Smart City Innovation Cluster

Big Bridges to Growth – Breakfast event

In today’s world, innovation is the lifeline for survival and success, whether you’re an established organization or a visionary start-up. Yet organizations of all sizes struggle to realize innovation’s true power and benefit.  They forget that brilliance isn’t confined within their walls. Only by forging powerful connections with others to harness collective knowledge and resources for growth will they achieve their growth ambitions.

It’s a great win-win, in principle, but how do you make it work seamlessly? It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution but through stories, examples, and conversation, you’ll gain insights and practical tools and techniques to make the most of the bridges you build.

Led by experts Robyn Bolton, John Bessant, and Tatiana Iakovleva, this event unveils fresh perspectives from cutting-edge research. Don’t miss this transformative journey to discovering how to build the future together!


  • Meet dedicated researchers shaping the future in innovation and leadership
  • Learn from best practices
  • Shape an innovation-driven future
  • Redefine how you manage innovation in your company.


Coffee, tea, juice and croissant will be served before this event starts at 08:30.


08:30 – 08:35  Introduction, by Tatiana Iakovleva

08:35 – 08:50 Innovation arithmetic – enabling growth through creative collisions, by John Bessant

08:50 – 09:10 Narratives of Innovations, by Robyn Bolton

09:10 – 09:30 Table-top workshop exploring the challenges of shared open innovation.

09:30 – 10:00  Plenary discussion and Q&A.

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Robyn Bolton, Founder of MileZero, helps companies use innovation for growth. Previously, she was with Innosight, co-founded by Harvard’s Clayton Christensen, and Boston Consulting Group in Boston and Copenhagen. Robyn started at Procter & Gamble, contributing to Swiffer’s development and working with Walmart Sales. She holds an MBA from Harvard and a BS in Marketing from Miami University (OH), graduating cum laude. Her insights on innovation have featured in Fast Company, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review Online, The New York Times, and NPR’s Marketplace. Find out more on


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John Bessant – Originally a chemical engineer, John Bessant has been active in the field of research and consultancy in technology and innovation management for over 40 years.   He is Emeritus Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter and also has visiting appointments at the universities of Stavanger, Norway and Erlangen-Nuremburg, Germany.  He has acted as advisor to various national governments, to international bodies including the United Nations, The World Bank and the OECD and to a wide range of companies. He is the author of over 40 books and monographs and many articles on the topic; the most recent including Managing innovation (2020) (now in its 7th edition). You can find more and follow his blog at


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Tatiana Iakovleva is a distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Stavanger, Norway. With a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship, her expertise spans entrepreneurial intentions, innovation management, and business social responsibility. Authoring two pivotal books, she delves into inclusive entrepreneurship practices in digital health and the role of entrepreneurial universities. With over 75 peer-reviewed publications in esteemed journals, she boasts an h-index of 20 on Google Scholar. Recognized with the Top Research Award for Young Female Researchers, Tatiana pioneered an innovation and entrepreneurship Master’s at Stavanger, mentored 30+ student and start up teams, and leads a significant international research project on digital health entrepreneurship.


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