Connecting creative people

Connecting creative people

Why you should attend the Ispim Connects Bangkok 2020 innovation conference. By Detlef Reis

The Ispim Connects Bangkok 2020 innovation conference will stop by in Bangkok from March 1-4, 2020. Both my current alma mater, the Institute for Knowledge & Innovation, South-East Asia (IKI-SEA), Bangkok University, and my innovation company Thinkergy are local partners helping the organisers create an engaging, memorable event.

If you're interested in the field of innovation, Ispim Bangkok 2020 is an event you won't want to miss. Ispim is the International Society for Professional Innovation Management, a non-profit organisation that aims to advance knowledge and practice in the domain of innovation management.

Formed in Norway in 1983, it is the oldest, largest, and most active truly international innovation network.

Who typically attends an Ispim conference? While these sessions are similar to a typical academic conference where scholars present their research findings to peers, with academic-track sessions forming a key pillar of the conference programme, they are also supplemented by a wide range of practitioner-oriented keynote addresses, panel discussions, workshops, excursions and other activities.

Thanks to their heterogeneous programmes, Ispim conferences also attract lots of participants from industry and the public sector, as well as experts, consultants and practitioners working in the innovation field.

This mix of people from different organisational environments is a key success factor, as the diversity of expertise and interests encourages fresh learning, boundary-crossing knowledge exchange, and discovery of new opportunities for collaboration.


Ispim goes beyond being a vanilla academic conference by providing a myriad of different delivery formats to convey knowledge and practical expertise in innovation. Ispim Connects Bangkok will feature:

Interesting keynote talks and plenum presentations from a mix of international innovation speakers (sharing global innovation insights and emerging trends) and local innovation practitioners (presenting success stories from Thailand and other Asean countries).

Panel discussions that translate and discuss themes from the keynote talks in a Southeast Asian context.

Innovation challenges posed by local organisations but with global relevance, which delegates will work to resolve in multicultural, multidisciplinary teams during two afternoon sessions.

Several workshops where innovation practitioners share up-and-coming innovation classifications, tools and initiatives.

Innovation tours where smaller groups of delegates visit innovative organisations and spaces in Bangkok to showcase Thai "best practice" and "proudly created here" initiatives.

One to two dozen parallel academic presentation sessions (grouped into related topic areas such as "open innovation" or "design thinking") where innovation scholars present their latest research.

A Junior Researchers Lab where PhD candidates and young post-doctoral researchers can connect with -- and learn from -- world-class innovation researchers and journal publishers.

There are many other reasons why you should attend Ispim Connects Bangkok 2020, among them:

1. Present and publish your research: Ispim Connects Bangkok offers academics in the innovation field a chance to present their research to a high-quality audience of academics and innovation practitioners, which guarantees mind-expanding questions and quality feedback in the Q&A ending each presentation session.

They can also publish their research in the conference proceedings (with an ISBN and included online in the EBSCOhost and ProQuest databases) and, with a bit of luck, even in one of the nine international journals associated with Ispim.

2. Realise you're not alone: One of the loneliest groups of people in the world is PhD candidates, who work for 3-5 years on an increasingly narrow research topic that no one in their environment seems to understand in all its intricacies.

Are you pursuing a PhD in innovation (or considering doing so)? At the the Junior Researchers Lab you can connect with other doctoral students, to share know-how, tips, and frustrations, and to get advice from top scholars and editors of academic journals who once walked in your shoes and wish to help you succeed.

3. Learn and share: What does everyone working at the forefront of change regularly need? Up-to-date knowledge and fresh inspirations.

Regardless of whether you're an academic or practitioner from industry, the public sector or the innovation domain, attending an Ispim conference for three or four days will provide you with plenty of fresh "dots" to connect. You will learn about current hot topics and emerging new trends and initiatives in the innovation domain.

4. Network and connect: Attending an Ispim conference is a fantastic opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded peers, to reach out to accomplished academic luminaries and well-known innovation experts, and to spot new opportunities for collaboration in academia and business. And guess what? Some delegates met and connected at an Ispim conference, fell in love with each other, and got married.

5. Enjoy the action and have fun: One of the success secrets of the Ispim conferences is the social events that take place in the evening.

Delegates go to exclusive venues or take cruises to dine and drink, sing and dance, talk and joke -- and to make friends. The first social evening also features the Ispim awards ceremony, where a few lucky delegates win awards for their outstanding research papers and innovation contributions.

Dr Detlef Reis is the founding director and chief ideator of Thinkergy, the "Know how to Wow" Innovation Company in Asia and beyond. He is also an assistant professor at the Institute for Knowledge & Innovation - Southeast Asia at Bangkok University, and an adjunct associate professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University. Email

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