This report, published by Nordic Innovation, describes and places in context the emergent phenomenon of Innovation Communities (InnoComms): groups of people who meet regularly to learn from each other about the challenges of managing innovation and entrepreneurship and to build personal and professional networks of supportive colleagues from industries and cultures beyond those they ordinarily encounter.
Participants may come to view themselves in a new way through the experience of trust and support in the community and be inspired to take on the uphill battle of fostering significant change. InnoComms support business growth by helping innovation leaders think in fresh ways and conceive innovation approaches that are differentiated from their industry peers.
Specifically, the report:
• Describes the basis and motivation for InnoComms and distinguishes them from networking organizations that focus on achieving specific business, macroeconomic or social results or on academic research.
• Characterizes and provides twenty-seven case studies from ten countries, placing them in five categories that span business, government, academia and nonprofit sectors. (10 of these cases were previously excerpted and published at InnovationExcellence.com.)
• Analyzes how trust is built and maintained in an InnoComm and how online tools and social media can support InnoComm development (but cannot substitute for in-person meetings).
• Explores how InnoComms may support regional development, such as the creation of “innovation hot spots,” and how the InnoComm phenomenon varies in different societies around the world.
Editor’s Note: The project is still collecting candidate Innovation Communities for its database and would sincerely appreciate it if you would contact them if you know about ones that they should consider including. To participate in the research, please fill out their data form and they will contact you!
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Mike Lippitz is a Research Fellow with the Center for Research in Technology and Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois, a Senior Policy Analyst with the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, DC, and a Principal at Clareo Partners LLC. Prior positions include Special Assistant for Strategic Technology Planning in the Office of Director for Defense Research and Engineering, US Department of Defense and product line manager at Hewlett-Packard Company.