“Participatory Foresight and Social Innovation”
University of Alicante (Spain). November, 3rd, 2014.


FUTURLAB-Creative Futures (The Laboratory of Foresight at the University of Alicante) started in 2009 with this project of one-day intensive international top-level workshops, understood as an open and collaborative space to share ideas, visions and experiences about innovation for a better future.

The 2014 edition is vindicating Participatory Foresight (Futures Studies as a way to “create” future -instead of “predicting” it- on collaborative basis) and its key role to understand innovation in a more holistic way, as a culture –a way of thinking and living in society- instead of a mere consequence of science and technology.

Collaborative Economy (Uber, Airbnb, etc..) is moving forward, faster than law, unpredictable an unstoppable , seriously affecting the traditional business firms. Participatory Democracy-based political options are growing same way, while civil society is questioning the representative model and current public institutions.

People, mainly young generations, don´t want to choose between a handful of given options anymore; people want to participate –in a direct and sustainable way- in the building of their own future, according with their own expectancies and preferences. And social networking is creating new spaces to make it possible, facilitating and stimulating entrepreneurship.

The future is not what it used to be. This is why Foresight must change to a more participatory-based research in order to provide firms and public institutions of a real and continuous feedback with users (consumers, citizens,etc..)for a better decision-making. The resilience of the current economic, social and political insitutions depends on it.

Here we will start by checking both the Iceland and Finland experiences, because their creative/ entrepreneurial outstanding nature, based on shared visions of the future. Afterwards, will compare them within the European context of innovation and then with other global references like the Silicon Valley model. It is expected some new fresh strategic propositions will be also delivered for our region. Enjoy.


09:00/09:30- Welcome Coffee
09:30/10:00- Presentation
11:00/11:30- Coffee Break
12:30/01:30- World Café/Open Discussion
01:30- Conclusions and Farewell


Riina Subra
Account Manager. Aalto University – Institutional Relations
(Helsinki, FINLAND)

Riina Subra studied political science and philosophy at the University of Helsinki. She has specialized in management work with international organisations, designing projects, strategies and partnerships for UNESCO and the United Nations Development Programme both in the field and in headquarters, in countries like Iran, Ecuador, and USA, among others.

Riina Subra is Account Manager at Institutional Relations Department from Aalto University. Aalto University, a world leading university in the fields of technology, design and innovation was created as a merger of three leading Finnish universities: the Helsinki University of Technology, the Helsinki School of Economics and the University of Art and Design Helsinki. The close collaboration between the scientific, business and arts communities is intended to foster multi-disciplinary education and research.

She also holds the position of Foresight & Advocacy Manager at Aalto Global Impact, a special unit devoted with the aim of bring together the already existing partners working on societal issues and further support them to develop their activities. As Foresight & Advocacy Manager, is responsible for developing multi-disciplinary research and education partnerships and approaches to promote the longer-term societal impact of university collaborations.

Karl Friðriksson
Managing Director. Innovation Center Iceland
(Reijkyavik, ICELAND)

MSC in economics from London University (United Kingdom).
Managing Director of Human Resources & Marketing at Innovation Center Iceland with an expertise of almost 30 years in the fields of marketing, product development and sales experience in both the domestic and international arenas. Specialist at the Innovation Center Iceland in competiveness, and the Center’s contact person in Iceland for the World Economic Forum.

Karl is certified as cluster expert by European Foundation for Cluster Excellence, as project manager by the Project Management Association in Iceland, and as professional project development facilitator by the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA) in the USA. As a consultant have worked with numerous Icelandic companies in structuring product development, and supervised a diverse range of product development projects from the conception of product ideas to marketing strategy. Also in strategic planning, future studies, clusters and applied benchmarking for companies and municipalities.

Author of a host of articles, he hold lectures widely and got involved in the publication of books and journals in the field of management. One outstanding publication would be the book “Product development: from idea to result” (2004) wich was the first specialised book about product development in Iceland. Also “The future – from uncertainty to results” (2007), a book on futures studies that discussed applications of scenarios in strategic planning. And, as co-author, “Managing product development: methodology and results” (2009).

Carsten Claus
CEO at Oberkorn Consulting
(Hamburg, GERMANY)

MA in Cultural Studies. International Consultant, Analyst and Entrepreneur with a background economics & social sciences as well as cultural sciences, studied at the universities of Lueneburg (Germany) and Örebro (Sweden). He has further been a research associate with the chair for Strategic Management at the Leuphana University of Lueneburg, a visiting PhD fellow at the Copenhagen Business School and is a research fellow of FUTURLAB at the University of Alicante, Spain. Visiting Professor of Strategic Management in Lüneburg University and on creativity, innovation and communication at the University of Alicante (Spain). His foothold is both, in praxis and academia as well as in disciplinary intersections. He engages in ´strategy as practice´ research, branding (especially meaning and identity) and foresight.

In praxis his view on branding is ´beyond´ communication: deeply strategic and consumer centric oriented. The entire toolkit of strategic management is his homebase and linked to a deeply cultural informed understanding of what really matters to people, such as situatedness or symbolism. He favours to engage with the world the consumer lives in rather than handing out questionnaires. His focus is on identity & meaning, trends, transformation and future scenarios related to brand positioning. His engagement with branding is thus based on sound insights in each specific context. Incorporating the long term view in today´s context is elementary to successful branding in order to derive more significant products and services.

In 2013 he started his own business: Oberkorn, an international consulting company (operating in UK, Sweden Denmark, Germany, Finland and Iceland) committed with purpose-making as the key factor for brand´s success.

Antonio Hyder
Director of Research. Hackers&Founders, Silicon Valley (Mountain View – California, USA)

International Consultant with a deep international vision and multidisciplinary background in Engineering, Computer Science and Economics, he holds an MBA and an International PhD in Marketing. Additionally to his position at Hackers&Founders, the biggest global group of entrepreneurs located in Mountain View (California), with more than 130.000 members, Antonio is R&D+I Advisor of the European Parliament and the European Commission.

After working in tech-pioneering like Virgin London and he conducted post-doc studies at Stanford University at California, where he worked with the pioneer of online marketing. In 2008 Antonio founded his own company: he is now CEO of Hydermarketing, an scientific marketing consultancy specialised in marketing technological products, innovations, mobile and Internet-based business developed by Small and Medium Enterprises / Startups.

Specialised in technology Science Transfer and Innovation Marketing, Antonio is Assistant Professor at Toulouse Business School, and Visiting Professor at the Universities of Tokyo, Stanford, IESE Barcelona, San Francisco State, Golden Gate San Francisco, Lima, Nottingham, Surrey, Bari, Toulouse, Valencia, Balearic Islands, Alicante, Spanish Chambers of Commerce, Marketing School of Alicante, ENAE Murcia and Fundesem Business School in Alicante.


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