*Sylvia Xihui Liu, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Cees de Bont, Loughborough University, UK
Alison Rieple, University of Westminster, UK
Shi Yongjiang, University of Cambridge, UK
Cara Wrigley, University of Sydney, Australia

In this track, we invite both conceptual and empirical papers that explore the relationship between designers and ecosystems in order to bring about disruptive innovation. The modern knowledge economy has created a dynamic environment in which industry boundaries and the bases of competition are being re-drawn. Emerging innovative technologies have brought about pressures for new organization structures, business models, design principles and methods of designing. Smart connected products are replacing traditional products, virtual organizations are replacing bricks-and-mortar firms, and online communities are changing the ways that consumers are involved in the design process.

Ecosystems, as the configuration of both living and non-living resources, potential resources and highly interconnected networks of organizations, provide a structure that designers as entrepreneurial actors can draw upon to create novelty. In the new knowledge economy, the designer’s role is changing. Rather than focusing simply on learning and innovating within the firm, designers now need to be aware of developments outside the firm’s existing networks to bring insights from the wider ecosystem, from industries and socio-cultural fields some ‘distance’ away from the organisation. An innovation, especially if it is to be disruptive, requires the coordination of widespread resources and environmental conditions in order to achieve lift-off. How designers use the ecosystem to bring about disruptive innovation is poorly understood.

In this track we would like to encourage papers that discuss, for example:

  • The role of innovation/business ecosystems in disruptive innovation.
  • How designers can use the ecosystem to bring about disruptive innovation.
  • What problems do designers encounter when trying to access resources such as new knowledge from the ecosystem.

Indicative References
Adner, R., & Kapoor, R. (2016). Innovation ecosystems and the pace of substitution: Re‐examining technology S‐curves. Strategic Management Journal37(4), 625–648. doi:10.1002/smj.2363
Christensen, C. M., Raynor, M. E., & McDonald, R. (2015). What is disruptive innovation? Harvard Business Review93(12), 44–53.
Iansiti, M., & Levien, R. (2004). Strategy as ecology. Harvard business review82(3), 68–81.
Markides, C. (2006). Disruptive innovation: In need of better theory. Journal of product innovation management23(1), 19–25. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2005.00177.x
Porter, M. E., & Heppelmann, J. E. (2015). How smart, connected products are transforming companies. Harvard Business Review, 93(10), 96–114.
Rong, K., Hu, G., Lin, Y., Shi, Y., & Guo, L. (2015). Understanding business ecosystem using a 6C framework in Internet-of-Things-based sectors. International Journal of Production Economics,159, 41–55. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2014.09.003
Valkokari, K., Seppänen, M., Mäntylä, M., & Jylhä-Ollila, S. (2017). Orchestrating innovation ecosystems: A qualitative analysis of ecosystem positioning strategies. Technology Innovation Management Review, 7(3), 12–24. doi:10.22215/timreview/1061