Creativity and Innovation: Processes and Context

Date: 30 January 2020

Time: 17:00 – 18:00 (followed by a small reception)

Place: LLC Commons, Webster University Geneva


A panel discussion with Dr. Pierpaolo Andriani, Kedge Business School, France, and Dr. Renata Kaminska, SKEMA Business School and the University Côte d’Azur, France, part of the Creativity and Innovation Lecture Series organized by the Webster Center for Creativity and Innovation (WCCI).


You are warmly invited to a panel discussion dedicated to the theme of key processes of and enabling contexts for creativity and innovation. Our two experts will offer a short presentation each, one focused on processes and in particular ‘reverse innovation’, a talk given by Dr. Pierpaolo Andriani, and another unpacking the role of context for creativity and what might contribute to developing more creative cities, a talk by Dr. Renata Kaminska. The discussion will focus on the relation between context and process in creativity and innovation and will be moderated by Dr. Vlad Glaveanu, Webster University Geneva.


This is a free event, but we kindly ask that you register HERE


Short abstracts for each presentation and speaker bios are offered below:


Reverse Innovation

This seminar discusses innovations driven by reverse questions. In reverse innovation, products and technologies are seen as solutions to not yet solved problems rather than the other way around. The evidence for reverse innovation is pervasive in the history of artefacts but has received only marginal attention in the literature. We are going to show that artefacts, be they technologies, capabilities or else, have an inherent (and unpredictable) creative potential which, in the history of technology, is revealed by numerous accounts of serendipitous discoveries and technologies suddenly bifurcating into new trajectories responsible for the emergence of entirely new markets. This creative potential consists in the appearance of novel functions for which the artefacts were not originally designed or selected for. In other terms, in a reverse question, a new function emerges from an existing artefact and not the other way around. Reverse questions are important because they “reveal what we don’t know that we don’t know” (Wiener, 1993: xx). The result is learning to approach innovation problem from a new and complementary viewpoint than traditional innovation approaches.


Pierpaolo Andriani is Professor in Complexity and Innovation Management at Kedge Business School, France. He got his BA/MSc in Physics. He started his career as scientist in industrial R&D in Italy where he was project manager for various European research and development projects in the laser industry. Then he moved to Academia and received his Ph.D. in social sciences from Durham University, UK. His research interests are focused on the impact of complexity and evolutionary theory on innovation. His research has been published in journals such as Organization Science, Journal of International Business Studies, Research Policy, Long Range Planning and Complexity. His full publication profile can be found here.


Towards more creative cities

Since there is a growing consensus that artistic creativity and culture are catalysts of regional attractiveness and urban development, it seems only natural that public policy should focus on the creation of contexts allowing local artists to thrive. Ironically, though, oftentimes local authorities fail to understand artists’ needs and end up suppressing rather than enabling creativity. Research showed that creativity in cities originates in the middleground, a space between formal institutions (e.g. firms, art schools, research centers) and individual creatives (artists, researchers) who are not directly linked to any business or institutional ecosystems. But, the emergence of the middleground, where networks form and connections are made, may sometimes be a conflictual process, full of tensions and misunderstandings between the artists and the local authorities, each having a different conception of culture or ideas about how to occupy public space. On the example of Nice and with a particular focus on the role played by the independent carnival of Saint Roch, Dr. Kaminska will show the role that middleground plays in making a link between artistic and cultural creation, and why this is important in the cities today.


Renata Kaminska is Director of the Master 2 specialization in Research in Management and Innovation at SKEMA Business School and the University Côte d’Azur. She teaches and writes about organizational dynamics, creativity and innovation. She recently participated in a research project exploring career paths and networks of artists on the French Riviera. She developed a particular interest in the emergence of the creative spaces in Nice and its impact on the artistic and cultural vitality of the French Riviera region. Dr. Kaminska received her BA in literature from The University of Western Ontario (Canada) and her PhD in management from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Webster University Geneva, Living and Learning Center (LLC)
Route de Collex 9 1293 Bellevue, Switzerland

Event Type

Global Campuses, Geneva



Webster University Geneva
Google Calendar iCal Outlook