Special Seminar: Scaling Up Innovation — New socio-technical infrastructure for effective collective innovation

Liz Gerber, Assoc. Prof. of Design, Northwestern

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 3:30–4:30pm

Rm. 100 (Spanos Auditorium), Cummings Hall

Innovation offers remarkable opportunities for global and social prosperity, but is fundamentally limited to traditional sources of expertise and capital. Dr. Gerber’s research explores a future in which there is broad exchange of expertise and capital throughout the innovation process, expanding innovation beyond the formal organization. Latent in billions of internet users, connected via unprecedented socio-technical frameworks for collaborative work, is an accelerating future of collective innovation; the combination of volunteers and enabling systems that created the Linux operating system will combine again and again to develop new products once thought to be the exclusive domain of formal organizations. Developing the future, however, requires gaining insight into several core research questions: how to motivate and ensure high quality contributions, how to establish trust and reputation, how to communicate and coordinate with thousands of diverse individuals, and how to develop and assert expertise. Dr. Gerber’s work aims to understand and pioneer new socio-technical infrastructure that harnesses untapped resources, and to discover key principles underlying effective collective innovation at scale. Together these advances will enable a brighter future for collective innovation, innovation that is ambitious and wide-ranging in scope, and inclusive, distributed, and collaborative in execution.

About the Speaker

Dr. Liz Gerber serves as the Charles Deering McCormick Professor, Associate Professor of Design in the School of Engineering and School of Communication, as Director of the Design Research Cluster, and as the Faculty Founder of Design for America at Northwestern University. She has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer reviewed publications and she has received major research grants from NSF, Mozilla Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and Microsoft and her work has been reported in venues including NPR, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, and Sloan Management Review. She’s worked in entertainment, software, and healthcare industries, designing and commercialized products for global distribution. She received her BA in studio art and engineering sciences from Dartmouth, and her PhD and MS in management science and engineering and product design from Stanford University. Follow her on Twitter @elizgerber.

For more information, contact Kathy DiAntonio at kathy.k.diantonio@dartmouth.edu.