About the Strategic Innovation Summits and Symposia

The Strategic Innovation Summit and Symposia series was convened to enable multi-disciplinary discussions of senior leaders on relevant topics of the year. Unlike conventional, discipline-specific conferences, where topical content is narrow and participants are generally from the same discipline, the Summits bring together people from many sectors. These include government, business, education, non-profit, and the arts and sciences.

The goal is to create and stimulate conversation that would normally not take place elsewhere, between senior leaders on important topics related to innovation and society.

The Summits and Symposia provide three important benefits to participants:

1. Education – As experts in their fields, participants learn from one another through interactive sessions and dedicated talks. These aim to educate, raise important questions, and present the latest data on trends and the current state of the Summit topic.

2. Multi-disciplinary Engagement – The Summits are sized such that even during the main session, a conversation can occur amongst all participants. Questions and answers are not only between the speakers, but also the participants. Facilitators and moderators from HBS, TECH, and other centers are brought in to ensure engagement and to be a catalyst for the conversation.

3. Action – The ultimate goal of the Summits is impact. For this to happen, action is a critical component. The summits dedicate approximately 25 percent of the time to action sessions with the participants. That format drives the discussion and ideas  presented into an action set for both the participants and the broader community.

Attendance is by application only, and senior leaders from any discipline that is relevant to the topic are encouraged to apply. Summits are generally convened on the campus of Harvard University; however off-campus Summits do occur when the topic and location enhance the opportunity for conversation and engagement of the participants.

Topics are proposed by participants, senior leaders in industry and government, and the Fellows in TECH. Topics are chosen based upon relevance and potential for impact in a broad sense, to include economic, societal, and environmental benefits.

For more information about the Strategic Innovation Summit series, please contact the Program Chair, Professor David S. Ricketts (ricketts@seas.harvard.edu).