• SRI International (map)
  • 333 Ravenswood Avenue
  • Menlo Park, CA 94025
  • United States


The global economy is transforming. Most advanced economies are already “service economies” and large and small companies alike are increasingly focusing on how to create new value by delivering innovative services. For example, both in the United States and globally, the automotive industry is facing a radical transformation, as the physical car is increasingly seen as a “platform for commerce”—in other words, as a platform for a variety of higher-value-added mobility, connectivity, and other services. A new automotive ecosystem with a growing number of new players is rapidly emerging—and large, global auto companies are forced to innovate in unprecedented ways, and are increasingly forming new alliances with startups, including firms in the new “sharing economy.” But such ‘servification’ trends are seen across all industries, whether in jet engines, medical devices, oil and gas, construction and heavy equipment machinery, etc.

This session will explore a variety of issues around the future of service innovation, including:

  • What are some of the most interesting trends and developments around innovative services that point to what we may see in the future?
  • How can companies develop disruptive, services-based business models?
  • How does “services innovation” differ from product innovation, and what are some of the challenges facing companies that hope to lead future service innovation?
  • What are some key lessons learned in the past from services innovation in the Nordic region and in the US/Silicon Valley?
  • How can startups—in Silicon Valley, and in the Nordics and beyond—become “services innovation leaders” and what steps do they need to take to succeed?

The session will bring together a world-class panel of experts of both academics and analysts as well as leading industry practitioners who will share their insight and experiences from the front lines of services innovation.


  • Stephen Ezell—Vice President, The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
  • Richard Cuthbertson—Professor, Oxford University, Said Business School
  • Jim Spohrer—IBM, Director, Global University Programs
  • Robert Pearlstein—Vice President, Corporate Business and International Development, SRI International
  • Luciano C. Oviedo—Corporate and Business Strategist at Intel Corporation


  • Eilif Trondsen—Director, Strategic Business Insights; Board Member, Silicon Vikings
  • Peder Inge Furseth—Professor Innovation Systems, BI Norwegian Business Schoool



Stephen Ezell. Stephen is Vice President, Global Innovation Policy with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington-DC based technology and economic policy think tank, where he focuses on science, technology, and innovation policy as well as international competitiveness, trade, and manufacturing policy issues. He is the co-author with Dr. Robert Atkinson of Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale, September 2012) and a co-author of Innovating in a Service-Driven Economy: Insights, Application, and Practice (Palgrave McMillan, November 2015). Mr. Ezell has testified on topics including U.S. competitiveness, innovation, manufacturing, and trade policy before the U.S. Congress and the U.S. International Trade Commission. His articles have appeared in Forbes, The Hill, Roll Call, The Futurist, and The International Economy, among others. Stephen came to ITIF from Peer Insight, an innovation research and consulting firm he co-founded in 2003. He previously worked in the new product development group at NASDAQ. He holds a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, with an Honors Certificate from Georgetown’s Landegger International Business Diplomacy (IBD) program.


Richard Cuthbertson. Richard Cuthbertson is a Senior Research Fellow and Research Director at the Oxford Institute of Retail Management at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. He is a leading expert in the development of consumer-facing companies and the convergence of online and in-store retailing. Richard's interest in retail and service businesses focuses on the interactions between customers, technology and the firm, as well as their influence on society, culture, politics and global development. His research investigates not only the economic impact of rapid changes in how we buy products and services, but also the social implications of consumer buying behaviour.  Richard earned his undergraduate degree at Lancaster University Management School and his PhD at the University of Southampton. After a commercial career in distribution management and marketing operations, he moved into academic life in 1993. After five years as a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University, he joined Saїd Business School in 1998.


Jim Spohrer. Jim is Director IBM Global University Programs and leads IBM’s Cognitive Systems Institute. The Cognitive Systems Institute works to align cognitive systems researchers in academics, government, and industry globally to improve productivity and creativity of problem-solving professionals, transforming learning, discovery, and sustainable development. IBM University Programs works to align IBM and universities globally for innovation amplification and T-shaped skills. Jim co-founded IBM’s first Service Research group, ISSIP Service Science community, and was founding CTO of IBM’s Venture Capital Relations Group in Silicon Valley. He was awarded Apple Computers’ Distinguished Engineer Scientist and Technology title for his work on next generation learning platforms. Jim has a Yale PhD in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence and MIT BS in Physics. His research priorities include service science, cognitive systems for smart holistic service systems, especially universities and cities. With over ninety publications and nine patents, he is also a PICMET Fellow and a winner of the S-D Logic award.


Luciano C. Oviedo is a corporate and business strategist at Intel Corporation. Luciano is involved in developing markets and technologies such as 2D and 3D computational imaging, video analytics, natural computing and augmented/blended reality. He is recently chairing an effort within IEEE to explore and develop global standards around emerging 3D body processing technologies for mobile computing, wearables and IOT aiming to accelerate the future of consumer services such as immersive shopping, health, wellness and fitness. Luciano is also active with the Santa Fe Institute (as a Business Network Fellow exploring strategy and innovation as complex systems) and the Strategic Management Society (as a director for open strategy workshops held over the past year in Madrid, San Francisco, and Denver).


Robert Pearlstein. Robert is vice president of corporate business and international development at SRI International. In this role, he cultivates opportunities with international commercial and government clients. He works to expand SRI’s presence globally by qualifying and building strategic partnerships and alliances. He also works with SRI’s business units to promote and develop new offerings internationally. Robert has more than 20 years of experience building and executing go-to-market strategies for start-ups and emerging domestic and international technology companies. He has extensive experience in international business development, the venture capital funding process, large account strategic sales, and contract negotiation. Prior to joining SRI, Robert held senior management positions for a variety of venture companies in the Internet and communications domains, including Sylantro Systems Corporation, RingCentral, Inc., and MediaRing, Inc.


Eilif Trondsen. Eilif—a transplanted Norwegian who has spent his whole professional life in Silicon Valley—has led and participated in a number of syndicated research programs and numerous consulting projects during his 35 years at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) and Strategic Business Insights (a spin-out from SRI, located on the Menlo Park campus of SRI). Eilif has also been Adjunct Professor of Economics at a number of Bay Area universities. Most of his work has focused on eCommerce, Learning, Innovation, and Virtual Technologies, and in recent years much of his work has focused on the Nordic region, especially Finland and Norway, including projects for Tekes and the Norwegian Research Council, and two projects funded by Nordic Innovation. He is currently the project leader of a new Nordic Innovation project awarded to Silicon Vikings, which will build a Nordic EdTech Network. He has been a Board member of Silicon Vikings for the last 5 years, and have been the Chair of the Special Interest Group on Entrepreneurship and Learning since its beginning.


Peder Inge Furseth. Peder—who is an Associate Professor, Department of Communications and Culture at the BI Norwegian Business School —is a leadership and innovation strategy researcher and Professor with 20 years of experience. Leadership is about producing useful change; innovation is about coming up with something new that has economic or non-economic value. His specialty is to integrate executive education with research, workshops and professional networks. Peter’s main topics in research are service innovation, business models, innovation culture, multi-channel integration, social networks, and value formation. His main teaching area is the master of management program called Innovation & Commercialization (Nyskaping og kommersialisering), a 150 hour course that has modules both in Oslo and in the San Francisco Bay Area.