Thursday, October 20, 2016

Jerusalem Post article: about De-know-polization by Prof. Yesha Sivan

Let us begin with a fundamental observation of the “de-monopolization” of knowledge, a.k.a. "de-know-polization." Until the end of the 20th century, universities were the societal leaders in the creation, transfer and usage of knowledge. Today, however, this historical role is fundamentally changing.

Most universities are no longer the best place to do research and teach. Their societal service as hubs of knowledge and innovation can be done more effectively elsewhere. What used to be their natural monopoly is currently under attack.

De-know-polization is both a cause for and a response to the disruption of this old monopoly, rising from globalization and digitization. As de-know-polization reveals itself, university leaders will need to take actions, and justify these actions to their public and private funders, including students paying tuition and taxpayers.

Taxpayers will ask how does university research affect our quality of life? Why do we need to fund professors' travel and publishing papers that have little relevance to our society? On the other hand, students, their parents, and other funders of education will ask where is the best place to learn? Who gives the best value for the investment?

Where is the best place to do research in computer science? The answer is probably Google, Facebook, Microsoft or IBM. The livelihood of such firms depends on new products and services that stem from their research. Their researchers do not have to teach; they usually have the needed resources of time, money and equipment – and they have business managers that push for value. Private firms, or dedicated research organizations, seem like a better answer than the usual university faculty-driven research or labs.

Most university teaching is akin to horses in the ages of cars. An extra-terrestrial observer will wonder why we keep putting people into the same lackluster context of ineffectiveness potentially causing torture by boredom. The classical model of several students listening to a lecture in the same room is tired, often resulting in only a quarter of students listening, a quarter spending their time on Facebook or Tinder, a quarter sleeping or dreaming based on the previous apps, and the rest are not even in class. Online education, including massive open online courses, is but a small step in the right direction.

Universities that will continue with “older” teaching methods and not embrace the new tools will not be able to justify their funding.

Moreover, assuming that we need to fund teaching – shouldn’t we fund it in the best place possible? Could not-for-profits provide a better social service than researchers that also need to teach? Why invest in a ‘jack of all trades’ rather than a ‘master of one’?

What about societal service? We cannot anymore justify the public investment in universities in the age of globalization and digitization. Capital and people are flowing to the best place for their goals. There is much less reason to be near a university anymore, and funding a university with the hope of getting good jobs and firms only diverts resources from other, more effective policy actions – like lower tax with direct impact on business, or enhancing quality of life, itself a pull for economic growth.

Our message to university leaders and policy-makers, further elaborated in the recent issue of Coller Venture Review is to be aware of the various threats and opportunities, particularly when it comes to the evolving role of universities within the evolving venture ecosystem. Don't think business is as usual – seek new models for research, teaching and service. A plan of no action will lead to an inevitable demise. Business as usual now means no business at all in the future. Better you lead the change, than let the change lead you.

Prof. Yesha Sivan is an Executive Director, Coller Institute of Venture, Tel Aviv University. Coller Institute is a member of IATI (Israel Advanced Technology Industries)

Monday, October 10, 2016

9..10-Nov-2016: Prof. Sivan talk at the EBRD conference in Budapest: Reinvigorating Growth, Competitiveness and Investment

EBRD conference: Reinvigorating Growth, Competitiveness and Investment - The EU from the Baltics, through Central Europe, to the Mediterranean

When:  09 - 10 Nov 2016
Where: Budapest, Hungary

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is organising a conference in Budapest on 9-10 November 2016 with the support of the Hungarian government on how to reinvigorate growth and investment in the EU member states where the Bank invests.

Opening addresses by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti will be followed by a high-level panel discussion moderated by Simeon Djankov, former Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. His guest speakers will include Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria. Four separate discussion panels will follow – on finance, infrastructure, innovation and productivity, and the green economy.

Prof. Sivan's talk is on the panel: Innovation and Productivity Growth

Long-term economic growth depends crucially on the innovative capacity of economies. In countries close to the technological frontier, innovation mostly takes the form of firms inventing new products and technologies. In countries further from the frontier, firms can catch up by simply adopting and adapting technologies that have been developed elsewhere. This session will discuss how EU countries can reignite growth by fostering both frontier and adaptive innovation. A special emphasis will be placed on the role that governments should play. Are they passive facilitators or is there room for a more active involvement? And if so, which conditions need for these more pro-active (industrial) policies to pay off?


  • Vince Cable, former UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills and Member of Parliament
  • Chiara Criscuolo, Head, Structural Policy Division, Science, Technology & Industry Directorate, OECD
  • Prof. Yesha Sivan, Executive Director, The Coller Institute of Venture, Tel Aviv University; founder of Metaverse Labs

The conference will conclude with a joint session on “Growth and Inclusion”, chaired by incoming EBRD Chief Economist Sergei Guriev.

The event will bring together senior representatives from governments, international institutions, the business community and academia from the region and beyond.

