Call for Problems


New Submission Deadline:  September 30, 2016
Finalists will be notified on October 5, 2016

Submit your challenge by filling out our Call for Problems form

We invite you to participate in the World Open Innovation Conference by submitting a challenge on managing open innovation in your organization. We will evaluate each challenge based on the applicant’s ability to articulate an important open innovation problem that other organizations are also likely to experience; with more specific descriptions of problems preferred over more vague descriptions. We invite submissions of problems (challenges) of managing open innovation in a corporate, public agency, or non-profit setting. This Call for Problems supplements our Call for Papers to academics, to foster a collaborative environment between the academic and practitioner community. We offer conference participants the opportunity to tap into the collective mind of the conference participants and challenge them with a task you are facing when managing open innovation in your context. We will take careful notes of the discussion to assist you in understanding the feedback offered at the Conference. All discussions will be conducted under Chatham House Rules.

What to expect from the special WOIC session if your submission is accepted:

Pre-Engagement Phase: You will be assigned an open innovation expert/practitioner and an academic research scholar closely related to your problem. The objective of this exercise is to “Process” and “Frame the Problem” to generate good discussion and solicit around the table with those with similar problems and academics who are interested in the topic to provide input. You can expect 3-4 hours of dialogue with the pre-engagement team. Your company’s name and identity will remain anonymous and will only be revealed to the Pre-engagement team who will help in framing the problem. We have chosen the following four categories as they are most relevant to the organizations that we work with.

1. Organizational Culture – when that culture is not conducive to Open Innovation, such as internal organizational siloes that inhibit knowledge sharing, or behaviors that punish failure that is necessary for risk-taking.

2. Business Model – lacks the structure or processes to experiment with alternative business models; or the dominant business model results in too many good ideas going unused, or results in only incremental innovation projects being pursued, at the expense of more potentially valuable projects of higher risk.

3. IP Policy – prevents or obstructs open innovation, either in accepting external ideas and technology inside, or enabling unused ideas and technologies to go outside.

4. R&D Issues – policies or cultural issues that obstruct effective open innovation, such as NIH, misaligned incentives, or inappropriate metrics.


The Conference Session:

1. A special co-creation session aimed at accelerating and speeding the problem-solving process will be held during the World Open Innovation Conference

2. A community of experts from all disciplines will participate and collaborate in small groups at each table. Their insights will be tabulated and collected for your use after the Conference.

3. As noted above, all discussions will be held according to Chatham House rules, to foster open and honest dialogue to best address your challenge.