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Lectures 2007-2008

DEAN'S DISTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES

"Innovation in a Dog-Eat-Dog World"

DR. DAVID PENSAK
DuPont Corporation, Former Chief Computer Scientist
Raptor Corporation, Founder
Wharton Business School, Professor Emeritus

Thurs., Sept. 20, 2007
4:00 pm
427 Waterman Building

Summary
Dr. David PensakInnovation is a skill that absolutely can be taught, and learned. To be successful at it, you have to carefully choose your problem (no more "If we build it, they will come...") then forage amongst a potentially wide spectrum of technologies that could be applied to the problem. The organization of the knowledge base you need to draw on is indeed a Complex Systems Analysis problem of the highest order, but it is far from hopeless.

We will discuss a variety of analysis and organizational ways of doing this which can be lumped into a very functional, easily adaptable structure called a "Cognitive Prosthesis." Then comes the fun part: Taking what you've done and driving it to successful commercialization. Again, there are tricks to doing this that make it fun and easy.

There's a myth that to be innovative you have to have at least a Ph.D or be a senior executive. This myth is worse than wrong as it discourages people who have significant problems that can be solved with minimal investment from even trying to mitigate their circumstances. We will draw on examples from classic American literature and from mythology to prove the ease of innovation.

Why "dog eat dog"? As global economic competitive factors heat up, any person or organization that does not try to innovate will be eaten alive by their competition.

Lastly, we will cover the major differences between incremental innovation and radical innovation.

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