Pre-Conference Workshops

IRI offers hands on learning led by real world experts with our Pre-Conference Workshops that take place the first day (April 29, 2019) of the Annual Conference. Can’t attend the Annual Conference? You can still attend one of these workshops to gain valuable insights and applicable knowledge for your Innovation Projects.

Innovation Bootcamp

IRI Members – $600, Non Members – $700

This practical one-day workshop is designed for professionals new to R&D, high potential employees with the capacity to become managers within a few years and persons interested in learning effective innovation leadership concepts. Led by former Praxair CTO and former IRI chair Steven Lerner, and Lux Research senior analyst, Matthew Wagner, Students will gain a broader perspective on innovation designed to help them on-board more rapidly, perform better, and create more value for their organizations. Each section will start with a posed question to stimulate engagement and thought, and to understand the current state of innovation in participants’ firms. We will then move to a discussion of best practices/principles with group exercises. Additionally, students will be assigned to a mentor who will be available to help apply the learnings of the workshop to their future projects, and how the content of the Annual Conference applies to and builds on them.


  • The role of innovation – “Why innovate” (relation to strategy, skills, needs, etc.)
  • Types of innovation projects and how to identify new projects
  • How projects are evaluated and selected (value prop, market potential, competitors, etc.)
  • Establishing a portfolio given robust choices  
  • Managing the work and innovation processes –  from conception to commercialization
  • Shortening the critical path (agile, lean, scrum, etc)
  • Understanding risk (IP, market position, strategic relationships, etc)
  • Maximizing competitive advantage

Exploring the Future of Intelligent Systems using Foresight

IRI Members – $550, Non Members – $650

Wondering what artificial intelligence, autonomous robots, and smart systems will mean for you, your company, your industry, and even society as a whole? Wishing you had a structured way to think about the future of these technologies and help your company plan for how to leverage them? Did you miss SPRINGBOARD last fall and are you interested in learning more about foresight? In this pre-conference workshop, SPRING program leaders Jim Redden and Tom Culver will teach you how to use basic SPRING foresighting tools, provide an overview of trends in intelligent systems technologies, and help you explore the implications of emerging intelligent systems trends for your organization. Through hands-on learning, you will immerse in the drivers of change shaping the future of intelligent systems, use critical uncertainties to create alternate future scenarios, and uncover critical insights about the impacts of possible futures for your organization.  

Who should attend?

  • Business, R&D, strategy, and risk management leaders interested in incorporating intelligent systems into their long-term strategy
  • Those tasked with envisioning or implementing digital transformation for their organization
  • R&D leaders interested in building or deploying intelligent systems to support business objectives
  • New Product Development leaders interested in how intelligent systems may shape customer behavior
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to use foresight tools and techniques to use emerging trends to envision alternate futures

By the end of the workshop, you will:

  • Have your current perceptions and mental models about the future challenged or changed;
  • Have engaged with a network of IRI peers who are also planning for the future of intelligent systems;
  • Be better prepared to deal with the uncertainty in the intelligent systems landscape;
  • Understand the key drivers of change impacting the future of intelligent systems;
  • Learn simple foresight tools for creating future scenarios;
  • Create multiple alternate future scenarios work with peers to examine their implications; and
  • Be able to return to your organization and begin to incorporate foresight into your planning process.

As a participant in the workshop, you will receive:

  • An introduction to foresighting tools and a structured foresighting process;
  • A set of curated learning modules covering a range of intelligent systems topics;
  • A complete set of drivers of change that will shape the future of intelligent systems; and
  • Guided planning worksheets to help you think about and plan for next steps in your organization.

Servitization for Manufacturers

IRI Members – $499, Non Members – $625

The Aston Skills for Servitization course is designed to help manufacturing companies understand the potential for moving from a product-led to a services-led business model. It is based on over a decade of research at Aston University on advanced services. We will introduce frameworks for thinking about advanced services and use interactive exercises to help participants think through the strategic and tactical issues for their corporations. The specific learning objectives are:

  1. Provide participants with concepts, models and frameworks for assessing advanced services as a growth strategy
  2. Understand common customer value propositions for advanced services
  3. Understand the servitization ladder of business models
  4. Help participants identify those businesses and segments with the greatest potential to benefit from advanced services
  5. Identify typical paths to servitization

You may register for any of these workshops by visiting our registration page. These workshops require a separate registration fee from the Annual Conference.

Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
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