Concordia University

Speaker series

The Luc Beauregard Speaker Series fosters exchanges between academics, researchers and practitioners in strategic communications. These events are held every two years to provide access to eminent experts who share their knowledge with faculty members, students and the general public.


Recent event: Breakfast Conference, October 4

Presented in collaboration with the
John Molson School of Business’
RBC Professorship in Strategic Relationship Marketing

Communicators as Innovators:
Leveraging Social Media to Engage Stakeholders and
to Reshape the Way We Innovate

Frank Piller, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Professor and Chair of Technology & Innovation Management
RWTH Aachen University’s School of Business and Economics, Germany
Academic Director, RWTH Aachen & Fraunhofer Executive MBA Program


Companies such as Starbucks, GE, Phillips, Dell and Tesla efficiently and effectively use social media as part of their innovation processes. In his presentation, Dr. Piller will discuss the role of communication in designing new forms of stakeholder collaborations in order to facilitate large-scale innovation and to address a range of business problems. The value co-creation needed to achieve this requires innovation that is not solely performed internally within an organization but in cooperation with all stakeholders. This creates new challenges and opportunities for communicators. Using case studies from diverse industries, Dr. Piller will show how co-creation requires and initiates new levels of interactive communication and trust between stakeholders. In doing so, he will demonstrate how communication and public relations professionals can play an active role in opening up the innovation process.


Frank Piller (@masscustom) is a professor of technology & innovation management at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading technology-focused universities. He is also a co-founder of MIT’s Smart Customization Group. Dr. Piller is regarded as one of the leading experts on new forms of innovation and co-creation. He has delivered customized executive classes for many Fortune 500 companies, startups and top business schools. Dr. Piller also serves as director or advisor to several companies and he is the only German academic in the "Top50 Professors on Twitter".

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