Does Networking Matter for Innovation?
Despite the abundance of events where you can network with others -- such as alumni gatherings, tech meet-ups, and even lecture series like "Raising the Bar" -- social scientists still don't understand if the people we meet at such events help us find collaborators, generate better ideas, or more generally do better at work. While the idea that our friends and colleagues shape our behavior is intuitive, testing this thesis is anything but. In this lecture, we describe how experimental methods allow us to test if social networks matter, focusing on the results from a large-scale research project in India that both trained aspiring entrepreneurs and tested how who we know shapes the process of innovation.
Rem Koning is a Ph.D. Candidate in Organizational Behavior at Stanford GSB. His research combines randomized control trials with computational tools -- ranging from connected sensors to dynamic online surveys to machine learning algorithms -- to better understand, and eventually improve, how teams, firms and ecosystems generate new ideas and innovations. He is currently investigating how early small contributions may undermine crowd-funding campaigns, how who a founder knows shapes a startup's success, and ways to build communities that can accelerate the translation of scientific research into life-saving products. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and a drop out from Columbia University's School of Architecture.