Hosted by: MIT Innovation Initiative, MIT Lab for Innovation Science and Policy & MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program 

MIT iEcosystem Symposium
October 12 – 13, 2017 
Tech Square @ MIT
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The MIT Innovation Ecosystem (iEcosystem) Symposium will bring a global community of practitioners from industry, risk capital, startups, academia, and government, together with thought leaders and scholars to explore the implementation of novel models, programs, and initiatives that enhance economic growth and social progress in innovation ecosystems.

The goal of the symposium is to learn from both successes and failures and to maximize collective impact in research and practice, exploring “what’s best” today and “what’s next” on the frontier. The overarching emphasis will be on the models, programs, and initiatives that develop, drive, and inform innovation ecosystems and the roles multi-stakeholder leadership plays in advancing them both individually and collectively.

  • Immersed in the Ecosystem. Home to MIT labs, makerspaces, and industry alike, the symposium will be held in the heart of Tech Square, an innovation ecosystem it aims to foster.
  • Broad Base of Inputs. Through a call for concepts soliciting novels models from around the world, the symposium tracks will be defined by the submissions received and will draw from them to coalesce and disseminate best practices and new ideas.
  • Desired Outcomes. The symposium aims to compile a resource regarding the inputs, outputs, and impacts of effective I&E models, programs, and initiatives, making available the top 30 concept papers describing novel, action-oriented programs (including their design, implementation challenges and metrics for evaluation), and identifying concrete, new focus areas for future research.

The time is right to share our learnings, build community, and explore what the future of innovation ecosystem models might look like. Join us to participate in the discussion. 


October 12 – 13, 2017
Tech Square @ MIT
Cambridge, MA


(Times and agenda are subject to change. Check back often for the latest update.)

Day One: Thursday, October 12

  • 10:30 am Registration (The Atrium @ 100 Technology Square)
  • 11:00 am Poster Session & Lunch Bridge to Mass Challenge; Canberra Innovation Network; Cambridge Innovation Center; COMPETinnova-Innovation Competition; Ecosystem i2e @ Distro Tec; Experiment Peru; FIEMG Lb Novos Negocios; Fraunhofer TechBridge Program; Galway City Innovation District; Greentown Labs; Growth Readiness Program; Hebei Innovation Cluster; InnovateNC; JEDDI; LAJE-Innovation Platform; MaRS: EXCITE & BAP+MDC; MAR.TE.; MIT D-Lab; MIT Global Startup Workshop; MIT IDE Inclusive Innovation Challenge; MIT IDEAS Global Challenge; MIT linQ Catalyst Program; NESTA/Global Innovation Policy Accelerator; Northeast Clean Energy Council & NECC Institute; Quorum at the University City Science Center; REAP Madrid Innovation Driven Ecosystem; REAP One Lagos Skill Acceleration Program; Ruta N; RWTH Aachen Campus; Sella Lab FinTech District; Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab; Student & Innovation House Denmark; The Runway Startup Postdoc Program; UIIN Professional Education Program; University Sorbonne Paris Cite Scientific Cartography; Village Capital Communities; Wallonia-Brussels: The Research & Innovation Platform
  • 12:30 pm Welcome (Ragon Institute @ 400 Technology Square)
  • 12:40 pm Keynote Stephen Forte, Laudato Si Challenge, Fresco
  • 1:00 pm Panel: How Ecosystem Orchestrators Create the Conditions for Inclusive Innovation and Social Impact Gary White, Black Start Innovation; Barrie Grinberg, Venture for America; Lee Wellington, Urban Manufacturing Alliance; Steve Grossman, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (chair)
  • 2:00 pm Program Evaluation & Benchmarks Yael Hochberg, Rice University; Dan Fehder, University of Southern California
  • 2:45 pm The Startup Cartography Project Scott Stern, MIT Sloan; Jorge Guzman, NBER
  • 3:30 pm Panel: The Power of Place: Buildings and Cities as Canvases for Ecosystem Engagement Carlos Cubillos, Gensler; Erik Ubels, OVG Real Estate; Salomon Salinas, Global Connected Spaces, Accenture Digital; Albert Saiz, MIT (chair)
  • 4:15 pm Fireside Chat: From Pilot Experiments to Collective Impact: Choosing Among Alternative Models for Effecting Change Jan Rivkin, Harvard Business School; Mark Kramer, FSG
  • 5:15 pm Reception (The Atrium @ 100 Technology Square / ends at 7:00 pm)

Day Two: Friday, October 13

  • 8:00 am Breakfast (Ragon Institute @ 400 Technology Square)
  • 8:30 am Fireside Chat Sheila Herrling, Case Foundation
  • 9:00 am Panel: The Potential of Gender Balance: What’s Next in Bridging the Gender Gap Georgene Huang, Fairygodboss; Amal Dokhan, Babson Global for Entrepreneurial Leadership; Jessica Faieta, United Nations Talent Development; Chandra Briggman, Venture Café Cambridge (chair)
  • 9:45 am Innovation Ecosystem Framework & Metrics Fiona Murray and Phil Budden, MIT Sloan
  • 10:15 am Go Hack! Bill Aulet, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
  • 10:45 am Track Breakout Sessions Ideas to Impact, Entrepreneurship Programs, Ecosystem Orchestrators (Beaver Works @ 300 Technology Square, Ragon Institute @ 400 Technology Square, Synthetic Biology Classroom @ 500 Technology Square)
  • 11:15 am Symposium Challenge: Mini-Hackathon
  • 12:30 pm Working Lunch
  • 1:15 pm Judging
  • 2:30 pm Closing Program (Ragon Institute @ 400 Technology Square)
  • 3:00 pm Closing Keynote Paul Smyke, World Economic Forum
  • 3:30 pm Symposium Ends


> Online registration is now closed. If you haven’t registered yet and would like to attend, we will be accepting walk-ins at the registration table on-site.

> To see the current list of registrants, click here.

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