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ERIC VON HIPPEL

MIT SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT


A look back at the IMP Research Excellence Award | Speech on the topic of Citizen Innovation | 28 May 2015 | SoWi Innsbruck


On 28 May, Eric von Hippel was given the IMP Research Excellence Award for 2015. In doing so, the professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management followed in the footsteps of Sayan Chatterjee (Case Western Reserve University) and Karim R. Lakhani (Harvard Business School), who had won the award in prior years. Eric von Hippel's work on "User Innovation" has had far-reaching implications for strategy, innovation and open source software, and he is among the most influential and oft-cited professors in the field. To provide a bit of insight into his latest efforts, von Hippel gave a speech on "Citizen Innovation" at the award ceremony.


After a few words of introduction from Dr. Tilmann Märk, University Chancellor, and Dr. Matthias Bank, Dean of Business Administration, Dr. Johann Füller gave a short speech in honor of the award winner. Then it was time for Eric von Hippel to take the podium.


"We are not waiting!"

That is the motto of a growing number of consumers. They aren’t waiting anymore. They are getting involved. In certain situations it would take too long for manufacturers to provide adequate solutions, so people who are directly affected by circumstances that would typically be beyond their control are taking things into their own hands. One group developed an "artificial pancreas" that delivers insulin to diabetes (type 1) patients dependently of the constant blood-sugar level measurements. Yet that is just one example of many. We only have to look at the developers of Linux or even the inventors of mountain bikes. The “distribution" or technical transfer of know-how takes place on a peer-to-peer level.

In his speech, von Hippel illustrated how the era of "passive consumers" is long gone. In Great Britain, for example, 6.1 percent of the population – 2.9 million people – are developing product innovations and they are doing it for free. This "market" is drastically underestimated according to von Hippel. The statistics only refer to producer innovations.

Why are so many people spending their free time trying to drive innovation? In addition to helping themselves and others, there is a distinct element of fun and learning involved says the professor, who also demonstrated how the ideal "loop" between manufacturers and "citizen innovators" could look in the future.

After von Hippel’s talk, Dr. Kurt Matzler (Institute for Strategic Management at the University of Innsbruck and Head of IMP Network of Excellence) presented the MIT Sloan professor with the IMP Research Excellence Award 2015.


Kurt Matzler (r) and Erich von Hippel (l) at the IMP Research Awards 2015. For more information about the recipient go to:http://evhippel.mit.edu.


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Eric von Hippel was this year's winner of the IMP Research Excellence Award. He held a speech on 28 May 2015 at the University of Innsbruck that gave the sizable crowd some clear insights into the "citizen innovation" movement.

 

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