Institutet för entreprenörskaps- och småföretagsforskning
– sprider kunskap om entreprenörskap, innovation och småföretag
Innovation in your box: Why meaning – not ideas – is the key to success

Innovation in your box: Why meaning – not ideas – is the key to success

Tid: Tisdag 9 maj 2017, 15.00-17.00
Plats: Playhouse Teater, Drottninggatan 71A, Stockholm
Talare: Professor Roberto Verganti och filosofie doktor Åsa Öberg, Politecnico di Milano, Italien


Kort om föreläsningen: Today’s world is overcrowded with ideas; attractive, fun and challenging ideas. Digitalization is driving changes inside and outside organizational, professional, and moral boundaries. Start-ups are flooding the innovation landscape. And creative workshops are flooding the business agendas, urging us to “think outside the box”.

Yet, organizations struggle in delivering real innovation. Ideas may be created “outside the box”. But when time for action comes – that is, when we return to our box (our organization, our life) – real change does not happen. Why?

Because we lack direction and commitment, argues Roberto Verganti and Åsa Öberg. Their research highlights the importance of one shared, meaningful vision. During this lecture, they will explain why innovation journeys should begin by understanding what is meaningful to the organization, and its customers. Drawing on examples from companies like Gillette, Gucci, Nest, Alfa Romeo, Philips Healthcare, and Deloitte, Verganti and Öberg will unveil the secrets of meaning-driven innovation. They will show why “inside the box” is a more sustainable approach than the well known “outside the box”.

Bring your smartphone!

Please note that this lecture will be in English!

Kort om föreläsaren/föreläsarna: Roberto Verganti is professor of leadership and innovation at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, Italy, where he directs Leadin’Lab, a laboratory on leadership, design and innovation. Roberto’s research focuses on how leaders and organizations create innovations that people love. He has, together with his team, served as advisor to a wide variety of firms including Ferrari, Ducati, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Samsung, Zappos, Microsoft, IBM, Vodafone, Whirlpool, Nestlé, L’Oréal, ABB, and Tetrapak. He has also helped national and regional governments around the world to conceive design and innovation policies. Roberto is the author of “Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas” (MIT Press, 2017). More info at

Åsa Öberg is a post doc research fellow at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano in Italy, with a PhD in innovation and design from Mälardalen University, Sweden. She is conducting research on how companies can propose radical innovation of product/service meanings, how innovation of meaning shapes society and businesses, and how meanings can be represented and embodied. Her studies are conducted in cooperation with both Swedish and international private and public organizations. Her mission is to spread the awareness of the potential of product meaning, for example through TEDx and the Swedish Research Grand Prix competition. She is a member of the Urban Sketchers local group in her hometown of Eskilstuna, Sweden, and runs her own business – Åsa Öberg AB.

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