. Vienna: Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU)
  2. Munich: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
  3. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Sloan
  4. Munich: Technischen Universität München (TUM)
  5. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School
  6. Boston: Harvard Business School (the first “User and Open Innovation Workshop”)
  7. Hamburg: Technischen Universität Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH)
This year there were 110 registered attendees (21 of which did not arrive in the first day). This is only slightly smaller than last year’s record participation at Harvard — 137 participants. However, there are a greater proportion of in progress papers: 31 completed and 44 in progress, versus 55 completed papers last year.

As always, the man most in demand was Eric von Hippel of MIT, the founder (godfather) of the user innovation research movement. It seemed as though during every break he was surrounded by friends and admirers, old and new.

Being in Germany, we had a number of delegations of innovation researchers (mostly Ph.D. students and post-docs) funded under the German system, headed by a chaired professor: Nikolaus Franke of WU, Georg von Krogh of ETH Zürich, Frank Piller of RWTH Aachen and Cornelius Herstatt of host TUHH. Dietmar Harhoff of LMU wasn’t here but some of his team was.
When von Hippel asked for newcomers, about ¼ to 1/3 of the hands went up, with pockets from Aachen, TUHH and TUM in Germany; WU, U.K. Sweden in Europe, and Japan, Korean and NZ from the other side of the world. (There was one newcomer who travelled from the US: Jing Zheng, a mechanical engineer from Washington University in St. Louis).

No full papers yet — most are tomorrow, including my own (more later).

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