Who are the best open innovation speakers globally?

We are planning an international open innovation conference in March called Open for Business. We asked our network who they would you recommend as a great speaker or who they would really like to hear from? We also asked them to think big! We were overwhelmed with an amazing response and thanks to everybody who contributed so far. I thought I’d share the list below as it is diverse as it is interesting:

  • AJ Lafley – P&G
  • Alex Osterwalder – Business Model Generation
  • Ana Maria Llopis – CEO Ideas4All
  • Andy Gibson – School ofEverything
  • Ben Dupont – Yet2.com
  • Bettina Von Stamm
  • Biz Stone – Twitter
  • Cecilia Weckström/Helene Venge– Lego
  • Charlene Li/Josh Bernoff -Groundswell
  • Cheryl Perkins –Innovationedge and former CIO of Kimberly Clark
  • Chris Meyer
  • CK Prahalad – Harvard BusinessSchool
  • David Willetts MP
  • Doc Searls – Harvard
  • Doritos – VP Marketing/CEO
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Eric Von Hipple – MIT
  • Ernie Richardson – MTI
  • Esther Dyson – Journalist and Investor
  • Founder of Mumsnet
  • Frank Piller – Aachen University
  • Gary Hamel
  • Geke van Dijk, STBY
  • Geoffrey Moore
  • Gerard Kleisterlee – PhilipsCEO
  • Helmut Traitler – Nestle
  • Henry Chesbrough – Berkley
  • Infosys CEO
  • James Andrew & HaroldSirkin – Payback
  • John Bessant – Exeter University
  • Joi Ito – CEO at CreativeCommons
  • Jon Moulton – Alchemy
  • JP Ranganswami – BT Plc
  • Karim Lakhani – Harvard
  • Kate Andrews – Cola life
  • Large Hadron Collider CEO
  • Larry Huston – former VP at P&G
  • Larry Keeley at Doblin
  • Lemuel Lasher – CIO of CSC
  • Lux CEO
  • Lynda Gratton – LondonBusiness School
  • Marissa Mayer – Google
  • Mark Little – GE head of research
  • Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook
  • Michael Dell – Dell Ideastorm
  • Mike Lynch – Autonomy
  • My Starbucks Idea Founder
  • Nike on co-creation
  • Obama – POTUS
  • Paul Sloane
  • Peter Cochrane ex BT CTO
  • Peter Diamandis – X-Prize
  • Peter Mandleson
  • Phil McKinney – CTO for HP’s Personal Systems Group
  • Premel Shah – Kiva
  • Prof Roy Sandbach – P&G
  • Roland Harwood
  • Sahar Hashemi
  • Sam Palmisano IBM CEO
  • Sir Ken Robinson
  • Stan Gryskiewicz
  • Stefan Lindegaard
  • Stefan Liske – PCH
  • Steve Jobs – Apple
  • Steve Shapiro – VP of InnoCentive
  • Tata CEO
  • Tim Jones/Vodaphone
  • Tim Minshall – Cambridge University
  • Tim Smit – Eden Project
  • Tom Kelly – IDEO
  • Vinay Gupta
  • VJ Govindarajan – Tuck School of Business
  • Wayne Hemingway – Red or Dead
  • Wipro CEO
  • …and last but not least a Myrmecologist (which is the scientific study of ants, a branch of entomology)

I don’t know them all but was intruiged and fascinated by the list. The brief for the event is a showcase of for practical/tried and tested, tools and techniques for implementing open innovation encompassing process, strategy, culture, tools/technology,legal arrangements, skills, leadership etc.We intend it to be a very interactive day, chock full of practical case studies and hopefully live open innovation (or at least lots of connecting) happening on the day, topped and tailed with some big names (probably but not necessarily from business rather than academia/other) who can speak honestly from the open innovation coal face and have the battlescars to prove it.Thanks again for all contributions.


  1. Surprised at a few of those, but when I think of “open” I tend to think in terms of being truly open, and not some diluted measure of this.
    Hence why I don’t get how Jobs with iTunes and its active measures to prevent sync to non-Apple devices, and the Apple App store that is famous for declining to host apps that Apple, for whatever reason, doesn’t like the look of, can be deemed open. These things are anti-competition, anything but open and put the vendor before the customer.
    Same holds true for Zuckerberg’s Walled Garden of Facebook, which can be described as anything but open.
    To me, open is much more than building a platform that _you_ control and upon which others can build value, for _you_, and according to _your_ rules.
    And, Mandelson, who wants to effectively break the Internet, but no Vint Cerf! Crikey, I wouldn’t blame the Internet’s legions of IP packets if they all went on strike.
    Sometimes I worry that popularity, extensibility, a nice UI and other attributes commonly be regarded to be cool, are mistaken as indicators of openness. Whereas the reality is that open may not look great or be popular or successful, yet. And more than that, it’s not about you and your desire to protect your business at all costs, it’s about everyone else.

  2. Sweet list and brief on what you’d like to see if even a smattering of them show up; especially, as Andrew noted, some have slammed the door behind them. BTW Kiva dude would be a good addition to the mob.

  3. Andrew – I’m surprised too but it’s worth saying that the list was compiled with suggestions from over 100 different people and at least 5 suggested Jobs, but Zuckerberg and Mandleson (!) only got one vote each. I agree it’s contentious.
    Openness isn’t necessarily a good thing though is it either, nor is it binary. It’s an interesting debate which is currently emerging. For instance check out what we are doing with The Open 100 (www.openbusiness.cc) where there is quite a lively debate occuring around what constitutes an open innovator/business, with Apple being one of the most contentious.
    Paul – I’m sorry to say that as of today, none of them are coming except (ahem) me. However we are using this as the basis for invitations so I hope at least some show up. Will keep you posted. Ta.
    Chris – Good idea about Premal Shah. He spoke at Nesta a while ago and was amazing. Thanks

  4. Roland – agree, it’s not binary, and perhaps I should be more forgiving of those who have demonstrated some measure of openness.
    However, I believe that increasingly the ones who come out on top will be those who have genuinely put the customer first, and it is clear to me that openness will play a significant part here.
    When we look to open source software we can already see evidence of this, in the relative failure of the open sourcing of certain, once proprietary software, where the vendor retains control and any community is effectively disincentivised. Also, to some extent in the current uncertainty surrounding MySQL, where copyright is being passed from one controlling commercial entity to another and many feel to be at sea.
    Our thirst for shared stakeholdership, freedom from vendor control and for transparency continues apace. As evidenced through social media when the government tries to pass a questionable technology bill, when a company attempts a gagging order or when a service provider simply does a bad job. So, I believe that unless they make significant changes, today’s Apple will become tomorrow’s Microsoft, and Facebook may eventually go the way of Friendster.
    Oh, another one to add to the list: Doc Searls!

  5. Thanks for placing me on this list — I feel honored, thank you so much !!! Just to comment on the comment above “no one of them is coming” … well, perhaps you should invite them first 🙂 This sounds like a really interesting event, so keep me on the news list! Best, Frank Piller

  6. Thanks Frank. I can’t remember who recommended you off the top of my head but you came highly recommended. Regarding inviting people, we are working on it. Just need to finalise the venue and dates and will get invites out asap.
    Xavier – good suggestion too thanks
    Andrew – I wholeheartedly agree again with everything you write. And Doc is a great suggestion too. Many thanks 🙂
    Ta, R

  7. How about:

    Ian Jindal
    Andreas Weigend

    Two of the best speakers I’ve heard in the past year, with utterly different presentation styles.

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