Keynote Speakers

Prof. Elena Novelli

Elena Novelli is Professor of Strategy at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass), where she also serves as the Director of the PhD in Management and the Co-Director of the Digital Leadership Research Centre. 

Her research explores how firms create and capture value from knowledge. She has conducted conceptual and empirical research based on natural and field experiments to study the relationship between knowledge generality and organizational boundary choices, as well as the role of scientific knowledge in determining firms’ appropriability, patent strategy, and entrepreneurial performance. Her research has been published in top academic journals including Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Annals, Organization Science, Research Policy and the Journal of Management, and in other outlets such as The Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Handbook of Innovation Management - Oxford University Press, The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management.

Her work has been recognized with multiple awards including the 2021 Strategic Management Society Best Paper Prize, the 2021 DRUID, Best Paper Prize, the 2021 Academy of Management STR Distinguished Paper Award for Knowledge, Innovation, and Strategic Human Capital, the 2015 Strategic Management Society Best Paper IG Knowledge and Innovation Award, the 2013 SIIE.EBS/Mikroforum Best-Paper-Award Innovation Management, the 2013 Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) Research Publication Prize, the 2012 University of Bath Bright Idea Award. Her Ph.D. dissertation was selected as the Finalist for the Best Dissertation Awards from the Academy of Management (BPS Division) and the Danish Research Unit on Industrial Dynamics (DRUID). In 2012, the UK Economic and Social Research Council awarded the prestigious Future Research Leaders Grant to Dr. Novelli (GBP 212,240). In 2018, she has received as the Principal Investigator the UK Government BEIS Business Basics Grant (GBP 387,000) to launch Strategy Insight Lab (in collaboration with colleagues at Bocconi University and the University of Oxford), a programme to deliver free training for one year to hundreds of UK micro businesses, keeping them at the forefront of business knowledge and conducting research on what enables their growth and success. For her work on this project, Professor Novelli was shortlisted as one of the three finalists for the 2019 City Icon Partnership Award.

Professor Novelli is a member of the Editorial Review Boards of Organization Science, the Strategic Management Journal, Strategy Science and the Journal of Management Studies. She is a member of the Executive Board of the SEI Consortium. She is the Program-Chair Elect and PDW Chair of the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management. She had already served the Division in the role of Treasurer previously. In 2020 she served as the Chair of the Knowledge and Innovation Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society and earlier, as a Representative-at-Large of the same interest group. In the period 2017-2019, she served in the Executive Committee of the Strategic Management Division of the Academy of Management.

Professor Novelli has coordinated and taught Executive Education courses for public organisations as well as leading international companies in the media, banking, real estate, transportation and retail industries.  In 2011, she was the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Bath; in 2016 she was nominated for a City University Learning Enhancement Award; in 2017 she was the Finalist for the Rector's Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, in 2019 she won the City Student Union Impact Award for Most Innovative Teaching. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Professor Novelli was a member of the Business School Board of Studies between 2013 and 2019 and she has been a member of the Business School Research Committee since 2016. Between 2019 and 2021, she was an Elected Member of City University Senate.

Professor Novelli holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Management and an M.Sc., cum laude, in Business Administration from Bocconi University, Milan.




Prof. Sofia Johan

Sofia Johan, LL.B (University of Liverpool), LL.M. in International Economic Law (University of Warwick), Ph.D. in Law and Economics (Tilburg University), is Associate Professor of Finance and Fellow of the Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise at Florida Atlantic University, USA. She is also Chair in Entrepreneurial Finance at the University of Aberdeen Business School and the Extramural Research Fellow at the Tilburg Law and Economics Centre (TILEC) in The Netherlands. She is Co-Editor of Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance and an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Management. She is on the Editorial Boards of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal, Emerging Markets Review and Finance Research Letters. Her research is focused on law and finance, market surveillance, corporate governance, alternative investments (including but not limited to hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, real estate investment trusts and IPOs) and alternative finance (including but not limited to crowdfunding, peer to peer lending and cryptocurrencies). Her research has been published in the American Law and Economics Review, Journal of Financial Economics, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Banking and Finance, European Financial Management, European Economic Review, and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, among other journals. She has co-authored the books titled Crowdfunding: Fundamental Cases, Facts and Insights; Venture Capital and Private Equity Contracting: An International Perspective; and Hedge Fund Structure, Regulation and Performance Around the World. She has co-edited the books Handbook of IPOs, published by Oxford University Press and Handbook of Hedge Funds, also published by Oxford University Press. She has also consulted for a variety of governmental and private organizations in Canada, Australasia and Europe and is on the advisory boards of a select few start-up firms.


Prof. Heinz D. Kurz

Heinz D. Kurz is Professor emeritus of Economics at the University of Graz and founder and from 2006-2013 chairman of the Graz Schumpeter Centre. He studied Economics and Political Science in Munich, wrote his PhD thesis in Kiel, Germany, and in 1977-1978 he was a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. In 1979 he was appointed to a Chair in Economics at the University of Bremen. In 1988 he joined the University of Graz. In 1990-1991 he served as Theodor Heuss Professor in the Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research, New York. He held numerous visiting professorships in many universities around the world, including Leicester, Osaka, Meiji (Tokyo), Wuhan, Pisa, Paris, Bangkok, St. Petersburg. In 1995 he and Neri Salvadori presented their newly released book Theory of Production at a PhD seminar at UNAM.

His main fields of research are: the theory of production, capital, income distribution, technical change and innovation, economic growth and the history of economic analysis. He received several prizes and awards, including the Main Prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2002. In 2014, he was appointed to a Honorary Professorship at Nanjing University. He served as the President of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought and several other societies. He has published numerous papers and books with major journals, such as the Journal of Political Economy, and major publishers, such as Cambridge University Press and Columbia University Press. Several of his books have been translated into other languages, including English, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Serbian, Hindu and Turkish. His book Economic Thought: A brief History will soon be published also in Spanish. He has been the Managing Editor of the journal Metroeconomica since 1998, and is one of the Founding Editors of the European Journal of the History of Economic Thought. He serves on the boards of several other journals. He has been the director of several research projects. He is the General Editor of Piero Sraffa’s Works and Correspondence on behalf of Cambridge University Press. He has just completed a project on smart technologies financed by the Austrian Science Foundation.

Selected publications
Kurz, H. D. (2016). Economic Thought: A Brief History. New York: Columbia University Press. Translated into numerous languages.
Kurz, H. D. and Salvadori, N. (1995). Theory of Production. A Long-Period Analysis. Cambrige: Cambridge University Press. Revised paperback edn 1997. Translated into Russian and several other languages.
Kurz, H. D., Schütz, M, Strohmaier, R. and Zilian, S. (2018). Riding a new wave of innovations. A long-term view at the current process of creative destruction. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 44(4): 545-583.
Kurz, H. D., Schütz, M, Strohmaier, R. and Zilian, S. (eds) (2022). Handbook of Smart Technologies. An Economic and Social Perspective. London. Routledge.


Liviu Stirbat

Liviu Stirbat, from Bucharest, Romania, is Head of Unit for Industry 5.0 in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Previously, he was Deputy Head of EU Adaptation to Climate Change and also worked on better regulation and innovation in the public sector.


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