The conference will provide important insights into developments in the region as well as opportunities for high-profile meetings and networking.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

23..24-Oct-2016: Prof. Sivan to keynote on Innovation in IKMAP conference (Japan 2016)

Prof. Yesha Sivan will participate as a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Innovation and Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific (IKMAP 2016).

Follow IKMAP website here for further updates, information and registration.


This international KM conference started in 2004 (KMAP), has now been renamed as “International Conference on Innovation and Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific (IKMAP)” to include the important element of “innovation management”.

This year’s conference is co-organized by Japan Intellectual Capital Management Association (Japan) and the Knowledge Management and Innovation Research Centre (KMIRC) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong), and will be held in Kobe, an important port city and also one of the most attractive cities in Japan.

The conference aims to:

  • provide a cross-cultural platform for the Knowledge Management practitioners and academics in Asia to network with their counterparts in the West and vice versa.
  • discuss the topics of mutual interests and navigate together the next generation of Knowledge and Innovation Management.
  • enhance international networking and collaborations

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

23-Aug-2016: Prof. Sivan talk on HK Innovation for the Market Research Society

Tuesday 23rd August 2016

We are pleased to announce that the Market Research Society of Hong Kong will be holding its next event on Tuesday 23rd August from 6pm to 8pm in Causeway Bay.

At this event, we have great pleasure in inviting an international speaker to Hong Kong on the subject of Innovating in Hong Kong by Professor Yesha Sivan.

With the Hong Kong society as the backdrop, Yesha will talk about some of the trends that innovate innovation and how Hong Kong can benefit from these with what he calls "Hong Kong 3.0". In his presentation, he will show that innovation is more than ideas; it is the realization of these ideas into solutions that create value (for various stakeholders: Customers, Employees, Partners, Shareholders and the like).

Professor Yesha Sivan is the executive director of the Coller Institute of Venture at Tel Aviv University, Coller School of Management and a visiting professor of innovation & venture at the School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he is looking at leadership of innovation as well as working with the local Hong Kong venture ecosystem.

He is also the founder of the Metaverse Labs (MVL), a leading think tank focusing on innovation via virtual and the real world.

The event is open to all Market Researchers and their interested guests. MRSHK members are free of charge; while there will be a fee of HK$ 180 for non-members (fully deductible from membership fees when signing up for the MRSHK membership 2016-2017).

The presentation will be followed by networking drinks hosted by the MRSHK Committee and ESOMAR. The address for this event is:

Manchester Business School | East Asia International Centre
1203 The Lee Gardens
33 Hysan Avenue. Causeway Bay. Hong Kong
(T) +852 2588 5013

The reception starts at 6pm and the speaker session starts at 6.30pm. To help us with planning the numbers for this event, please RSVP to the Secretary for Membership Relations Mr. Chee Ngai Ng ( before latest 2pm Friday 19th August.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Yours Sincerely,
Chris Farquhar
Chairman MRSHK

See also on:

Sunday, June 05, 2016

29-June-2016: Public HK 3.0 Talk - The Leadership Needed for Hong Kong 3.0

“HK3.0” represents another economic focus for HK: It continues the transformation from trading (HK 0.0) to manufacturing (HK 1.0) to services (HK 2.0). My claim is simple, Hong Kong needs another transformation to maintain its unique edge as a global quality city. Complacency is detrimental when competing with the likes of Shenzhen, South Korea, Singapore, Shanghai, and other players. A specific direction must be found – I believe “innovation” is the next economic focus (HK 3.0).

In this Forum, Prof. Sivan will share his insights about the key aspects of HK 3.0, followed by a discussion focusing on the leadership HK 3.0 calls for.

Attend the forum to learn how the EMIL programme can escalate your career with our distinguished professors, speakers and students.

Date: Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm

More details here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

25-May-2016 (Hong Kong): MaB Workshop (Mindfulness and Business)

The purpose of the MaB workshop is to allow reflective practitioners of mindfulness to share issues (and specifically questions) they have encountered during their research/training/practice of mindfulness in the organizational settings. The mood is “open and managed sharing.”  We assume relevant partnerships will naturally emerge between like-minded people.

0900-1000 Meet and connect
1000-1015 Open: Prof. Yesha Sivan – The Gist of the Day
1015-1045 Morning Meditation
1100-1145 S1: Dr. Helen Chan – Research framework for testing of mindfulness on organizational innovation.
1145-1230 S2: Dr. Keren Tsuk – Introduction to MBIL: Mindfulness based innovation leadership
1230-1300 D1: Discussion session
1300-1400 Mindfulness Lunch
1400-1445 S3: Prof. Yesha Sivan – Lessons from Muse  
1445-1530 S4: Dr. Roy Horan – Creativity
1530-1615 S5: Mr. Ernest Ng – Mindfulness and sustainable decision making
1615-1700 S6: Ms. Martha Collard - Mindfulness@work & gong session
1700-1800 D2: Discussion session
1800-1900 Relaxation and emailing time
1900-           Dinner (optional)

Invites: Limited seating, by invitation. If interested – and can commit for the day – please email Dr. Helen Chan.