July 10, 2017

OUI 2017, Day One

I’m back at the Open and User Innovation (von Hippel) conference this year in Innsbruck. Although I went every year from 2008-2014, I missed 2015 and 2016 (for different reasons). Despite an awful case of jet lag, it’s great to be surrounded by old friends and to make new friends, including doctoral students at their first OUI (or even first conference ever).

The conference is running 2.5 days, and 224 attendees from 77 universities and 22 countries are registered. It is being held at Universität Innsbruck

The scheduled plenary speakers are
  • Eric von Hippel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Shobana Subramanian Arora, Google Inc
  • Gerard J. Tellis, USC Marshall School of Business
  • Rudi Mair, Director of Avalanche Warnings in Tyrol, Austria
  • Achim Zeileis, Universität Innsbruck (a member of the R open source community
  • Johann Füller, Universität Innsbruck and co-CEO of Hyve
The papers (10 minutes) and short papers (4 minutes) are split into two parallel sessions. Below are the titles of the 16 sessions
  • Communities: User Innovation and Open Source 1
  • Communities: User Innovation and Open Source 2
  • Contests, Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation 1
  • Contests, Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation 2
  • Contests, Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation 3
  • Contests, Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation 4
  • Crowdfunding
  • Firms Interaction with User Innovation
  • Innovation Policy 1
  • Innovation Policy 2
  • Law and IP
  • Problem Solving and Toolkits
  • Sharing Economy and Platforms
  • User Innovation and Diffusion
  • User Innovation and Psychology
  • User Innovation in Healthcare
Alas, the time management is not as rigorous as when Benjamin (“Mako”) Hill ran the timing at MIT. This means that long-winded presenters are being perversely rewarded, while short shrift is given to the characteristic conversations about the ideas — a terrible loss given the incomparable grouping of UI expertise in the room.

I have papers in the policy and crowdfunding tracks. No one should be surprised that I’ll also be attending the Communities and Platform sessions.

Although I’ve only been at half of the conferences, I think it’s safe to say that being surrounded by the Austrian Alps is the most scenic venue ever. In case the beauty of the location is too subtle, when all the PowerPoint slides are done and the lights are raised, the shutters in the classroom open at the end of the session to reveal the Alps through strategically placed skylights in the ceiling.