Innovation and Global Issues

An international conference on innovation and entrepreneurship education was held at the Technion as part of activity of GNAM, a network of 28 business schools

The Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), established by Yale School of Management, chose Technion for the Unconference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education, chaired by Prof. Miriam Erez, in August 2016. The Unconference structure allowed all participants to take an active part in the discussions. 50 representatives from 19 business schools around the world, participated in the Unconference, including Deans, faculty members, students and alumni.

The conference participants discussed the content and methods of innovation and entrepreneurship education. A visit to one accelerator – MassChallenge Israel, and one venture capital – JVP, in Jerusalem, provided the opportunity to learn about the “start-up nation”.

Participants witnessed an exciting and unexpected meeting between an entrepreneur from Nigeria, who is at the MassChallenge Israel, and the Dean of the School of Management from Nigeria. This event was said to demonstrate the open and welcoming atmosphere of the entrepreneurship community in Israel. “An atmosphere of sharing and harmony was created among the conference partricipants,” said Prof. Erez, “which will form the basis for further fruitful cooperation between the schools for the benefit of the students, faculty and academic institutions.”

The Technion MBA Program was involved in the establishment of GNAM in 2012. The network currently includes 28 business schools. The aim is the promotion of innovation and generation of value by forging ties among these schools.

Prof. Edward Snyder, Dean of the Yale School of Management, said that the GNAM network is based on mutual respect, equality (“the network belongs to everyone, not to Yale University”), and the principle that no fee is charged for the exchange of information. “This creates a community of friends that fosters innovation and collaboration,” he said.

Prof. Avishai Mandelbaum, Dean of the Technion Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, told participants that the faculty leads entrepreneurship at the Technion and promotes unique interdisciplinary pairings: management and engineering; economics and computer engineering; service engineering and Big Data.

The current conference was designed to explore issues related to innovation and entrepreneurship education. Prof. Erez stressed that graduates of Business Administration programs currently manage global companies and, therefore, an international network that offers students intercultural encounters and the opportunity to take part in multicultural work groups gives Technion a unique value.

“As part of the cooperation between the schools, we hold an annual joint program in which around 40 students from around the world come to the Technion for Start-up Nation Week, which focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation. At the same time, our students attend intensive one-week programs at schools abroad. This is how the global network develops, and the Technion’s MBA students are part of it.”