Course description

The Crowd, The Cloud, and Sustainable Innovation

Introduction

Unbridled advances in technology and connectedness have transformed the relationship between companies, customers, and competitors.  With this transformation, the lines between business relationships, social connections, and competitive advantage are increasingly connected to one another.  Thus, companies across all industries and size classes—from established industry giants to high-growth companies in new technology areas—require the skills and knowledge to strategically harness the power of “the crowd and the cloud”.  This course addresses the distinct challenges and opportunities posed by the confluence of digital community, powerful and expanding data gathering and analytics, and the intertwining of technological change and business models. 

This course is relevant for students seeking to expand their skills in harnessing insights from real-time change for the development of powerful and adaptable decision-making and innovation. This class will draw upon current topics including: the crowdsourcing of innovation in established firms and new entrants; the use of technological connectedness and social media strategies in developing innovative user communities; the challenges and opportunities of co-creation; and the emergence of crowd-based funding as a financial tool for launching new projects.  The course relies on case analysis and class discussions focused on applying analytical skills to challenges and opportunities in current contexts.

Course content

The course content includes:

  • Crowd, Cloud, and Strategy: the crowd in strategy and innovation, big data and strategy, how do current innovation models adapt to digital trends
  • Leveraging the Cloud: Killer apps, “software is eating the world” and strategy
  • Strategic crowdsourcing, innovation, and entrepreneurship: ideas from the crowd, user innovation and user entrepreneurship, open innovation models
  • Strategically leveraging the cloud in analytics: big data, cloud computing, data analytics
  • Crowdfunding and innovation: debt and product-based crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding
  • Digital trends and multisided platforms: platform-based models, invention platforms,
  • Digital universe, power of big data: impact across industries, e.g., digital health, fintech, renewables
  • Sustainable innovation: using open innovation for sustainability, tackling big challenges, invention platforms

Learning outcome knowledge

  • Students will learn to identify the strategic value of crowd-based models of innovation and product development. 
  • Students will become knowledgeable about the widespread impact of cloud-computing and big data
  • Students will learn to understand the importance of data analytics in strategy formulation

Exam organisation

  • Class participation: 30%
  • Blog production: 20%
  • Written assignment: 50%