2010

The 4 th Front End of Innovation Conference Europe was this year held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from February 8 th - February 10 th . There were two pre-conference symposia. The first one focused on generating partnership i.e. on how to make open innovation and external collaboration work. The second focused on design thinking in order to solve business problems. BMW showed its new concept car off during the Monday evening kickoff reception in an entertaining talk by BMW Group's Design Director Adrian van Hooydonk. Main conference day I was started off by Josephine Green, Senior Director Trends & Strategy at Philips Design. She made the audience think about how to engage with the future differently. Scott Anthony gave the audience the option to either listen to his talk about his book "Seizing the Silver Lining", or to hear his latest thinking on the ten reasons to get fired while innovating. Since only about five people opted for the first choice; he did a spontaneous presentation on the latter. After the networking break, PhD candidate Heidi Bertels presented the latest results on Peter Koen's Front End of Innovation study. The attendees had the option of obtaining a benchmarking report for their organization in comparison with the 199 companies in the database if they had submitted a survey for their organization prior to the conference. To conclude the AM Session of the first main conference day, Krijn Rietveld (Senior Vice President of the Nutrition Group at Royal DSM) and Patrick O'Riordan (Global Director Insight and Innovation at Anheuser-Bush-Inbev) talked in a corporate leadership forum about their company's innovation strategy. On the second main conference day, the first keynote was delivered by Ian Forrest, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer of GE Money. This was followed by an inventor's forum. Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology shared his story about the invention of MP3 and Peter Hilfinger, former R&D Director at Braun talked about the ups and downs during his invention of the powered toothbrush; two game changing inventions. The day II morning session was concluded by Per Sandberg, Managing Director of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and an interactive Innovation Think Tank to develop a vision for the year 2050 inspired by Per's talk. More information can be found at: http://www.iirusa.com/feieurope/home.xml .