University of Oulu

EBRF 2011 : conference proceedings

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Author: Seppä, Marko; Hakanen, Mila; Mäkinen, Katri (eds.)
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 8.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: , 2012
Publish Date: 2012-06-25


Global business creation is a tough game. To welfare societies it is no longer just a game, however, but a matter of life and death. The ability of nations to sustain public services – for example, to pay salaries to researchers and educators – depends upon the jobs and tax income created by their globally growing enterprises. And yet there is no university domain dedicated to producing masters and mastery of this important art.

The 11th EBRF Conference – Global Business Creation Games: Co-Creation of Enterprise for Problems Worth Solving – urged us all to make better use of our slack resources, both tangible and intangible. This is equally acutely needed in every sector of society and from every person, both natural and legal. Like in the times of the Great Explorers, bold exploration across murky waters is again called for. Like always, some roads will be dead-ends, but we cannot find the right ones without leaving our sofa.

At EBRF 2011, we discussed with concern “time to market” for new products and businesses, but were equally concerned about time to market for the research we conduct – or whether our research has an impact on the marketplace, to begin with. This is how EBRF has challenged us, from the get-go, in 2001. With elements of an unconference, EBRF 2011 sought for ecosystem level impact by engaging entrepreneurs, executives, and policy makers in the scholarly process through what were called ecosystem level Live Case exercises. Such exercises were undertaken under six grand topics: Capital, Education, Energy, Health, ICT, and Wellbeing. All the approved abstracts and conference presentations were divided between them. The purpose was to jointly discover exciting new ways forward. At least some baby steps were taken.

Entrepreneurs can freely choose which type companies they build. They can, for example, concentrate on building businesses aimed at solving big social and ecological problems. Researchers can choose the problems and solutions they investigate, and the purposes they serve. Policy makers and innovation financiers can first define quite exactly what they want and demand plans that fit the bill. Alternatively, they can build agile policies that are fitted to back the most innovative, motivated and committed teams. For a game-change, co-creation across all borders is needed.

At EBRF 2011, each of the ecosystem level Live Case exercises produced their own global business creation canvas. One objective was to inspire the presenters of approved abstracts when finalizing their full papers, after the conference. By an ultimate deadline, altogether 20 conference presentations transformed into full research papers, all featured on the following pages. A range of 2-4 full papers emerged under each grand topic. While there are only 2 papers under ICT, there are 3 papers under Capital an Energy and 4 papers under Education, Health, and Wellbeing. To be sure, as these are not business as usual research topics or streams, there may be a paper or two, for example, under Education, with little or nothing to do with education, per se.

For important acknowledgement of our work and approach, Technology Innovation Management Review ( decided to dedicate a special issue to EBRF 2011 conference papers. Dedicated to “Global Business Creation”, the TIM Review June issue features seven particularly insightful EBRF papers. All but one of the grand topics, namely ICT, is represented in the special issue. Also the authors whose paper did not make the special issue pulled themselves and the fellow members of their ecosystem level Live Case exercises out of their comfort zones, thereby successfully providing value-adding inspiration, provocation and stimulation across many borders. On behalf of all the organizers, I wish to thank each contributing author and participant.

In her message to the EBRF 2011 organizers, having to decline a keynote invitation, Kelly Fitzsimmons, an extraordinary lady game changer and serial entrepreneur, pointed how successful business creators come in every size, shape, gender, and colour of skin, and from every kind of family and educational background as well as type of personality. What they share in common, according to her discoveries and observations, is their willingness and ability to tolerate discomfort for unreasonably long periods of time.

At EBRF 2011, we were pushed outside our comfort zone only for a few days. Even there, it was educating enough for the organizers to take a time-out on EBRF’s future. Since 2001, the conference has continuously pushed – and stretched – the envelope in the frontier between art and science, theory and practice, having perhaps reached the limit. Consequently, the conference mission and concept are currently being reconsidered, and the conference board reorganized.

For closing, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the participants, co-organizers and sponsors of EBRF 2011 for an invaluable contribution. As co-founder and co-organizer or chairman of the conference since 2001, I wish to warmly thank all the individuals and institutions whose co-creative efforts and support have made 11 consecutive annual international peer reviewed business research conferences possible in Finland. For me, personally, this has been a most educational, rewarding, and worthwhile journey.

Wishing all explorers both courage and passion, as well as every health, happiness, and best of luck, when enabling co-creation of great global enterprises, On behalf of the co-organizers of EBRF 2011,


Chairman of EBRF Board

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Series: Proceedings of EBRF
ISSN: 1797-1918
ISSN-E: 1797-1918
ISSN-L: 1797-1918
ISBN: 978-951-42-9865-3
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2012. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.