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Spring Conference 2018: Benchmarking for Innovation Performance amid Industry Convergence

May 22, 2018

Tuesday, May 22 | 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM PDT
Wharton San Francisco

Wharton San Francisco

Incumbents today are finding themselves fighting for survival in nearly every conceivable strategic arena. Advancing technologies have blurred industry boundaries and facilitated moves into previously unrealized business spaces. In response, some firms are moving into industries outside of their core competencies to leverage resources, flex their muscles, and create new identities. These shifts have left many incumbents facing threats from not only startups, but other titans who have made strategic plays across verticals.

How can incumbents stay ahead in this game? How can they build or augment competencies to combat these threats? How do they keep clear sights on the pace of innovation in and around their core business, even as many industries are experiencing tech-enabled convergence?

During this conference, the Mack Institute will explore the need for firms to candidly assess their performance, understand appropriate innovation metrics, and apply benchmarking standards to compare themselves against both industry peers and unrealized threats. This interactive event will leave participants with insights, frameworks, and best practices for measuring innovation performance both internally as well as against external competitors.

The conference will be led by experts from academia and industry who will discuss deploying resources, employing relevant skills & competencies, and integrating knowledge for firm growth.


8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m. — Breakfast

9:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m. — Welcome and Introduction

Saikat Chaudhuri
Executive Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management
Adjunct Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Harbir Singh
Co-director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management
Vice Dean for Global Initiatives

Faculty Director for Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business
Mack Professor of Management, The Wharton School

9:15 a.m.–10:30 a.m. — How Incumbents Can Stay Ahead of the Game

Asheesh Birla
Senior Vice President of Product Managment , Ripple

Alain Neyroud
Principal Architect and Blockchain Garage Lead, IBM

10:30 a.m.–10:50 a.m. — Break

10:50 a.m.–12:05 p.m. — Building Competencies

Katherine von Jan
Vice President, Strategic Innovation, Salesforce

James Williams
Senior Director for Technology Research and Innovation, Teradata

12:05 p.m.–1:20 p.m. — Lunch and Networking

1:20 p.m.–2:00 p.m. — Industry Convergence and Benchmarking

Michael Dolbec
Senior Managing Director, GE Ventures

2:00 p.m.–2:45 p.m. — Mack Institute Thought Leadership: Research in Action

Saikat Chaudhuri

  • Upcoming Blockchain Whitepaper
  • Collaborative Innovation Program
  • Access to University-wide Resources
  • Introduction of Innovation Index Project

2:45 p.m.–4:00 p.m. — Smart Technology Portfolios

Tereza Nemessanyi
Entrepreneur in Residence, Microsoft

Hanson Lenyoun, MD
Director, Business and Clinical Outcomes, Samsung Electronics America

4:00 p.m. — Closing Remarks



  • Date: Tuesday, May 22
  • Time: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM PDT

Event Organizers

  • Saikat Chaudhuri
  • Harbir Singh