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Tue, 17 May




The 'IN CONVERSATION' series portray prominent innovation scholars of the day in the form of intellectual-biographical interviews. The V episode features JOHN BESSANT in a deep conversation with HOWARD RUSH : 17 MAY 2022 at 12 NOON. GMT | 01.00 pm - London 8.00 am - New York | 9.00 am – Brazil

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Time & Location

17 May 2022, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm UTC



About the Event

About the Event 

The IN CONVERSATION series portrays prominent innovation scholars of the day in the form of intellectual-biographical interviews with other senior scholars.

In the FIFTH event JOHN BESSANT will be interviewed by HOWARD RUSH (on 17 MAY, 2022). The event will be anchored by SWATI MEHTA

Structure of the program (2 hours split up as follows)

Brief intro to the program and introducing Howie Rush (by anchor SWATI MEHTA 5 minutes

i. Introductory remarks by Howie and John is introduced (10 minutes) followed by a conversation between them as follows

ii. Formative years and major influences - (10 minutes)

iii. Contributions, Critique and weakness, Current work & future course - (35 minutes): starting from the important contributions of John, evolving towards a critical evaluation of his work. Then moving on to discussions on what next given the changing circumstances, how the theoretical contributions are relevant in current circumstances etc. It is a platform to convey what they want future generations to take from John and how they can further develop standing on the strong base that was created.

iv. Comment on Status of Innovation Economics and what next? - (10 minutes)

Some of the possible questions could be the following. However the speakers can shape it the way they want it to be!  

  • How did you end up doing research on innovation?
  • What were your most important contributions to the field?
  • To what degree have you engaged in teamwork and collective research?
  • How do you see the relationship between economics and innovation studies?
  • How do you see the role of innovation policy and innovation politics in development strategies?
  • How do you see the future for innovation studies?
  • At what level should we study innovation – micro, meso and macro?
  • What kind of methods should we use to study innovation and economic development?
  • What kind of advice would you like to give to young innovation scholars?
  • What role can innovation play in meeting global challenges?


v. Discussion (1 hour): For the 1 hour discussion a panel of scholars [Joe Tidd,  Emeritus Professor  SPRU and George Tsekouras, Head of CENTRIM, University of Brighton] will ask questions or make comments on John's work. After John's response to them the forum will be open for questions from the general audience.

Brief Biodata of the speakers

JOHN BESSANT Originally a chemical engineer, Professor John Bessant has been active in research, teaching and consultancy in technology and innovation management for over 25 years. He currently holds the Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Exeter University where he is also Research Director. In 2003, he was awarded a Fellowship with the Advanced Institute for Management Research and was also elected a Fellow of the British Academy of Management. He served on the Business and Management Panel of both the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises. He has acted as advisor to various national governments and to international bodies including the United Nations, The World Bank and the OECD.

Professor Bessant is the author of over 30 books and monographs and many articles on the topic and has lectured and consulted widely around the world. His most recent books include Managing innovation (2018) (now in its 6th edition) Entreprenurship (2018) (both published by John Wiley and Sons) and 'Riding the innovation wave' (Emerald, 2017).


Howie Rush has worked in the field of innovation studies since 1974. A founder member and Head of CENTRIM, he has also been Head of Research Development for the Business School and co-director of. of the ESRC funded Complex Product Systems Innovation Centre. 

As a researcher he has made significant contributes to the field in the areas of socio-economic impacts of information technology, benchmarking of research and technology institutes, the diffusion of new technologies in developing countries, the evaluation of national and regional innovation policies, managing innovation in complex projects, and illegal innovation (cybercrime).

H ehas published over 125 academic papers, has been the Principal Investigator on over 25 major research projects and conducted consultancies for many organizations such the UK Department of Trade and Industry, the World Bank, the European Commission, and United Nations agencies such as the ILO, UNDP, UNESCO, and IFAD.

Joe Tidd

Professor Joe Tidd is a physicist with subsequent degrees in technology policy and business administration. He is Professor of technology and innovation management at SPRU, and visiting Professor at University College London, and previously at Imperial College, Bayes Business School, Copenhagen Business School, and Rotterdam School of Management. Dr Tidd was previously Deputy Director of SPRU, and Head of the Innovation Group and Director of the Executive MBA Programme at Imperial College, and co-creator of the Imperial Distance Learning MBA.

He has worked as policy adviser to the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), presented expert evidence to three Select Committee Enquiries held by the House of Commons and House of Lords, and was the only academic member of the UK Government Innovation Review. He is a founding partner of Management Masters LLP.

He was a researcher for the five-year International Motor Vehicle Program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which identified Lean Production, and has worked on technology and innovation management projects for consultants Arthur D. Little, CAP Gemini and McKinsey, and numerous technology-based firms, including American Express Technology, Applied Materials, ASML, BOC Edwards, BT, Marconi, National Power, NKT, Nortel Networks and Petrobras, and international agencies such as UNESCO in Africa and WHO in Asia. He is the winner of the Price Waterhouse Urwick Medal for contribution to management teaching and research, and the Epton Prize from the R&D Society. 

He has written nine books and more than 100 papers on the management of technology and innovation, including Managing Innovation (seventh edition, 2020, with John Bessant), has 30,000 research citations (Google Scholar), hosts a popular YouTube channel,  and the Innovation Portal which has in excess of a million page visits (Google Analytics). Most of these publications are available from ResearchGate. He is part of the Intrapreneurship Hub, a collaborative venture between Sussex, Bocconi and Renmin business schools. 

He is the founder and Managing Editor of the International Journal of Innovation Management , established in 1997, which is the official journal of International Society of Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM), and Managing Editor of the research series on Technology Management for Imperial College Press, currently with 40 titles.

George Tsekouras

Professor George Tsekouras is Director of CENTRIM, Principal Research Fellow, School of Business and Law and Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.

George has led research on innovation and entrepreneurship. His research includes themes such as managing open innovation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs); linking SMEs with the research base; enabling business development and innovation activities through peer-to-peer learning networks; empower SME growth through innovation coaching; innovation  for non-high tech SMEs; new product development strategies for SMEs; managing and supporting innovation in Social Enterprises; and the life cycle for SMEs. 

George has also worked in various other innovation areas of research such as innovation policies benchmarking, business processes rengineering for SMEs and scenario foresight for innovation.

 Scholarly biography

He was the co-ordinator of the INSPIRE project which investigated best practices for managing Open Innovation in SMEs with the aim to support the professionalization of Open Innovation within SMEs ( George was also the co-ordinator of the SPARK consortium which looked into the role of innovation in Social Enterprises ( 

He was also the co-ordinator of the RAPPORT consortium (, which looked at best practices to connect SMEs to the public research organisations as well as the Public-Private Innovation Partnrships to support innovation for SMEs. 

He also participated in several research projects (smE-MPOWER, Bio smE-MPOWER, CoachCom.2020) investigating the concept of innovation coaching for SMEs. The differences between innovation coaching and other forms of support (mentoring, consultancy etc.) as well as the relation and impact of innovation coaching on business development, organisational development and co-operation were among the issues investigated.  

Previsoulsy he participated in a number of research projects (ION, Knowlaboration, KLAB) investigating the phenomenon of learning networks, especially for the benefit of SMEs. The phenomenon of peer-to-peer learning was central to these considerations. 

George is the Innovation Track Leader for Innovation in the British Academy of Management (BAM). He has presented his work to various international conferences. He is also reviewer for international journals such as Research Policy, Organization Science and Industrial and Corporate Change. 

He has a first degree in mechanical engineering from National Technical University of Athens, a DPhil from SPRU.

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