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Let Ideas Fly at the Open Innovation Future Salon

Join me next Wednesday 7pm PST for the total eclipse of my passion and my work the Open Innovation Future Salon with Cesar Castro, where we will use Ideas Place to generate and collaborate around Ideas for the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Sometimes the best innovations are not technical, but organizational. I am really excited about Idea Place. There is nothing more frustrating than coming up with a good idea, sharing and collaborating around that idea and then nothing is happening with it.

The innovation that Kuhan Milroy, Ann Hardy and others (and may I say with the help of the SAP Mentors) implemented in Idea Place are the concept of Sessions. Only if there are people who can make change happen and are ready to get input ideas do we open a session around their area of innovation.  For example on Idea Place we have a session running for: Contract Management in SAP SRM and Procurement for Public Sector. On August 4th 2010 there  are 43 days left to suggest an idea, vote or comment on it. The session has a defined end and someone will pick up the ideas and hopefully right away let people know what the next steps are and when to expect the best idea to be implemented.  

Idea Confetty of the Idea SpaceI love this picture. I sometimes go to the Idea Place just to see the flying idea confetti. It makes you want to write down some ideas and let them fly. Kudos to the one who selected it, was that you Jodi Fleischman?  

Now if you want to let some ideas fly and want to know the latest regarding Open Innovation, then join us next Wednesday the 11th of August 6pm for a special interactive Future Salon: Open Innovation and the Future of Organizations. We are having it at SAP Labs in Palo Alto. The event is free, but space is limited to 75 idea folks please RSVP:

If you can’t join us in Palo Alto, you can still participate as we are webcasting the event here: (As the first hour is networking in Palo Alto, you may join at 7pm PST).

We start off with an introduction to the current status and future of open innovation by Founder and CEO of DiscoveryCast Cesar Castro (See: Abstract further down.)  I will then introduce SAP’s newly developed ideation platform: Idea Place which we will use for the interactive part of the Salon the Ideation Challenge.

Open PCAST is an online space for the public to give idea feedback to the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) (Details further down). At the Future Salon we are looking for ideas to solve the following problem:

Ideation Challenge: You are elected to the PCAST advisory board. You have access to up to $500 million in Federal Funding and the ability to propose new investments, legislation, executive orders, or other actions. What is the most important thing you can advise the federal government to do or try to stimulate U.S. innovation, economic productivity or jobs in nanotech, biotech, or infotech (the technology “golden triangle”) within the next three years (Obama’s re-election horizon)?

We’d like you to think about this Ideation Question over the next days and come to the Salon with a few rough ideas to be discussed among your future-interested colleagues. Bring your laptop to participate in Idea Place. We have already created the 3 areas we want to focus on: Infotech, Biotech, and Nanotech.

We will form teams of 4-6 at the Salon. These groups can be around a particular science topic (Nanotech, Biotech, Infotech) or solution topic (Education, Competitiveness, Immigration Reform, etc.). Each team will have ~30 minutes to generate/refine a couple of idea(s). You will post your Ideation Group ideas into the Idea Place during the Salon.  

We will then instruct everyone on how to judge the submitted ideas and will do a round of commenting and voting on the suggested ideas. We hope to find volunteers that will post the Future Salon’s top ranked ideas to Open PCAST after the Salon. We will end the evening with a critique of the process and our outcome.

This should be a fun and productive exercise in applied ideation for innovation. We really hope you can join us!

Abstract: This talk will provide an update of what open innovation means today (beyond it’s roots in R&D and product development). Open innovation will be presented in the context of leveraging external networks to help your organization thrive and succeed. Topics covered in this talk include: Open Innovation Strategies, How To Prepare for The New Innovation Paradigm, Innovation in an Increasingly Collaborative Environment, Managing Confidentiality / Intellectual Property, Getting Started: Developing a Global Innovation Strategy and Examples / Case Studies of companies that are successfully deploying these strategies. This lecture will provide concrete examples and key takeaways of how open innovation is helping companies today.

The President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers, formed in April 2010, to advise the President and Vice President and formulate policy in the many areas where understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to strengthening our economy and forming policy that works for the American people. President Barack Obama said, “PCAST represents leaders from many scientific disciplines who will bring a diversity of experience and views. I will charge them with advising me about national strategies to nurture and sustain a culture of scientific innovation.” PCAST is co-chaired by John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Eric Lander, Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project; and Harold Varmus, President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, former head of the National Institutes of Health and a Nobel laureate. 

Cesar Castro Bio

Cesar Castro is Founder and CEO of DiscoveryCast, a company that has developed an online collaborative brainstorming platform. He founded DiscoveryCast based on his experience in innovation, crowdsourcing, and corporate social networking. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Business, where he lectures in the area of innovation and changing the corporate culture to embrace new innovation models.

He is a former Research Director at the Institute For The Future (IFTF) where he led the Signtific Project, the Institute’s study of the future of science and technology. Before joining IFTF, Cesar served as Vice President of Business Development at InnoCentive from 2001 – 2006, one of the leading open innovation platforms. As VP Business Development, he was responsible for recruiting innovative companies from around the world to join and post their R&D challenges on the InnoCentive platform. He worked with organizations in the life sciences, defense, manufacturing, food, and chemical sectors. He also worked at the Industrial Research Institute, Shell Chemical Company, and MBA Polymers (a Bay Area clean-tech company).

Cesar has conducted projects on the future of science and technology, open innovation, crowdsourcing strategies for corporations, and network-centric innovation. He has written forecasts and given speeches on open innovation in heath care, the future of science and technology, trends in global health, and using networks (and crowdsourcing) to enhance innovation practices.

He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Loyola College in Maryland and an M.S. in Macromolecular Science from Case Western Reserve University. He can be reached via email at or via his blog (
Future Salons have the following structure: 6-7pm is networking with light refreshments proudly sponsored by SAP; 7-9+pm is the above format of short lecture and interactive ideation session. Please RSVP:

SAP Labs North America, Building 1, Room: Southern Cross. SAP is located at 3410 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304[map]. Free and open to the public.

Hope to see many of you in person or on the webcast.

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