Upcoming Events

Defense of my thesis: 'Learning to Innovate, a series of studies to explore and enable learning in innovation practices'

24 Sep 2009

Last months I have been busy writing my PhD-thesis. And now I have some good news to share: it is finished! Last week I was notified that all members of my graduation committee agreed upon the public defense of my dissertation on September 24. My dissertation is entitled: ‘Learning to Innovate, a series of studies to explore and enable learning in innovation practices’. At the moment I am busy preparing the text for being printed.
Next to my dissertation, the publishing company Bohn Stafleu van Loghum will publish a toolbox in which my colleagues Paul Keursten, Marloes van Rooij and myself translated the insights from the research for people in practice. It will be in Dutch.
The research that I worked on for the last five years deals with how people learn in innovation processes. I have carried out various studies in which I reconstructed innovation practices that were finished and monitored ongoing innovation practices. The analysis of these studies, combined with a literature review, led to a set of design principles. These principles were validated in practice and via an expert consultation. Subsequently, more than 100 practitioners took part in one of the four types of design labs. This study helped to find out the extent to which the principles helped the practitioners to design their own innovation practice. Some findings:

  • For innovation, the personal involvement of people is essential. It works well to take one’s own motivation as a starting point (instead of a general or organizational goal).
  • For the design of innovation processes, it appeared to be important to combine a personal approach (one’s own affinity, creativity and ambition) with a more systematic approach (a rational analysis, making use of previous experiences and developing the necessary abilities). A combination of these two approaches seems to be most promising to create breakthroughs in an innovation practice. 
  • People in practice work on innovation (their ‘work’) and are not occupied with ‘learning’. Although the concept of reflection takes a prominent role in theories on learning, participants in innovation practices rarely practice this.

We designed a simulation game to work with the design principles!

07 Jun 2007

We designed a simulation game to work with and experiment with the design principles for knowledge productivity. Recently we met Frans van Gassel, from the Technical University in Eindhoven (TU/E), and he invited us to collaborate with him to prepare a game for the 4th symposium on Value Development in Construction Management. The students-association of Course takes the initiative for this conference together with the Masterprogramma Construction Management and Engineering (Frans van Gassel). The game takes place at June 7, in the morning. In the afternoon some lecturers (my colleague Paul Keursten is one of them!) will reflect on the symposium's main theme 'creatief vragen en aanbieden', Paul Keursten in his speech will reflect upon the morning programma where we worked with the design principles.

European conference for Creativity and Innovation

14 Oct 2007
17 Oct 2007

Recently I found out about The European Association for Creativity and Innovation (E.A.C.I.). They want "to contribute to a better understanding, practice and acceptance of creativity and innovation in Europe". It looks really interesting. Not too single focused on creativity and inventions: innovation has an important place. The 10th European Conference for Creativity and Innovation (ECCI X) will be held in October this year in Copenhagen. I consider going there. They have the ambition to make a combination of both academic and business. They announce creative forms to be used in the 'paper jam sessions'. I like that! No more sessions on learning on innovation where you don't learn anything or that are not innovative at all. It's about time for the form of these conferences to become equal and similar with their themes.


21 May 2007
23 May 2007

I just announced innoday and now look at this: innotown. It's getting better all the time. Innotown is Norway´s annual innovation conference: "
InnoTown is a truly unusual business conference for people who want to open up to the new opportunities that lie beyond the traditionally tried and tested". The programma looks very diverse. With subjects like:

  • The business value of cross-cultural innovation.
  • Finding the spark: A Cirque du Soleil Approach to Managing Talent


29 Mar 2007

convention factoryMarch 29 in the Amsterdam Convention Factory Innoday will take place. Looks like a cool event (althoug in Dutch). Focused on businesslife; Research on innovation is not scheduled as such.

European Symposium on Innovative Management Practices

15 Mar 2007
16 Mar 2007

erimFor those who can make up their minds quickly: The ERIMA Symposium takes place March 15-16 and short papers (4 pages) need to be submitted by January 31. The first day of the symposium in Biarritz will focus on industrial needs, future challenges, storytelling and case studies exploring innovative management best practices. The second day will be oriented towards new organisations, concepts, methods and tools proposed by the research community and practitioners to promote innovative management.

From the website I get the idea that they really have the ambition to make it an interactive symposium. There are no traditional paper presentations but "the chairmen of sessions will present the main contribution of each selected paper and start a round-table discussion across different questions and topics. Each contributor will be invited to clarify his/her point of view during the discussion". Sounds promising, and just what we need: a conference with innovation as a main topic, should indeed work on innovative ways of working during the gathering. Just as conferences that have learning as main topic should promote ways of working that stimulate participants' learning.

Eighth International Conference on HRD Research and Practice - Call for papers

27 Jun 2007
29 Jun 2007

I received the call for papers for the Eighth International Conference on HRD Research and Practice across Europe. This year the conference is hosted by the Oxford Brookes University. This year's theme is 'Globalisation versus Glocalisation: implications for HRD?'. The call for papers is attached to this post. More information can be found on the conference-website. I have been to the last conferences in Limerick, Leeds and Tilburg. I have always had great fun and met interesting people. What I like about the conferences is hearing about actual research of HRD-researchers in the field. In general the learning perspective takes a prominent role in the paper presentations. And: good news is that the PhD-workshop that I organised last year in Tilburg is scheduled again!

International positive psychology summit

05 Oct 2006
07 Oct 2006

The Gallup International Positive Psychology Summit will take place in Washington DC, USA, from October 5-7, 2006. This conference on positive psychology attracts many cool speakers such as Richard Florida and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Positive psychology set in in the 90s with Martin Seligman as one of its founders. Before then, psychology was pointed towards pathology, and curing mental illnesses. The focus of positive psychology, in contrast, lies on identifying and nurturing talent. The school of positive psychology becomes popular in various areas like organisation development (Cameron, Dutton, & Quinn, 2003), evaluation research (Preskill & Coghlan, 2003) and in thinking about organisational change (Whitney & Trosten-Bloom, 2003). Although this way of thinking became popular only recently, it is built on concepts that have been proven earlier to play an important role in the learning process such as self-efficacy.

Conference on action research

21 Aug 2006
25 Aug 2006

The Dutch network participatory action research organises a conference on the subject of participatory research: ALARMP 7th & PAR 11th World Congress. It takes place in Groningen (The Netherlands), from August 21-25 2006. The central theme of this World Congress is: Standards and Ethics in participatory research. Attention is also paid to the role of participatory research as a means of (self) reflection. There are already 336 participants, and as you can see at the website, they are from various countries in the world. This promises to be an interesting conference with speakers who are specialised in different areas (how nice to meet a research and evaluation theorist or how would it be to have a coffee with a professor in the area of identity and talent and network organisations).

International HRD Conference in Amsterdam

09 Oct 2006
11 Oct 2006

HRD 2006 adam conf logoThe central theme of the International HRD Conference 2006 is The Learning Society for sustainable development. This conference has all the ingredients to become a great success. There are several interesting and innovative subthemes such as Learning and the generation gap; The workplace as a place for learning and Learning from the future.

The contributions are very diverse (not only paper presentations but also workshops, round tables etc) and the keynote speakers are promising. Among others Joseph Kessels will speak, Trude Maas and Regina Mulder. Last but not least the conference takes place in Amsterdam!