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UTS Innovation Leadership Masterclass: Innovation Methods

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Event description

In this first Innovation Leadership Masterclass brought to you by the SME@UTS program, we focus on how organisations can use innovation methods like design thinking, agile project management and new approaches to business model innovation to lead and drive strategic innovation initiatives. 

We introduce essential elements of contemporary innovation methods, provide practical examples, and allow lots of time for questions and discussion. 

The masterclass will be presented by A/Prof Jochen Schweitzer, A/Prof Natalia Nikolova, and industry experts.

What you can expect to learn:

  • Introduction to Design Thinking methods and mindset
  • Key insights from a recent case study of strategic innovation
  • The role and importance of leadership for innovation
  • Practical tools and techniques that enable you to foster innovation in your organisations

About your presenters:

Associate Professor Natalia Nikolova is the Academic Director of the UTS Futures Academy. She has a PhD in economic and political sciences (Dr. rer. pol.) from the University of Cologne, Germany. 

Before joining University of Technology Sydney Business School, Natalia was a visiting researcher at the Australian Graduate School of Management. Prior to that, she was a senior lecturer at the University of Cologne, Germany. Natalia's research interests are quite diverse including organisational practices, strategy, innovation and leadership. She is passionate about bringing insights from different disciplines to explore complex issues and phenomena. 

Natalia has worked on several projects with industry partners, including Mirvac, the Royal Australian AirForce, Mercer, BAE Systems Australia, and Spencer Stuart. She has published in academic journals and books and her work has been presented and recognised at a number of international conferences. She has extensive experience as an innovative educator and facilitator in business strategy, innovation, problem solving and leadership.

Associate Professor Jochen Schweitzer is Director of Entrepreneurship at the UTS Business School. He also serves as the Faculty Director of UTS’s Executive MBA and the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (Honours).

Trained as both an engineer and a social scientist, his work focuses on strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation issues with a special interest in design thinking, emerging technologies, and the future of work. Jochen was Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) School of Design Thinking at Potsdam University. He has taught at the UTS schools of Design and Architecture, Macquarie University, Shanghai University and Sydney School of Entrepreneurship. 

Prior to becoming an academic, Jochen was a Principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers' Strategy practice. As an expert advisor, he provides insights into emerging trends, alternate perspectives and fresh ideas to several private and government organisations. Recent advisory roles included growing corporate innovation capabilities, developing strategic innovation performance, crowdsourcing ideas for climate adaptation in public transport, evaluating on-demand transport solutions, developing social entrepreneurship policy, and developing future of work skills and capabilities.


SME@UTS is designed to help SMEs confidently invest in innovation and digital technologies. This integrated program provides SMEs with a progressive and customised pathway towards technology adoption and innovation. This concierge style service helps SMEs gain access to innovation expertise, research capabilities and world class technology facilities that will allow them to underpin their business growth. This masterclass is one of many that will be delivered at no cost to attend as part of the SME@UTS program which is partly funded by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

About AMGC

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) was established in 2015 as a key plank of the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centre Initiative. Its goal is to drive innovation, productivity and competitiveness across Australia’s manufacturing industry.

AMGC is an industry-led, not-for-profit organisation and is run by a board and management team of industry experts. It is connected with a nationwide network of manufacturers, universities and research institutions, and export hubs.

The Centre’s role is to share its respected research on how the industry can transform to become more advanced. AMGC puts its research into action by engaging with manufacturers and universities in high-impact projects and export hub opportunities.

AMGC encourages likeminded manufacturers and research institutions to join its ranks. Membership is open and free of charge to those who care about developing a more globally competitive manufacturing sector.

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