Hosted by: MIT Lab for Innovation Science and Policy

Lab Lunch is a seminar series that intersects the study of innovation with its practice as part of the MIT’s Lab for Innovation Science and Policy. Bringing together graduate students from a diverse range of disciplines, seminars examine the innovation process from the perspective of different fields with the objective of catalyzing a discussion about how best to study and understand innovation in different context. 

The next seminar will look at the methods and research applications in the study of learning patterns of innovation policy makers across countries and social interaction within teams, divisions and locations.

Speakers include:

  • Mart Laatsit, Visiting Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management and a doctoral researcher and lecturer at Copenhagen Business School. Laatsit previously served as the Head of Innovation Policy of Estonia and was a representative at several European Union and OECD innovation policy committees, inter alia the Chair of European Commission Task-Force on Innovation Procurement. His current research focuses on evaluations of innovation systems and policy learning networks. He holds a master’s degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
  • Oren Lederman, PhD student in the Human Dynamics group at the MIT Media Lab. He holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Economics from Tel-Aviv University, Israel, and a masters degree in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab. He is currently studying group dynamics and behavioral change in innovation teams using wearable devices.


Thursday, December 7, 2017
12:00–1:30 pm

MIT Innovation Initiative/Lab for Innovation Science and Policy
One Broadway, 12th Floor (E70)
Cambridge, MA 02142

Lunch will be served. Please bring an ID and check-in at the security desk in the main lobby upon arrival. 


Questions? Contact

Speaker Abstracts

Mart Laatsit
Title: Never Talk to Your Competitors! – Policy Learning Networks in Europe

Abstract: Innovation policy makers are under pressure to develop policies that help them stay ahead of their peers in the global race for competitiveness. Like companies choose between different entrepreneurial strategies, governments have to find a balance between competition and cooperation. Our aim is to discover how these choices are reflected in the policy learning patterns of policy makers – how extensively do they discuss policy with their peers and who are they most likely to exchange information with? Would one discuss policy with the best in the field or rather talk to the most similar countries? Are national policy makers more likely to reach out to their immediate neighbours or would they look further for alternative approaches? We use data from interviews with the senior innovation policy managers of 28 European Union Member States and map the policy learning patterns in Europe. Asking about the communication networks we rank the most central among the peers, identify the ties of information-sharing and visualise the clusters of mutual learning. The findings serve to develop and improve policies for intergovernmental learning, providing for better policy learning opportunities among countries.

Oren Lederman
Title: Rhythm: A Unified Measurement Platform for Human Organizations

Abstract: To understand and manage organizations, we must develop tools capable of measuring human social interaction accurately and uniformly. In this talk, I describe Rhythm, a platform that combines wearable electronic badges and online applications to capture team-level and network-level interaction patterns in organizations. The platform measures conversation time, turn-taking behavior, and the physical proximity of both co-located and distributed members. My work has two main goals – first, to empower organizations and researchers to measure formal and informal social interaction across teams, divisions, and locations. Second, to use the technology to study group dynamics and inter-team interaction, mainly in early startups and innovative environments.