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Visiting scholar speaks on innovation and the internet

Monday, 16 April 2012

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The School of Management recently hosted renowned scholar Professor Thomas Schildhauer, of the Berlin University of the Arts, who held a seminar for ECU’s Centre for Innovative Practice on ‘Internet-enabled Innovation’. The visit was organised by ECU Senior Lecturer in the School of Management, Dr Paul Jackson.

Professor Schildhauer holds the foundation Chair of Marketing in Electronic Business at the Berlin University of the Arts, and is the director of their largest institute, the Institute of Electronic Business. In 2011, Professor Schildhauer was also appointed as a founding director of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin, one of three major research institutes in the world initiated and funded by Google.

During the seminar, Professor Schildhauer explored how internet users’ growing desire to actively participate online can be channeled into interactions with brands for the benefit of both the brand and the consumer.

He spoke on the rise of ‘crowdsourcing’ platforms, or websites that outsource tasks to users resulting in mass collaboration on projects, and how brands can get involved with such initiatives by setting contests for these creative communities.

Key advice for marketing in these new conditions was to refrain from efforts to ‘buy’ customers with traditional methods, and rather to ‘let them participate’ with the brand online.

“It was our pleasure to host Professor Schildhauer on his visit,” said Dr Paul Jackson.

“It is a real privilege to have someone of his calibre talk to us about this subject which has so many implications for marketing, operations, human resources, financing and indeed our social fabric. We have explored many opportunities for collaboration, both with the University of the Arts and the Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin. It’s very exciting.”

Alongside Dr Paul Jackson and in collaboration with Country Arts WA, Professor Schildhauer has also run a workshop for urban and rural arts organisations on ‘Internet and the Arts’ during his visit.

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