The role of universities in transforming the economy and generating well-being in society has typically been assumed by the responsibilities of education and research, the two fundamental dimensions that are at the core of the existence of a higher education system.

The truth is that universities have long since realized that their mission also extends beyond these two major responsibilities and that there is an additional duty to ensure that the knowledge and talent developed within the campus can be put at the service of major societal challenges and can contribute to generating impact.

Without prejudice to other vectors of this community service activity that we develop, at Nova SBE we believe that innovation is perhaps the most effective, impactful, and transformative way for schools to contribute to the harmonious, inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous development of our society. We truly believe that we have this duty; that we have a "role to play" both as a public school and as a center of knowledge and talent. We believe, even more, that this duty is associated with our vocation to be open to society, with our capacity to transcend our walls (which do not exist in the new Carcavelos campus ) and to work collaboratively with companies, public entities, non-governmental organizations, and citizens in general.

The creation a year ago of the Nova SBE Innovation Ecosystem has sought to materialize this notion of purpose that we can and should be a school dedicated to building a sustainable and better future for all. And that the only way we can do this is through collaboration, openness to society, and an obsession for impactful innovation.

I was fortunate to be invited by Daniel Tra├ža and Pedro Brito to lead this project and I quickly realized that Nova SBE is a very special place - more than a place, an idea. They asked me to structure and systematize this work of collaboration with companies, public entities, and NGOs into a platform that could be more effective and more efficient in generating impact and shared value. I was asked to move away from the "theater" and "fireworks" of innovation that often characterize the collaboration between universities and companies and to focus, discreetly but effectively, on experimenting with new forms of open and collaborative innovation, with new working models, new methodologies, and new models of "engagement" (and also new business models, in this relationship with companies) that effectively serve society, helping to generate new products, new services, new business models, new value propositions that contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of our economy. Even more: new value propositions that define competitiveness from the construction of new "use cases" and new "business cases" for sustainability. We believe it is possible and we will not rest until we achieve it.

But if in the Innovation Ecosystem we clearly have the purpose of serving society through innovation and the valorization of knowledge, the truth is that we also have a great responsibility towards the school itself: to generate from these innovation projects with companies, public entities, and NGOs, new learning spaces and new research spaces that also serve our students and our teachers and researchers.

These are truly our superheroes and our superpowers. And the way we believe in our teaching-learning model, which is based on a close relationship with companies - we assume our vocation as a business and economics school - motivates us to create new contexts and new learning circumstances that allow our students and our teachers to develop skills and knowledge oriented to practice, to the new challenges of disruption and with a strong orientation towards solutions. In other words, through the Innovation Ecosystem we are also "feeding" our primary missions: educating and researching. Basically, we establish innovation days with companies, public entities, and NGOs, involving students, teachers, start-ups and peers in a community of innovators based on open and collaborative innovation dynamics, oriented towards impact and the creation of shared value.

This is one year of Innovation Ecosystem. And we are not satisfied at all. We can and we must do more. We can and we must be more capable of mobilizing the Nova SBE community and we can and we must be more capable of attracting more external partners. Our obsession for generating impact, associated with the urgency and magnitude of the great societal challenges ahead, show us that we have no time to lose and that we have to scale the capacity of the Nova SBE Innovation Ecosystem to become a great platform, a great "living lab" to experiment with products, services, business models and value propositions that will create a better, more sustainable, more inclusive and more prosperous world.

I strongly believe that the "university-as-a-platform" model will be profoundly capable of generating this quantum leap in impact, and that from the Nova SBE we will be able to co-create new and better disruptions.

Thank you to everyone who believed and believes in this idea, in this vision. To the different teams of the Innovation Ecosystem, who have been an example of perseverance and passion. Thank you to everyone in the school who has been directly and indirectly involved. Thank you to all the partners who have believed in this experience.

After one year, and at a time when the school is entering a new phase in its history, the Innovation Ecosystem is finally ready to start dreaming all over again.

ÔÇŹ

Remember the inauguration of Nova SBE Innovation Ecosystem here.

Do you know our
Nova SBE Innovation Ecosystem?
Published in 
24/11/2022
 in the area of 
Innovation & Change

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